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Great White Hunter

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Nobel laureate Ernest Hemingway, pictured here with a leopard that he heroically killed in self-defence because it was coming right at him.

"Peter, if you want me to run your little camping trip, there are two conditions: firstly, I'm in charge, and when I'm not around, Dieter is. All you need to do is sign the checks, tell us we're doing a good job and open your case of scotch when we have a good day. Second condition, my fee. You can keep it. All I want in exchange for my services is the right to hunt one of the Tyrannosaurs. A male, a buck, only. How and why are my business. Now if you don't like either of those two conditions, you're on your own. So go ahead, set up basecamp right here, or in a swamp or in the middle of a Rex nest for all I care. But I've been on too many safaris with rich dentists to listen to any more suicidal ideas. Okay?"

The heroic counterpart to the Egomaniac Hunter and the Evil Poacher, the Great White Hunter is a heroic big game hunter. He is most likely a Gentleman Adventurer, but he could also be an earthier type who leads safaris for a living. Either way, he will be an expert tracker, a crack shot, and skilled at wilderness survival. He may have learned his trade as a Hunter Trapper.

Deliberate Values Dissonance might come up if the story is trying to impart An Aesop about respecting the lives of wild animals. Often, however, this character does admire animals even as he kills them, considering them a Worthy Opponent of sorts. Some may even consider hunting something that doesn't have a chance of fighting back to be unsportsmanlike. Sometimes he does it merely out of necessity: there is a dangerous predator with taste for human flesh at the wild, and native hunters have failed at neutralizing the threat, so he is called to do the job.

The Great White Hunter is something of a Dead Horse Trope. When he still appears, it will be in a period piece or he will be leading expeditions to capture animals alive. Or he might be retired and feeling remorse over the number of now-endangered animals he killed over the course of his life. His spiritual descendants the Safari Guide, Wildlife Conservationist or Game Warden may still appear unironically. May wear an Adventurer Outfit.

Despite his title, not always white... and not always all that great, either.

Has nothing to do with Great White Sharks, though a Great White Hunter might very well hunt them.

Subtrope of Classical Hunter. If they are so successful as to wipe out an entire species, they may become The Great Exterminator.


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    Comic Books 
  • Ulysses Bloodstone and (to a lesser extent) his daughter Elsa Bloodstone, in the Marvel Universe, although they usually restricted their hunting to vampires and other monsters.
  • There's also a DC hero called B'wana Beast (a white guy granted mystical powers by a magic helmet and a special potion). His successor, Freedom Beast, might count... except he's black....
  • Congo Bill in The DCU (who later gained the ability to swap his mind with that of a giant golden gorilla because, y'know, monkeys make everything better).
    • Congo Bill was also featured in a 15 chapter movie serial in 1948.
  • Give Me Liberty: Moretti appears as this in one fight scene which is between Imagine Spot and allegory (Martha is a purple panther).
  • Johnny Orchid, a Great White Hunter character created by J.T. Edson, whose adventures appeared in the British comic The Victor.
  • In Jon Sable, Freelance, Jon showed aspects of this trope, working as a safari guide and game warden before his Roaring Rampage of Revenge turned him into a mercenary.
  • Spider-Man: Kraven the Hunter, a.k.a. Sergei Kravenoff, is basically made of this and Hunting the Most Dangerous Game. Born in 1917, he started out as a hunter in Kenya, but later enhanced himself with mystic rituals and herbs (supplied by his lover Calypso, a Haitian vodoun priestess) so that he could hunt and kill his prey barehanded. He moved on to hunting humans (including working for Nick Fury in the 1950s as a Nazi Hunter), before eventually deciding that only super-humans presented a sufficient challenge. Even then, he seems to return to his animal-centered roots, as some of his targets have included Spider-Man, Sabertooth, and the Black Panther.
  • Allan Quatermain (see Literature below) is one of the central characters in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.
  • In The DCU, Paul Kirk was one of these before he adopted the superheroic identity of the Manhunter.
  • Ka-Zar: In Marvel Mystery Comics, the David Rand Ka-Zar once ran across a hunter named Steve Hardy who spent months capturing animals to bring to zoos or collections (but had no qualms about killing them if he had to). Ka-Zar judged him a good man and did not allow the animals to harm him, but he still foiled his attempts to take animals.
  • Secret Six reveals that Catman's father was one of these. He was also an abusive asshole who believed that A Real Man Is a Killer to the point that he forced his son to kill his mother.
  • Bob Reynolds, boyfriend of Sheena, Queen of the Jungle was supposed to be this, but he spent most of his time as a Distressed Dude.
  • Tintin in Old Shame Tintin in the Congo killed a rhinoceros by blowing it up with dynamite after bullets didn't work. This and his earlier senseless killing of a monkey are especially jarring in light of his later kindness to animals in The Black Island and Tintin in Tibet. A Swedish translator made Herge redraw his work to spare the rhinoceros.

