Local Odessa Man Explains the Importance of Hunting in Africa

Local Odessa Man Explains the Importance of Hunting in Africa

by Kim Powell
NewsWest 9

ODESSA - Connor Stevens began hunting at just nine years old; a tradition that his father passed on to him and his brother. As their passion for the thrill grew, they ventured off of just hunting white-tailed deer and took on something much, much bigger--African big game.

"There's probably 30 to 40 mounts in this house from hunting in North America and Africa," Stevens said.

His Texas Tech classmate, Kendall Jones, has been stirring up a storm on social media by posting pictures of her with dead African wildlife. Stevens believes much of the controversy comes from people not knowing exactly what goes on with hunting in Africa.

"It's a really strict process. It's not just a bunch of rednecks going over there shooting anything that moves," Stevens said.

He also explains that the government only allows a certain amount of hunting tags each year, which means not just anyone can hunt these animals.

"They have to come up with a safe number to get enough income, enough to prevent overpopulation, but not too many to kill off the population," Stevens said. "So there's plenty of calculations going on. We're not just going over there shooting everything."

According to Stevens, money made from the hunting trips go to more research and development and also to the ranchers to help provide a better habitat for the animals.

Stevens admits, though, he loves the adrenaline rush that comes with stalking an animal in Africa, but believes there is a reason for it all.

"For the hunters, it's the chase. For the government, it's the taxes. For the professional hunter, it's the income. For the poor people of these countries, it's the meat," Stevens said.