Even a simple hunting picture can easily become the focus of a stream of angry comments.

Full disclosure: I had something else in mind for this week’s column. But then I went scrolling through the posts on Outside Magazine’s Facebook page and my eye was captured by something enviable (a bull elk). No, it wasn’t in the op-ed hammered out by some guy who boasted of his collection of eight firearms – you know the one, he detailed his cute little collection in such a way it became clear it isn’t enviable, then went on at length about the evil NRA.

No, it was another one, that caught my eye. This one was titled “The Best Ways to Stay Hydrated” and featured a bottle of water next to the aforementioned elk. Sounds innocent enough, right? Not according to the comments section.

Now, I’m not an Outside Magazine fan, but then I own Yeti coolers and don’t intend to blow them up, so what does that say about me? Regardless, fan or not, I had my usual cringing reaction to foolish behavior in the comments section – ahem – because every writer out there is familiar with the way everyone on the interweb is both an expert and a critic. This time, though, it was a different flavor of fool. This time it was Return of the Antis.

The comments included gems as these (social media nom de plumes excluded although spelling and grammar remain untouched):

“Have enjoyed some articles but don’t need to see pics of dead animals on my feed. Bye!”

“Pic of dead deer unnecessary. Unfollow right now.” (Yeah…not a deer…)

“You’re getting a big UNFOLLOW from me for that unnecessary, intentionally inflammatory picture!”

“WTF is with that photo take it down.”

And, of course, the threats:

Totally unnecessary to post this, are you promoting hunting? Hunting is not a sport, if hunters want to do something constructive join the armed forces and don’t dress up as a school children wearing overpriced camo clothing. Having served 10 years in the British Royal Marines, I would hunt the hunters and see how they like it. This is so low rent.”

There were two standouts among the comments in support of hunting, though. A guy by the first name of Rob reminded commenters,

“If the hunting community and outdoor community don’t band together, there soon won’t be any outdoors left for either.”

Another guy, Brian, remarked,

“Would it be ‘inflammatory’ if they put the water bottle next to a cooked elk burger? Nope. It’s the same damn thing except one is more humane and sustainable (hunting).”

This is the part where I mention how tired I am of the special snowflakes among us (we’ll get to the threatening asshats some other time). Snowflakes aren’t categorized by age, gender, or preference of decaf coffee, although if you like decaf there’s obviously something wrong with you. It’s a frame of mind.

Somehow society shifted from the swaggering John Waynes of the 1950s to the simpering, skinny-jeans-wearing snowflakes of the 2000s. We have become a society of the easily offended and quick-to-throw-temper tantrums, and it’s being treated as not only acceptable but normal.

Even worse, murdering other human beings is now more socially acceptable than ethical hunting. Don’t believe me? Take a minute to consider the substantial support for certain political movements that openly encourage the cold-blooded killing of law enforcement officers. Consider how many people publicly wish for the brutal deaths of legal gun owners and hunters.

Back to the picture of the bull elk. Last I checked, the Great Interweb Offended were still sounding off on that picture. There was no blood, no gore, and no evidence it wasn’t an elk harvested on a farm for consumption at an upscale restaurant. There were no visible weapons. It was just an elk, his head visible in profile on the tailgate of a truck. And yet, there they were.

What’s wrong with this picture? Visible blood on the truck, an evil AR, and a foot raised above the hogs. (Ask me how I know.)

Now it’s my turn.

I’m offended. I’m offended by the hypersensitive, overwrought behavior of those commenters. I don’t jump on posts depicting images of herb gardens and decry deforestation or the horrors inflicted upon Mother Earth.

I’m offended by the way we as hunters and gun owners must constantly be aware of the easily upset among us. If we, as hunters, behaved as the vegetarians, vegans, and I-buy-mine-in-a-grocery-store-and-so-should-you meat eaters do, things would get ugly fast.

