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Read & React: Anti-Hunters Cause Outrage Over Melissa Bachman’s Lion Photo

by PH Online Editors   |  November 18th, 2013 25

If anyone has earned a reputation for drawing the rage of the anti-hunting fanatics on the Internet, it’s Melissa Bachman.

Call it a gift—or a curse—but Bachman has a innate ability for pissing off PETA people. She was kicked off a National Geographic TV show last year after petitions were filed by the anti-hunting masses that threatened, slammed and ridiculed her for being a hunter, and now she’s enraged that same community by posting a picture to Twitter of a lion she killed in Africa.

Along with the picture, Bachman tweeted, “An incredible day hunting in South Africa! Stalked inside 60-yards on this beautiful male lion…what a hunt!”

Bachman, also a TV host, actually posted the picture a few weeks ago, but it was only in the last few days that the anti-hunting trolls caught wind of her African safari and started spewing venom. As a result, Bachman had to shut down her Twitter feed, though her Facebook page remains for now.

There’s also a petition circulating on Change.org asking the government of South Africa to ban Bachman from ever entering the country again to hunt. As of Nov. 18, the petition has over 100,000 signatures.

The typical social media drivel continues to pour forth, as anti-hunters post comments like this:

As always, social media feeds are full of hypocritical one-liners and derogatory female slurs about murdering or doing harm to Bachman, while mainstream news outlets are all too quick to help wag a disapproving finger. Good Morning America ran a segment on the Bachman ordeal Sunday, saying that Bachman has been “caught in the crosshairs” after “posing for smiling photos with the animals she just killed.” You could almost hear the hosts’ excitement as they tried to maintain a facade of objectivity.

What hasn’t really been reported by most news outlets is the positive support shown to Bachman and the Maroi Conservancy, which hosted the hunt about a month ago. On the Maroi Conservancy’s Facebook page, the group acknowledged the high volume of hate mail it has received, but was outspoken about it’s mission to promote “conservation through sustainable hunting.”

“We do ethical hunting and all meat from animals hunted is [distributed] to the local community,” the group wrote. “We are not apologising for facilitating [Bachman's lion] hunt. As for all the negative commentary towards us, please consider how much you have contributed to conservation in the past 5 years. If you are not a game farmer and struggling with dying, starving animals, poaching and no fences in place to protect your animals and crop, please refrain from making negative degoratory comments. It is so easy to judge if you are staying in cities and towns, buying your meat at [markets].

It is a fact, that due to the hunting industry and money generated out of this industry, there are more animals in South Africa than 100 years ago. Any journalists are welcome to contact us to clarify facts.”

There’s also a Facebook page that exists to show support to Bachman, who has continually been harassed by anti-hunters. On the page there’s a photo of Bachman’s lion that has more than 650 comments, many of which are positive (there are also more death threats).

It’s yet to be seen what the full impact of this latest outrage will be, but it’s a constant reminder that our hunting heritage has to be protected, articulated and passed on to coming generations. There’s a part of the world which would have it otherwise, and that constituent wages a constant campaign of misinformation to vilify hunters and our heritage. We can’t just sit idly by, and we can’t just wait for incidents like this to respond from a defensive position.

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  • Go Away, Melissa

    Melissa Bachman gives hunters a bad name. She only hunts to generate revenue for herself and to get her ugly mug plastered on these hunting/bowhunting blogs and magazines.
    I hunt, I fish, and she’s trash.

    • rmichael_08

      And you know this how? You go hunting with Melissa? You document everything she does with her kills? You are a know-it-all? You’re a genuine hunter? Answer to all the above – absolutely not! I guarantee if you were a genuine hunter, you would appreciate people like Melissa who don’t let their kill go to waste. Hunts to generate revenue? You’re that special kind of stupid, aren’t you.

      • rmichael_08

        Wow, lots of class there. Not! I guess expecting an actual conversation from some people is too much to ask. You disagree with my opinion? Fine. That’s your choice. But to act like an idiot about it just points out that you’re an incompetent fool. Moron!

  • Sally

    A further reading of the Maroi Conservancy’s own press includes the following: “There are no lions on Maroi as they do not occur here naturally. We
    contacted a outfitter in the North West Province and we facilitated the
    hunt for Melissa.” Ok, so the lion was not there naturally. Where, exactly, did this lion come from, and in what condition was it when this woman bagged it? Canned hunts for vanity aren’t true hunts.