    Fan Works 

    Film — Animation 
  • Tarzoon: Shame of the Jungle: Professor Cedric, even though he is hardly the Mighty Whitey or Bold Explorer he thinks he is.
  • Up: In his younger days, Charles Muntz was a Great White Hunter and Bold Explorer whose exploits inspired Carl, and especially Ellie. However, by the time Carl meets him, Muntz has been become an Egomaniac Hunter: hiding from the world in Paradise Falls and obsessively stalking the "Beast of Paradise Falls".

    Film — Live Action 
  • Parodied in the Abbott and Costello film Africa Screams.
  • Subverted by Colonel Brock in the horror/comedy Alligator; he wears a safari suit and pith helmet even though the film is set in Chicago.
  • Groucho Marx's famous character Capt. Geoffrey Spaulding from the film Animal Crackers is a parody of this trope.
    Capt. Spaulding: "One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How it got in my pajamas I'll never know".
  • Played for Black Comedy in Big Game, where Psycho for Hire Hazar is acting out a White Hunter fantasy — with President Moore as the hunted.
  • Bringing Up Baby: Maj. Applewhite is one, which leads to some hilarity when Susan describes David as one and Applewhite starts firing questions at him.
  • In Brotherhood of the Wolf, Frosnac is sent to investigate the beast because of his skill as a naturalist and a hunter, making him an example in an unusually early setting.
  • Parodied in the Bob Hope film Call Me Bwana. Bob Hope plays a New York writer who has passed off his uncle's memoirs of explorations in Africa as his own. Hope lives his false reputation as a great white hunter to the point of living in a Manhattan apartment furnished to look like an African safari lodge complete with sound effects records of African fauna. Based on his false reputation as an "Africa Expert", he is recruited by the United States Government and NASA to locate a missing secret space probe before it can be located by hostile forces.
  • Parodied with Bill Boosey (Sid James) in Carry On Up the Jungle, whose alcoholism is so bad that he can't manage to shoot a single thing:
    Mr. Boosey: Did I get him?
    Upsidasi: No Boss, you aim good - but him in de wrong place.
  • Ross, in the short film Catching Trouble, As made infamous by MST3K, is clearly supposed to be one. However, Joel and the 'Bots see Ross as more of an Egomaniac Hunter or Evil Poacher.
  • In the movie adaptation of Congo, Captain Munro Kelly introduces himself to the team with the line "I'm your Great White Hunter for this trip, though I happen to be black." This is, of course, because the book Munroe was a more-or-less straight example, who the movie then made black in order to add diversity to the cast. In an interview, the director claimed he cast Ernie Hudson as the hunter because he disliked this trope. In the book, Munro was less a Great White Hunter and more along the lines of all the other white mercenaries running around in Africa at the time of writing, and also was half Indian.
  • Mick "Crocodile" Dundee plays the part in Australia, though he isn’t especially keen on killing animals.
  • In Desert Nights, Steve pretends to be this when in Lord Stonehill disguise and tells a story about hunting tigers.
  • Charles Remmington (Michael Douglas) from the movie The Ghost and the Darkness. Although Colonel John Henry Patterson (Val Kilmer) also ends up hunting the lions, he is not specifically an example of this trope but is instead forced into the role.
  • Ottway is described as such by Ethnic Scrappy Diaz in The Grey.
  • Sean Mercer (John Wayne) in the movie Hatari!. Which is an interesting variation on the trope, since he heads up a Rag Tag Bunch Of Misfits who capture animals alive for zoos, instead of hunting them.
  • House of the Wolf Man has Whitlock, who has hunted every kind of game on the face of the earth.
  • Robert Shaw's character Sam Quint in Jaws. He's a Great White Hunter who hunts great white sharks. But he's also haunted by his past experiences with sharks, and has become a merciless shark-hater and borderline psychotic, not unlike Captain Ahab in Moby-Dick.
  • Van Pelt in Jumanji was one of these; well, before he started Hunting the Most Dangerous Game.
  • Bob Elliott is a legitimate Big Game Hunter who shoots lions and whatnot, but he also uses it as cover for a secret mission in Jungle Queen.
  • Jurassic Park:
    • Muldoon in Jurassic Park (1993) is about as close as you'll get to this trope being played straight in the modern day. He's technically a game warden, though, but the look and the 'tude are there; close enough. Muldoon is really something of a subversion in that he leans more toward the anti-heroic end of the scale. He is not portrayed in a particularly romantic manner, and is in fact an embittered, highly cynical man who hates the raptors and wishes he could kill them all - and considering what happens throughout the course of the film, it's hard to blame him.
    • Roland Tembo in The Lost World: Jurassic Park is even closer, and has made his goal to turn over captured dinos to the Big Bad in exchange for getting to hunt a bull male T. rex. He's more or less responsible for the fact that anyone manages to survive the expedition despite the efforts of the "heroes". Not only does he survive to the end of the film, he actually manages to bag the T. Rex.''
    • Vic Hoskins in Jurassic World seems to fancy himself a Great White Hunter, but he's not. It's revealed that he wants to weaponize the intelligent Raptors, but he's in way over his head, and eventually becomes dino lunch.
