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Arrowing her way through Africa: Bates becomes first woman to take the Big Five with a bow

By Joella Bates as told to John N. Felsher

Authors Note: The only woman to arrow the “Big Five” in Africa in a single safari, Joella Bates of Waverly, Tenn., downed an elephant, lion, rhinoceros, cape buffalo and leopard in South Africa and Zimbabwe between Sept. 7 and Oct. 3, 2009. For the rhino, she practiced “green hunting,” tranquilizing the animals and releasing it unharmed. Bates also won five 3-D Archery World Championship titles as well as many other shooting titles. When not hunting, Joella teaches archery clinics at schools and conducts hunting and archery seminars all over the country.

I’d always dreamed of hunting in Africa, the only place in the world where a hunter can pursue the Big Five consisting of the most dangerous animals in the world. In 2001, I went to South Africa with Itaga Motsumi Safaris. On May 10, I downed my first Cape buffalo, reputed to be the most dangerous game animal in the world. In 2003, I returned to South Africa and arrowed 11 plains game species and made my first white rhino “green” hunt. For “green” hunting, I shot the rhinoceros with an arrow tipped with a syringe containing a tranquilizing drug instead of a broadhead. The drug put the animal to sleep so researchers could take blood samples and evaluate the animal’s health. Then, a veterinarian administered an antidote to revive the beast. The bull rhino got up and left in a cloud of dust, but came back for a last stand before disappearing into the thick thorny bushes. I was blessed to enjoy the excitement of the hunt and then release the magnificent animal back into the wild.

Bates and Green Hunted Rhino

Joella Bates, a world champion archer from Waverly, Tenn., poses with the live rhino she “green hunted” in Africa. “Green hunting” means the animal was shot with a tranqualizer, examined by biologists and released unharmed. (Photo courtesy of Joella Bates)

At a sport show in February 2009, I met with Tienie Bamburger, a professional hunter with Warthog Safaris (800-872-5979 www.warthogsafaris.co.za) and his wife Ananja. They suggested I complete a Big Five slam in one safari, something no woman archer had ever done before. I left the United States for Johannesburg, South Africa, on Sept. 4, 2009 and began hunting on Sept. 6. After zigzagging for 10 hours through deep sand that made walking difficult, particularly with blisters on my feet, we tracked a lioness for about 30 miles across the dry, flat Kalahari Desert the next day. The ordeal challenged my physical endurance, but adrenaline kept me going, knowing that the animal we hunted could also be hunting us!

On Sept. 7, the native trackers nearly stepped on the lioness, considered far more dangerous than a male lion. The giant cat roared and charged the hunting party stopping merely 6.5 yards away. Tienie quietly, yet firmly issued the command: “Shoot your lioness!” I brought the 75-pound bow to full-draw. My heart raced, but the Carbon Express arrow flew true. The 100-grain Atom broadhead pierced the heart of the great beast, but she did not go down immediately. As the wounded lioness posed for another charge, Tienie shouted, “Shoot your lioness again!” I did, delivering another arrow to the front of the wounded cat. She crouched lower and I followed up with another frontal shot. After the third shot, the dying lioness bounced two strides and walked about 25 yards before collapsing.

Bates and Arrowed Lioness

Joella Bates shows off the lioness she arrowed in South Africa. (Photo courtesy of Joella Bates)

“One down and four to go,” Tienie responded as he gave me the first of many congratulatory hugs that were to come. On Sept. 10, we rode 16 hours to Zimbabwe, where I would stalk an elephant, the ultimate big game animal. Villagers reported elephants destroying crops in the area. Since I had a problem animal control permit, our objective was to remove one of the nuisance elephants that was rampaging the local villages. At every stop, local men and boys wanted to join the hunt as scouts. We received a report from the scouts that three big elephants chased some women washing clothes. We stalked to within 22 yards of the big beasts, but could not get a clear shot in the thick cover. Early on Sept. 12, we went out looking for the problem elephants again. At about 10 a.m. we received a very excited radio call. One of the scouts had lost his shoes when elephants trumpeted and chased them. We stealthily approached the herd, avoiding making unnecessary noises and watching the wind. Slowly and methodically, we followed the tracks as the sound of breaking trees marked the position of the feeding herd. We approached to within 15 yards of a huge sleeping bull. I drew on a bull feeding about 25 yards away, but then the wind shifted. The bull whirled, facing us and mock charged, stopping at 20 yards. As a cow broke small trees within 10 yards, the professional hunters opened fire. She fell with two bullets in her brain two steps from me as the herd exploded from the thicket and scattered.

It all happened so quickly that I remained in shock for days. Immediately, I cried and thanked God for protecting us. Within minutes, villagers with knives and bags came to claim their share of the meat. We returned to base camp for lunch and to think of Plan B. I took home some hair bracelets from this charging cow elephant, my only animal trophy from this safari. We had to wait several days to get another problem animal control permit. I spent time writing and shooting my heavy bow. After securing the new permit for a problem elephant, we discovered a big one coming to a nearby waterhole at night. At daybreak on Sept. 16, we began following his tracks. After a grueling stalk, part of which required running through thick brush, we came within range of the big bull. Trackers stayed in front of the bull to keep its attention as we moved to the right for a broadside shot.

Bates and Professional Hunter with Elephant

Joella Bates and Tienie Bamburger, a professional hunter with Warthog Safaris, pose with the elephant she bagged in Zimbabwe, Africa. The animal was a problem elephant known for chasing people and destroying crops. (Photo courtesy of Joella Bates)

After eight years of dreaming, the moment had finally arrived. Rapidly working to catch my breath and regain my composure, I put the pin behind its front leg and released the arrow. Tipped with a Carbon Express 175-grain titanium First Cut broadhead, the arrow disappeared totally inside the elephant. We moved to the left as the elephant humped his back up from the heart-lung shot. He whirled and stopped as I released a second arrow into his heart and lung from the other side. Moving in closer, I shot my final arrow frontally into his heart from 15 yards away. Seconds later, he staggered and collapsed. As the adrenaline rushed through my body, tears rolled and emotions flowed. Once someone hunts elephants in Africa, they will never be the same again.

