You analyzed 4,300 photos of adult male hunters in British Columbia and Alberta, Canada, and they posed with prey elk, mule deer and white-tailed deer. What were some of the themes in these photos?
Part of the impression we noticed was this need to capture in photographs and display the trophies. It's remarkable that we could find [4,300] photos [of people] posing with dead animals. That in itself strikes me as interesting.
Some of the photos are gruesome and hard to look at. Countless photos of humans displaying themselves as dominant over the natural world, posed in a way that asserts dominance: a hunter holding up the antlers. Or a hunter standing over the dead animal. Or the photo making the dead animal appear larger than in real life.
What are the qualifications of a "fair fight" when it comes to animal predators hunting in the wild?
In the natural world, animals use what they have naturally to do this, whether that be natural camouflage, or natural weapons like claws or fangs. That is what a fair fight looks like and that is how they meet the requirements to kill prey.
How are humans different than wild predators?
We are actually weak, awkward and minimally camouflaged. And we don't have natural weapons such as claws or fangs.
[Another difference is] human hunters select the trophy-sized largest individuals within populations. But that isn't what natural predators select. They select the weak and young individuals in populations.
Also, in the natural world, you are limited by your speed and agility - limited by how fast and how far you can travel. Humans have been able to compensate for this with vehicles, roads and guns. The pursuit of the prey is the most dangerous and difficult part of the hunt. But hunters have obliterated that stage of the hunt. Guns make it so we don't have to get close to prey and roads mean we don't have to chase them.