Hunting for trophies : Online hunting photographs reveal achievement satisfaction with large and dangerous prey

Date

2015

Authors

Child, K. R.
Darimont, C. T.

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title

Publisher

Taylor and Francis

Abstract

Despite its manifold implications, insight into what satisfactions hunters derive from trophy hunting has not been thoroughly investigated. We used a novel method to assess how common satisfaction might be from harvesting animals under different achievement contexts. We scored smile types – signals of emotion and satisfaction – in 2,791 online hunting photographs. We show that the odds of true ‘pleasure’ smiles are greater when hunters pose: (a) with vs. without prey, (b) with large vs. small prey and, (c) with carnivores vs. herbivores (among older men). We emerge with a generalizable achievement-oriented hypothesis to propose that the prospect of displaying large and/or dangerous prey at least in part underlies the behavior of many contemporary hunters. Given that achievement was also likely important among ancestral hunter-gatherers and remains so in contemporary cultural and commercial marketing contexts, management might benefit by increased attention to achievement satisfaction among hunters.

Description

Final accepted version of article.

Keywords

conservation, human predators, internet, trophy hunting, smile type, online forums, size-selective predation

Citation

Child, KR & CT Darimont. (2015) Hunting for trophies: Online hunting photographs reveal achievement satisfaction with large and dangerous prey. Human Dimensions of Wildlife. v 20, n. 6. (in press)