On Sept. 18, I turned my attention to Cape buffalo. I approached to within 14.5 yards of two big bulls. One had broken a tip off one horn while fighting with another big bull, so he already had a bad attitude. I released a frontal shot from the 91-pound Athens bow with a full-length weighted Carbon Express Rebel Hunter arrow tipped with a Simons Land Shark 160-grain broadhead. The arrow went right into the heart of the most dangerous game animal in Africa. With all the excitement and close encounters up to this point, I fully expected him or his buddy to charge. Thank God, he and the other bull ran away. My bull only traveled 30 yards before crumpling. We donated the meat from this 3,000-pound brute to orphanages and church camps. Two days after bagging my Cape buffalo bull, I green hunted a white rhinoceros. For the rhino hunt, I would turn the 75-pound bow down to 45 pounds. Since my 2009 hunt, the rules for green hunting changed. Now, only a vet can shoot the animal with a tranquilizer. The hunter must shoot an arrow tipped with a vitamin-filled syringe.

Bates and Professional Hunter with Cape Buffalo

Joella Bates and Tienie Bamburger, a professional hunter with Warthog Safaris, show off the 3,000-pound Cape buffalo Joella downed with an arrow in Africa. Many people regard Cape buffalo, dubbed “Black Death” by the natives as the toughest and most dangerous animal to hunt in Africa. (Photo courtesy of Joella Bates)

After green hunting the rhino, we moved to the Lepelale area of South Africa for probably the most difficult hunt of my African experience since most of it took place at night. For seven consecutive afternoons, we climbed into a blind at about 3 p.m. and stayed there several hours trying to outwit a wily leopard. The blind sat on a rock cliff facing a steam that flowed between the blind and the tree that held bait 16.5 yards away. In total silence each night, we communicated only by hand signals. Sometimes, we stayed in the blind until 7 a.m. the following morning. Sometimes, we quit hunting at 11 p.m. or 1 a.m. Because of long exhausting hours with no talking in pitch dark, my imagination became my worst enemy.

Bates and Leopard she Arrowed

Joella Bates shows off the leopard she arrowed in Africa. Many people regard leopard as the wilest of all African game and the most difficult to hunt. (Photo courtesy of Joella Bates)

On the evening of Oct. 3, I completed my epic quest when the leopard began eating the donkey meat. Using the 75-pound Athens Accomplice bow, I put an arrow with a Dynamic Solutions Atom 100-grain broadhead into the big cat. I can’t wait to return to Africa and hunt more animals. Next time, I’d like to take a hippo and a crocodile or hunt different types of plains game in other countries. Authors Note: The only woman to arrow the “Big Five” in Africa in a single safari, Joella Bates of Waverly, Tenn., downed an elephant, lion, rhinoceros, cape buffalo and leopard in South Africa and Zimbabwe between Sept. 7 and Oct. 3, 2009. For the rhino, she practiced “green hunting,” tranquilizing the animals and releasing it unharmed. Bates also won five 3-D Archery World Championship titles as well as many other shooting titles. When not hunting, Joella teaches archery clinics at schools and conducts hunting and archery seminars all over the country.

Comments

  1. If she's such a great hunter why not take the 'game' on head to head instead of cowardly lying in wait then using Powerful man made technology to kill a vulnerable creature whilst it's feeding. There is no honour in this and you should be ashamed of yourself.

    How would you like to be harpooned whilst you're stuffing your fat face at a trough?

    You disgust me you poltrune.

    Reply
    • You don’t know Joella personally like I do. Hunting is a sport no matter what the animals are. Quit being ridiculous, what she did was a great accomplishment. Your dumbass couldn’t do it.

      Reply
  2. Lisa Cummings says:

    What an awful thing to do!
    These people who kill these beautiful animals for fun are cowards. Even armed with state of the art weapons, they never hunt alone but always have a retinue of professional hunters at their back in case their shot goes wrong.

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  3. Lisa Cummings says:

    I am not calling for these animal killers to be killed.
    What I would ask though is that they cease trying to pull the wool over peoples eyes by calling themselves "hunters".
    What they do is so far removed from the traditional, ethical need based hunting that many people do to survive that they are actually insulting real hunters.
    They kill for fun and bragging rights…that's not hunting by any stretch of the imagination…it is just satisfying an urge to spill blood.
    You can't fool all of the people all of the time you know.

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  4. estelle says:

    Are you aware Joelle how much dreadful heatache you have caused many of us in this country to feel. We are desperate to save our wildlife and you show no respect for our struggle

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  5. Although I'm glad she 'green hunted' the rhino, her selfish

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  6. Raquel says:

    What a pig of a woman. She didn't waste the meat? I'm sure she eats everything in sight. She'd be better off spending her time at the gym and growing some fruits and vegetables.

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  7. lauren says:

    This is sick, you should be ashamed, killing such beautiful animals, im 16 and even I know to respect living things than to disgrace them like this.

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  8. Graham says:

    Troublesome Elephant give me a break. . I am not anti all types of hunting but quit trying to justify just makes you sound like you feel guilty. . By the way hunting to eat is justifiable there is a perfectly capable wild life department to deal with problem animals.

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  9. People who feel a thrill or happy from killing living creatures need serious help why can't people live and let live and appreciate the world and animals without having to destroy them??? It's not true that hunters help conservation what a disgusting lie if so why not just pay the same price to see animals LIVING in the wild!

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  10. R Miller says:

    What a dreadful ghastly woman. So she practises green hunting on the rhino (why? she obviously doesn't care about animals or whether they're endangered) but slaughters everything else she can lay her vile hands on. What's the point of that? Why not 'green hunt' them all? Animals in the wild are not hers to kill, they belong to all of us and the vast majority of us want to see them left alone. Ditto most Africans who are trying very hard, with no financial help from the hunting fraternity despite their claims, to preserve their dwindling numbers of wildlife. Oh, and killing them with arrows seems to be a particularly painful and slow death – which I suppose Bates really enjoys but just disgusts the rest of us even more.