  • Conrad in Kong: Skull Island. He is hired for the expedition because of ability as a tracker, and his jungle survival skills. His skills are tested to their limit on Skull Island, and just about every action he takes is to keep other expedition members alive.
  • Maston Thrust in The Last Dinosaur. He's a world famous hunter and wants to hunt the eponymous last dinosaur, a Tyrannosaurus rex. Interestingly he considers himself the last of his kind too as he says so at the end of the movie.
  • Sidestepped by Allan Quatermain (Sean Connery) in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. He has all the characteristics, but Connery plays him as a very world weary figure, in a company that only just barely needs his skills. Bonus points for the fact that the Big Bad actually calls him "the great white hunter."
  • David in The Leech Woman.
  • In Liane, Jungle Goddess, Thoren is the rugged, handsome leader of the expedition thhat discovers Liane, and whom Jacqueline correctly identifies has having a need to protect women.
  • Subverted in the 1964 film Mans Favorite Sport wherein Rock Hudson plays a fishing expert at Abercrombie and Fitch (this was back in the days when it was still just a world famous outdoor sports emporium) who can't fish. Entered into a fishing tournament by a publicity agent who doesn't know his secret, Hudson is forced to learn how to fish from the owner of the lodge's daughter. And yes, fishing is not the same as hunting, but it is the principle that counts.
  • Deconstructed in the 1966 family film Maya, which is actually about a quest to save a sacred white elephant. The young protagonist of the story journeys to India to meet his father, who lives on a plantation in the country and supposedly lives this trope. When he gets there, however, he finds that all the cages are empty of animals and have fallen to rust and disrepair. Gradually, the truth comes out... and it proves to be quite ugly. The boy's father was indeed known as a great hunter until he was clawed by a tiger, which traumatized him so much that he has devolved into a Dirty Coward who could no longer bring himself to hunt true wild game and now only uses his gun to kill small, weak, or tamed animals out of spite (such as when, without provocation, he shoots a tamed cheetah that his son had befriended). Eventually, though, the father redeems himself by rescuing his son, another boy his age, and a baby elephant from being eaten by a pack of tigers in the aptly named "Valley of the Tigers".
  • Mistress of the Apes: Paul Cory is actually a journalist for a nature magazine, but he dresses and acts the part.
  • Victor Marswell (Clark Gable) in Mogambo, although he usually doesn't kill the animals, he captures them to sell to circuses and zoos.
  • In Mowgli John Lockwood is initially seen this way, and becomes Mowgli's mentor in the Man-Village. He's also the only white man in the movie, helping an Indian village get rid of the local man-eating tiger.
  • Nanook of the North: He isn't white, but Nanook fits the trope in every other way, and is even described as a "great hunter" in a title card. The real Allakariallak was in fact cast in Flaherty's film due to his skills as a hunter.
  • In No Kidding, the Treadgolds' parents are off in Africa on a hunting trip:
    Dandy Big: They're way out in Africa, someplace. Pa knockin' out rhinos, Ma knockin' back martinis.
  • Out of Africa: Denys Finch-Hatton, although he's not brutal about it, declining to shoot a lioness that is menacing Karen. Bror quickly tires of farming and says he will become this.
  • Subverted in Paddington (2014). The Explorer is about to shoot the bears, but then one of them approaches him and knocks a scorpion of his jacket. He then sees they are intelligent enough to build bamboo technology and even learn English he befriends them and lets them live. Played straight however with the other members of the Geographer's Guild, however.
  • The hero of Prehistoric Women is David Marchant, a safari hguide and big game hunter who is thrown backwards in time to a kingdom of brunette women and their blonde slaves.
  • Frank Walsh, the hero of Primal, is a skilled big-game hunter specializing in capturing rare and dangerous species for zoos.
  • Serena: Downplayed with George, who spends much of the film hunting a mountain lion. While he only hunts it for the sake of bagging a montain lion, he is shown sparing a bobcat because it wasn't his target.
  • Shandra: The Jungle Girl: Karen is a rare female example. An expert hunter and tracker, she is hired to lead the expedition to capture Shandra. Cord even jocularly refers to her as 'a great white hunter'.
  • The Suckers: Jeff Baxter is a professional hunter and Vietnam vet who Vandemeer inveigles to his estate, and then adds to his prey in order to give the models a more sporting chance.
  • Two Brothers has Aidan McRory, a big game hunter who has made himself famous by portraying himself as a Great White Hunter in books that he has written about his hunts.
  • In Venom (1981), Howard is a retired big game hunter, as his kidnappers learn to their regret.
  • Tiger Haynes in Where East Is East. The first scene shows Tiger and his crew capturing a tiger by climbing up into the trees and dropping a net on a tiger as it enters a clearing.
  • John Wilson (Clint Eastwood) in White Hunter, Black Heart, although Wilson's questioning of his motives for wanting to bring down an elephant turns this into a Deconstruction.
  • Deconstructed in Tarzan's Revenge way back in 1938, in which the heroine's fiance is presented as a wannabe Great White Hunter who is a coward for shooting animals from a great distance where they cannot possibly hurt him, while her father is trying to capture live specimens and is angry at the man for killing them.