For that, and other reasons, we turn the proverbial cheek. It isn’t only the antis we’re aware of, though, it’s the sensitive among our own kind. Gone are the days when we could simply post photos from hunts just for fun; today we scour images for offensive details — real or imagined — lest we cause discord among our own tribe. Because, God forbid.

It isn’t just hunters, either. Take a moment to consider the wearing of eye and ear pro even when not shooting, finger placement, and muzzle angle – which can be damn hard to discern in a photograph – all of which are just the tip of the photographic firearm iceberg.

But mostly I’m offended by the threats. Threats of assault, rape, and murder. Threats to hunt down my family. Threats to poison my dog. It never ends. Emails, social media messages, comments on photographs and articles; where’s there’s a hatred, there’s apparently a way.

A black rifle. Booga-booga.

All right, fine. I’m not offended. I’m pissed off. Our current climate is the epitome of “you give an inch, they take a mile.” There’s always a place for good manners and basic human decency, but there’s no reason to bend backwards so far you touch your head to your heels. (Well, maybe in yoga. I will kick your ass at namaste.)

Maybe it’s time we start pushing back. Maybe it’s time we fight the smothering wave of anti-hunting and anti-gun rhetoric being spewed by the left with more than internal grumbling and infighting. Hey, maybe soft-pedaling it isn’t working so well and we need to fight fire with fire. Oh, wait, that’s what the NRA is doing and they’re being crucified for it. There, I said it.

It’s time to stand up for our rights as hunters. It can be done without resorting to name-calling or superfluous cursing (yes, really). And not only should it be done, it must be done.

So. Any takers?

102 COMMENTS

  1. “Having served 10 years in the British Royal Marines, I would hunt the hunters and see how they like it.”

    I’ll take that dude up on his offer. I’d love to get a chance to fight British regulars like my ancestors did. It would be nice to have stand up proper fight again. Plus. We currently have the championship belt, beating them, the global super power, twice.. and are back to back world war champs. If they want a rematch, I’m all for it. We could even host the rematch at Yorktown or Saratoga, or New Orleans.

    • Sign me up for volunteer duty, or at the very least, I’ll buy tickets. I’m fairly certain our “regulars” will own their best.

      Just remember, they’re all hurt, sad, and worthless because they know how bad they’re falling, and soon to become another third world cesspool.

    • I kinda consider the war of 1812 to be more of a draw, than a victory for the USA. Still, the fact that we fought the greatest empire in the world to a draw was pretty respectable.

      Sad that a former British Marine is such a piece of crap. What does that tell us about the average Englishman?

      They aren’t like the sailing dad from Dunkirk anymore are they?

      • I used to think 1812 was sort of a draw, myself, until I read in much greater detail about the conflict, and the British goals. Ever since the end of the revolutionary war, Britain’s goal was to contain and degrade the United States. Keeps its influence from spreading, and stop it from spreading west. That policy, along with other actions, eventually lead to the war. The result of the war caused the British to abandon that policy, and focus on mainly protecting Canada from another American invasion. So, pragmatically speaking, the US was very much victorious over the Empire a second time.

    • I would venture to guess that whoever wrote that is not really a Royal Marine. There are a lot of r.m. Posers out there, just like a lot of seal posers

    • I like how you think, New Continental Army. Something tells me the guy who wrote the threat didn’t realize the humor in his statement. I thought his final remark about it being “low rent” made it clear what a putz he is.

    • disadvantage his as a crossbow may not be up to the task.

      i posted this yestiddy but the article disappeared for awhile and ttag kept “white screening” when i hit the shiny red history eraser button.

    • Yeah… I try to limit my cursing during debates with the antis. But I’m right there with you in reality, JWTayor. I curse like a sailor (just ask Dan). But hey, I’m trying!

      • Time to go Loud and Proud Kat, let them know they can take their shit talk and stuff it.

        https://i.imgur.com/cmTkWg9.jpg

        On another note, would be a big help if you could talk Dan into posting a COMPLETE list of NRA contacts.
        There’s two sides to this issue and those of us in the trenches need to be able to push back on both ends.

