Making Hunting Great Again
In 2016 when Donald Trump began his successful campaign to the White House, the slogan “Make America Great Again” became a household catchphrase. Around the same time frame, a social media account “Making Hunting Great Again” arose from the shadows like ‘The Dark Knight.’ Exposing the issues on social media and the outdoor industry as a whole, the account does a great job of putting focus on conservation instead of sponsorships and discount codes on teeth whiteners and coolers.
The inner turmoil and constant infighting among hunters on social media is egregious. I ask you all—what has the world of hunting come to? Here is what I notice daily on social media:
- Distasteful Images—We need to stop doing dumb stuff with animals we harvest. I have seen some incredibly distasteful and ignorant pictures on social media recently. It disrespects the animal, the hunt, and responsible outdoorsmen everywhere. Take a photo to commemorate the hunt, but avoid gore, blood, or a pose where you are holding a deer up to your face like you are prepared to kiss it (yes, this exists).
- Inner Turmoil—“I would have given him another year.” If I had a dollar for every time I saw this comment on a Facebook group posts of nice buck I would not be writing this article. Why do other hunters have the seemingly constant need to belittle or slam others for their harvests?
It honestly is getting to the point where if I post something in a “Deer Hunting” group or forum, or the like, and say the sky is blue, there will be fifteen people saying it is aqua. I am a firm believer we will bring ourselves down before anti-hunters or anyone else does. Most of us are on the same team, so let’s start acting like it.
- Sects—Another issue I have noticed, going along with inner turmoil, is the development of sects in the hunting community. Diversity is great, but these sects have become tumultuous and are pitted against each other. Crossbow hunters vs compound hunters is a major one that always turns nasty. Same with bow only folks and rifle hunters for deer. Folks who shoot “every legal deer they can” and those who manage for mature whitetails is another. “You can’t eat the antlers,” says the latter, and it turns into an argument. Again, we are all on the same team. If a hunter is legally hunting how they like, why try and prove your method is better? Just be happy they are hunting.
- The Fringe Group—With the rise of social media, a group of fringe people have emerged from the woodwork to get sponsorships and followers. These folks are doing it all for the wrong reasons, and generally do not respect the hunt/hunting community and what we stand for. “Fake” hunters are constantly trying to be important in the hunting community. You can spot them from a mile away, and it is time we draw a line of what should be tolerated.
These issues are serious and need to be addressed from within the hunting community. Hunting numbers are down nationwide, and if we do not start looking in the mirror we may continue to decline and become a very small portion of the population. That is something I never want to see.