  • 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea: Ned Land, the King of Harpooners.
  • John Hunt and his sons Hal and Roger from the Adventure Series of children's novels by Willard Price.
  • H. Rider Haggard's Allan Quatermain.
  • The Avenger: Among the other elements of his personal history, Benson mentions earning forty thousand dollars by selling Malay jungle animals to the Cleveland Zoo.
  • In J. B. Morton's Beachcomber columns, the name of Big White Carstairs, the British Empire's roving troubleshooter in M'Gonkawiwi, is a clear reference to this trope.
  • In the Bunduki series by J.T. Edson, James Allenvale 'Bunduki' Gunn was a Game Warden in Kenya before being transported to another planet.
  • The Hunters of Artemis in The Camp Half-Blood Series. Blessed with divine ranged capabilities and Improbable Aiming Skills. Although the game they hunt is often mythical in nature.
  • The Man with the Yellow Hat's role in the first Curious George book, where he captured George for an American zoo.
  • Discworld:
    • Mustrum Ridcully, though he leans more towards fishing than hunting. Keeps loaded crossbows everywhere (including his office in case anyone wants to see him) and was once tempted to shoot down a deer-horned god of the hunt (imagine the size of its rack).
    • Parodied in one of the books where the witches hold meetings on the bare mountain. This of course leads to people thinking it's called the Bear mountain, and the locals take advantage of stupid nobs who come in with heavy crossbows buying bear traps, maps of the bear caves and hiring native guides.
  • Five Weeks in a Balloon: One of the protagonists, Dick Kennedy, is very fond of (and very skilled at) hunting during the trip through Africa, and is very protective of his guns.
  • In Go Down, Moses by William Faulkner, Isaac Mc Caslin is one, and the novel itself is rife with hunting imagery.
  • The Great Gatsby: The version of Gatsby's Multiple-Choice Past that he personally tells Nick includes this, inducing a Narm attack:
    “After that I lived like a young rajah in all the capitals of Europe — Paris, Venice, Rome — collecting jewels, chiefly rubies, hunting big game, painting a little, things for myself only, and trying to forget something very sad that had happened to me long ago.”
    With an effort I managed to restrain my incredulous laughter. The very phrases were worn so threadbare that they evoked no image except that of a turbaned “character” leaking sawdust at every pore as he pursued a tiger through the Bois de Boulogne.
    • However, a minute later, Gatsby produces some evidence that other parts of his story are true, giving Nick what he later calls "one of those renewals of complete faith in him."
    Then it was all true. I saw the skins of tigers flaming in his palace on the Grand Canal; I saw him opening a chest of rubies to ease, with their crimson-lighted depths, the gnawings of his broken heart.
  • A comic version of this character is Colonel the Hon. George Hysteron-Proteron CB DL JP (1870 - 1942), the invention of the author J. K. Stanford.
  • In the Jurassic Park novel, Muldoon is actually consistently right, just constantly hamstrung by Hammond. He wanted multiple gas-powered jeeps, wanted to kill and dissect one of each kind of dinosaur so they could be made safe for the tourists - a reasonable request, considering the dilophosauri could spit acid, and requested a large amount of high-caliber weaponry. He got two gas-powered jeeps (the rest were electric), one of which Nedry stole, and was denied most of the weaponry that might have saved lives on the island because Hammond wouldn't allow him anything that might damage his precious dinos; he finally convinced Hammond to let him have a rocket launcher on standby by threatening to blow the whistle on worker deaths that had already taken place before the story even begins, which were covered up as industrial accidents. Luckily, he's a total badass anyway, and Hammond gets eaten by a bunch of Compys. Also, unlike in the film, he survives in the novel.
  • Lord John Roxton from The Lost World (1912).
  • Sanger Rainsford, the hunter who becomes General Zaroff's prey in "The Most Dangerous Game".
  • In The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, Sheppard says of Major Blunt that "He has shot more wild animals in unlikely places than any man living, I suppose." A gigantic animal head mounted on the wall of Ackroyd's house was a present from Blunt.
  • Denys Finch-Hatton in Out Of Africa.
  • Colin O'Connor, from The Palace Tiger, is a former professional tiger hunter turned conservationist; he says he now prefers to hunt with a camera rather than a gun. Edgar Troop plays it straight, though: he makes a considerable part of his living running big game hunts and considers hunting to be reason enough by itself.
  • Prince Roger Ramius Sergei Alexander Chiang MacClintock is initially looked down on by his Marine bodyguards for, among other things, living this trope as part of the general perception of him being a rich layabout and general waste of space. When they crash on the technologically primitive planet of Marduk, however, he quickly demonstrates that the experience has made him possibly the best equipped to survive the hostile planet because of his understanding of animal behaviour, survival skills, and that his aim with his old-fashioned slug-thrower rifle makes him the best sniper of all the humans.
  • Captain C.G. Biggar from the P. G. Wodehouse Jeeves and Wooster novel Ring for Jeeves. How he met Rosalinda, as her husband was killed by a lion on one of Captain Biggar's African expeditions.
  • Geoffrey Household's 1939 novel Rogue Male featured a white hunter going after Adolf Hitler. It was later filmed as Man Hunt in 1941 and Rogue Male in 1976.
  • Safari: Frank Henson. At the first village they come across, he decides that the best way to get the people to tell them where Oglethorpe went is to get them food. The next day, he goes out with his rifle and hunts some antelope. The peoples' tongues certainly to loosen after that.
  • Sandokan:
    • A few tiger hunts are shown. Sandokan, Tremal Naik and Kammamuri fail to qualify due not being white (even if Tremal Naik used to hunt tigers for a living), but we still have Lord Guillonk, Yanez (who will mock the tiger before shooting it if he deems it safe), Marianna, and others.
    • British officers are mentioned as hunting man-eating tigers in their free time.
