Seasoned hunter Tess Talley with her 18-year-old bull giraffe taken in South Africa during June 2017.
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It’s been all over social media this week: photos of an elderly giraffe shown post-hunt alongside hunter Tess Talley. In the pictures Talley holds her bolt-action – because it is South Africa, after all – and beams with pride over her kill. And on social media the battle wages with thousands of anti-hunters wishing death, rape, maiming, and whatever else they can imagine on Talley.

There are quite a few details missing from most of the so-called “news” stories on the hunt. It actually took place over a year ago; how and why the pictures went viral now is a bit of a mystery. The evidence backing the hunt as legit is immense. Despite what animal rights activists and anti-hunters claim, the hunt was legal and fully licensed and she invested time and money into tracking and shooting the bull.

Many factors made him an ideal target. At 18 years of age he was well past his prime and no longer viable for breeding; he had killed three young bulls – that the PH knew of – and was decimating the survival chances of herd numbers. Removing him from the picture was the best option for the conservation of the South African sub-species of giraffe in that area. Oh, and once he was down he provided more than 2,000 pounds of meat and much-needed protein to local villages (yes, people eat giraffes).

It was a righteous hunt, one the community should be backing. Instead, it’s being either ignored or poorly covered by the rare industry media touching it. However, I already pushed the need for support in my piece for the NRA, so I want to touch on something else here.

One issue that arose during a discussion with a few friends was whether or not photos of hunts should be posted to social media. A few guys fell on the side of believing it best to keep our hunting photos to ourselves so as not to give the antis anything to go on. Dealing with the self-righteous outrage of the special snowflakes among us just isn’t worth it, they say, so why not keep our photos hidden? Just look at what Tess Talley is going through. She ended up deleting her Facebook page because the threats numbered into the thousands within 48 hours of the photos going viral. A public page someone made with her name on it is being inundated with hateful comments and death threats.

From a successful hunt in Manitoba.

The message from the anti-hunting crowd is clear: photos of legally, ethically hunted animals will be used as evidence in the social-media driven trial for your peace and, yes, life. The reaction to hide such photos is understandable, right? Who wants to be harassed?

None of us want to be harassed but that by no means translates to backing down.

I refuse to file away photos of hunts in a dark corner of my laptop or cell phone as though I am ashamed of them. My hunts are undertaken legally and I take great care to be an ethical hunter. I also do not pose standing atop animals, riding them, or otherwise disrespecting them in death. Hide my photos? Oh, hell no!

We live in a day and age when hunting photos make us anathema to certain sensitive folk. They wail and rend their clothing at the sight of a BBD while simultaneously diving into their McDonald’s hamburger and buying two pounds of grass-fed, supposedly-organic ground beef at the grocery store. Because those slaughterhouse cows are treated with exceptional tender loving care, right? Sure. Whatever you say, sweetheart.

As for the vegetarians among them, their logic tends to be so far displaced from reality there’s no point in even starting to get into it today. This does not mean we should shield their eyes from our photos. If they don’t like it they can keep on scrolling just like we scroll on by so many of their ludicrous political posts.

Yes, bear meat is awesome and well worth eating.

But they don’t. Not only do they stop and gaze in horror at the images before them, they save them for the purpose of spreading them around to their equally hateful friends. And the comments – oh, the comments. The majority of them don’t stop at crying for the “poor deer/hog/giraffe,” but go on to hope the hunter is hunted, shot to death, maimed by their hunting dog…the list goes on.

Oh, and if you’re a female hunter, odds are good you’ll be threatened with rape by some guy who goes on to explain how happy he would be to do it himself. Some threats are brief and to the point while others are graphic and nightmarish to the point you wonder just what kind of person would even think such a thing.

The internet has made bullies of cowards. The separation granted by a monitor or cell phone gives a lot of people the idea they can be the worst possible version of themselves, saying things they would never say to someone’s face. Or would they? As time passes and people live more of their lives online it seems some of the rudeness and hatred perpetuated by social media is leaking into reality. More anger, more hate, and a decidedly lowered level of personal accountability.

This Bufflehead pair photo serves as a great reminder of a fantastic moment during a hunt.

Hunters should not be afraid to share photos. The simple fact that a friend of mine has reached the point of saying “nobody other than you would take pictures [of a safari] and they would NEVER be published to the internet” tells you just how far we’ve slipped. They’re trying to back us into a corner and strip away our rights and we should not – must not – tolerate it.

Post your hunting pictures. Heck, make them public instead of limiting viewing to friends. Post them year-round, not only during the specific hunting seasons. Re-post old ones. Talk about your hunts. Show your pride in the time, effort, and skill it took to shoot the animal. Explain how hunting furthers conservation programs on a worldwide level. Mention how hunters protect and nurture public land. Above all, refuse to back down.

