More than 20,000 trophy hunters descend on Las Vegas to join ‘pay to slay’ auctions

by Tom Bawden Environment Editor
The hunts, which will eventually kill about 600 animals in 32 countries, have outraged activists…

More than 20,000 trophy hunters are descending on Las Vegas this week to take part in a series of “pay to slay” auctions that have outraged animal rights activists.

The hunting jamboree, at which delegates will bid for the right to take part in 301 hunts that will eventually kill about 600 animals in 32 countries, is organised by Safari Club International (SCI), whose members include the notorious killer of Cecil the lion.

The four-day extravaganza at the Mandalay Bay hotel and convention centre on the Las Vegas Strip includes live music from country veteran Merle Haggard and Blood, Sweat & Tears.

The auction features an array of items including a white gold leopard broach – starting price $39,000 (£27,500) – and bullet gift certificates.

But the centrepiece of the event is unquestionably the auction of packages to hunt – and in some cases stuff – big game. Lots range from Iberian red deer and Pyrenean chamois to Australian water buffalo and African elephants.

The description of the 10-day Alaska Brown Bear and Black Bear hunt, which has a starting price of $75,150, reads: “This all-inclusive hunt is an outstanding option for hunters who want an all-in-one luxury hunting experience…in amazing areas boasting the highest density of bears in the world.”


US dentist Walter Palmer, who shot Cecil the lion, with another of his trophies

It adds: “Method of take is hunters’ choice.”

The Ultimate Hunters’ Market has been condemned by animal rights activists, amid a renewed focus on the ethics of big game hunting after SCI member and US dentist Walter Palmer killed Cecil in Zimbabwe last year.

Wendy Higgins, of Humane Society International said: “The auction site reads like a grotesque killing-for-kicks catalogue, in which the lives of the precious wildlife are sold to the highest bidder so that they can be slaughtered for fun.

“It is a tragic indictment on our society that, despite the global outrage over Cecil the Lion’s pointless killing, this scale of trophy hunting is still going on,” said Wendy Higgins, of Humane Society International.

League Against Cruel Sports chief executive Eduardo Goncalves added: “It beggars belief that there are still people who are excited by the prospect of slaughtering an animal for target practice and turning it into a trophy.”

The Safari Club International (SCI) is expected to raise more than $2.5 million from auctioning the mammal hunts alone, which have been provided from various hunt organisers.

The club runs the convention annually and it provides the majority of its income – most of which is used to lobby Washington.

Urgent: Stop the Las Vegas Trophy Hunting Auction!

theo bronkhorst

BY: Jennifer Johnson

  • TARGET: Mandalay Bay Hotel & Convention Center, Las Vegas


 42,991 supporters


we’ve got 42,991 supporters, help us get to 45,000

More than 20,000 trophy hunters are descending on Las Vegas this week to place bids at a trophy hunting auction. 

Sign this petition to demand the Mandalay Bay Hotel cancel the 4-day event and promise not to hold any future auctions encouraging the slaughter of animals.

This disgusting event is organized by Safari Club International (of which the notorious killer of Cecil the lion is a part) and is selling off permits to kill 600 animals in 32 countries. Animals targeted by the event include the Iberian red deer and even African elephants.

These are animals we need to be protecting, not encouraging people to kill. Join the campaign asking Mandalay Bay Hotel and Convention Center to shut down this event and promise not to hold another animal slaughter auction.

Hunting clubs, rhino hunter sue Delta over trophy ban

Hunting clubs and a man who paid $350,000 for a license to hunt a black rhino in Namibia have sued Delta Airlines, saying its ban on transporting some big game hunting trophies hurts conservation efforts and violates its global obligations.

In a lawsuit filed in federal court in Texas on Thursday, the hunter of the endangered black rhino, Corey Knowlton, along with the Dallas Safari Club, the Houston Safari Clubs and others said that the transport of the trophies is allowed under a strict systems of global permits and Delta must abide by its obligations.

“Tourist hunting revenue is the backbone of anti-poaching in Africa. If there are fewer users, as Delta’s embargo envisions, there are fewer boots on the ground and reduced security for elephant, rhino and other at-risk wildlife,” the lawsuit said.

Delta officials were not immediately available for comment.