  • The narrator of Saturnin has a reputation of being a courageous hunter and tamer of animals but only because of the fanciful stories Saturnin circulates about him. One time he is in all earnestness asked to go help and catch a lion that had escaped from the ZOO.
  • Subverted in Search for the Nile with sir Mortimer P. Quimby III. He is content merely to track down the animal and aim his rifle without actually shooting, solely for the satisfaction of outwitting the beast.
  • Colonel Sebastian Moran is an early villainous example from Sherlock Holmes. Prior to being The Dragon and chief assassin of Professor Moriarty, he was a soldier in the British Army in India, during which time he also became "the best heavy game shot that our Eastern Empire has ever produced," according to Holmes.
  • Deconstructed with Robert Wilson from Ernest Hemingway's The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber. His current clients are Mr and Mrs Macomber. During the story, they hunt lions and buffalo. He sees it as his duty to help Francis Macomber become a man. He's also a cold-hearted asshole who happily cheats with Mrs. Macomber, looks down on Francis for reacting with fear at a charging lion, and doesn't care when Francis is killed, even after he proved himself as a hunter. He even cruelly taunts his wife about it. Basically, the story shows that someone who dedicates their life to killing things for sport is pretty much The Sociopath.
  • Star Trek: Klingon Empire: Toq, of a sort. He was raised without Klingon values at first, so in a cultural sense he's overcompensating for not being raised as a Klingon, which makes him seem like a parodic exaggeration of a Klingon who enjoys hunting.
  • All cats like hunting, but Warrior Prince Fencewalker from Tailchaser's Song takes a special pleasure in hunting. The bigger and more extravagant the prey, the better. Fencewalker is also an adventerous prince who prefers to be out and about than sitting around in court all day.
  • Tarzan goes under cover as an American big game hunter in The Return of Tarzan.
  • Commander Trafford Bradshaw in the Thursday Next series.
  • Prepoc, the feline alien whose grave is the titular Urn Burial of Robert Westall's sci-fi novel, is described as glorying in the hunt and taking a savage joy in pursuing his quarry in battle; facing them honourably but not stupidly, and trying to take as many as possible down with a single shot. It's a holdover from the days before he was Fefethil war-leader and hunted game for food.
  • David Talbot in Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles is an old Brit who keeps fondly recalling his youth, much of which was spent in the jungles of India and South America as this trope. He would also often find local lovers (usually young men).
  • Village Tales: Highly trained head gamekeeper Will Sanger, nicknamed by the Duke as "Sanglier," the Wild Boar, and acknowledged to have been capable of scouting for Lovat or guiding for Lumsden.
  • In We Walk the Night, the way Tommy Rawhead manifests when Greg encounters him in the Hunting Grounds invokes this trope.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Spencer Dutton in Series/1923 is a played-with version of this trope. He hunts exotic animals, yes, but he is hired to kill animals that have been preying on people.
  • Badger: In "Predators", Harrington, the owner of a private collection of dangerous wild animals, reports that his animals - an iguana, a racoon, two wolves and a leopard - have all been released into the countryside. McCabe brings in a professional big-game hunter and, during their mutual pursuit of the animals, learns to respect the man's expertise.
  • Frank Buck from Bring 'Em Back Alive.
  • Dans Une Galaxie Près De Chez Vous: The Captain in one episode gets a bit too much into hunting a creature on the ship, dressing as such and covering himself in monster's female urine.
    Captain: You'll know that Charles Patenaude is the last of a bloodline of famous hunters. The Patenaude Of Michamekhwan. I won't sleep until I see your monster's fur in front of my bed.
  • John Riddell from the Doctor Who episode "Dinosaurs on a Spaceship".
  • Colonel Poom, the pith helmet in Lidsville. (Most of the characters are anthropomorphic hats).
  • John Locke from Lost.
  • Lord John Roxton in The Lost World (2001). In a twist on this trope, he actually seems to have the best understanding of the plateau's natives and how vital it is not to try to force English values on them. Likewise, the natives admire his hunting skills.
  • Parodied in the "mosquito hunting" sketch from Monty Python's Flying Circus.
  • Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom: Though they didn't actually kill any of the beasts, Marlin Perkins and (when Perkins got too old) Jim Fowler still went out into exotic settings and tracked and interacted with wild animals.
  • Parker Lewis Can't Lose: In "Future Shock", Principal Russo hires Great White Hunter Rex Huston to track down and retrieve Kube who is hiding in the ventilation system to avoid a vaccination.
  • Penny Dreadful: Sir Malcolm gains his fame from trekking and exploring through Africa, adorns his home with some of his game, and is a total badass with his sword cane and guns. Just, he isn't great — his dead son, who accompanied him to prove himself, begged him to name a mountain after him. After returning, he named the Murray Mountains in the Congo after himself. Oh, and he was also ankle-deep in blood the entire time, butchering and raping his way to his objective. But, everyone in society treats him as a great man and he is an upstanding member of the Explorer's Club.
  • River Monsters: Jeremy Wade is essentially a Technical Pacifist, fish-based version of the trope.
  • Lord John Roxton from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World.
  • The Terror: In the third episode Franklin sets up a trap for the Tuunbaq similar to those used in India for hunting tigers, and brings a camera to photograph the expected result. It does not end well. At all.
  • Character actor James Gammon portrayed Theodore Roosevelt this way in an episode of The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles set in Kenya in 1909. He kills dozens of rare animals in order to have them shipped back to America so that they can be displayed in museums, where ordinary people can come to be educated about them. Indiana eventually gets him to see the contradiction of someone who has such high regard for animals shooting so many of them.

