Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
Since I have started hunting I have met some amazing people. I have always said that we are a tight-knit group who look out for each other. You can be in a restaurant, shopping or just out in the community with your camo during hunting season and chances are someone else, in the same attire, will ask how your morning/evening or season is going. Social media has been a wonderful place for us to “gather” and share our successes, our disappointments, stories and pictures. But, recently I have been seeing things that have left me with a heavy heart.
Because our passion is now so openly shared through social media, we are under constant attack by those who view our sport in a different light. This, unfortunately, is not what is bothering me. What has me upset is that HUNTERS are judging HUNTERS. We need to support each other, encourage each other, and hold each other up in the eyes of the public. We may not all have the same views on what constitutes a trophy, but we can respect each other’s choices. I’ve seen a man criticized by other hunters for posting a picture of a wolf, a female hunter belittled for shooting a deer someone else deemed “too young”, and now this poor 11 year old is under attack from all sides for shooting an albino buck (albino or not that was an awesome buck)!
I personally hunt to provide food for my family, and a trophy for me is anything that can provide a meal. Yes, I do have mounted critters on the wall, but that was because my husband, step-daughter, and I were all blessed to have that particular beauty of an animal offer a clean, ethical shot. I will also hunt predators of the animals that I pursue; the reason for this is conservation. I know in my particular area it seems as if the coyote population is increasing and the turkey population is decreasing. I personally don’t hunt squirrel or rabbit, simple because they don’t appeal to my tastes. We each have our own reasons for hunting or not hunting particular game. It is not our right to chastise another hunter for having slightly different views than our own. In the end, we are all in this for the same primal reasons.
Share each other’s successes, and help build each other up when a hunt doesn’t have the ending we all want; we’ve all missed or made shots we weren’t 100% confident about. And, basically if you feel that you completely disagree with what you are seeing scroll on past. The anti-world does not need any more ammunition against us. We do all that we do to help conserve this lifestyle we love so that the little ones we love can also enjoy it in the future. Simply put, let’s just get along so we can stand as one when/if the time comes to keep our way of life a reality for the future generations.
I’m proud to call myself a hunter and happily share in the successes of other hunters. We owe it not only to future hunters, but those who worked before us to support each other and do what is necessary to keep our sport alive.