Principal Removes Hunting Trophies Amid Controversy

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.

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

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

2018 Petersen

2018 Petersen's Hunting Episode 10: Snowbound Chamois

Host Brittany Boddington gets more than she bargained for on what turned out to be a grueling, snowbound and extremely physical hunt for chamois in Romania's Carpathian mountains.

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 12: High Plains Elk

David Draper teams up with Fred Eichler to hunt elk on the high plains of southern Colorado.

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 Articles

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.

I have never felt that camping trailers at least the Hunting

The Ultimate Hunting Trailers

WA Staff

I have never felt that camping trailers at least the "house on wheels" variety that most people

Didn't draw? Here are five great places you can make a last-minute mule deer hunt. North America

5 Great Last-Minute Public-land Hunts

Joseph von Benedikt

Didn't draw? Here are five great places you can make a last-minute mule deer hunt.

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 Trending Articles

More News

Hunters should't let the pandemic scare them away from license draws. News

Will COVID-19 Pandemic Kill Hunting Tag Applications?

Joe Arterburn - March 27, 2020

Hunters should't let the pandemic scare them away from license draws.

Get the full story behind the late KUIU founder's record-book California ram. News

Goliath: Jason Hairston's Record-Book Ram

Andrew McKean - September 11, 2018

Get the full story behind the late KUIU founder's record-book California ram.

COVID-19 forces NRA to cancel 149th Annual Meetings. News

NRA Annual Meetings Cancelled Due to Coronavirus

Lynn Burkhead - March 13, 2020

COVID-19 forces NRA to cancel 149th Annual Meetings.

Social media: Where hunters must #keepITPublic and Stay #sickforit — or else. News

The Impact of Social Media on Hunting

Andrew McKean

Social media: Where hunters must #keepITPublic and Stay #sickforit — or else.

See More News

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save.

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

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

Get Digital Access.

All Petersen's Hunting subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now