Hunters do more for wildlife conservation than any other group (it’s a verifiable fact). Antis are just looking for ways to fan the internal flames of their anger. Their anger is directed at everything hunters represent: Second Amendment rights, freedom – the United States and the American dream in general. We are the living representation of the qualities they want to annihilate and I say we represent America well, guns, hunting, and all.

Post your photos with pride. Let them come. It’s how we choose to handle it that counts, so handle it well. Never let bullies win.

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  1. Tune out the haters. Somebody who undertakes a legitimate licensed hunt like that is contributing more dollars and cents to direct conservation than those mouth-breathers have contributed in their entire lives.

    • Some of the gleeful posers with their guided hunt zoo animals does turn my stomach. But not near as much as those who leave bright red factory stickers on their camo rifles. Reminds me of those goofy kids on the subway with tags still stuck to their hats.

      If you need to brag you have a Savage, you really need help.

    • How could anyone be proud of this…It makes me sick to my stomach… That wasn’t a guided hunt. That poor animal was locked in a coral and gunned down. This crap has to stop

  2. As long as people — hunters, students, anyone — rely on social media for anything, it will be exploited to generate hatred against them.

    Little, powerless cyberbullies love to hide in the shadows and spew dirt because they don’t have the balls to say things one on one and face to face.

    Fools who rely on social media and desperately seek acceptance from people they don’t know are positioning themselves for trouble.

    So post your pictures, but be conditioned to accept the world as it is, full of fools and degenerates. And be prepared to laugh in their silly, idiotic faces.

    • well said Ralph,the people that actually spend more financially on conservation than 90%of tree huggers ever will,as tou stated these tree huggers hide in shadows and talk trash how much they hate human and love animals ,so mr or Mrs tree hugger bashing this young ladies trophy,how much have you spent financially to help protect any wild species of animal?Its so easy to sit back and cover bully some one ,but how many dollars did this lady spend to legally harvest this animal?How many miles did she have trek in the desert ?How much sweat did she put into to even get a shot ?

  3. Bullies need a punch in the nose. Seems to be the only cure that works. Sometimes literally, sometimes figuratively. But literally works very well.

    • “Bullies need a punch in the nose. Seems to be the only cure that works.”

      Facebook should be required to publicly post the home addresses of anyone who makes a threat using their network….

  4. That giraffe was shot in South Africa. Nearly all giraffes and most other game animals hunted in South Africa are private property hunted behind high fences. I don’t like the idea of high fences but the choice is wildlife or livestock. The way wildlife pays for its existence is hunting. South Africa has brought animals back from the brink of extinction with game ranches. Animals that were extirpated from much their native lands now thrive on game ranches in South Africa. Hunting is the reason for this but the ARs will never admit it.

    • I asked my AR and it admitted privately that hunting pays for conservation and that it wanted to hunt, but said it’s caliber was too small to hunt big game ethically.

    • Jim B,
      You should note that, although they are fenced in, those fences often go on for more than a day or two’s travel by vehicle. The fenced-in areas are sometimes larger than the entire lifetime migratory path of the animals inside of them. Generations live and die inside of those fences without ever seeing the fence itself, they are that large.

    • SA is a failed state, collapsing as we speak.

      Open race war, and/or complete destruction in the next 5 years. Maybe less. ANC politicians have publicly declared war on whites, farmers are slaughtered everyday, murders aren’t even investigated.

  5. The internet, like alcohol, brings out the real person. And it’s telling that the rapist/murder/joyful family killers are the ones that profess to deplore guns and hunting. The ones that support the hillary’s and bernie’s of the world.

    Truly sick people that need to be under supervision at all times.

  6. Love it or hate it, this is Fudd City, full of Fudds shooting Fudd guns in Fudd settings for Fudd reasons. Every photo plays into the narrative that the gun issue should be about “legitimate sportsmen” using “sporting guns” for “sporting purposes.”

    Our movement needs to stay focused like a green-dot laser scope on combat-worthy firearms for purposes of defense against homicide and democide.

    Vegans welcome.
    LGBTQ welcome.
    Atheists welcome.

  7. I’m very happy that people travel to Africa to help control the animal population and feed local people with the harvested meat. The hunting economy keeps people feed and employed around the world.
    Very few people outside of Africa understand the danger of A pex predators, when those predators live near humans.

    Perhaps hunters need to talk about the meat they helped to provide local people with the posted pictures. We can’t rely on the press to tell our story.

      • Since bears and mountain lions have been found in places like Reno Nevada, nearly 1 million residents and Vacaville California, nearly 200,000 residents, you are correct, they can just move.

        Americans need to just move to solve the problem of A pex predators eating the citizenry. You have a wonder and simple solution to this very complex problem.

  8. You know what? What sets people off isn’t the hunting (Hell, I would like to learn to hunt just to have the skill and be able to provide the most PC, grass-fed, pasture raised, hippie friendly meat that it is possible to find for my family), it’s the pictures of people standing there with shit-eating grins after killing something beautiful just for the sake of killing it. It’s the bloodlust and the apparent desire to kill something unique for funsies that gets people riled up.

