Anti-Hunters Ridicule The Putman Family Over Bear Hunting Photos
OutdoorHub Reporters 10.23.19
A series of photos posted to Facebook by reality TV family, The Putmans, triggered controversy after 10-year-old Abby Putman harvested her first ever black bear at the family’s cabin in northern Michigan.
We’ve heard similar stories like this before, perhaps you even have your own personal accounts of defending yourself against anti-hunters. Either way, dealing with adverse responses to hunting is (unfortunately) becoming part of the pursuit with today’s society.
Despite the countless conservation efforts put in place by hunters themselves.
In case you aren’t familiar, the Putmans are a multi-generational Michigan family of 25 who all live under one roof. The family currently lives along the shores of Lake Huron in Caseville Township, and are the focus of a reality TV show hosted on TLC. The show is appropriately called, “Meet the Putmans,” and first aired in September 2017.
Bear Hunting Controversy
“This morning at 8:22 Abby was blessed with her first bear at our cabin,” the post reads, followed by photos showing Abby posing with her family while they cherish the animal, and celebrate the accomplishment of Abby providing for her family.
“We are firm believers in harvesting animals to feed not only our family but other people that need the meat,” Abby’s father Billy Putman said. “We don’t love to hunt ONLY because there’s a thrill in the hunt but more so because we are doing it with each other.”
And if you’ve watched any of the family’s television show, you known the Putmans do EVERYTHING together.
The post goes on to explain how Abby’s grandmother (Neenee) was the one who pulled the bear tag, but wound up transferring it to Abby after she won a fierce shooting competition against her other siblings. During an interview on The Green Way Outdoors Podcast, Billy explains how he carefully set up the competition to mimic the most likely shooting scenario that would be presented from the family’s bear blind in order to prepare the eventual winner for the big moment.
As it turned out, Abby demonstrated the ability to execute the shot under pressure, and found herself on deck to try and harvest her first Michigan black bear.
With her dad sitting in the blind next to her, Abby kept her composure when a large bear moseyed into the bait pile and kneeled down to eat some of the scraps the family previously put out. In the meantime, Abby proceeded to raise her gun up and located the bear in her scope. Billy leaned over and whispered in her ear “as soon as it stands up and you feel like you have a good shot, go ahead and take it.” A few seconds went by and the bear started to stand up. Abby took a deep breath, exhaled slightly and squeezed the trigger. The bear tipped over within ten yards. A perfect shot!
After waiting a few moments to confirm the bear was expired, Abby and her father made their way out of the blind. Upon walking up to the bear, the dad/daughter duo took a knee and prayed – something the entire family does anytime they harvest an animal.
Once they finished praying, Abby and Billy quickly made a phone call to the family back at home to tell them they got a bear, and then hurried back to the cabin to tell the family waiting there. They waited for the rest of the family to drive up (a couple hours away) to share in the fun of retrieving the bear. Not an easy wait for Abby!
Like we previously stated, facing backlash for hunting is becoming more and more prevalent today, and it’s not a high priority to go outdoors and teach our children these valuable life skills of hunting and the safe handling of firearms.
Since Abby’s hunt, the Putmans have shared her success story on social media and have had over a million views which have led to horribly disgusting comments and even death threats.
“People all over the world are defending these animals like they are humans and think we are horrible people for ‘murdering’ an animal,” Billy said. “We as a hunting community need to stand up and not let good be spoken of as evil,” he continued.
“The point we want to make today is that introducing our young kids to the outdoors is so important in today’s world. We have strayed away from it. We have stopped making it a priority. So let this be a charge to get outdoors! Teach kids how to survive in life. Teach them how to provide for their family using the land. Give them time and attention. You will be blessed for it. Give your children a sense of pride for working toward a goal and accomplishing it. We know the sense of pride that Abby got out of this was great, but even more so all the lessons she has learned through hunting were even greater! We are blessed!”
Check out the video below from The Green Way Outdoors podcast to hear more details behind this situation, and then listen as they respond to some of the comments under the Putmans Facebook post: