Remember, this list is a humorous and hypothetical look at the animals I would have loved to hunt when they were legal to hunt. Under modern conservation guidelines sportsmen help strengthen animal populations – and I intend on doing my part to keep it that way.
India, Siberia, Vietnam -doesn’t matter. I’d have hunted the largest cat on Earth anywhere, anytime, anyway. OK, maybe not Siberia because I don’t like being cold. And maybe not from an elephant’s back because I rode an elephant once and it damn near split my legs like a wishbone.
Snow Leopard
Let me see, if I had hunted one in Tibet when legal then I could I have hung out with the Dali Lama for a few days. I can only hope that Mr. Lama would appreciate my dry sense of humor.
Take the largest species of wild oxen on the planet and drop it into some of the most hostile mountain jungle in the world and you’ve got one hell of a hunt. Although they were once hunted throughout Southeast Asia I would have hunted them in Laos because “hunt,” “gaur,” “beer,” and “Laos” are each four letter words and when you put them all together you … I’m sorry. This is going nowhere. I guess there’s just nothing humorous to be said about hunting gaur.
Indian Elephant
Although smaller than their African counterpart, Asian elephants were known for their excellent ivory and volatile behavior. This combined with the nasty jungle they inhabited made for a dangerously thrilling hunt. I would have hunted mine in Thailand. Why? The spicy food and massages of course. Wait a minute … you can still get those in Thailand. You just can’t hunt elephants there. I might be due for a trip abroad.
Javan Rhino
Even if it was legal to hunt today I doubt many hunters would venture into the 100-degree, 99 percent humidity, Javan jungles for one of Asia’s most elusive rhinos. I would, but then I’m Gayne Young – a world renowned outdoor writer for Outdoor Life magazine and tough as hammered nails international hunter. Well, I’d go if my wife said I could.
My favorite of the three species of crocodile that reside in India. While the mugger and saltwater crocs have the reputations of being man-eaters, I think the gharial would make a far better trophy. I also like that it lives in India; home of Bollywood superstar…
Aishwarya Rai. And what does Bollywood actress Aishwarya Rai have to do with my countdown of all the hunts I’ve missed? Nothing. Nothing at all.
The tapir was one of Drug Lord Pablo Escobar’s favorite animals. His compound was full of them and rumor was that he liked eating them. I would have loved to have hunted tapir in the tropical rain forests of Columbia but doubt I would have gone afield with Escobar. I get the feeling he was a tad unstable. Unstable as in you never know what’s going on in the mind of a guy who snorts a few pounds of coke a day.
Spectacled Bear
I sat by the roaring fire, my lungs straining with the thin Andean air. Across from me, the head guide Gabriel and his crew sat eating roasted guinea pig, the fat from the husky rats dripping down their chins. “Tomorrow,” Gabriel begins, his face glistening with grease in the amber light. “I guide you more bigger bear, you shoot more guinea pigs?”
I glance at my spectacled bear skin pegged out on the ground 10 yards from the fire and nod. “Yes,” I answer, full of dreams of another bear hunt. “Many pigs for you and your men. Many pigs.”
Black Caiman
The only known man-eater of all the crocodilians in South America, the “Black Death” can grow upwards of 20 feet in length and reach weights of more than 700 pounds. They inhabit some of the nastiest geography Amazonia has to offer. I would have hunted them in Guyana so I could hang out with Jim Jones. I heard he always had cold Kool-Aid on hand. That’s a great way to beat the jungle heat.
Looking like something an artist on acid created while trying to merge a giraffe and a zebra, the okapi lives in such remote areas that it wasn’t even “discovered” until 1901. Still, I would have loved the opportunity to venture into unknown Africa for a chance at such a beautiful animal. I also like the fact that the okapi has an 18-inch tongue.
Bull Sperm Whale
At 67 feet in length, it’s the largest toothed predator on the planet. Once hunted by men with only a harpoon and a desire to bring home some whale oil, these leviathans are now reduced to staring in lame Discovery Channel documentaries and being photographed by retirees aboard whale watching cruises. Give the animal some dignity! Let me take one on like the sailors of Natucket old – mano on whale.
Killer Whale
What’s black and white and red all over? My killer whale rug after I dropped a hot wing on it.
A rat by any other name is still a rat.
In a nutshell the mandrill is a baboon-like primate that reaches upwards of 80 pounds, travels in social groups as large as 1,300 in number, has a violent disposition, and lives in the 120-degree plus rainforests of Cameroon. Point advantage Gayne.
Think pandas are all cute and cuddly? Wrong! Yes, they spend most of their day eating bamboo but they also hunt and kill small animals for meat and the thrill (Funny how the World Wildlife Fund never promotes that latter fact). As for hunting them, ask Teddy Roosevelt’s son Kermit how tough that can be. Well, you can’t ask him because he’s dead.
Hawaiian hoary bat
With a wing span of 13 inches and a weight of only 8 ounces, the Hawaiian hoary bat would be a hard target indeed. That and the fact that it’s mostly nocturnal make finding one an even more difficult proposition – Maybe that’s why it’s on the endangered species list. No one can find the little bugger. I’ll look into hunting one with my camera when I’m in Hawaii hunting turkey with Outdoor Life Editor Gerry Bethge … What do you mean I’m not going with you … I was never invited … What?
Blue-bellied Parrot
This 11-inch long parrot isn’t technically endangered in its native Brazil rather it’s listed as “Near Threatened” which means I need to get my butt down to the jungles of Brazil quick time. Polly want to be mounted on Gayne’s wall?
Marine Otter
A weasel by any other name is still a weasel.
I would have hunted this 3 ½ foot tall bird in the morning then spent my afternoons bathing on the Maldives beach with beautiful women. Never mind. I just Googled the women of the Maldives. Let’s just say they won’t be opening a Hooters any time there soon.

Gayne looks at the game animals he never got to hunt and, because of their endangered status, probably never will.