Delta was one of three U.S. airlines in August that banned the transport of lion, leopard, elephant, rhino or buffalo killed by trophy hunters, in the fallout from the killing of Zimbabwe’s Cecil the Lion about a month earlier.

Delta is the only of the carriers with direct service between Johannesburg and the United States and its decision was seen as carrying the most weight.

There has been an international outcry against trophy hunting among animal lovers since it emerged that American dentist Walter Palmer killed Cecil, a rare black-maned lion that was a familiar sight at Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park.

Eleven African countries issue lion hunting permits. Of them South Africa’s hunting industry is the biggest, worth $675 million a year, according to the Professional Hunters Association.

Hunting groups argue the money generated from the legally sanctioned hunts bolster the coffers for conservation in emerging African countries that want to use their limited finances for social programs.

In the middle of this year, the cargo division of South Africa’s national carrier, SAA, lifted an embargo that had been in place since April on the transport of legally acquired hunting trophies of African lion and elephant, rhinoceros and tiger.

“It should be remembered that hundreds of legally acquired wildlife specimens, such as hunting trophies, pass through our main ports of entry and exit monthly without incident. Penalizing an entire industry for the illegal actions of the few is not in the country’s best interests,” South Africa’s Environment Minister Edna Molewa said at the time.

(Reporting by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Sandra Maler)

Letter in Response to Oct. 9th Gray Wolf Article

by Rosemary Lowe

It’s about time that the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service stopped genuflecting to the NM Game & Fish Dept. & Commission, which is entrenched in an antiquated, anti-wildlife mentality with trophy hunting, trapping & ranching interests in control. Two of the Game Commissioners are members of the infamous Safari Club International, which continues to promote shameless trophy hunting around the world, including endangered species. The Mountain Lion ( a New Mexico wild cat) is on their “Grand Slam Cats of the World”  Trophy hunting list. It  was apparent to those of us attending these meetings, that this department has no interest in wild life protection/ preservation, nor in any democratic process. Most people do not hunt, trap or ranch. Yet their voices are never heard.
If we want to save wolves, mountains lions, & other native animals, , we must  take on those special interests who are the impetus behind this despicable  state agency:  Tell these public lands rancher-moochers who graze everywhere on our National Forests, wilderness areas, BLM and state lands,  we want them off ! Wildlife need these lands to survive.
Now it is up to the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to take full control of the Mexican Wolf Recovery program. The failure of the federal government to protect public land in Nevada from rancher Cliven Bundy set a dangerous precedent for New Mexico. Also, Catron County ranchers have resisted the Federal Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Program from the beginning. In May last year the Otero County Cattle Growers Association and their parent organization New Mexico Cattle Growers Association held a rally to “protect our land from federal designation.” The federal government must be prepared to protect federal wildlife habitat in the face of armed resistance.
Rosemary Lowe

Safari Club International Awards by Captain Paul Watson

Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

Safari Club International has some 50,000 members, 150 chapters and collects $3.17 million in membership dues each year. It raises another 7 million from their annual convention. But what is truly despicable about this organization is that it encourages slaughter through awards.

SCI’s record book system ranks the biggest tusks, horns, antlers, skulls and bodies of hunted animals. Hunters are rewarded with trophies for completing a “Grand Slam”. There are 15 “Grand Slams”. The ones that cover Africa are:

1. “The African Big Five Club” African lion, African leopard, African elephant, African buffalo and an African rhinoceros.

2. “Dangerous Game of Africa” requires a minimum of five from the African lion, African leopard, African elephant, African rhinoceros, African buffalo, hippopotamus and Nile crocodile.

3. “African 29” African lion, leopard, elephant, rhinoceros, buffalo, and a small cat, eland, bongo,kudu, nyala, sitatunga, bushbuck, sable antelope, roan antelope, oryx/gemsbok, waterbuck,lechwe, kob or puku, reedbuck or rhebok, wildebeest, hartebeest, mamalisc, impala, gazelle, pygmy antelope, springbok, dik-dik, bush duiker, forest duiker, nubian ibex, aoudad, hippopotamus, and wild pig.

4. “Cats of the World” minimum of four of: lion, leopard, cheetah, jaguar, cougar, lynx, cougar or puma, serval, carcal, African golden cat or bobcat.