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  11. You slaughter animal says:

    You are not an animal activist you are a disgrace to the human race. You do not love animals you kill them. You kill animals that are close to distinction. That is disgusting and you should be ashamed you coward

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  12. Animal lover says:

    Sick, greedy and heartless. You THINK because you have money you can kill everything and anything you want. You are not helping the environment or the animals, YOU ARE KILLING THEM!! Why not KILL THE POACHER??? You would be doing EVERYONE good if you did that!! Elephants are endangered. Rhinos are endangered. Jaguars are ENDANGERED….SEE THE PATTERN HERE? You sociopaths that have to KILL, KILL, KILL really need to wake up and see that soon, you will have killed everything. Why don't you just start shooting each other?? The rest of the world that actually cares about nature and animals would applaud you!! LEAVE THE ANIMALS ALONE. Don't pretend that just because you have 'been there' that none of the rest of us haven't. Your egos really do get the best of you and surely you will rot in hell stealing these beautiful creatures from the world. The animals ARE NOT YOURS…they belong to the world…when will you brainless twats wake up and smell the coffee? Rot in hell.

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  13. Severelydisgusted says:

    If she was a real hunter, she wouldn't be a fat lardass. Look at any tribal hunter who hunts purely for food and you wont see an obese psychopath. There is only one problem animal in all of these photos and it isn't the magnificent dead endangered animals. Trophy 'hunters' are hurting this world and it has been proven over and over again that of the money they spend the tiniest fraction goes to conservation – most of it goes to outfitters and the amount to conservation is minimal and is a fraction of what tourism adds to conservation. 'Real' conservation do not kill endangered species. They take photos. The repugnance of trophy hunters is unparalleled in a normal healthy society and can only be compared to serial killing. It is NOT FUN to exterminate animals. The disgusting gleam in her beady eyes is frightening. Her 'dream' should be to grow empathy and a conscience.

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  14. Marina Muhlberg says:

    Shame on you …

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  15. Lisa Cummings says:

    What is also very worrying is that this woman is regularly around children, teaching them to take pot shots at animals with a bow along with the explicit implication that this is just fine and that living animals can be used for target practice and you can have lots of fun whilst doing it.
    She is a champion archer, she knows just how hard it is to get an accurate shot with a bow but is nevertheless encouraging children and anyone else to pick up a bow and go try and kill something.
    To think of all those unskilled, brutal bow hunters out there, shooting arrows at live animals and ending up injuring and maiming them when they would probably come last in any serious amateur archery competition is horrific.
    Words just aren't enough to describe this terrible pursuit.

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  16. Justin Zarr says:

    The amount of hatred and misinformation spewed forth by the anti-hunting community sometimes makes me question my own faith in humanity. You people really do need to come to grips with the realities of life and death, predator and pray relationships, and the value of a human life over that of a wild animal. Without that your perspective on human life and humanity in general is seriously off track. You all want to preach about hunters being sick and heartless as you wish harm on another human being. It's quite ironic really.

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  17. Not cool. Not at all. Shameful to enjoy killing whether for food or protection. Sinful to kill for entertainment.

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  18. jan pedley says:

    So very sad to see 4 beautiful creatures killed for the strange satisfaction of one very selfish human. Shame on you! Thank God the rhino was spared the dealth penalty

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  19. Saddening... says:

    People are spouting facts about how the hunting community helps to pay for conservation in Africa, it is simply not the case…a wild LIVING elephant is worth much much more in tourist dollars!!! I am not anti hunting and I understand hunting for meat. But why kill a leopard, or a lion? Are you going to eat it? Use the skin to make a "fashionable" item. I understand the Cape buffalo because they can be eaten, but there is no need to hunt majestic animals that have no place on either a dinner menu or in a hunters cross-hairs. This women is a small part of the problem of species extinction, and it goes to show that if you were to pay enough, you can just about do anything. Saddens me that this lady lacks the foresight to see the impact that her actions have. She should not be glorified. She is the perfect example of what would happen when hunting goes to far.
    the arrow disappeared totally inside the elephant. We moved to the left as the elephant humped his back up from the heart-lung sho

    Reply
  20. Agustin says:

    Sorry about your speech relate to the millioon dollars that the hunters spend in this activity, but this are proved is a liar because very few of all this money go to help the animals or even the locals, the most is in the rich ranchers pockets or corrupt politicians of this poor countries thats the facts!!

    Reply
  21. Lisa Cummings says:

    Please do not get conned into playing their game by using the terms "hunter" or "hunting" when referring to these people. These people are cold blooded killers and not hunters…not by any stretch of the imagination.

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  22. Lisa Cummings says:

    You don't find the professional hunters looking after these killers carrying bows, they carry high powered rifles because they know they are much more effective than someone shooting what is basically a flying knife in to a large animal.

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  23. This must be Illegal, thus if they put up a Photo like this, can not the Law do something ??? Like put all like Her away, Scum of the Earth.

    Wayne

    Reply
  24. Lisa Cummings says:

    Unfortunately Wayne, money and a desire to spill blood for fun conspire to make this legal.
    It is outside most people's moral compass but there you go.
    It's so very, very sad.

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  25. Lisa Cummings says:

    I have just been reading some online articles that the lion Ms Bates shot with her bow was lactating which as I am sure you know, means it had recently given birth and had cubs.
    If that it so then it is even more horrific.

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  26. Very big waste of space this woman is.

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  27. Steve Flores says:

    For all of the anti's spewing hatred out of your mouth and wishing harm on other human beings……this is the only permission I need to do what I do….bowhunt!

    Genesis 1:28

    28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

    Genesis 27:3

    Now therefore take, I pray thee, thy weapons, thy quiver and thy bow, and go out to the field, and take me some venison;

    Reply
  28. Chris S says:

    As if a quote from the Bible makes this ok?? These hunters murder the animals of the planet, they did not belong to you in the first place, you just took them.

    You can try to stand behind "The Bible says it's ok" story but sorry it doesn't wash with me. In my opinion you are selfish murderers, it's an opinion that is shared by millions around the world and I will continue to state that you murderers have no right to take these animals as your own. No right at all!

    Reply
  29. Lisa Cummings says:

    God speaking thousands of years ago, if he ever did of course is another matter I think that might be more successfully discussed with clever brains than yours.
    In any case, "God" never said inflict unnecessary suffering on on a living creature, I bet he would say "If you have to kill, use the most efficient weapon not one that just turns you on because you like to kill".
    If he exists, God is talking about real hunters there fellow, not thrill killers like your good self.

    Reply
  30. Steve Flores says:

    When you stand in judgement, and some day you will (just like me) you can ask God exactly what he meant…..

