The only thing anti-hunters hate more than hunting is when a woman does it.
This week, anti-hunters in Scotland reacted with pearl-clutching horror to learn that an American woman, Larysa Switlyk, had legally hunted and killed a wild goat and a ram on the isle of Islay, and it appears that the local Member of Scottish Parliament, Mike Russell, has already pledged to do whatever he can to halt the practice. What’s particularly interesting about this story is a deeply-buried lede: Not only is what Switlyk did perfectly legal, it always has been. Both the ram and the goat are considered non-native invasive species, and it’s legal to hunt them on private property…in much the same way that hunting exotics on private land is generally legal in the U.S.
What’s more, which you’ll note even more deeply buried in the article, Scotland has always had a strong hunting culture which persists despite how restrictive the gun laws are in the U.K. Switlyk had also taken a red stag on the hunt, which the BBC article notes is also legal. In fact, the very same MSP who was purple with rage about the ram and the goat dismissed, “Obviously deer culling and deer stalking is established on the island and it’s a necessary thing to do considering the lack of control of deer numbers.”
So, let’s recap: Russell understands that hunting and culling is necessary when there’s no control over deer numbers…so why does he think it’s different when he’s discussing non-native invasive species with no natural predators on the island? And why does he suddenly care now?
To be clear, I don’t have any more information on this matter than the BBC article linked above provides. I can’t know for sure that the reaction of both Russell and his constituents is just because Switlyk is female. I can, however, point out that as virulent and vitriolic as anti-hunters can be under any circumstances, they do seem to reserve a special loathing for women who hunt. I’ll close by first directing you to the BBC article, which is here.
Then I’ll remind you about the American woman who legally took a melanistic giraffe. (That second paragraph…yow.)
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