Original post from Globe and Mail by Gary Mason

Scott Ellis does not have a problem if a person wants to pay thousands of dollars for the opportunity to shoot a B.C. grizzly bear, chop off its head for mounting and leave its rotting corpse for animals to scavenge.

“Does the bear care?” says Mr. Ellis, the executive director of the Guide Outfitters Association of B.C.

“It’s already dead. Whatever you decide to do with it, he doesn’t care. And in the circle of life, there are other things that will feed off of that carcass: wolves, coyotes, birds. All that meat will be absorbed into the environment by other creatures.”

 In the heated, often emotional debate in this province over trophy hunting, Mr. Ellis represents the interests of those who have an economic stake in the future of this practice. Like many hunters, Mr. Ellis is also an ardent conservationist. He is dead set against the hunting of any species whose existence is threatened, but the grizzly is not one of them, he says.

In an hour-long conversation, Mr. Ellis and I debated this subject. I told him I did not think the issue was whether the trophy hunting of grizzlies should be stopped because their numbers are dwindling, rather because it is simply wrong, period. How did his organization defend, on moral grounds, the practice of killing grizzlies for sport?