There are dozens of other reward categories where members can buy special gold and bejewelled pins for the number of kills they rack up.

There is also the “Global Hunting Award” that requires the killer to have hunted 6 continents to receive a diamond award, a minimum of 17 native in Africa, 13 native or introduced in North America, 4 native or introduced in South America, 6 native or introduced in Europe, 6 native to Asia and 4 introduced in the South Pacific, for a total of 50 animals.

There is the “Hunting Achievement Award” that requires a minimum of 125 animals, or 60 if hunting with a bow.

And for women they have the “Diana Award”, given to women who “have excelled in international big game hunting”.

And finally there is the obscenely named “World Conservation & Hunting Award” given to hunters who have killed on six continents and have killed more than 300 species. This “esteemed” award goes to the killer who has taken all 14 “Grand Slams”, the 23 “Inner Circles”, “Pinnacle of Achievement” (fourth) and the “Crowning Achievement Award”.

It is this award system that is driving thousands of wealthy primarily white men and a few women to spend millions of dollars stalking animals around the world for the sole purpose of killing the in the name of vanity and self-glorification.

See the SCI hit lists here:

See More

— with Darlene Robinette and 48 others.

Alice Susan Harding's photo.

Petition to UN: sue, ,Safari Club International,Dallas Safari Club

United Nations: sue, ,Safari Club International,Dallas Safari Club

This petition is awaiting approval by the Avaaz Community
United Nations: sue, ,Safari Club International,Dallas Safari Club
813 signers. Let’s reach 1,000

Why this is important

A petition for the UN to sue, ,Safari Club International and Dallas Safari Club,Craig Packer and Colleen Berg for deliberate lying and exaggerating lion populations in Africa for the money they get from lion trophy hunting.
Posted February 4, 2015

Safari Club–Center of Rhino Hunting Controversy–To Auction Off More Rare Animal Hunts

The 6,000 member Dallas Safari Club will auction off rare animals hunts this weekend during the banquet at its annual convention, which is a “showcase of hunting, sporting and outdoor adventure,” according to the Club’s website. During the auction, “bidders of any age or gender” will have the chance to bid on “amazing items,” including “youth hunts in New Zealand and Texas, a challenging Mid-Asian ibex hunt in Russia, and a bongo hunt in Cameroon.”

One of dozens of animal hunts at Dallas Safari Club Auction

The 2014 convention made international headlines when one attendee, Corey Knowlton, paid $350,000 to shoot an endangered black rhino in Namibia. Mr. Knowlton, who has purportedly received death threats, tells critics that he is motivated by “conservation.” Specifically, he claims that his substantial contribution will be allocated to rhino conservation efforts and that killing the rhino in question would actually benefit other rhinos in the area who he has been attacking.

But, if conservation is really Mr. Knowlton’s motivation, then why doesn’t he allocate a small part of his winning bid to relocate him?  And, if he’s concerned that the menacing rhino is harming the others, then why hasn’t he  shot him down hasn’t he done it in the 12 months since he won the bid?  Could it be because the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service has not yet issued a permit to import the rhino’s body and that Mr. Knowlton has no intention of returning from Africa without his “trophy.”

In an interview with Jane Velez-Mitchell on, Christopher Gervais, the director of the Wildlife Conservation Film Festival & Biodiversity Conference, says that killing animals is not the way to preserve them: “You do not hunt a vulnerable species in the name of conservation. Other organizations are conserving without hunting and killing.” Conservation funds. he says, can be raised through photography safaris during which animals are shot with cameras instead of guns.

Shooting rhinos with cameras

Your Turn

Please sign the petition to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to deny a permit that would allow 2014 Dallas Safari Club auction winner Corey Knowlton to import a black rhinoceros trophy from Namibia.

Petition for Elephants

Sign for Elephants

We the People…

  • Refuse to allow the elephant species to disappear…
  • Refuse to allow poached elephants’ tusks to fund terrorism…
  • Refuse to allow the deaths of rangers as they defend elephants…
  • Refuse to allow the bloody ivory trade to continue in the United States of America.

Sign the Petition

Pass the Word!




The Elephant Crisis &
How You Can Help

100 elephants per day are slaughtered in Africa for their tusks. We must end the ivory trade, or it will be the end of elephants. This May, it is vital that elephants receive 100,000 signatures across America to the White House.

