|Kendall Jones, ecstatic to have killed again!|
"This was was one of the coolest experiences of my hunting career!!!!" she wrote on her Facebook page along with a photo of her smiling while holding the body of a mountain lion she killed. "The hunt was not an easy one but it was SOOO worth it!! #kittykatdown."
"Look at me! I am so excited!" she seems to exude in every Barbie-like pose with every carcass of once free, living wild creatures. "I paid someone to lead me to this wonderful, wild animal so I could end its wonderful, wild life!" And for what? What has this apparently heartless, ignorant person accomplished? What has she proven? That she has enough time and money to travel around the world and pay people to help kill things and that makes her really happy? What knowledge is involved? What skill is involved? What sort of dignity, integrity and respect is involved? What kind of connection to the wilds is involved?
It's done for self-amusement, profit, entertainment, attention. Are those good, legitimate reasons to kill wild animals? To take the life of other living beings? And what does this say about those who are amused and entertained by this? Those who are her fans and support, endorse, condone and defend her bankrupt and immoral actions?
Does anyone really think this is hunting? Does anyone really think this is acceptable?
And this, a mountain lion -- an amazingly magnificent animal, one of the most efficient, awe-inspiring predators in the world. Mountain lions, also known as cougars and catamounts, are secretive, solitary animals that keep mostly to themselves and roam much of what little remains of our beautiful, remote wildlands. They are mostly nocturnal and crepuscular. They eat deer, elk, rodents, insects and most anything else they can hunt and ambush. Being at the top of the food chain, their population levels are self-regulating. They are also very territorial, and their population densities are generally pretty small. They are powerful predators that deserve our utmost reverence and respect.
I've spent a lifetime roaming the wilds and I have only seen mountain lions a half-dozen times. Once, I woke up in the middle of a night while sleeping alone under the stars on a remote, wild ridge to see a mountain lion in the moonlight, just a few yards away, curiously looking at me. Another time I spooked a lioness and her cubs on a cold, rainy day in the wilds and she nervously paced back and forth while I slowly, nervously and respectfully retreated. Every wild encounter I've had with these remarkable, elusive animals is etched in my mind as special, wild and wonderful experiences. Such wild encounters have inspired me to learn all I can about mountain lions, to study them, to get to know them, to appreciate them, to respect them, to learn from them, to be humbled by them, to do all I can to protect them and the wild places they roam.
I bet this woman does not know much about mountain lions and the wild places they roam. She just paid someone who has lion dogs to tree this wild cat so she could kill it, and pose for pictures, and smile, and post the photos, and pretend she is a hunter, and claim to be a conservationist, and entertain, amuse, get attention, make a profit.
I am a hunter. I hunt, kill and eat wild elk and deer. I do not understand how anyone who is truly a hunter -- or anyone who is truly and intimately connected to wildlife and wild places -- can support or condone this.
It's disrespectful. It's insulting. It's disgusting. It's deeply disturbing.
Yet many hunters will defend it. Many hunters will defend her. Many hunters will pretend, along with her, that this is hunting.