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Big-game hunting is the hunting of large game animals for meat, commercially valuable by-products (such as horns, furs, tusks, bones, body fat/oil, or special organs and contents), trophy/taxidermy, or simply just for recreation ("sporting"). The term is often associated with the hunting of Africa's "Big Five" game (lion, African elephant, Cape buffalo, African leopard, and rhinoceros),[1] and with tigers and rhinoceroses on the Indian subcontinent.[2] Many other species of big game are hunted including kudu, antelope, and hartebeest. Whale,[3] moose, elk, caribou, bison, mule deer, and white-tailed deer are the largest game hunted in North America, where most big-game hunting is conducted today.

Big-game hunting is conducted in every continent except Antarctica, where the ecosystems provide habitats capable of supporting megafauna. In Africa, lion, Cape buffalo, elephant, giraffe and other large game animals are hunted, mainly for trophies. In North America, animals such as whale,[4] bear, wolf, walrus,[5] caribou, moose, elk, alligator,[6] boar, sheep and bison are hunted. In South America, deer, cougar, feral pig, feral water buffalo, capybara and other species are hunted. In Europe, bear, sheep, boar, goats, elk (moose), bison, deer, and other species are hunted. In Asia, several species of deer, bear, sheep and other species are hunted. In Australia, kangaroos and several introduced species of deer (mainly red and sambar deer) and wild boar are hunted.

Another author, Allen Morris Jones, in his book A Quiet Place of Violence: Hunting and Ethics in the Missouri River Breaks, argues that hunting is right insofar as it returns us to the natural context from which we evolved, and wrong insofar as it further removes us.[22] Even in the context of trophy hunting, we must eat what we kill, for instance, given that our evolved role was one of predation.

There are examples of the economic and conservation value of big-game hunting in several places. The Bubye Valley Conservancy in Zimbabwe has successfully managed lion and rhinoceros populations through hunting fees.[23] In North America, the State of California estimates that the economic impact of big-game hunting in that state was $263,702,757 in 2016.[24] Also in North America, the State of Wyoming estimates that the economic impact of big-game hunting in 2015 was $224 million.[25] The examples of large economic impacts of big-game hunting abound, and many studies exist of the high positive effects wherever it is tried and managed well.

At the beginning of the 20th century, 500,000 rhinos roamed Africa and Asia. By 1970, rhino numbers dropped to 70,000, and today, as few as 29,000 rhinos remain in the wild. Very few rhinos survive outside national parks and reserves due to persistent poaching and habitat loss over many decades. White rhinoceros is an excep

At the beginning of the 20th century, 500,000 rhinos roamed Africa and Asia. By 1970, rhino numbers dropped to 70,000, and today, as few as 29,000 rhinos remain in the wild. Very few rhinos survive outside national parks and reserves due to persistent poaching and habitat loss over many decades. White rhinoceros is an exception as its numbers in Africa have increased from 100 in 1916 to more than 18,000 in 2016 due largely to the increase in private game reserves intended for hunting.[26][27][28] Some hunts can generate fees of hundreds of thousands of dollars,[29] which are then used directly for conservation, as was the case with rhinoceroses in Africa. However, these results have to be taken with precautions in view of the effects of less ethical big-game all over the world.

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