    • I don’t know whether to be pissed off that someone is that ridiculous, or laugh. Both emotions are hitting at the same time, and it’s broken me.

    • See, it’s one of the quirks of social media though… someone post something or types something – then you see the comments below that explode. After a few replies you begin to wonder if these dipsticks are competing against each other to say the most outrageous things… and then you realise that is EXACTLY what they are doing. They want clicks, they want shares, they want Likes, they want to one-up the last person who said the original post was merely offensive and will now take it to the next level and say the original post must have been done by a Nazi. Before long someone then called for the posters untimely death and the desecration of their children… because it IS a contest – to see how outraged (and outrageous) they can be.
      There’s another forum I used to hang out on way too much – a gaming forum. One neat feature they had was the deletion of comments if the “upvotes” were outnumbered by “downvotes” by such-and-such number (5 or 6). So if some idiot posted something that immediately got six downvotes and no upvotes, it would simply get removed from the conversation and would not be viewable unless you specifically clicked on it to see what was so bad about it.
      I kinda liked that system – it kept the trolls to a minimum and encouraged commenters to keep nasty opinions to themselves unless they could back it up or justify it to the readers.
      🤠

      • That’s how mass shootings work too. All the attention-craving losers trying to outdo the last jerkwad and get on CNN for a couple weeks.

    • For better or for worse social media is no longer a casual platform. It’s become a large part of my job as it has for many in the industry. We’ve become not only writers or competitors but social media influencers (to varying degrees). Marketing companies are now focusing more energy on Instagram and Facebook because studies and polls are showing how valuable they are for sales. And in much the same way politics are now fought in part on social media. Sad but true. It isn’t a trend I like, personally, but it is what it is. I won’t waste my breath on morons but on the other hand I think we let far too much bad behavior slide.

  2. Maybe the people you know wear skinny jeans, me and mine we swagger about with the same confidence John Wayne did.

    • I’ve seen a ridiculous number of skinny jeans lately (the past year especially). Hipsters are everywhere.

      God bless you and yours for not wearing those damn things.

  3. I really don’t understand what you’re so worked up about. When I’m confronted by idiots I yawn and ignore them. After all, it’s impossible to argue with stupidity.

    • This week Bill Whittle twice quoted someone else saying that the problem with America is that not enough people get punched in the face anymore. Maybe if the stupid people got immediate feedback for their idiocy they wouldn’t remain stupid. It’s how children used to learn (spankings), and IMNSHO, we are paying the price for that lack.

    • It is impossible to argue with willful stupidity, agreed.

      The problem, as I see it, is that ignoring them emboldens them, and at some point, at least some antis will work themselves up to actually doing violence.

      Oh, wait, they already did. The Congressional baseball shooting; the range arson; Mr. Boch’s tires slashed, Mr. Cox’s wife attacked. I suspect this will keep up until there is a broad, and hard, push back. One issue, of course, is that it’s quite hard to identify who someone actually is from their social media posts.

      • I have several ready responses, depending on how polite I’m feeling at any given moment:

        1. “Demonizing law abiding gun owners and promoting restrictions on gun ownership protects rapists and other criminals. Why are you pro-rape?”

        2. Gun safety? I’m all for gun safety! We should start teaching safe handling of firearms as soon as kids are ready. And, bring marksmanship teams back to high schools like we had in the 60’s.

        3. Common sense gun laws? I’m totally with you. Let’s start with nationwide reciprocity. You’re right that the current patchwork of laws is the opposite of common sense.

        Tell a big truth often enough and people may start to believe it. When we’re feeling polite, we should take back the language. Push the antis out from behind their misuse of words. Even if they immediate jump to, “You’ll just end up shooting yourself”, or, “The bad guy will just take your gun away”, you’ve won. They cannot un-hear (or un-read) the truth you’ve just bombed them with.

        If you’re not feeling polite, there’s always #4. “You’re an idiot. Bugger off.” There’s a big truth in there, too.