    Reply
  31. Lisa Cummings says:

    Mr Flores, would you ever dream of fighting an invading army with your weapon of choice being the bow to deter them?
    No, of course not, just such a novelty weapon for killing animals whose suffering you care naught for. I think we know where you are coming from.

    Reply
  32. This is just pathetic. It's killing for no reason other than pleasure.

    Reply
  33. Lisa Cummings says:

    Ah results in a bit of googling….no Professional Hunting Outfit in Africa will enter into a contract with you unless the contract includes you being protected by professional hunters when you are in the "field".
    "Trophy Hunter" should be the new definition of"cowardly" in the dictionary.
    My god, in spite of all the info/evidence, sopme people still defend it.
    I hate to think I share the air with these people!

    Reply
  34. Steve Flores says:

    I'm not going to go into the details of my hunts, what the experience truly means to me or how effective my weapon really is simply because when you're dealing with someone who questions the very existence of God what difference does it make. It's so easy to see how you can judge me and everyone else who considers themselves a hunter. However, the same method you use to judge me, you will be judged with yourself. I pray you're ready for that……

    Reply
  35. Lisa Cummings says:

    Mr Flores, you say: "When you stand in judgement, and some day you will (just like me) you can ask God exactly what he meant….." So you agree that there might be some ambiguity, some room to manoeuvre in what God actually meant when he said that.
    In which case you, should you not, as a Christian, go for the less suffering option instead of using a weapon that has a higher chance of delivering a painful, lingering death for anything. A well aimed bullet in the brain or a spurious on target bow shot?
    It's not about religion of how much an animal suffers for you though, is it Steve?

    Reply
  36. Steve Flores says:

    There is no room for interpretation in my eyes. That statement was meant solely for you. Like I said, when you see HIM he will have all of the answers you seek. However, I have a feeling that the "ethics of hunting" won't seem nearly as important to you as it does now. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the subject though.

    Reply
  37. Repulsed says:

    When you can prove 'God' exists and isn't a figment of your imagination, then maybe you can use him for your ridiculous excuses to trophy hunt endangered animals for glee. I am never surprised when psychopaths use God as if that makes their mental illness acceptable. Imagining a God in the first place is a mental illness let alone travelling the world killing endangered animals for lols. A real conservationist would never kill an animal – like Paul McCartney who has done more for animals than all hunters put together without having to kill a single animal. Trophy Hunters are deluding themselves because the rest of us sure aren't fooled.

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  38. not a fan says:

    Disturbed, dishonest, and disgusting excuse for a human being. All the money these so called hunters and self proclaimed "conservationists" spend to kill could just as easily be spent on conservation efforts that don't involve killing.

    Reply
  39. Chris crow says:

    Nice job in Africa! I don't care what anybody says I dream of it too! I use traditional bows but I have always wanted to hunt in Africa and meet all of those wonderful people and experience all of the amazing hunting opportunities and challenges! I'm excited just thinking about it! Wow! So awesome!

    Reply
  40. Lisa Cummings says:

    Mr Flores, If you or you family were under attack, what weapon would you choose? The one you use most effective to defend yourself and your family, or a bow?
    If you do not choose the bow, you have some questions as to why a bow is acceptable to use when you acknowledge it is not the most effective weapon.

    Reply
  41. Notverysporting says:

    @ Huntin Lady, maybe because it's better to see a leopard or lioness in the wild not on your wall. I hunt my own "meat" which is a utilitarian function. But wasting a magnificent beast just for the thrill, especially by setting bait "donkey meat" then shooting the beast when it's not expecting it; sorry not only is that not very sporting, it's downright cowardly. She also doesn't strike me as the type of person that could stalk down the same beast with spear and shield lol… Hopefully the next time the elephant will win in while trying to protect it's pack…

    Reply
  42. So Moronic says:

    lol, and THEN they start bringing up abortion!! the old, 'Wait, look over there" trick in the argument. They have exhausted God, been beaten and now use a diversionary tactic and malign the characters of people who AREN'T psychotic in an attempt to cover up the fact, their own morals, values and ethics are so severely lacking that they ENJOY and get a hard on over KILLING and they take disrespectful pictures of their 'trophies' and then in the height of disrespect to the dead, MOUNT THEIR HEADS ON A WALL, for all eternity. If that isn't disrespectful and sick, I don't know what is. Trophy hunters are the despicable pond scum, bottom dwellers of the actual hunting world, who hunt for sustenance only. Stop trying to brandish 'god' or 'conservation' around. Trophy hunters don't know what real conservation is. I have never seen a more deluded bunch of trashy red necks reeking of white colonialistic entitlement in my life. PUKE. Go home fat, white trash, rich, entitled Americans and

    Reply
  43. Seriously Twisted says:

    I would bet my last dollar that most of the people on here complaining, most likely have no problem with abortion. Yet they will fight to the death to protect a Lion, but stand quietly by while millions of babies die. Misplaced Morals if you ask me. Choice is only for Liberals when they approve of the choice.

    Reply
  44. Astrid says:

    There are many similarities between Trophy Hunters and Serial Killers- it is astounding!

    Reply
  45. I am so disgusted by this trend of people hunting big game in Africa. I agree with the comments above, What a waste of space this woman is.

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  46. This is absolutely disgusting. How can you congratulate someone on killing endangered animals. Hunting in general is just sick, I will never understand the sport. Killing these beautiful creatures for fun… No wonder the black Rhino went extinct this year. I am thouroughly disgusted by this article. Humans can be so heartless. I hope somone arrows you and then poses with your dead body, not so nice is it now.

    Reply
  47. Repulsed says:

    "Wow! So Awesome!I'm excited just thinking about it!" How disgusting that any human can feel this way about exterminating endangered species. My faith in the human race falls dramatically every time I read anything by a psycho trophy hunting killer. You aren't human – you are subhuman which makes your life worth less than any animal you may be so 'excited' to kill. How are there still 'people' in the world who feel this way in the 21st century? It is psychotic in the extreme.

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  48. Jackie says:

    Ever notice the weird, creepy grins on their faces as they hold up the beautiful animals they've killed? The women usually appear even crazier than the men. Sick and disgusting sub-humans.

    Reply
  49. Lisa Cummings says:

    The heartening thing is that the majority of decent people despise what these thrill killers do.
    In any crowd, I doubt there are many of them who would stand up and say they kill majestic animals for fun…they know it's not acceptable.

