Re: Silly Elk hunting Shows
devildoc, It's a double edged sword. The "pay for" hunting has made many species of animals, like the "exotics" in Texas, available for the " average Joe" to hunt without forking out the big bucks to travel to those animal's native range. And in some cases, like the blackbuck in Texas, and the white rhino in South Africa, they are now huntable ONLY because of "pay for" hunting.
On the other hand, the "pay for" hunting here in the US has resulted in hundreds, if not thousands, of instant guides and outfitters and millions of acres of both private and public land being taken over by those guides and outfitters for their "pay for" clients. So now, even if you've never seen an elk before, or don't know the difference between an elk or a palamino, you can plop down $10-30k and someone will take you by the hand to a record book bull (or buck or ram). This has also opened the door for corruption and has increased the cost of hunting for the rest of us.
Many, if not most, of the hunting shows are filmed on these private hunting preserves or with guides because of either time constraints of getting a kill shot for the show, or because the "hunters" in the show lack the hunting skills to hunt on their own.
There are other places, like Canada, where non-resident hunters are required by law to hunt with a guide. So if you want to hunt any big game animal in Canada, you book a hunt with a guide.
Although I have successfully hunted most of Montana's big game animals without a guide and mostly by myself, I finally became a hypocrite and booked a Dall sheep and Mountain Caribou hunt with a Canadian outfitter that flew me deep into the MacKenzie mountains for my hunt. And I did it again a few years later when I booked another Canadian outfitter to fly me into the arctic bush for another caribou and musk ox hunt.
I've also done 3 hunts in Africa taking many animals that would have been cost and time prohibitive without the aid of a Professional Hunter. In southern Africa the hunting industry has made multi-animal hunts available for about the same required time and cost of a guided deer or elk hunt in one of our western states.