We petition the president to:

Unequivocally ban the ivory commerce to save elephants from extinction



How to Sign the Petition

They don’t make it easy but it’s really this simple:

  1. Create an Account with We the People
  2. Check your email for the confirmation message
  3. Follow the confirmation link to activate your account

Ok, that’s sorted.

NOW I’m Ready to Sign!



The Crisis

On average, 100 elephants per day are being slaughtered in Africa so their tusks, also known as ivory, can be sold. At this rate a species that has walked the earth for millions of years will be made extinct. Poaching is being conducted in mass by sophisticated criminal syndicates that often slaughter an entire herd with machine guns. The tusks eventually end up being traded illegally in the #1 market, Asia, and the #2 market, the United States. The U.S. Department of State has also identified elephant poaching as a national security risk, as ivory is used to fund acts of terrorism such as the 2013 Westgate Mall terrorist attack in Nairobi, Kenya.

Photo by Billy Dodson

It is essential to eliminate the demand for ivory. Though many people may think ivory is illegal to trade today in the U.S., that is not the entire story. There are loopholes in the law that allow “old” or “antique” ivory to be bought and sold. The problem is, it is very difficult and expensive to tell old ivory from new ivory and thus the domestic and export ivory trades continue. These are the loopholes that are wiping out the elephant right here at home.

On Feb. 11 the president launched a new National Strategy for Combating Wildlife Trafficking which eliminated the commercial ivory import trade. However ivory continues to be smuggled into the U.S. and we need to go further. We must stop all commercial ivory sales including the domestic and export trades.

Americans Petition for Elephants

Photo by Billy Dodson

The petition urges the United States president to TOTALLY BAN the ivory trade, with only very narrow noncommercial carve-outs for museums and other cultural institutions. This immediate and historic measure for another species is required to save the elephants from extinction. It is important to know that elephants were relatively safe just 7 years ago. But at the end of the last decade the global ban was “temporarily” lifted. Today the high price of ivory is wiping elephants out faster than they can reproduce. An elephant is killed every 15 minutes.

This petition is different than many you may have come across. This one is built on the backbone of the First Amendment established in the U.S. Constitution to petition our government for change. Upon 100,000 people – like you and me – signing this petition at the administration must respond.

We have only one month to achieve this goal between May 1 and May 30. As the poaching crisis is urgent we ask you to please sign now.

Sign the Petition




“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

The First Amendment, United States Constitution

“The right to petition your government is guaranteed by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. We the People provides a new way to petition the Obama Administration to take action on a range of important issues facing our country. We created We the People because we want to hear from you. If a petition gets enough support, White House staff will review it, ensure it’s sent to the appropriate policy experts, and issue an official response.”

The White House

A small elephant with large ears and budding tusks standing in a field of tall grass
Photo by Mike Paredes

Beginning May 1 people across the nation are invited to Sign for Elephants. The petition may only be signed online as a requirement of the Administration.

It takes under five minutes to:

  1. Create an Account with We the People
  2. Check your email for the confirmation message
  3. Follow the confirmation link to activate your account
  4. Sign the petition
  5. Share with friends and family!

NOTE: A key step to Sign for Elephants is activating your account by clicking on a link sent to your email address from the White House which redirects you to the petition page. Once this is done, you can sign the petition.

Sign the Petition

Safari Club Pushing to Overturn Elephant Tropy Ban


Hunters and the SCI have began a colossal lobbying program emailing and telephoning, meeting every US House representative to now try and OVERTURN the Elephant Trophy Hunting ban from Zimbabwe and Tanzania into the United States. We’re not going to allow them to win. We need YOU on our side TODAY.

Please contact the USFWS TODAY and inform them politely there is to be no ban overturn of Tanzania and Zimbabwe trophy Elephants.


Contact USFWS here TODAY –

Dear Hunting Community.

Attack us as much as you wish, you’ll never defeat us.

Signed truly

International Animal Rescue Foundation Africa..

Donate below;



Hunter sues over alleged fraudulent big-game hunt

Poor baby, imagine his mental distress, anxiety and loss of sleep from not receiving the right head in the mail…

Rick Vukasin is demanding reimbursement or else the original argali horns, but he said a possible exchange is complicated by international treaties governing hunting of the rare sheep, a threatened species in Tajikistan.