        • Or number 5: “If gun owners / concealed carry holders are as bad as you think they are, then how come you’re still breathing?” Pause. Pause. Light bulb…

    • I think the guys here covered my bases on this reply but I’ll add part of my two cents.

      I’ve been threatened in various ways for years now. Some threats are laughable, some more serious. It tends to depend on how explicit and specific they are. But they are absolutely emboldened today far beyond just a year or two ago. I’m not suggesting we lower ourselves to their level or pick fights I’m saying we stop them. It’s similar to what I taught my daughter when she was little: you don’t start fights but you sure as hell finish them (and then I showed her how to form a fist and throw a proper punch). Don’t get into an argument, just make a clear statement and move on. It really makes them crazy when they can’t egg you into one of their name-calling sessions.

      This behavior is not limited to the internet, either. Last week while returning home from a hunt I had two different people at O’Hare get pissy because I had camo on and was clearly a hunter (they assumed…granted, they were right). Society at large is teetering on a crimson edge of potential violence and the majority of the anger is coming from the left.

      Why am I seeing a Gangs of New York style street fight, only on the interwebs, in my head now? I kind of like it.

      • By the way, thanks for your perspective on this (as well as your kind words below). I tend to not participate in social media (other than the odd comment on gun-related blogs, and then under a pseudonym). In part this is because I’m an old stick in the mud, and in part because a certain amount of discretion re my online presence is a good idea given my profession and employer.

        As someone whose name is on the by-lines, and who does otherwise participate in social media, you are much more of a target than I am … or, I suspect, than most of us here.

        • Thank you, No One of Consequence (whom I assume is actually someone of consequence…see what you did there?). I enjoy these types of pieces quite a bit. That is definitely one of the downsides to the internet. I’m creepily easy to find even though I’ve tried to make it hard. Always sites out there offering home address. At least my phone number has remained a secret, so there’s that.

    • Damn right.
      Monitor your urine throughout the day, it should be clear or just a bit yellow. Drink more water if it’s darker than that. And ignore bigoted trolls.
      “Even duct tape can’t fix stupid, but it can muffle the sound.”
      🤠

    • Here’s my advice, borne of more than a little bit of work in deserts around the world.

      The best place to store water is IN YOUR BODY. Drink up.

      Beyond that, pre-hydration is a real thing and it works.

  4. One statement that really stands out is that taking a human life is more socially acceptable than taking an animals life in today’s political/social climate. A friend said a few years back that ‘the people in control have future plans for the earth, and it doesn’t include you(us). ‘. The words ring truer every day.

    • Pg2 I admit I find it disheartening. And I am not sure how to go about fixing it, but it is clear we need to get on with it.

    • I think – hope? – part of that is the same phenomenon that makes plane crashes more sensational than car wrecks. Or, for that matter, drownings in pools much less visible than school shootings. Much lower probability, and much further out of many people’s everyday experience, make for higher visibility and angst/anger/outrage/etc.

      For the rest of it … schools stopped really teaching morality and logic a long time ago, and if you don’t get it from your parents either, where are people going to get it from?

    • David,

      You’d think it would be a “no, duh” situation but there are a surprising number of gun owners who prefer to act like there isn’t a problem. Sometimes I want to reach through the monitor, grab them by the shoulders, and shake them like a maraca.

  5. It’s been said that integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching.

    We see a related phenomenon with social media posts. A good way to tell how civilized someone is, is by how he speaks when he thinks he is anonymous. (Insert whatever the current he/she/their/its/asterisk language you think you need to see.)

  6. “…collection of eight firearms…”

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!

    I’m sorry, I got distracted. 😀

    • Welp looks like I can go home and proudly report that my son has a gun collection bigger than a published gun writer…. Granted there’s only 1 22lr and the rest are various flavors of NERF and bb guns but still his hoard of 13 guns beats 8.