  • Parodied into absurdity in "The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill", by The Beatles.
    The children asked him if to kill was not a sin,
    "Not when he looked so fierce" his mummy butted in,
    If looks could kill, it would have been us instead of him.
  • The singer/narrator of "Hunting Tigers Out in 'INDIAH'", a music hall song covered by The Bonzo Dog Band, is trying to be this, although the Bonzo Dog Band's version implies he's not quite as brave as he'd like to be.
  • "Where's The Dragon?" by Lordi is about one of these, who's lying through his teeth since he can't produce any of the trophies of the mythical monsters he killed.
  • Mentioned by name in Nightwish's "10th Man Down": "I alone, the great white hunter, I'll march till the dawn brings me rest"

    Newspaper Comics 
  • In Calvin and Hobbes, Calvin had a one-shot imaginary personality named Safari Al who was this trope. He got captured by a giant gorilla (his mom) inquiring why his room hadn't been cleaned.
  • Jungle Jim, who also appeared in radio, film, and television.

  • We don't actually see much of Roy's hunting career in The Monster Hunters, so while it's not exactly glorified, he's not demonised for it either. Unlike Lord Greg, who is more of an Egomaniac Hunter.
  • The Thrilling Adventure Hour: Parodied in "White Hunter, Drunk Heart", where Frank and Sadie are on a safari in Africa and apparently shooting anything that moves.