The Associated Press

 This December 2012 photo shows Vukasin, 65, of Great Falls, Mont., posing with a rare argali sheep known as the “Marco Polo” that he shot in the Pamir Mountains.
Enlarge this photoThis December 2012 photo shows Vukasin, 65, of Great Falls, Mont., posing with a rare argali sheep known as the “Marco Polo” that he shot in the Pamir Mountains.

Show comments         

                You travel around the world, to shoot an endanger species, and expect sympathy? What…                (February 15, 2014, by more important things)                                                        
                A good example of someone who deserves to get ripped off.                (February 15, 2014,                     
                What kind of a person would kill endangered animals for just a trophy? How infantile…                (February 15, 2014,                                                          

RENO, Nev. — A big-game hunter from Montana is suing a Canadian outfitter and a renowned hunting guide in Tajikistan he accuses of turning his once-in-a-lifetime adventure of bagging a rare, wild argali sheep known as the “Marco Polo” into a nightmare.

Rick Vukasin, 65, said in a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Reno last week that he spent more than $50,000 pursuing the animal in the Pamir Mountains of northeast Tajikistan near China’s border in December 2012.

The electrician said he felt like he was literally on top of the world after he tracked, shot and killed a 400-pound, big-horned ram with the coveted, spiraling horns at an elevation of 14,000 feet. But he was mortified two months later, when he opened the box shipped to his home in Great Falls to find the horns were not the 58-inch-long ones from his trophy animal.

“I could tell right away,” Vukasin said. “I was sick.”

The native Montanan who grew up hunting deer on the eastern front of the Northern Rockies had stalked moose in Saskatchewan and red stag elk in New Zealand.

“But the thing I really wanted to do was a Marco Polo sheep hunt,” he said. He pored over books, guides and websites before settling on the excursion halfway around the world.

“The biggest of the species is in Tajikistan. So I figured if I was only going to be able to do this once, I’m going top shelf,” he said.

Vukasin and his guide, Yuri Matison, saw animals the first day but had difficulty tracking them, partly because it’s hard to breathe at that altitude, he said. But the next day he said he “felt lucky” to land a prize with a rack in “pretty good shape … not all busted up from fighting.”

The horns he ended up with are missing a few noticeable chips and weathered to the point he suspects they are at least 2 years old.

Vukasin said Matison and the booking outfitter — Ameri-Cana Expeditions of Edmonton, Alberta — first insisted the horns were the originals and then offered to send a replacement.

Vukasin is demanding reimbursement or his original horns, but he said a possible exchange is complicated by international treaties governing hunting of argali, a threatened species in Tajikistan. Only 60 permits are issued there annually for the sheep named after the 13th-century explorer.

The Safari Club International considers the argali’s horns the “most spectacular” of all the world’s sheep, according to its record book.

Vukasin said Ameri-Cana co-owner Dan Frederick dismissed his concerns, telling him “It’s just hunting.”

“Granted,” Vukasin said, “you can have bad weather or you might not see any animals or you might miss the shot. That’s hunting.

“But to shoot the animal and take pictures of it and then not to get it, somebody has to be responsible.”

Frederick didn’t return calls or email seeking comment. The Associated Press was unable to locate Matison.

Vukasin said he contacted an FBI agent in Great Falls, Mont., who indicated he probably was a fraud victim but there was little authorities could do unless they found a number of other hunters who’d also been duped.

FBI spokesman William Facer in Salt Lake City said Friday the agency could not comment.

Linda Linton, a Reno lawyer, said she filed Vukasin’s lawsuit there because Matison and Ameri-Cana advertise and do business there regularly at conventions of the Safari Club International and the Wild Sheep Foundation, the latter of which named Matison to its Mountain Hunter Hall of Fame in 2009.

Vukasin is seeking $75,000 in damages for lost money, “worry, anxiety, loss of sleep, physical and mental distress.”

“I’ve been fighting them more than a year. I finally got fed up and decided to do something about it,” he said, adding he’s convinced others have been victimized. “I have this stuff sitting in my living room and every time I look at the horns, I just get that much more mad.”