      • Eight firearms huh? I think I have only 8 lever actions. Maybe 8 9mms? My 9-year-old has 8 firearms, I believe…I haven’t had to think in terms of such low numbers in a long time…

    • Zeke,

      I know, right? The guy wrote an article about how he owns eight firearms and is therefore an expert on all matters 2A. Then he used it to bash the NRA and anyone related he considers dumb. Funnier still is those eight firearms aren’t exactly impressive. Several aren’t used and those used are…well, I’m not jealous.

      Eight. Those are rookie numbers.

    • I was kind of waiting for something like:
      “…scattered around the house in strategic locations…”
      “…hanging on the door of the safe…”

      Seriously, I don’t really care how many guns someone has, it’s the attitude and knowledge that impresses. Or, conversely, the lack thereof.

  7. “But mostly I’m offended by the threats. Threats of assault, rape, and murder. Threats to hunt down my family. Threats to poison my dog. It never ends. Emails, social media messages, comments on photographs and articles; where’s there’s a hatred, there’s apparently a way.”

    I always respond to such IMPOTENT threats with, “I’m your huckleberry.”

    • That was a couple years back. Yeah, there were eight in the bed of the truck in that picture and over the course if the week the total was somewhere around forty. I can’t recall exactly without digging up the correct old notebook and looking. It was a good hunt!

  8. An appropriate response is to list the amount paid annually in excise taxes by gun and ammo manufacturers and buyers that are paid into a fund for wildlife conservation. I don’t know what that number is, but it is over $700 million dollars a year. Then add in the amount of money that hunters pay annually for their tags, and again, most of those dollars go to state conservation efforts. Then ask them: “And how much did you spend to protect wildlife and the environment?”

  9. Excellent article Kat. Thank you for replying to the nervous and overconcerned. I don’t hunt, but I fully support all legal hunting. I’ve grown weary of explaining to dunderheads the economic and survival advantages for game animals and people of big game hunting in Africa. Keep fighting the good fight, Kat !

    • Thanks, Gregolas! Glad you liked it. And I really do appreciate your supporting hunting even though you yourself do not hunt. It’s a little suprising how many non-hunting gun owners bash the hunters (and vice versa). Needs to stop. Thanks again!

  10. A person that is not a vegan should be horsewhipped in the town square for objecting to hunting.

    • Uppity vegans should be horsewhipped in the town square too. Keep your personal dietary choices to yourself.

  11. The thought of a leftard snowflake Nancyboy threatening a well-armed woman is too ludicrous for words.

    I’ve gotten a few threats in my time. They made me smile. Except when they made me laugh.

    • Both Cervidae, yes, but elk are not Whitetails and we both know when your average commenter throws “deer” around they mean Whitetail. Don’t make me start calling a magazine a clip just to hack you off.

  12. >British Royal Marines
    It always amazes me that people volunteer to fight for governments that hate them. It also amazes me how Leftists are so obsessed with killing anyone who doesn’t share their extremist whackjob views- a perfect recruit for a Eurasian military (or Hillary’s army).

  13. “Maybe it’s time we start pushing back. Maybe it’s time we fight the smothering wave of anti-hunting and anti-gun rhetoric being spewed by the left with more than internal grumbling and infighting.”

    Attacking an enumerated civil right is, at the very least, HATE SPEECH. It’s about damn time we demand the respect paid to the 2A to be no less than the respect is demanded towards the rights for minorities, gays, etc.

    I’m serious. If we don’t get a handle on this crap *now*, we will lose the right entirely.

    Turn the tables on the Leftists…

  14. I can honestly say, that I am thankful that you walked in my shop so many moons ago, and that we have procured a friendship through our like thinkings….you are the true embodiment of a woman who is comfortable in her own skin, doesn’t worry about putting on airs or what is PC, and is not afraid to let the world know what you think and how you feel! I am proud to count you as one of my few true friends, keep up the GREAT work Kat!

    • Tim,

      You have no idea how glad I am, too. You’ve influenced more than you realize. Hard to believe it’s been a few years now. I’m honored to call you my friend and I hope I find myself down that way again before too much time passes.

