This really is much ado about nothing. People really know how to focus their energies in the least beneficial places of an issue. If you really want to save birds, go after to folks who are responsible for thousands of animal deaths a year, not one.

We kill millions of birds a year for sport in the U.S. You can go to thousands of hunt clubs, order the number of pheasants, quail, grouses, or whatever you desire, and enter the killing field for a day of sport hunting.

kenneth Hodgson

I wish I could have 5 minutes with a golf club in a locked room with this excuse for a man,he too would have blood coming out of his nostrils.This piece of garbage should be banned from all golf courses for life.


While I never think that it's okay to kill something for fun, I think it's interesting how we change our reactions based on the situation. This hawk may be protected at all times, but I'm sure there would be uproar if this had been a deer on the course, or even a more common bird. At the same time, we wouldn't see it as much of a problem if he shot all sorts of animals in a hunting vest. We even consent to having our vice president's staffers bring hundreds of birds in cages into the forest so that the vice president can release them and shoot them.

Matt K.

Gee, Lee, I coulda read this without all of these clothes on?

Besides, to me 2 mil is a lot. Of the top of my head, I can think of a few things I could do with 2 mil. (You know, go to a good college, have a nice comfortable life without having to worry about finances too much, et cetera.) I mean, more than that would be excellent, but if offered 2 mil, I definitely wouldn't turn it down.

Denise Pace

Just goes to show you another idiot with more money than brains.


This senseless act appears to have flown right over the head of this lame duck, golf wannabe. The only thing he regrets, is he didn't nail it from 300 yards and has to explain to his buddies the 75 yards off the girls tee.

This is exactly the image the PGA Tour is looking for. Lame Duck hits Birdie from 75 yards! You can see it on YouBoob!!

Let's hope those with better sense will send a message to this idiot, that his behavior does not reflect integrity in any sport, much less golf.

If there ever was a time to make an example of, this rises to the top of the list. One can only hope this guy has trouble getting anyone to let him carry their bags, much play their course.

Oliver Townshend

Why is this a Freakonomics post? Am I missing something?


To all who are posting using the argument of this man's wealth and status as pro golfer as reason to define him negatively or to advocate a stronger punishment...

He has a CAREER total of less than 2 million dollars. His career started in 1990. Since everyone here is soooo smart someone do some division for me.

And to get one step ahead of you, if you think 100k a year makes you rich then the reason you are not rich is that you are stupid. Pro golfer means he
is paid to play golf in some capacity. This Pro status does not mean he is Tiger Woods.

The internet, the wonderful place where you can sit in your underwear and shamelessly slander people on a misinformed assumption.


Jail time, a fine would be nothing to him.


if he doesn't get fired (or they do to stop pro golfers from being pros)/jailed/lose contracts ("Vicked") then i'm going to have a problem with this.

Van B.

I would like to know if, after killing the bird, the taping of the show continued.

David Damore

Obviously very poor judgment.
Google News has about 640 links for "Tripp Isenhour".

How much play do you think this story will get?

What will be the fall out?


Yes, there are bigger tragedies out there, but this fool needs to be fined.

G. Sears

While I love this blog, this news item has been out there since yesterday afternoon--and I don't think this blog is trying to be a news service. Now, a piece on why perfectly normal people sometimes do stupid things (a "Perfectly Irrational" subject, or on the issue of why bystanders didn't intervene, would be interesting and relevant.

Murray H.

I agree with Mr. Markarian... (see quote below) and I think those who choose to joke about it perhaps should be hit in the head with a solidly hit golf ball to know how it feels... and then see if they think it funny.

Humane Society executive vice president Michael Markarian said Isenhour should face charges.

"Americans have no tolerance for cruelty to animals. Such a petty, mean-spirited act against a wild bird is inexcusable and prosecutors are right to hold Isenhour accountable to the law," he said in a statement released Thursday


"I didn't mean to kill it..." Right.

Just another self-absorbed idiot who has no respect for anything.


I'm a libertairian. And I'm certainly not a tree hugger or PETA activist. Still, it seems cruel.

I say he should have to pay a fine. A significant fine. He's a pro golfer, though. This is chump change to him I'm sure.


Good gravy people this was a bird. Does this really deserve this much press re say Israel seminary where people were killed.


Well said Mike. Though I don't condone senseless behavior like that, lets focus our energies on real tragedies.

Will Penman

While I highly doubt that he was "extremely upset and continue to be upset" at hitting the hawk (my reaction would be "Got him!"), I also doubt that you could really call it a "petty, mean-spirited" act. Some people just get their feathers ruffled over nothing, in a manner of speaking.