Former NBC Sports Host Criticized for Shooting Elephant While on Elephant Hunt

Former NBC Sports Host Criticized for Shooting Elephant While on Elephant Hunt

Former NBC sports host and avid hunter Tony Makris continues to face criticism for shooting an elephant during an elephant hunt that aired on NBC’s Under Wild Skies on September 22. 

The hunt was sponsored by the NRA, and critics fail to the understand that without hunting, the elephant population might well disappear.

Conservation Force chairman John J. Jackson III has been devoted to elephant conservation in Africa for over 30 years. He knows the ins and outs of elephant behavior, and he has witnessed firsthand the essential role hunting plays in elephant conservation. 

Johnson spoke to Breitbart Sports about the criticism Makris has taken, and he said that elephant hunting is highly regulated and when it does not look that way on camera that is because the company filming the hunt did their best to present the relaxing side of the hunt. He said hunters are only allowed to shoot the oldest of males among the elephant population, and that this is “purposeful” in that “older males constitute less than one percent of the elephant population”–thus their absence does not stifle population growth.

Johnson refers to this type of hunting as “conservation hunting” and says that its practice has lead to an elephant population that consistently grows at 4 to 7 percent a year.

He said elephant hunting also generates the revenue necessary to fund wildlife management programs for elephant herds. Without hunting, these programs would disappear. 

The same thing occurs in the United States, particularly in California, where the recent body of gun control laws included a lead ammunition ban (AB711) which CA Assemblyman and gubernatorial candidate Tim Donnelly (R-33rd) described as “a hunting ban by another name.” Leading up to the moment California Governor Jerry Brown (D) signed AB711 into law, Donnelly kept warning that any law that did away with or greatly reduced hunting would be bad for wildlife because hunters were conservationists and the fees they paid for licenses and tags funded wildlife management.

In short, no hunting equals no wildlife management.

This rule is universal. Without the NRA-sponsored hunts like Makris was on or other elephant hunts set up by other hunting groups there would be no wildlife management. And where there is no wildlife management, there is poaching, waste, and an elephant population in which animals are randomly shot without any thought to what is good for the herd. 

photo credit:

Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter @AWRHawkins