      Also, thank you for the kind words. You remain my favorite gunsmiths but also one of my favorite people.

  15. When I first glanced at the picture of Kat with that pig I thot,, ” why’d she post pic of a dead baby buffalo then start an article about an inappropriate picture of an elk?”

  16. I’d like to state, that whenever possible, I combat such stupidity with calm, reasonable, and well thought out statements and arguments. In a pinch, or if the afore mentioned appeals to logic and reason fail, I have no qualms seeking other methods of vengeance upon those who threaten the 2nd. Their 1st Amendment rights end when they threaten my 2nd Amendment rights.

      • See, you can get away with insults over the internet. Try that in real life, and you’ll suffer the consequences.

        • Real life works like that too often enough. I call communists out when I see them, and they are usually so stunned I called them out on their bullshit, they shut down.

  17. No political organization (you mean BLM?) encourages the murder of police. You’re buying into a different version of the same nonsense.
    There is no greater snowflake than the mainstream conservative. You don’t have to play into every gun owner stereotype, it makes all of us look bad.

    • I may as well respond to this as well.
      How about you go join the earthworms back under that rock you’ve been living under.
      BLM has constantly chanted about and celebrated the deaths of police officers and white people in general. The MSM also enjoys placing cops under the spotlight and coming down on them like piranha on a wounded fish, should something happen. Now, I should also mention, I’m no fan of the police, but they should be allowed to do their jobs, without us heckling them all the time. That’s just wrong.

    • Incorrect. Not only BLM, but the Democratic Party. The Democratic Party officially recognized BLM as a political movement during the 2016 election. Therefore, you’re beloved DNC, does support the murder of police officers. What’s funny is, you then expect those same officers to be on “your side” and come take our guns. Somehow, I just don’t see the majority officers, who are constantly abused by the left, very motivated to follow that one.

    • Well, Graham, I think the guys here have you dealt with. They covered reality.

      LEOs are human just like us and prone to the same failings. And while I do not agree with everything every LEO does and I am painfully aware there are bad ones out there, I did grow up with LEOs in my family. My Uncle, who was a cop, was the one family member who understood and protected me. So you could say I don’t appreciate all the LE hate. Are they all good? No, but a hell of a lot of them are.

      BLM and other groups, as has been noted, do indeed blatantly encourage murdering cops. Did you know they’ve been sued repeatedly for inciting murders? New Black Panther Party does it too. This doesn’t mean every single person tied to those groups encourages the murder of cops but it’s cold hard reality the groups function on that platform.

      If my stating truths such as these makes gun owners look bad then gun owners need to change. But guess what? Most gun owners will back me on this because we do not condone the murder of law enforcement, or murder in general.

      Edmund Burke said the only necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing. He was right.

  18. Well the first class Royal British Marine special operator operating operationally hunting hunters hardily wouldn’t have much luck hunting hunting hunters, now would he?

  19. Royal British Marine wanker should be more concern with how his own government treats their own people: “Alfie Evans, the terminally ill toddler at the center of an intense UK legal battle, passes away.” and be more concern how and what will they do when he needs medical attention. Leave the hunting to the big boys and girls…………I bet those that like burgers, steak, chicken etc….. have never been to a slaughter house? Hunting is a hell’va lot more humane.

  20. Kat, I teach Hunter Education for Texas. One of the topics I cover is “the selfie and social media”. I have several examples of horrible pictures (finger on the trigger, barrel pointed at the hunter, etc.). Would you grant permission for the picture at the open of this article to be an example of doing it right, that I could show to my students as part of the presentation materials?

      • Not picking on you, but arguably nitpicking. Singular: nom de plume, Plural: noms de plume, not “nom de plumes”. Good column, good comments. I especially appreciate when the author gets in the pit with the commenters, thank you.

  21. Well said, your observations mirror most of ours in the gun and hunting community. I particularly agree with your comment related to killing humans is more acceptable to killing animals – WTF has happened to our society? How is there even a comparison? Some people have watched “Bambi” too many times I guess.

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