    Furthermore, Petersen should consider the status of wild African game in total. The past ten years has been an all-out slaughter. Population numbers for all African game have plummeted on an accelerated basis recently, and in total over the past fifty years.

    The majority, if not all, of indigenous African game is endangered by man, a combination of poaching and politics and procreation, the first two due to human corruption, the later due to lust, poor judgement, and bad governmental policies. The Chinese market is a HUGE buyer of illegally gained ivory and rhino horn, along with the Thai and U.S. Chinese. And yet we are buying up boatloads, literally boatloads, from China without calling them to task for that. Similarly, we are not calling African nations to task, or taking it out in trade, for the huge and growing bush meat market.

    Soon, zoos will be the only place to see these creatures, thanks to the sorts of views expressed by the selfish Bachman, who didn’t do her due diligence on the source of “her” lion (and high level optics on her scope, not to mention the potential state of the lion, didn’t make this a fair fight by any means). the natives did not need this lion’s meat for sustenance. Did she take the head home for her trophy wall?

    I grew up in a Midwestern hunting family, had my first shotgun early, and earned all of my NRA badges by age 12, and I am a female.

    For all these reasons and more, I think defending Bachman, and trying to figure out corrupt Africa from our fatted shores, is wrong-headed.

    Vanitas vanitatum omnia vanitas.

    • eric_conn

      Sally, you refer to this as a “canned hunt,” quoting the Maroi Conservancy statement, but you left out the rest of what the group said:

      “All documentation [was] in place for this hunt e.g. permits etc as required by
      Nature Conservation. The lion was not drugged or enclosed in a camp. It
      was free roaming on more than 2000 hectares.”

      We appreciate your well-thought-out response; we simply want to make sure we’re quoting facts and reporting as accurately as possible.

    • SeeMeHunt

      The last time I checked, Lions were not on the endangered list. Melissa Bachman obtained the proper licensing and hunted legal game. Canned hunt? well – most of South African hunting is done on concessions. These concessions are over 20,000+ acres. If you see that as a canned hunt, you should try it some time. The animals roam freely over vast tracks of land. It is every bit a Real Hunt. Not only do I support Melissa Bachman, I applaud her efforts to try to complete the Big 5.

    • Alias47

      “facilitated the hunt” doesn’t mean they capture and transport an animal to her…it means they worked out the hunt with an outfitter in an area where there is a viable lion population…and she hunted it there.

    • Grady, Montana

      If you want to see an all out slaughter of wildlife and decamation of game herds come look what has happened to the herds in Yellowstone Park and the surrounding states since the reintroduction of the beloved wolves that you idiot anti-hunters and so called animal lovers had brought back. Yellowstone had the largest elk herd in the world and was the envy of every country that contained elk. The herd numbered around 16,500 and is now down to about 4500. There are no numbers available on the loss of Big Horn sheep, deer, antelope, moose and the other wildlife that are disappearing. Moose and elk are almost non-existant in the Big Hole and Bitterroot Valley of Montana anymore. Of course the researchers all try to put the blame on disease, weather, bears, mountain lions, coyotes and hunters. BUT the facts are we had all of that since white man came to Montana and after the wolves were exterminated the first the game herds grew to record numbers. Now with the return of the wolves they are disappearing. So the straw that broke the camels back was the wolves as that is the only thing that was added to the equation.

