I'm not sure exactly what you have in mind with the word "legitimate" but there's no moral difference in hunting any kind of animal over another.
The moral question is in destruction of species. So long as there's balance, any animal is huntable.
Guerilla, snow leopards, tigers, chimpanzee, rattle snakes, Dodo birds, passenger pigeons... take your pick.
The trouble is with extermination, not hunting.
Still happily answering to the call-sign Peetza.
The problem, as you so eloquently put it, is choice.
He is no fool who gives what he can not keep to gain what he can not lose.
-Jim Eliott, paraphrasing Philip Henry.