Pope and Young Club weighs in on high-fenced hunting


Well, this should get some Texans fired up.

The Pope & Young Club released a statement on what the club considers fair chase.

The club says they are proud of the “Fair Chase” ethics they have implemented, fought for and defended since 1961. The Club and its membership steadfastly support and promote the North American Wildlife Conservation Model.

The Pope & Young Club official position statement:

“The Pope and Young Club and its membership strongly condemn the killing of big game animals in artificial situations. An “artificial situation” is defined as a situation where animals are held in captivity, game-proof fenced enclosures or released from captivity. These unethical practices are often referred to as “canned hunts.” This shall be considered an unethical practice devoid of fair chase hunting ethics as the animals are not free-ranging.

These canned shoot situations present further concerns that impact the future of bowhunting. They weaken the public acceptance of legitimate fair chase bowhunting, provide possibilities for transmitting diseases, and corrupt the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation. Animals held, or bred and raised for the purpose of trophy harvest, in these facilities are not considered wildlife. The killing of these animals is not managed by the authority of a wildlife management agency and the killing, itself, is devoid of any values embodied by legitimate hunting.

The Pope and Young Club does not accept into its Records Program any animal taken under any captive scenarios and considers these practices extreme examples of unethical hunting. The Pope & Young Club also considers this practice unethical treatment of North American big game animals.”

Leave us your comments and tell us what you think about the statement.

7 Responses

  1. Ace Redman

    I agree with P & Y. on this topic. No canned hunts … no high fence hunting … .

  2. Tim W.

    I hunted 25,000 high-fenced acres in South Africa. There were no cross fences, and there was no animal breeding program. The animals were wild, and they could avoid me at all times for the 8 days I hunted. It was real hunting.

    I would not enjoy ‘hunting’ a small, high-fenced property with animals that were bred like livestock or genetically manipulated. I do know what makes a wild animal, and that eliminates any consciously bred or manipulated animals. I don’t know what size property is “too small” to be fair chase hunting when high fenced. I concur with Pope & Young theoretically, but I don’t know where they draw the “captive” line. If it’s any high-fenced acreage, I understand that line, but I don’t agree with it.

  3. Mark Thomas

    So, any size “fenced” area? I hunted in South Africa within a “fenced” area that was over 60,000 acres. It’s the only way they can protect their animals from poaching. If you think that wasn’t difficult and free-ranging you are sadly mistaken. Spot and stalk hunting that covered a mountain range. It was difficult to say the least. Is an island an enclosure? If the animals can’t leave, then it’s an enclosure – is that not fair chase? I’ve hunted two different islands – extremely difficult hunting. Anyone who thinks these three instances I’ve offered are not free range you are welcome to come with me and give it a try. There has to be room here to define what a “canned” hunt is – just because there’s a fence doesn’t mean it’s easy or “canned”.

    • David Wetzel

      I agree that there are high fenced operations that probably do represent “fair chase” hunting, to a degree. Unfortunately the problem is that even in most of these situations in Africa or even here in the US where the acreage is extensive, ask your outfitter if you can get a specific animal, even one that is not native to that area, or one of a specific size. More often than not, this request can be honored. If that is the case, you are contributing to the potential spread of disease, and basically hunting ‘farmed” animals. There are exceptions, but human nature being what it is, the allure of big money leads people to do things that cross the line ethically, of what I consider “fair chase” and real hunting. There may be no easy answers, but I would err on the side of caution, and applaud P&Y for their stand.

  4. Dale Medley

    I agree 100% its unfair to the animal.I also think that this sort of thing jeapordizes our true hunting privelages. Some day the government could make this our only hunting opportunity. Not OK with me…