    Tabletop Games 
  • The standard enemy for Werewolves in Bleak World. The Guardians of Earth gain bonuses to their Inner Beast for killing them.
  • Most versions of Clue portray Colonel Mustard as this.
  • The Explorer's Society in Deadlands even lets player characters become Great White Hunters. Of course, our heroic PCs can do this in good conscience because the "great whites" in question almost always have a taste for human flesh ("but what doesn't these days?").
  • Disney Villains Victorious: All members of the Elite Global Huntsmans Club, a group of hunters that claimed Australia as theirs (although they often make use of Charles Muntz's palatial zeppelin as a mobile base) and include Gaston, Clayton, Cruella, and the club's leader, McLeach. In truth, most of them are closer to being Egomaniac Hunters (or Evil Poachers).
  • One of the most common and balanced player character archetypes in Hollow Earth Expedition is this. To the point one is made to explain char-gen rules.
  • Even though they're another society in a whole culture of hunters, the Bear Lodge of Hunter: The Vigil is probably the Compact most closely matching this trope. Why? Because they tend to hunt werewolves.
  • Quite a common site on Venus in Rocket Age, where trophy hunters come seeking the heads of dinosaurs and the shells of gigantic jungle tortoises.
  • Space 1889 in Steppelords of Mars the players meet a character who is aspiring to this and wants to bag a big predator. Big game hunter is also a career available in character generation.
    • With its dinosaurs, Venus is noted in-universe to be a very popular destination for big game hunters.
  • Werewolf: The Forsaken: Mean werewolves too-an Urathra who can prove he hasn't killed a human being (which is rare, given their genetically-mandated job, but it happens) is often let go, since the Lodge recognizes that werewolves are sapient beings too-just very angry, very scary ones.

    Video Games 
  • Franklin Payne, one of the possible party members in Arcanum: Of Steamworks & Magick Obscura. He joins your quest to save the world not out of goodness, self-preservation or for the related glory, but solely because you are going to visit a jungle-covered island and he always wanted to go for a safari there. Also, while appearing to be a bad case of Miles Gloriosus, he's even more deadly than the stories claim.
  • Major Gunn in BeTrapped!, or at least he's dressed this way. Most likely a Shout-Out to Colonel Mustard, with at least a passing resemblance to Theodore Roosevelt.
  • Sir Hammerlock in Borderlands 2, a Gentleman Adventurer who is equal parts hunter, scholar, and gentleman. He doesn't go out in the field much anymore, mostly because he literally lost An Arm and a Leg to a thresher. His ex-boyfriend Taggart also tried to be this, but mainly just punched stalkers in the face until he got killed. He's even involved in his own DLC (titled Sir Hammerlock's Big Game Hunt), where he invites the player to Pandora's equivalent of Darkest Africa for a safari trip. In contrast, his sister Aurelia is an Egomaniac Hunter who hunts primarily because she's a bored Rich Bitch looking for cheap thrills, especially if it lets her antagonize her brother.
  • In Champion Of The Raj, an obscure game set in early 1800s India, one way the player can win an alliance with local lords is by going tiger hunting with them. Two of the possible players are the British and French East India Company representatives.
  • Crusader Kings II: The Hunting focus of Way of Life represents your character aspiring to be this, with multiple event chains representing what can happen to them in their pursuit of worthy prey.
  • Curious Expedition:
    • Frederick Courtney Selous. The real life one was the Trope Maker. In game, he starts with a powerful hunting rifle and equally powerful Jungle Explorer perk, while his party already has a cook, allowing him to turn all the hunted game into tasty steaks.
    • To a lesser extent, the leader of every expedition that relies on hunting will inevitably turn into one.
  • Lord General Castor from Dawn of War II: Retribution definitely has the personality of one, and collects the heads of Tyranids he killed over the course of his career.
  • Warbucks from Don't Starve looks and dresses the part. That said, none of his perks relate to animal hunting at all.
  • Bonus Henchmen Col. Blackheart from Evil Genius. Complete with a bear trap and a pet monkey.
  • In Evolve, Griffin Hallsey. He fulfills the older version of the trope, but for good reason. He, as an experienced and skilled hunter, hunts various deadly wildlife on many planets so that other, less skilled individuals know what to do against those creatures. that said, he does it at least partially for the sport and occasionally as a fundraiser for various expeditions.
  • Knights of the Old Republic brings you into contact with a Great Twi'lek Hunter during your stay on Tatooine, a man who's hunting a krayt dragon. After killing it by luring it into a minefield, he mentions to the Player Character that he regrets denying the dragon a final battle.
  • In Star Wars: The Old Republic, the Consular's first companion is a Trandoshan named Qyzen Fess. Hunting is a religious rite among his people with their goddess keeping score of a hunter's lifetime kills. (After the Consular defeats an enemy who managed to get the drop on him, he sees them as an avatar or "herald" of his goddess) Sentient or non-sentient matters little, though Qyzen prefers the latter. (They are bitter rivals to the Wookiees, however, and killing a Wookiee is a lot of "points." Qyzen even gifts the Consular with the pelt of a particularly difficult to kill Wookiee). Before deciding to go on his sacred hunt, he used to be a Bounty Hunter. A character comments that if he enjoyed hunting criminals as much as he liked hunting hostile wildlife, he'd be a household name. In the Knights of the Fallen Empire arc, a non-Consular Outlander can only get him to sign on with their team if they prove themselves by taking out several world bosses.
  • The Sniper from Team Fortress 2 is meant to be a version of this, except that he hunts people instead of animals.
    • According to his character background, he actually used to be this trope in the Australian outback.
    • Saxton Hale's favorite pastime is wrestling big game to death and bringing them back home as trophies. True to the trope, seeing animals live miserable lives in zoos instead of being killed by humans as God intended just breaks his heart.
  • Captain Ash from TimeSplitters.
  • The player character of the 1980 Sega game Tranquilizer Gun (which was also released for the SG-1000 as Safari Hunting).
  • Video Game/Abandoned Children: Giselle Wallenstein is a scion of nobility whose default weapon is her grandfather's hunting rifle, and who specializes in dealing with dangerous animals.
  • Played straight in World of Warcraft with Hemet Nesingwary, an anagram of Ernest Hemingway, who repeatedly asks you to hunt countless animals. He is hated by players for his tedious quests (which are less "hunting" than "ecological disaster") and the whole thing is hilariously subverted in the fact that he's opposed personally by a faction of druids.note  However by the time of Wrath of the Lich King his actions are a lot more tolerable.

