Skip to main content

Protecting Our Image in the Digital Age

Protecting Our Image in the Digital Age

What is the biggest driver of anti-hunting propaganda in recent years? HSUS? PETA? WWF? All good answers, but I would suggest looking a little closer

to home.

In the social networking era, hunters are driving far more fence-sitters and non-hunters to the other side than all of the anti-hunting groups combined.

Thousands of regular folks have been motivated to hate the sport of hunting.Photo via Star Tribune.


What do Kendall Jones, the Trump brothers, Bob Parson (CEO of GoDaddy), and Rebecca Francis all have in common?


All hunters, yes, but more importantly by sharing their trophy photos online they motivated hundreds of thousands of regular folks to hate the sport of hunting.

Rights vs. Common Sense

We have every right to post our photos on Facebook and other social websites, but we need to stop and ask the question why do we want to do so on a platform that has a proven track record of hurting our cause?

The easy answer is because we want an easy way to share our passion and success with likeminded people. Fair enough. But at what cost? If antis grab on to the photo (which they often do) and use it to drive attention and money to stop hunting, is it really worth it?



"Try to remember that and post an image that captures the experience and not just the end result."



I have little hope of changing the ill-informed, misguided beliefs of anti-hunters. The group I do try to sway is the 80 percent of the public that really don't care one way or the other. They aren't writing checks to support anti-hunting groups, or petitioning lawmakers to stop hunting, or emailing airlines to stop carrying animal trophies as cargo — until trophy photos are shoved in their face and tick them off. Then they organize en masse and turn anti-hunting with a vengeance.

And to make matters worse, it is not just antis using Facebook to push their agenda. In many cases Facebook is helping them with their goals.

Law of Unintended Consequences

How else can one explain shutting down and blocking hunters' photos of trophy animals while allowing the same photos to appear on pages raising money and awareness for anti-hunting groups? Make no mistake about it: Facebook is not our friend and has done us no favors.

As for me, going forward when I kill an animal I want my friends to see, I'll email it to them. If I want to get back into the social networking game, there are other places that are hunter friendly, such as GSN Campfire.

How do we want to showcase hunting? Photo by Kali Parmley

I understand that Facebook is such an integral part of life today, stopping hunters from posting is not going to happen, but please think about how we want to showcase hunting.

How about a group shot of buddies in front of a wall tent on an elk hunt? Or a selfie from your tree-stand with a doe walking by? Or the sun rising over a spread of decoys? What we do is beautiful and the dead animal at the end is just a small part of the experience. Try to remember that and post an image that captures the experience and not just the end result.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Fare Game: Stuffed Elk Backstrap Recipe

Fare Game: Stuffed Elk Backstrap Recipe

Take your venison loin to a whole new level with this delicious reverse-seared stuffed elk backstrap. Smoking the backstrap on a Camp Chef Woodwind pellet grill first, then finishing it on a blazing-hot skillet or flattop, creates a perfectly cooked, medium-rare steak with a crispy, seared exterior. The filling of diced mushrooms and creamy Boursin cheese adds a whole new level of amazing flavors to an otherwise classic smoked venison loin.

Hunting Coues Deer South of the Border

Hunting Coues Deer South of the Border

Former Delta Force Operator Kyle Lamb hikes the rugged desert mountains of northern Sonora in pursuit of the diminutive Coues species of whitetail.

Moon Phase Rut Tips

Moon Phase Rut Tips

John Dudley, technical writer and host of Nock On TV discusses why it's imporant to follow moon phases for the rut.

Camp Chef at SHOT Show: Elk Venison Slider Burgers Recipe

Camp Chef at SHOT Show: Elk Venison Slider Burgers Recipe

Have a freezer full of ground elk venison from your fall hunting trips? Never fear, the folks at Camp Chef have a great SHOT Show recipe that is lean and mean, easy to prepare, and a crowd-pleasing favorite!

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

Chances are good that you're not getting the best out of your trail cams.3 Ways You're Using Trail Cameras Wrong Optics

3 Ways You're Using Trail Cameras Wrong

Tony J. Peterson

Chances are good that you're not getting the best out of your trail cams.

Learn how to grill the perfect medium-rare venison steak with these tips and tricks.Venison Grilling Tips Recipes

Venison Grilling Tips

Jenny Nguyen-Wheatley

Learn how to grill the perfect medium-rare venison steak with these tips and tricks.

We evaluate the 6.5 in a real-life case study. Is The 6.5 The Perfect Hunting Caliber? Ammo

Is The 6.5 The Perfect Hunting Caliber?

Mike Schoby

We evaluate the 6.5 in a real-life case study.

If you're spending time in the outdoors where you might encounter bears, carry one of these guns.Which Firearm Is Best for Bear Defense? Survival

Which Firearm Is Best for Bear Defense?

Larry Case - July 11, 2018

If you're spending time in the outdoors where you might encounter bears, carry one of these...

See More Trending Articles

More Stories

These outdoor jobs sound like the dream, but they're not all glamorous.10 So-Called Dream Jobs vs. Harsh Reality Stories

10 So-Called Dream Jobs vs. Harsh Reality

David Draper

These outdoor jobs sound like the dream, but they're not all glamorous.

Our phones pressed against the window, eyes wide open and speechless, my colleague, Steve Best, andThe Maasai: A Day in the Life of a Lion Killer Stories

The Maasai: A Day in the Life of a Lion Killer

Cody Altizer - April 05, 2016

Our phones pressed against the window, eyes wide open and speechless, my colleague, Steve...

Is there any fall activity more enjoyable than a good ole' bonfire? Just imagining gathering aroundRedneck Bonfire Really Lights Up a Party Stories

Redneck Bonfire Really Lights Up a Party

Awesome Rednecks - September 16, 2013

Is there any fall activity more enjoyable than a good ole' bonfire? Just imagining gathering...

Choosing to break game laws is bad enough in itself. Having to call for help from the people paidIllegal Hunters Rescued by Wildlife Agents, Win 'Little Help?' Award Stories

Illegal Hunters Rescued by Wildlife Agents, Win 'Little Help?' Award

PH Online Editors - December 12, 2013

Choosing to break game laws is bad enough in itself. Having to call for help from the people...

See More Stories

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save.

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE Arrow

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Petersen's Hunting subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now