Tahoe Films ran an annual contest to select their top female hunter for 2012. The winner was just chosen, based on a 500-word essay, and she is a Californian who is a psychiatric nurse.
It sounds like she does admirable work and is a very dedicated person. So it is difficult to write an article without sounding as if it is criticizing her personally. There is no intention to do that, but the contest itself is rather dubious.
It seems the hope of Tahoe Films is to promote hunting to women, some of whom are mothers, and in turn these mothers will teach their children to hunt as well. (Overall, hunting has been declining in popularity.)
These are their own words from their website, explaining the reasoning behind the Extreme Huntress contest: “In 2006, 12.9 million families in the U.S. were headed by a single parent, 80 percent of which were headed by a single mother. If we are to successfully pass on the hunting heritage to our youth, it’s so important to get women involved in hunting. The Extreme Huntress 2012 will receive national press attention and set a positive role model for our next generation of hunter conservationists.” (Source: Tahoe Films)
The winner of the Extreme Huntress 2012 award will receive a free hunting trip to Zimbabwe to kill a Cape buffalo. This hunt will be videotaped professionally and shown on an NBC Sports program called Eye of the Hunter, says the Tahoe Films website.
Ironically enough, Donald Trump Jr. was photographed with a buffalo apparently he shot and killed in Zimbabwe. You can view the photograph here. The social media storm resulting from photos of the hunt being posted online caused a sponsor to pull out of advertising on the senior Trump’s TV show.
The winner of the Extreme Huntress award actually referenced the commercialization of hunting in her essay, “It was never about being the most extreme huntress in the world. It was about being what a huntress is not. Since I was very young, I’ve seen hunting become very commercialized. But it’s not about wearing a bikini and holding a gun somewhere in the Cayman Islands.” ( Source: San Jose Mercury News)
It will be curious to see if the winner will go through with flying to Zimbabwe to kill an innocent Cape buffalo and allow images of her to be used to promote what is definitely commercial hunting. Such African animal hunts costs thousands, if not tens of thousands of dollars and are clearly done for profit-making.
The Extreme Huntress award is too reminiscent of another marketing ploy which was used by industry to promote hunting: killing animals to feed homeless people. Another attempt to use mass media to promote hunting is a program called Goin’ Country which follows the hunting expeditions of former American Idol contestant Kristy Lee Cook. Hunting equipment manufacturers sponsor the show.
Image Credit: Graham