Principal Removes Hunting Trophies Amid Controversy

Principal Removes Hunting Trophies Amid Controversy
From Dave Munday/The Post Courier

Chances are your office pales in comparison to Petersen's Hunting editor-in-chief Mike Schoby's. An accomplished globetrotter, Schoby's office is covered with trophies from his hunts around the globe. A couple whitetails (normal enough) plus a red stag (getting better), a caribou (now we're talking), various species of antelope, a javelina caught mid-stride, and to top it all off, a baboon holding a stack of business cards.


He's also a master angler; a mounted goliath tigerfish -- the holy grail of freshwater fishers -- is mounted above his doorway. It is without a doubt the coolest office in our building, one that would surely make some animal rights activist's head spin before keeling over.



Of course, this is a hunting magazine; that sort of thing is pretty much expected, if not required. The point is, hunters, no matter where they work, love to show off the trophies of their kills, whether it's at home or at their place of work.

But does that include teachers, principals and other school officials? Take South Carolina principal Buddy Chapel, who before this past weekend, had an office that would rival Schoby's in terms of the sheer volume of his trophies. From antelopes to hogs, and even a stuffed lioness, Chapel, a former Marine Corps drill sergeant, adorned his high school office with the variety of mounts.


But, early last month, the collection became a public matter after the photo above appeared in a local newspaper.


Two bothered individuals wrote letters to the editor and generated enough controversy to force Chapel to remove the display from his office. Apparently, these folks felt hunting had no place in a public school.

Chapel told local reporters previously that he offered to meet elsewhere if students were uncomfortable in his office but most students seemed to like the collection.

We understand not everyone is as into hunting as we are, and being that this is America, they're free and welcome to make that choice, but that doesn't mean just because an overly sensitive non-hunter is offended, hunters should have to disguise their hobby -- or hide it completely.

Be that as it may, principals are in fact public officials whose freedom of expression is limited; you could make both arguments for and against Chapel's trophies.

What's truly remarkable is the offense taken to a legal activity. Hunting is a licensed, heavily promoted activity in Africa, and a huge part of African economies that may otherwise struggle. The money generated from African safaris not only stimulates countries financially, but it also goes back into wildlife conservation.

Rather than analyze the facts of the situation, however, the offended parties seemed to have simply seen heads hanging on a wall and assumed something evil had happened. One of the letter writers, a South Carolina teacher named Marian Martin, posed the question, "What message is he sending those kids?"

Well that's a good question, and one that never had a resolution. The message is, Chapel enjoys hunting. That's it. What's more reprehensible to us is the fact that these people took it upon themselves to speak for students who Chapel said had never gotten the willies from the display. To that, we pose the same question: What message is that sending the kids, letting someone else speak on your behalf? Even if the students did have a problem with it, shouldn't they be allowed to address it themselves? This is a high school after all.

The offense taken to a legal activity without full understanding of the situation, along with the audacity to speak for an entire student body, is much more harmful than being stared down by a mounted gemsbok.

What do you think? Let's hear it in the comments section.

Recommended for You

Every hunter needs a rimfire workhorse for varmints and predators. Guns

Best Rimfire Rifles for 2019

Keith Wood - April 23, 2019

Every hunter needs a rimfire workhorse for varmints and predators.

Check out these top choices for building out your reloading bench. Ammo

Roll Your Own: Best Reloading Supplies

David Draper - April 19, 2019

Check out these top choices for building out your reloading bench.

A record crowd of more than 67,000 people fell upon the halls of the Sands Expo & Convention SHOT Show

HUNTING's Booth Babes of SHOT Show 2014

David Draper - January 21, 2014

A record crowd of more than 67,000 people fell upon the halls of the Sands Expo & Convention

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

2018 Petersen

2018 Petersen's Hunting Episode 11: Wheelgun Buffalo

Host Craig Boddington lays claim to hunting more than 100 Cape Buffalo over the course of his 40 plus year career, but he never took one with a handgun. That changed in South Africa when Craig faced down "black death" with a magnum wheelgun.

2018 Petersen

2018 Petersen's Hunting Episode 14: Swamp Bulls

With his Mozambique forest bull in the salt, Craig Boddington sets his sights on the Marromeu grasslands in pursuit of a swamp buffalo.

2018 Petersen

2018 Petersen's Hunting Episode 9: Aloha Axis Deer

Host Mike Schoby joins his buddies Jon Dubin and Jeff Johnston on the island of Lanai for a deer hunt Hawaiian style!

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

Looking for a great gun for the young hunter in your family? Here are eight favorites. Guns

8 Great Youth Guns Designed for Growing Hunters

Brad Fitzpatrick - July 18, 2016

Looking for a great gun for the young hunter in your family? Here are eight favorites.

Many of the states in our glorious nation provide great hunting, but only a few have the whitetail North America

Top 10 Trophy Whitetail States

Joseph von Benedikt - December 18, 2017

Many of the states in our glorious nation provide great hunting, but only a few have the...

Perfection takes practice, a little skill and the understanding that not all steaks are created equal. Recipes

How to Properly Grill Venison Steak

Hank Shaw

Perfection takes practice, a little skill and the understanding that not all steaks are...

See More Stories

More News

You look at the photo of him grinning pensively, as if just a touch of worry is in the corners of News

Poachers Pay More with Boone and Crockett's New Plan

Frank Miniter - October 03, 2016

You look at the photo of him grinning pensively, as if just a touch of worry is in the corners...

I was at my desk in the early spring of 2011 when I got a call from a sports agent looking for News

Justin Tuck: The NFL Bowhunter

Mike Carney - June 13, 2016

I was at my desk in the early spring of 2011 when I got a call from a sports agent looking for

Mike Fies was home getting ready for Christmas when his boss called. A woman not far from Fies' News

Ghost Cats: Eastern Cougars Don't Exist!

David Hart - October 24, 2016

Mike Fies was home getting ready for Christmas when his boss called. A woman not far from...

See More News

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save.

Temporary Price Reduction.

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

×