    Web Original 
  • Christopher Marlowe from The Ningyo used to be one, but gave it up after he killed an Okapi.
  • Parodied with Lord Cockswain, the Steampunk Upper-Class Twit created by Weta Workshop. On his hunting trip to Venus he blasts everything in sight with his arsenal of death rays regardless of how rare or nonthreatening the creatures are, then mounts their heads on his wall, including his Native Guide. See also Lord Broadforce in this video from Media Design School set in the same universe.
  • RWBY: Professor Peter Port, Beacon Academy's professor of Grimm Studies, evokes this with his character design and mannerisms, though rather than exotic animals he hunted the Creatures Of Grimm. He's semi-retired by the time the audience meets him and spends most of his time telling grandiose stories to his students about the monsters he's fought, and occasionally dolling out some pretty good life advice, but when the chips are down, he can and will prove that that blunderbuss on his wall isn't just for show.

    Western Animation 
  • The Beatles go on a three-week African safari holiday with great white hunter Alan Watermain in the episode "I'll Get You."
  • In Beware the Batman, Paul Kirk posed as one publicly to cover up his activities as the government spy Manhunter.
  • Captain Planet and the Planeteers: In one episode, Hoggish Greedly captured animals for clients who wanted to experience hunting without the dangers real hunters face. A real hunter opposed him.
  • Colonel Pot Shot from Chilly Willy. He has a vast collection of stuffed animals, each a trophy from a previous hunting expedition.
  • Haunter the ghost of a stereotypical British safari hunter is one of the enemies of the Filmation's Ghostbusters.
  • The Legend of Tarzan: Theodore Roosevelt, just like in Real Life. He almost shoots Tantor, but is quick to apologize when he learns that the elephant is Tarzan's friend, and he emphasizes that he hunts for science, not for sport. When Tarzan calls him on it, he explains that most humans can't just walk up and talk to animals like Tarzan does, they have to study everything the hard way. When Tarzan asks why they can't just do that, it inspires Roosevelt to create the National Park system in the U.S. While it's not quite the level of nature harmony Tarzan lived in, it did create sanctuaries for wildlife and allowed countless tourists to see them in their natural habitat.
  • Wildly subverted by Commander McBragg from Tennessee Tuxedo and His Tales. As his name suggests, he was very sure of his skills and conquests, but they didn't always play out as nicely as he described them.


Video Example(s):



Robert Shaw's character Sam Quint in Jaws. He's a Great White Hunter who hunts great white sharks. But he's also haunted by his past experiences with sharks, and has become a merciless shark-hater and borderline psychotic, not unlike Captain Ahab in Moby-Dick.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / GreatWhiteHunter

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