Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

Hunting vs Poaching: Get the Facts


  • Trophy hunting is NOT poaching. In fact, the consequences of legal hunting are the exact opposite of poaching


  • Unlike legal hunters, poachers do not have legal permission from the owner of the land to hunt. They illegally take animals, simply for their valuable parts.


  • Poachers are not welcome in the hunting community. Hunters r
    espect animals and their habitats, and are often the most outspoken critics of poaching.


  • The majority of poachers sell trophies in the illegal wildlife trade, run by dangerous criminal networks. Experts estimate that the illegal wildlife trafficking trade runs into the hundreds of millions of dollars. (TRAFFIC: The wildlife trade monitoring network).


  • Hunting is an important part of wildlife management. Unlike poaching, hunting is based on scientific management, either through state and country laws, or through international agreements. As poaching is by definition illegal, it is not regulated, and therefore has a negative impact on wildlife.


  • Many poachers take animals out of season or outside of legal hours, disregarding the rules legal hunters abide by.


  • Unlike poachers, who do not have a license or permit to hunt the animal, hunters pay many fees associated with licensing, which contribute financially to wildlife and habitat conservation.


  • Many hunting groups have launched successful anti-poaching initiatives. For example, in 2017 Safari Club International created the Endanger Poaching campaign, which allowed a new class of Selous rangers to be trained at the College of African Wildlife Management in Mweka. (SCI, “SCI and SCIF’s Endanger Poaching Campaign Launches with Selous Game Reserve Project”)


  • In 2018, 32% of fees payed by hunters went to the Tchuma Tchato Program in Mozambique, which maintains 3 community anti-poaching units (Conservation Force, A Summary of Revenue Sharing from Tourist Safari Hunting)


  • Poaching has a negative effect on the population of rare species. In 2012, 668 rhinos were poached in South Africa. As of January 2013 it increased to 946, these animals were being poached at a rate of 2 per day. (African Wildlife Federation. "Africa's Poaching Crisis.")


  • In contrast, hunting does not have a negative impact on the black rhino population. For example, the potential removal of 5 certified surplus bulls by hunters would account for 0.26% of Namibia’s black rhino population, at most only a fraction of the annual growth rate. (Conservation Force, “Namibia’s Rhino Conservation Success)


  • In fact, hunting has a positive effect on the populations of rare animals. Since 2004, when the CITES Parties approved an export quota of five black rhino a year from both Namibia and South Africa, black rhino populations have increased by 67%, with only 47 black rhino hunted from 2005 to 2015. (Conservation Force, “Namibia’s Rhino Conservation Success”)


  • Elephant is the source of most hunting revenue in Namibia, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique. A significant portion of this revenue is used for anti-poaching enforcement. (Conservation Force, “Benefits to Elephant Conservation from Safari Hunting”)


  • Legal hunting helps local communities, which can remove the incentive for poaching. For example, in 2018: 50% of trophy fees in Zambia’s game management areas went to the local people, while 100% of fees collected in Namibia’s Communal Conservancies went to the community. (Conservation Force, “Namibia’s Rhino Conservation Success”)


  • Hunting creates an incentive to protect animals from poachers. In Tanzania, approximately 56.8% of the lion found in protected areas are found in hunting areas. (Conservation Force, “The Surprising Benefits of Safari Lion Hunting”)



Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.