    Reply
  50. Lisa Cummings says:

    Just look at the public outrage when that thrill killer Bachman posted pictures of herself with a beautiful lion she had just killed.
    Public pressure git her knocked off the TV series she featured in…that just shows people hate these killers.
    The sad thing is that not enough people know about this outstanding animal cruelty…expose them whenever you can.

    Reply
  51. Lisa Cummings says:

    It's very unsettling these killers are around children, posing their little kids with guns and freshly killed animals all over the internet…there is something very wrong in that they are allowed to do that.

    Reply
  52. Back in the Pines says:

    I've been a hunter for all my life. I hunt for food and for the challenge. Because it's natural, what I was made to do. I don't for a second even understand what the purpose behind going on a professionally guided hunt, to tranquilize a rhino, out of all animals, a rhino, and then let it go. I just don't get it.

    People like you will never be considered a hunter by anyone like me.

    Reply
  53. Lisa Cummings says:

    I think it's cruel even though the rhino hunt was using a tranquliser…again, the trauma and suffering of the animal counts for nought when placed next to the bragging rights and down right arrogance of trophy killers. How dare they dart an animal for a posing picture!
    Thank you "Back In The Pines" for speaking out and your ethical stance. I grew up around real hunters like you, as you say, these killers are not real hunters. Best wishes to you.

    Reply
  54. S . Skiller says:

    It's a shame someone doesn't put an arrow though this nauseating, lazy lump of lards ass…what a pathetic excuse for a human being you are Bates. As for the bible bashing bafoon ,steve flores, get real ! …quoting some drivel from a outdated book written thousands of years ago. Errr were living in the year 2014 where science rules these days .

    Reply
  55. repulsed says:

    the "trophy' pics of these losers all look the the same-creepy gleam in their beady little eyes and weird smirks and grins as the hold their kill… they all look seriously mental

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  56. Emily Kroezen says:

    Wow you shot these beautiful powerful animals from a distance with a bow.. Why don't you face them right on? Without weapons. Coward.

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  57. BlackCatLady says:

    I am totally disgusted that such a cruel, pointless activity is being celebrated in such a way. These creatures are endangered, abused by humans and are not a plaything for someone to fire darts, arrows or bullets into. The only things that make these animals 'troublesome' are humans themselves and the only thing that should be shot at the magnificent creatures is a camera.

    Reply
  58. Sick, sadistic, soulless douchebag

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  59. Alex Brown says:

    Hey hunters, you can take your CONservation $ and shove it where the sun doesn't shine. The wildlife will be better for it. Photo safari outspends you by a vast margin so don't bother telling how your puny contribution is saving the nature/wildlife. And someone who has bagged Big 5 will never be considered in the same league as someone who has climbed the 5 tallest mountains on this planet. Because that actually is a sport. Let's see this lady bag the 5 with a knife or spear and nothing else. She could barely run behind a squirrel, forget about a lion. Wildlife is for all to enjoy, not for hunters alone to kill as they see fit, so we non-hunters absolutely have a say.

    Reply
  60. It will all come back to bite her. In the meantime, she and her twin-from-hell, Cory Knowlton, will meet and will 'experience' each other as the savages they are. Their love-fest will take no survivors, and the WORLD will REJOICE!

    Reply
  61. My dad put a gun in my hand before I could walk. I've been hunting now for 40 years. I shot a decent buck just a couple years ago. Flying halfway around the world just to kill something you will not use except to decorate your wall or floor is disgusting.

    Reply
  62. I feel very sorry for you.

    Reply
  63. Olivera says:

    I'm not a hunter. However, I know many hunters and what they hunt, they eat. Many of these animals are close to extinction. How is this allowed? How do people like her sleep at night? Looks like all she is hunting for is to feed her ego. You are a disgusting human being Bates.

    Reply
  64. There is a special place in hell for you. I wish with all my heart that that beautiful lioness had gotten to you and your entire safari team first. Maybe next time.

    Reply
  65. Intelligent people do not shop for Bows or do bow hunting.
    What an aweful act.
    Definately not a teamsport / to be proud of.
    Distruction.

    Reply
  66. Humanity says:

    Another person praised for killing a creature bigger than themselves. This woman, her counterparts and this entire hunting culture is purveyed by sick minded sadists who are desperate for a sick thrill in the validation of their human 'strength'. Wake up you weak excuses for a piece of sh*t, you're giving the entire human race a terrible name. It's such a translucent act that attracts only the truly weak; weak of self-esteem, conscience and moral value. I'd arrow them all to the head and laugh as they bleed out as they have done to so many beautiful, helpless and endangered creatures. I know an eye for an eye isn't a solution, but I don't see how these soulless people should be allowed the privelege to walk this earth. Most right-minded people clearly agree.

    Reply
  67. Agustin says:

    Poor people, this is the proof thath the humanity is the same as 2000 years ago, the same need od blood, the same abuse over the animals and even ourselves, this is evil in the purest form.

    Reply
  68. For those who claim that poachers are responsible for the decrease of the number of animals in wild and not hunters, can't you be less selfish and see the big picture? Animals already face danger (poachers), why should they face another (hunters)? It's not fair that the animals should suffer so many challenges to survive. Hunters, why don't you target the poachers instead of the animals? Poachers make an excellent targets for you and there are lots of them. I'm hunting poachers give you lots of thrill!

    Reply
  69. animal protector says:

    You are a sick woman! Im discusted with you and what you are doing too these beautiful animals!! Hope you will burn in hell!!!

    Reply
  70. What do you mean Merle? She desribes in great detail how she killed them. "“Shoot your lioness!” I brought the 75-pound bow to full-draw. My heart raced, but the Carbon Express arrow flew true. The 100-grain Atom broadhead pierced the heart of the great beast, but she did not go down immediately. As the wounded lioness posed for another charge, Tienie shouted, “Shoot your lioness again!” I did, delivering another arrow to the front of the wounded cat. She crouched lower and I followed up with another frontal shot. After the third shot, the dying lioness bounced two strides and walked about 25 yards before collapsing." This is sick!

    Reply
  71. Nishant says:

    I'd like to put couple arrows in this ugly devil's rear.

    Reply
  72. You need to be tranquillized yourself you ignorant woman. What a legacy to leave when your dead. You don't deserve anything but to be eaten by these animals.

