Deer shaming. No, it’s not a new thing. Sadly it has been going on forever; it’s just far more noticeable these days, thanks to social media. And, I say deer shaming, not just buck shaming, because I’m seeing more and more people criticizing the size of does taken. We may not all agree on the size or age of a deer taken, but as long as it was taken legally and ethically, we have no right to criticize or shame anyone.
Of course, the biggest issue is over the size of a buck’s antlers. This has long been a controversy. And, again we are not ever all going to agree on what is big enough. Here’s the thing, we don’t have to agree. But, we also don’t have to shame the hunter we don’t agree with. So, somebody shot a small 6 pointer or a button buck, and they are super excited about it. They are proud. Then someone comes along and sees their post on social media. This hunter become angry about the size of the rack, and they feel the need to make a comment. They feel the need to criticize and shame this proud hunter. Well, guess what? Everybody is not out to get a booner. People hunt for different reasons. Some are trophy hunters, some are meat hunters, and some are new to the sport, while others have been trying for some time with no luck and are just excited to get anything. It doesn’t matter the reason; it is not our place to judge.
So, instead of shaming another hunter when you disagree, why not just move on? Nobody has the right to call another hunter names or degrade them for their choices! If you cannot be happy for the hunter that has taken a deer you disagree with, then just scroll on. There is no law that says you need to voice your harsh opinion. It is not wanted or needed. Hunters get enough criticism from groups such as PETA and other animal rights activists. We should not be bashing on each other.
Have you ever been bullied, criticized, or degraded by someone else? If so, how did it feel? Not good, huh? If you haven’t ever experienced any of these things, that’s great. I personally have received hate messages from PETA members and other individuals. Unfortunately, those come as no surprise. But, to receive something like that from another hunter would be a little harder to take, and truthfully, just flat out unacceptable!
We need to learn to support one another. And, fortunately for the most part, I feel like the majority of hunters do. But, there has to be those few who feel superior. The ones who can’t bite their tongues; the ones that just have to say something. The name callers. The shamers. The haters. These are the ones who end up looking bad. Do they seriously think this type of behavior makes them look good? Or that other hunters will see them in the same superior light that they see themselves in? Well, if they do, they are mistaken. If anything, I believe this sets other hunters off and we end up banding together even more to congratulate the hunter that is being criticized.
It’s time to stop the hate! I have often considered turning the tables on the shamer and calling them names or criticizing them. But, would that really solve anything? And, secondly, would it even make a difference? Chances are, the shamer would only become more angry and critical, and it would most likely lead to even more degrading and inappropriate remarks made on someone else’s post. So instead, I just make sure I give a big congratulations to the hunter who is being shamed. After all, it has been proven time and time again that more hate does not end hate.
So, how do we put a stop to the shaming? Sadly, I don’t think there is any way to ever end it. All we can do is band together to support any hunter that we know is being shamed. Sure, we can call out the shamer, but it has to be done in the right way. Maybe we just start unfriending and blocking these types of hunters. They like attention and typically enjoy a fight, so let’s not give it to them. And, if you see a picture of a deer that was harvested that you don’t agree with, just scroll on. Remember, the only thing that matters is that the deer was taken legally and ethically, and that the hunter who took it is happy with it. So what if it doesn’t meet your standards. Nobody cares. Just move on. Sometimes it really is best to say nothing at all.
Alright, to wrap it up, I want to know what you think. How do you handle hunting bullies? Do you think we should call them out? Or do we just let it go and show our support to the one being shamed? Comment below or feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.