by Kari Singleton
Well, here we go again. Yes, I’m talking about all the shaming that goes on among hunters. In my last article, “Deer Shaming: Let’s End the Hate”, I was true to the title. I focused primarily on shaming hunters on the size, age, or type of deer. This unfortunately has become an everyday occurrence during deer season. You can’t get on social media without seeing one hunter trashing another one over their deer kill. I wish that was where the controversy and shaming ended, but sadly, it’s not.
It seems many hunters have developed a bit of a superiority complex. And, as much as I hate to say it, the majority of those suffering from this epidemic are bow hunters. More specifically, they are compound bow hunters. So, why do I hate to admit this? Simple. I am primarily a bow hunter; it is my greatest passion. Yes, I love bow hunting, but that is my choice. Does this mean everyone else who wants to go deer hunting has to use a bow? Absolutely not!I have seen more and more posts on Facebook in the past several weeks that are just flat out degrading gun hunters, insinuating that they are somehow inferior. Well I’m here to tell you, that it is simply not true! One person had the audacity to say that gun hunting is not hunting at all, that it is just killing. Apparently this man has not done much gun hunting in his life, or maybe he happens to be lucky enough to live someplace where the deer are suicidal. Perhaps they come running out in front of him waving their “I Surrender” flags. I don’t know; because I can tell you where I come from, it’s just not that easy. And, I’m guessing it’s not that easy for a lot of hunters; otherwise, we wouldn’t see so many posts about eating tag soup or hunters having no luck during gun season.
There was another post I had seen about the orange army coming. The post itself was a knock on gun hunters. I couldn’t remember the exact wording on the post, so I went back the next morning to get a picture of the post and some of the comments. However, the person who made the post had taken it down. There was one comment, though, that had stuck out in my head. It was in reference to the orange army coming, and it said, “They are coming to destroy everything we have worked so hard to protect”. This got me to thinking, what exactly is it they are coming to destroy? Is it the fact that they might shoot the big buck you have put so much time and effort into? Is it that they might shoot a small buck that you disapprove of? What is it that solely belongs to the bow hunter that gun hunters have no right to? For the life of me, I can’t figure it out.
Now don’t get me wrong. I personally know that there is a difference in the skill set it takes to kill a deer with a bow compared to that of taking one with a gun. And, let’s just go ahead and get this one out there, too; yes, the same can be said when comparing a compound bow to a crossbow, as well. That is another very common controversy among hunters. But again, the point being, compound bow hunters are not superior to any other hunter out there. Period!
The compound bow is without a doubt my personal favorite. But, I confess, I also hunt with a crossbow, a shotgun, and a muzzleloader. Does this make me less of a hunter? Or, is a deer I kill less valuable or satisfying to me because I got it with a shotgun instead of with my compound bow? No. I will still feel the adrenaline rush that comes from taking such a magnificent animal. I will still take pride in my harvest. It will taste just as good when served at my dinner table. And, I will not allow myself to be shamed by those hunters out there who feel they are superior to all others.
The weapon a hunter chooses is a personal choice. There is a reason for their decision. Maybe they just like shooting guns. Maybe they don’t have the money to go out and buy a compound bow. Perhaps they are working long hours or multiple jobs to support their family. They could be a single parent who doesn’t have the time to commit to hunting all season. Maybe they desperately need the meat to feed their children. Perhaps they have a health problem that prevents them from being able to use a compound bow. Whatever their reason, it doesn’t really matter. Quite frankly, it is nobody’s business but theirs.
Remember, it is not our place to judge or criticize. It is our job to share the passion and to pass on the traditions of hunting. We need to stand together and support one another. We, as hunters, have enough hate groups trying to tear us down; we don’t need to do it to each other. I know some of you will say that some people have no business being out in the woods with a gun, and that’s true. But, the same can said about some of the bow hunters.
It’s time for some people to get off of their high horses. This superiority complex is quickly becoming an epidemic. No, it’s not there yet. But, if we don’t change our mindset and our attitudes it could lead to the downfall of the hunting industry. Not one of us is any better than the other. As long as a hunter is ethical, it does not matter what size of deer they take or what type of weapon they use to do it. Everyone has a story and a reason. So, just remember these words before you bash or shame another hunter, “Sometimes it truly is better to say nothing at all”.
I know there are a lot of you out there who are going to disagree with me. And, that’s okay. I am always happy to listen to your point of view. Feel free to leave any comments below, or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.