    Reply
  73. Animal rights says:

    You are a disgrace to human kind! How can you think it's okay to shoot amazing animals for sport. You are a disgusting person.

    Reply
  74. Disgusting says:

    I'd like to shoot you with an arrow (or many) and see how much of a sport it is. Disgusting. Killing for sport is pathetic and how do you NOT know this???

    Reply
  75. Akshay Surendra says:

    One day, we will invade the Midwest with machine guns and cowboy hats and purge the world's stupidest nation of its smug red-necks. Someone needs to study the psychological pleasure someone gets when they do hunt big game. I'm sure its not too different from man-slaughter. But common sense is all that's required to send this woman, Sarah Palin and good chunk of Americans to a sensitization class.

    Reply
  76. Josie Smith says:

    What a pathetic excuse for a human being you are. I am ashamed to belong to the same species as you.
    In case you hadn't noticed, we're living in the 21st century, not the stone age.

    Reply
  77. Debbie Aman says:

    You disgust me, this is not something to be proud of, I wish the animals could hunt down your fat ass!! Endangered animals being killed for the thrill of it!! Get a freaking life!! I wish I could put an arrow into your heart and lungs and watch your fat ass collapse!

    Reply
  78. I am not sure what is more disgusting, that this happened in the first place or that this excuse of a website is glorifying it – presumably so others can do the same. You make me lose all faith in humanity. I would like to see how this 'brave' woman does facing something that can actually fight back!

    Reply
  79. Shame, shame, shame!

    Reply
  80. Jack Spade says:

    Wow High-Five, you took down a Circus, it's Miller Time!!

    Completely Disgraceful.

    Reply
  81. Today I will hunt her and her family with my arrows.. Then I will hunt the rest of the people responsible in this.. They have failed the world

    Reply
  82. This fat excuse for a human needs to find something constructive to do with her life. Killing animals does not make her any more the man she wants to so desperately be.
    I wish she could meet my daughter face to face an explain why she has the right to kill something like a rhino so my daughter can never see that animal. What a disgusting piece of trash.

    Reply
  83. You are one of the reasons why so many normal people are rising up and becoming anti's. You cross the line and take hunting to an unethical extreme, people like you are vile and sadistic. What goes on inside you? Must be dark inside with an ice cold heart or no heart. I am so outraged at this!!What a pitiful life you have!

    Reply
  84. martin savage says:

    baited with donkey meat 16.5 yards away and shot one of the most beautiful creatures at point blank range, what a hero!
    what goes around comes around, lets hope it brings you much grief in the near future

    Reply
  85. Michael says:

    The Comments would have been different if they were all Tranquilized.

    Reply
  86. Your going to read a ton of uneducated comments but thank you for contributing to african conservation and feeding many hungry people while doing it. Great work on your hunt and impressive it was done with a bow:)

    Reply
  87. Disgusted says:

    Sickening absolutely sickening!!! Why anyone thinks this is a good thing to do I dont know!! There are so many others things you could aim your stupid bow at why do these majestic yet dwindling species have to die for your fun and games. Disgusting!!!

    Reply
  88. What an absolute fat piece of scum. Hurry up and get let diabetes do you over, Joella Bates. Stupid fat bint.

    Reply
  89. If dreamt about killing a human being for as long as you fantasized about killing these precious animals then you'd be deemed a murderer. I'm sick and tired of people like you coming into Africa and stripping it of its magestic beauty and I'm absolutely disgusted by these safari tours that allow you to do so. You brag about blisters and adrenaline…girl you don't know the first thing about hard work in the bush if something like blisters slow you down. By the way your Green hunting BS is a joke!!! You save one and kill four others. What kind of BS is that ? You bastards make me sick!!

    Reply
  90. What a despicable piece of human excrement end of story

    Reply
  91. inAlaska says:

    Do you not realize several of these species are on the brink of extinction? If you can't find the compassion to treat others as you would like to be treated, how about shooting targets and saving these animals for future generations. I just will never get this. How did this make you a better person?

    Reply
  92. Annie Arnaudon says:

    You are disgusting. How can you posdibly think that this is clever or talented. You are a gutless coward hiding behind your weapon of destruction. You are a murderer, i wander if someone was to shoot one of you family down while going about living their lives if you would still think this is OK. Enjoy the outdoors, but leave these majestic animals to live in peace you fat revolting cow.

    Reply
  93. You should try practicing this on your family!

    Reply
  94. Well if it matters to you, you are an offense.

    Reply
  95. @Huntin lady, you are so wrong! Tourists watching live animals and shooting them with a camera; that's the cash cow of Africa. Not hunting. That wildlife in Africa endures because of hunting is just a fake argument.

    Reply
  96. Lina Stevens says:

    Words cannot express my feelings right now. The outrage I feel towards you I have never felt towards anyone or anything before (and I'm 51 years old). I can't bring myself to understand why you would kill the lion, the leopard, the other animals. Do you not realise they are in decline, endangered animals? You are an example of just another stupid ignorant North American. You don't deserve to be on this planet and I can only hope and pray that one day you will get what you deserve and hope you die a similar death to the one you inflicted – an arrow right through you. I'm in shock, tears and pain at what you did, you killed those animals for pleasure. You cannot be of sound mind.

    Reply
  97. You should be part of the big five you fat b@t$h!

    Reply
  98. Trophyhuntersarescum says:

    Typical of a hunter like Merle to not read the article(probably can't read) and not have any idea what he is talking about. Earth to Merle – Arrows KILL animals… Redneck stupidity. Also, typical of meagan to actually believe that the money goes in any discernible way to conservation. Most of it goes to the outfitters. That has been proven as has been the fact that revenue to conservation by hunting in no way comes close to tourism AKA shooting endangered species with a camera. Please educate yourselves on some FACTS, you illiterate poorly schooled, evil psychos. You may believe your own ridiculous lying assertions about your conservation spiel, but the rest of us that can READ and COMPREHEND are not fooled by it.

    Reply
  99. One of the things that really upsets me is that she talks about being a hero to the villages, rescuing their crops etc. She doesn't do it to be a hero, nor to feed the orphanages and church camps…she does it because she loves killing animals, and talks about it like she is doing god's work. It's absolutely sick.

