By Aaron Sharp
The uproar over an American TV host who bragged about killing a defenceless lion before posing for a picture with its corpse may have persuaded many big game hunters to keep their heads down.
But these bloodthirsty beauty queens have come out in support of the practice which was cast into the spotlight by Melissa Bachman, drawing new attention to the popularity of hunting among women.
Olivia Nalos Opre, 36, and mother-of-two Mindy Arthurs, 39, have shot more than 70 species - including lion, rhino and bears.
But despite receiving hoards of hate mail accusing them of being self-gratifying killers, the pair describe themselves as true 'animal lovers' and say their kills help conservation.
Arthurs, from Arizona, said: 'You can be a hunter an a conservationist at the same time. People think you're just killing stuff but if you don't manage a herd then the whole of the herd will die.
'We are taking care of the big picture. I feel the general public doesn't realise that.'
The brunette has been hunting since 2008 and opened her account by killing a black bear with one shot.
She said she felt 'on fire' and instantly knew she wanted hunting to be part of her life and that of her two sons, Alec, 14, and Owen 11.
Arthurs uses both a rifle and a bow-and-arrow to take down game throughout the USA but prefers to use a bow as it is more 'intimate'.
She added: 'I enjoy the challenge. I enjoy knowing the prize I'm going after is out there and the excitement that goes along with pursuing it.
'You feel so much respect when you walk up on an animal you have taken. You feel a connection to the animal, a very strong connection.' More....