      • Rambler

        Well first Sally is obviously not an anti-hunter as she is a hunter herself. Also I’d like to give you props on bringing wolves into a discussion that was about hunting specific species in Africa. Also you are right that the herds in Yellowstone were booming before the introduction of wolves…which is why they introduced the wolves into yellowstone in the first place. Everything is connected in an ecosystem. By exterminating wolves in Yellowstone it caused rises in elk population. The elk population destroyed a lot of vegetation in certain areas of Yellowstone. This resulted in the disappearance of many species of animals like songbirds and beavers. When they reintroduced the wolves into yellowstone the elk numbers dropped and the vegetation started to grow again as the elk had to stay on the move and didn’t stand around eating in the open near creeks anymore. As the vegetation continued to grow then the beaver population came back and with their damns a host of other species came back and now flourish in Yellowstone. Also in certain areas wolves are not the main cause of elk population decline. They are part of the cause, but not the main factor. Bears are definitely a huge predator on elk. Also in certain areas their habitat has continued to decline in health which has lead to some Elk not having enough body fat going into the winter months. Wolves should definitely be managed/controlled, as every top predator should be. Anyone suggesting extermination of the species is ridiculous and is what is wrong with the human species. Humans as a whole need to realize that everything in nature is connected and removing a species from an ecosystem is very damaging. The only time that should happen is naturally. However so many are just narrowly minded focused on wolf and elk relationship instead of looking at the bigger picture. As we humans continue to spread our footprint into the wilderness the more you will see populations of all species decline. As the population of humans on this planet continues to grow the resources, for us and animals, will dwindle. Humans are the top predator on earth and there is nothing to keep us in check. It’s the perfect example of what happens when the top predator is not kept in check. The certain things nature has to keep top predators in check do not effect us, because we’re too intelligent and have come up with ways to get around those hurdles (medicine for diseases, etc). Not only do we effect resources, we effect the climate negatively. That has a huge effect on species of animals and vegetation, especially in the southern hemisphere where there are thousands of species of vegetation that can only exist in an exact climate. As that climate changes the vegetation will no longer survive which will cause the decrease in the species that depends on that vegetation which continues in a huge chain reaction type of effect. There are millions of species on earth and right now around 20 species goes extinct every day. We are in the process of what is called “the sixth extinction”. We have to accept we are a part of nature and while it is our job to manage other top predators, it is not our job to completely exterminate the ones that gives us headaches. The problem of overhunting is more of an issue in other countries than the US. but the fact that someone is so ill informed to want to make a species go extinct by human intervention is sad and alarming. Thats what we humans do with any top predator. Every top predator is smart and vicious and scary, thats why they’re the top dog in their ecosystem. So while some do make these animals look harmless, others like yourself try to make them look worse than they are. The difference between our species and the rest is our IQ. With our IQ we are able to understand cause and effect, while we have some primal things hardwired in our brain we are also not completely controlled by it. We can tell if were overdoing or underdoing something. These other species, while very smart especially in hunting and survival, do not have that ability. They were made by god (or evolved, to whichever you believe) to only act the certain way they do. They naturally know their role in the ecosystem and they carry it out, thats what they are hardwired to do. The ecosystem was specifically designed the way it is by god or nature itself, everything is connected as one and even the smallest things can cause big reactions in an ecosystem. However our species has not figured that out yet, even though they try to teach us about ecosystems and their importance in school, most just blow it off because selfishly we think it has nothing to do with us. But as I said, in media and in general we demonize top predators like wolves, lions, sharks, gators, bears, etc. The media, movies especially, do it but thats more so because they try to play into some of our bigger fears. Sharks have been the main ones demonized of all. We have to find a balance, where we don’t overkill a species and don’t demonize a species, but at the same time don’t let them overrun and make sure people know to respect their power. I don’t demonize animals, but I’m also smart enough to know to keep space between me and certain species. America is better at this conservation stuff than most (despite having idiots who want to completely exterminate some species). You see in continents like africa and asia where they’re having trouble with keep populations up. Asia mainly overfishes, they kill way too many sharks and just sea life in general, if they don’t get themselves in check we will have some issues with sea life, especially sharks. Sharks are killed at a large rate, overkill for sure, most of the time just for their fins to make some stupid soup. A low to non-existent shark population would pretty much ruin our oceans, you can ask any marine expert that.

        • grizz

          shoulda brought in hunters that woulda payed money to hunt them and take out the right number of ELK instead they bring in wolves and take out the heard

  • dzinn

    Sadly Melissa Bachman gives hunters a bad name. She has done severe damage to the sport of hunting and should be eliminated from public view. Even my friends that know me and respect me as a hunter have asked me join PETA’s stand against Melissa. It is hard to defend killing endangered species even if it is supported by governments and generates revenue. Generally hunting is an important part of game management. Is taking an elephant, lion, hippo, cape buffalo or rhino really game management?