    Reply
  100. Barbara says:

    so very sad such a waste of life to satisfy human greed – terrible

    Reply
  101. I hope someone puts a bow arrow through you, you absolute human pig. I'd rather see your pathetic head mounted above a mantle piece than one of the majestic animals you slaughtered.

    Reply
  102. Hope the repugnant cretin gets eaten next time she goes on a hunt, to kill creatures which are becoming endangered! May God smite you.

    Reply
  103. Maria Gonzales says:

    Despicable!!! A sad waste to a beautiful animals life, what for? Some sick 'human's' cheap thrill!

    Reply
  104. Annonmous says:

    Someone should bow her down.

    Reply
  105. I really wish someone would chase her down and pierce her through the heart with an arrow, only not killing her, just leaving her there to bleed to death from the heart in alot of pain. Sick vile woman.

    Reply
  106. Conservationist says:

    Why these Trophy hunters ALWAYS kill the healthiest, strongest, biggest and the best? You are NOT "culling the weak", because starving animals don't look good in the trophy pictures.

    Reply
  107. A Hunter says:

    A Hunterunderstand how someone can spew such bullsh*t in order to justify these senseless killings. She's got more than a few screws loose. She is a coward, plain and simple. I bet she took pleasure in burning ants and killing kittens as a child.

    We need to stop these idiots. They give hunters a bad name. Vote with your wallets. Don't support those who cater to these fools.

    Reply
  108. Alexandre Sousa says:

    @ Huntin Lady: How could you be so ignorant and blood thirsty! In your opinion, if wasn't for the hunter's money, there wouldn't be animals in South Africa or USA!!?!?!?! HAHAhahahahHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH."because they inject millions of dollars in the economy (or something like that crap)" Have you been to Kruger Park? Do you know how many millions of tourist go to South Africa and to where, do what?? To hunt? Absolutely not!! Tourism put way more money and are the main responsible for conservation than stupid scums like you! How could you call conservationism when you kill the most health individuals of each species?? Hunters are NOT human, but psychopaths…

    Reply
  109. monica marte says:

    What? ??????
    SHAME ON YOU FRUSTRATED WOMEN …….

    Reply
  110. Ivy Rose says:

    How dare you use Gods name to kill. That is shameful. All of your hunting should be green, many of those animals are endangered. Green hunting can be great for research and can be helpful. Killing endangered species? Disgusting. Wildlife conservationists are hunters, but they're doing it with good intentions to keep populations balanced. You should be embarrassed.

    Reply
  111. Luis Fernando arruda says:

    Disgusting!!!

    Reply
  112. One should KILL YOU with your useless bow!

    Reply
  113. Shame on you.

    Reply
  114. She is such a retard and not a good hunter at all. She had people scouting with her, she hunted in different countries so how it constitutes as a single safari? I guess maybe through retarded American eyes that think Africa is a country and she had to take more than one shot on the animals (no clean kill hence putting them through pain – she should watch the deer hunter). And what's all this green hunting rubbish? You could seriously injure the rhino just for your thrill of the chase you retarded woman. Plus if you aren't going to eat it why the hell do you want to kill it? I know you are on top of the food chain but you don't need to act like an ass hole because of it.
    My last rant is to say hunters justifying there actions saying they are conservationists should go out and hunt the poachers not the wildlife. JOELLA BATES I grew up in Africa and I must say that people like you are self centered morons with too much money and not enough education. Enjoy your wasted time on this earth a

    Reply
  115. Baiting a leopard only to kill it should be illegal. I can't think of anything more cowardly than that. She wants to kill a hippo and a crocodile next? Shoot them with a camera you blood thirsty cow. What is wrong with your brain?

    Reply
  116. What a sick animal she is, bastard.

    Reply
  117. WTF are you damn Idi says:

    I cant trust my Eyes!
    Are you proud about your Work?
    Go to hell, dump idiots!

    I hope a Lion bite you in your f.. Ass!

    Reply
  118. What an ass! Leopards are on the endangered animal list? She couldn't even kill a lioness humanely- shooting it 3 times! This is a joke- what saddens me is that this lady is appraised in her circle/traditions/perceptions. It's just unfortunate that this "hobby" isn't dying young.

    Reply
  119. Disgusting!!!!

    Reply
  120. Debbie C. says:

    How utterly senseless and selfish an activity. It is a sad sad mystery to me how anyone can live with themselves after killing and watching the life exit any living creature. I pity you in the quiet moments of your own death – it is at that time that you will see and feel the devestating and cruel act your "sport" is. Just heatbreaking.

    Reply
  121. Mika Gillispie says:

    Bates, you are a witch. Id say more but they might not post this if I did. KILLING innocent animals for a stupid photo-op and bragging rights??? Killing animals is NEVER ok in my book unless they serve a purpose like for good. I am completely REPULSED by this article. I would really like someone to tell me WHY Bates – or any other safari hunter – would shoot the very animals that sooo many people are trying to protect. Lion populations are dwindling down to record lows because of idiots like this person. For her to brag about this stuff that she should be ashamed of makes me want to puke. It is wrong, wrong, WRONG!

    Reply
  122. MetalHead says:

    I would pay to be able to put an arrow right between the eyes in your fat ugly head, you fkn disgusting pig of a human being! Don't ever let me catch you in public!! Trash like you make me sick!

    Reply
  123. Meshack says:

    Disgusting.

    Reply
  124. Fat stupid cow

    Reply
  125. Not something I would brag about! Quite shameful actually.

    Reply
  126. animesh says:

    wanna bow this lady down nd feed some tigers,i also like shooting wild but with my camera nd its equally thrilling !!!

    Reply
  127. Wow, this is actually allowed!! What sick

    Reply
  128. I'm going to go to her home town and bait this human pig with a bag of Big Macs. When she sniffs them out I will photograph her with my 'wide angle' lens. I want to teach this pig that it's okay to photograph wildlife rather than destroying it. It's actually more challenging, and the animal gets to live another day.

    Reply
  129. Kim Strickland says:

    This makes me sick. Why don't we put all the people that enjoy killing things in to a big locked building and just take each other out. See how they like being the hunted. Shame on you!

    Reply
  130. Natalie says:

    Utterly disgusting. I find this act and you replusive.

    Reply
  131. Vishal Shah says:

    Not a true American!

