The outdoor community as a whole, whether hunting or fishing, is under attack. It seems as though for every wildlife organization in place, there are two anti-hunting groups (of a sort) to compete with it. Though it may seem easy to lash out at those who comment hateful things about your sport, whatever it may be, it is NOT worth it. Instead, reflect on yourself and the image you display to the rest of the world. Here are some simple things to keep in mind when you post hunting traditions on social media to help display and advocate for respectful outdoor practices.
How to Engage on Social Media
Photos with dead game: How did you position the animal? Believe it or not, there is a way to set up the animal which shows both respect for the kill and sensitivity to others while also keeping it PG for viewers. No one wants to see a tongue hanging out of a bloody mouth, or an excessive amount of gore to begin with. Clean it up well, set it up nice, and for goodness sakes, stop taking photos in vulgar poses with your animal.
The caption and comments: I am fortunate enough to have a “following” that has not yet attacked me in any way for being an outdoorsman. However, I see comments quite often on other people’s posts labeling them a “murderer” or that they should have been “the one being shot at.” I have also seen a few different responses:
- The author of the post takes a highly defensive angle to be equally as rude back or
- They elaborate on why they do what they do and how it will all be put to use as food/clothing or that no suffering was involved.
The post itself: I feel as though this point is a given. If it is not legal/ethical (in the outdoor community) don’t post it at all. You may have gotten an awesome action shot of a kill or chase, or maybe a video of one, but that doesn’t mean the world needs to see it. Some things are better left private for personal use and memories. Any form of wildlife harassment is not ok, and many people prefer not to see anything that could be related to it.
As a community of outdoorsmen, we need to look out for one another. We need to uphold the values of what it means to be a provider and an ethical hunter or angler and hold one another accountable for what we post on social media, as well as how we behave in our pursuit.
Our traditions are examined under a microscope by those who do not understand our way of life. We need to do everything possible to protect it, no matter how small.
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