    • Alias47

      Yes…it really is game management. They are auctioning off a rhino hunt this year…to raise what should prove to be a TON of money for conservation (with plans to auction another two). Extremely endangered animal…how horrible, right? HOWEVER, if you look at the research…taking a couple of the old over-dominant bulls out of the population should actually help INCREASE their numbers…while providing much needed funds to combat poaching…which is the real enemy of these endangered animals. If you look at the African continent…most of the areas that have recovering populations of endangered animals are also areas that allow and manage hunting as a source of conservation. The revenues from hunting have an amazing effect on the ability to protect and manage these majestic animals. Don’t run to join your PETA friends yet…a little research goes a long way.

    • Stan

      I don’t know how long you’ve been hunting or if even you are a true hunter. I would suspect not from your post. I have been hunting and operating hunting operations for thirty years, and I can promise you much more than a few of the thousands of hunters I have come in contact with have Africa on their bucket list, and most would love to have the option of hunting one of the big five on that continent and if possible would gladly give their money to do so especially knowing that by doing so they are doing more to protect the species they are hunting and helping to support the people in the country than a hundred of the people who are sitting in judgment and posting negative remarks on what they are lawfully doing. If you do not want to hunt, don’t hunt, but do not sit in judgement of others you do not know, understand, or have a clue to what’s in either their heart or their head.

  • Britspanman

    I applaud Melissa Bachman for spending more money for this hunt, that will directly benefit African Wildlife, than some African countries spend on their wildlife. If it were left up to the citizens and politicians of Africa most of their wildlife would be relegated to bush meat, ivory for China, or far-east traditional medicine. Unfortunately, white people are saving the wildlife legacy of Africa.

  • Bryan Hadley

    Awesome Lion! I am jealous.

  • Bob

    It’s Great to be a Hunter. As long as it is Ethical and the meat is available to the staff or village to consume. We are the Ultimate Conservationists!

  • bru59

    Way to go Melissa, it is too bad that so many misinformed and ignorant people (PETA)have to ruin something like this for Melissa. Proper wildlife management includes hunting and unfortunately to many people don’t understand this fact.

  • Just someone

    “The end does not justify the means” :(

  • Bill Assande

    I for one think Ms. Bachman is an amazing individual. Not only is she talented, and a gifted hunter she has the patience and inner strength to put up with these idiots. My wife and I are expecting our first child in April, and if its a girl I intend to hold Ms. Bachman up as an example of what real women are like.

  • Not on board with her.

    She, like most everyone, is allowed to hunt…which I support 100%. Unfortunately she flaunts it to the point of being obnoxious.

  • Expert_Opinion

    The threat to ‘regular’ hunters is not from PETA. Those lines are drawn and defended. The threat comes from inside from someone like Mz. Bachman. Point blank: If you want attention, then light a fire in the night of the battle. Mz. Bachman is Clueless as to Image, Public Relations, and Keeping a Low Profile. Some one needs to sit down with her and soon…

  • Obtusepuma

    It’s just a huge misunderstanding. PETA thought it was a pic of Michele Bachmann.

  • r50Cynthia Isenberg

    Native peoples have been ethically hunting for thousands of years. I can not believe the hypocrisy! I can bet that those of you against hunting have never lived in an area where there is an over popularization of let say, deer. I live in the country and have seen how awful this can be, especially for the deer. Sickness, not enough food, and they become a danger to humans and other animals. Oh, and in someone’s infinite wisdom all their natural predators… Wolves, were removed! Way to go naturalists! Maybe you should go see how your chicken nuggets are made, they mass breed poor baby chicks then stick metal needle sharp rods thru their brains! Way to go you humanitarians! I would much rather hunt for unprocessed food than mass harvest with additives!

  • Boone & Crockett fan

    Just goes to show how stupid and fanatical some are, PETA is similar to a terrorist group for the damage they do, releasing lab animals to the wild for coyotes, and predators to feast, a free buffet, millions of dollars lost on research for humans. PETA ; i have a shirt – People Eating Tasty Animals ! This fires up up the unintelligent group of morons !! No clue, man has been feeding on animals for millennia for survival. Glad I live in the country, no city for me !
    I am a country boy ! Hoooa

  • up close and gross

    I lived in Haines Alaska. For one year my uncle killed polar bears. My aunt and I hated it. He paid lots of money on taxidermists for all his kills.he didn’t eat the meat he simply liked killing. .my aunt left him he died of a massive heart attack. In the wilderness his body wasn’t found for over a week. Not all of his body!!!! Hunting is just a blood lust for heartless monsters .not sporting not fair !!!! Trophy hunters biggest cowards of all.

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