    Reply
  132. Concerned says:

    She has a fan page on Facebook. Leave her a personal message there. Way to go, Joella. Shoot some endangered species. That breeding lioness must have rung your bells. I hope you eat what you kill.

    Reply
  133. Absolutely disgusting! She looks so proud. Why! If she does it again I am rooting for the animals! I would like to drop this cowardly so-called hunter into the middle of a pride of lions so she can prove her real bravery!

    Reply
  134. Nancy H. says:

    I can see I'm not the first to express my disgust. This is not an accomplishment, it's an abomination.

    Reply
  135. how is this allowed , why is not being arrested and sentenced to jail ????? how can some take away something they can't replace !
    This is just sickening

    Reply
  136. It's so typical of all of you anti hunting folks commenting that almost none of you take the time to realize that the animals were unharmed by Bates. Kind of shows a depth of understanding…

    Reply
  137. Abhishek says:

    This is sick. Disgusting !! Why don't you shoot yourself? You'd get rid of a really dangerous animal then…

    Reply
  138. S . Skiller says:

    Please show this cretinous hag of a woman -Bates what you think of her and the circle of evil she belongs to by posting on her Facebook page. Just Google her name and post it to FB.
    Now has come the time to stop the unnecessary slaughter of wildlife, we must all learn to respect and preserve our fragile earth for future generations to see and enjoy, not let a few greedy, deluded and insecure peasants destroy what's taken millions of years to create …

    Reply
  139. This article is so old and still some people are spending time arguing this matter. Put your money were you mouth is and come and help us to safe the leopards and rhino's in Africa. Unfortunately your fight on paper or these bloggs do not result in anything. African poachers don't spend time reading these articles. They just see the colour of the money. The money made from organized hunting at least make money available to empower anti-poaching units.
    Please guys don't throw stones if life in a glas house.

    Reply
  140. Vipriya says:

    What a shame.. Animals are vanishing so fast and such ppl are the reason for it.. Instead of helping to protect animals they just kill them.. What a shame..

    Reply
  141. Firespasm says:

    You make me sick and you deserve to be hunted. Kickstarter campaign to get this women's head mounted in my house. Makes me wish Silk Road was still around.

    Reply
  142. True Hunter says:

    Well, how about we put the Fat Ass Lady and let her run because obviously her Fat Ass Rhino Ass could not run more than 100 yards and then we can watch her out of breath and perhaps a Real Rhino could trample her to death,that would be a victory instead of feeling tough going to game reserves killing drug up animals, Sounds Like Fun to Stupid People!!

    Reply
  143. Grateful Child says:

    filthy disgusting fat pig. Someday I'd like to meet her to slap her dirty face off. I hope she gets the suffering she gives out. Not to worry someday she will.

    Reply
  144. Seriously? Hunting for trophy? Arrowing these beautiful creatures? For what? What do you f'n gain? Popularity? Guts? Respect?

    I really wished, that f'n arrow of yours comes back running after you.

    Can't you just leave the wilds alone and let them live a peaceful life? They deserve to live for your information and they are not made for your entertainment. HUNTERS should hunt one another instead..

    Reply
  145. Proudly South Africa says:

    How utterly repulsive. Please shove off back to where you came from you blood thirsty red neck.

    Reply
  146. @womenhunter78 says:

    So let me start out by saying, I strongly believe in hunting,ammunition and our Constitution, however I don't give a flying crap what the mount looks like ur wall, you should only shoot and kill for 1 reason ONLY survival whether it's for food or protection. And for the record it's not hunting if you use raw rotten meat for bait for a meat eating wild animal. Why would you not use a tranquilizer on all of them. I personally have am awesome trophy collection and don't see how a real hunter can call that hunting. Pitiful

    Reply
  147. You are a disgusting human. I hope you get brain cancer

    Reply
  148. This is disgusting. It is not your job to take care of what you call "problem" wildlife. Nature is the way it is, and wild animals are supposed to be wild, but hunting them for sport is not natural.
    You are not superior to these beautiful creatures, and don't have the right to kill them for sport just because you can.
    Go home, and take up jogging instead…it would do you more good than this.

    Reply
  149. anonymous says:

    what a witch you are / you sick fool…

    Reply
  150. anonymous says:

    This is disgusting and shameful…Imagine your kids being hunted like this just for thrills..

    Reply
  151. In America, we have a name for organisms like this. We call them white trash, aka rednecks. These loathsome creatures believe their invisible friend in the sky has granted them the right to do whatever they like. They are the only known organism in the history of the world that kills other organisms for fun. They are like a human cancer that there is no cure for. These sadistic organisms are extremely selfish, and only care about themselves and their miserable offspring. As an American I am saddend that so many of these wretched creatures exists. I'm sorry they came to your land to kill your beautiful animals. I guess they don't get enough pleasure killing our North American wildlife. Maybe ther're bored killing bears and mountain lions. I don't know the reason I'm sorry.

    Reply
  152. This is plan n simple DISGUSTING! I agree with all the comments condemning this cruelty, it should be stopped. Why don't they let the wild animals be? It's appalling to see the photographs being displayed so proudly – I bet this obese woman wouldn't stand a chance catching up with a domesticated animal, and here she displays pride in heinous crimes.

    Reply
  153. Trophyhuntersarescum says:

    well what a waste of oxygen that pathetic excuse of a woman is so sad to see such majestic animals killed for fun by such a lowlife who hopefully can’t breed anymore scum to kill more animals

    Reply
  154. Arthur Fennel says:

    How incredibly sad. What is wrong with you? I have caught fish and rabbits for food but to do this for just fun is barbaric. Disgusting.

    Reply
  155. S roberts says:

    I bow hunt with a recurve, you people don’t understand what % of sporting goods sales tax goes to conservation, and most you non bible believers , think we evolved from apes and that dinosaurs went extinct , well things go extinct in your eyes so which way is it? Darwin or God? Can’t have it both ways, if we don’t hunt animals like deer over populate and get diseases and die , get your info right before spouting you stupidity . Either your involved in the circle of life or ignorant and think all styrofoam packed meat is loved to death. Or your leather shoes are from animals that died from natural causes ,
    So now go vote for Hillary you idiots or go graze on grass since I am sure you are all veggie heads I am sure , NOT !! Hypocrites Yes !!

    Reply

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