    Assuming the mitigating factors laid out about the giraffe hunt are true, and it’s a completely righteous kill, people are still left with this picture of what used to be a living, breathing example of God’s creation that someone shot and killed for the very sake of shooting and killing an interesting animal.

    Is it wrong that people don’t investigate the full circumstance before passing harsh judgement on this woman? It sure is. But… there is that picture, right there. Showing just how proud she is to have killed a f’ing giraffe.

    Hunting something just to have it’s head hanging on the wall seems inhumane to a lot of people. It seems cruel and sadistic.

    To many, many people, there is a line that trophy hunting crosses.

    • And threatening murder and rape to a person for being a ‘trophy’ hunter doesn’t cross any lines?

      If you had any self awareness, swarf, you would realize that is a sign of why we will have Trump in office for two terms and a justice system loaded with right leaning judges.

      Killing an animal for a trophy may be shocking to you. But to mainstream America the vile spew coming from the ‘animal rights’ types is down right frightening.

    • Swarf, you make a lot of unfounded assumptions and some pretty ridiculous statements. I mean, come on, that’s what you call a smile borne of “bloodlust”?
      But underlying problem is that, not being a hunter yourself, you’ve assumed that trophy hunters are in it just to have something interesting and dead on their wall.
      What an asinine assumption.
      Of all of the things hunting is about, that’s last on the list, if it’s there at all. After all, what do you think that “trophy” is a trophy of?
      There’s nothing wrong with smiling after a hunt. There’s nothing wrong with being proud of the hunt you’ve completed. There’s nothing wrong with sharing that pride and joy. In fact, those are all very good, healthy things.
      Do you think hunting is just about food?

      • Actually, I didn’t say I believed any of those things. I said those are the perceptions many people have. And from the pictures it’s pretty easy to see why people have those ideas. While I may not one hundred percent agree with them any more, I definitely understand.

        I’ve been hanging around you guys long enough to have a more nuanced reaction to trophy hunting. I understand more the conservation side of it, and while I don’t ever see myself posing with a dead critter with a grin on my face, there are a lot of things I wouldn’t have seen myself supporting when I first got in to shooting about ten years ago. People are capable of learning and changing their opinions, you know.

        And I sure as shit didn’t advocate any threats against hunters. Yes, jwm, it does cross the line.

        • I appreciate you keeping an open mind, and attempting to understand the different sides. That is partially because I just don’t see the “bloodlust” you mention. I just see happy people. Sometimes very exhausted happy people, but happy people none the less. I can’t seem to understand how, or why, other people put some kind of weird “thrill of the kill” projection on people who hunt. It’s just not there.
          Of course, it’s always by people who don’t hunt. People who’ve never experienced the thrill of the hunt, and don’t understand that it’s fundamentally different than the thrill of the kill.
          The truth of the matter is, there is very little other than trophy hunting left in the developed world. With the exception of varmint and pest eradication, pretty much all of the hunting we do, no matter if we eat the animal or not, is trophy hunting.
          And that’s better than ok, that’s good.

          What is hunting really about? Because it’s not about food.

        • “What is hunting really about? Because it’s not about food.”

          So, if it’s the pursuit, there’s not a lot fundamentally different between hunting game animals and chasing women for nookie?

        • Ok now, here again it’s easy to see the other side: if it’s not about the kill, and it’s not about the food, then can’t you accomplish the same thing with a camera?

          Pretty sure African conservationists would still take your money if you forgot your gun.

        • Swarf, no, they are entirely different activities. I take photos of animals all year, it doesn’t feel anything like hunting.
          What, to you, is hunting about?

        • Jon:What hunting would be about for me if I got my wish and learned how to hunt and process deer for food and what it seems to be about for people like that Jimmy John’s guy or the Trump kids with that tiger, are different things.

          And yes, I do understand the ritual, and I can imagine how close one must feel to the animal they just harvested to feed themselves. Life eats life. That’s how nature works, there’s no point in being squeamish about it, and I don’t think that’s wrong. Or right, for that matter. There is no morality to it, it’s just how it is.

          It’s sure as shit on a straighter moral bearing than a feedlot.

          If anything, those pictures bother me personally because it seems like killing should be a solemn occasion. It seems deeply disrespectful to the animal whose life you just took to be posing for a giggle pic next to it’s corpse. That’s why it looks like bloodlust. Like the guys in war who start to enjoy it a bit too much and begin making ear necklaces.

        • Swarf, hunting is different for everyone, but I think you were really hitting on some of the big themes for why people are so compelled to hunt.
          Your desire to learn to not just hunt, but also to learn the butchering process is telling. I think it’s a great thing. You want to have this self-sufficiency in a natural state that I think is really valuable for an individual, and the society in general as well.
          And that’s a big part of hunting. That challenge of yourself through nature, and with nature.
          There is no time that I feel like I am more part of this world than when I hunt. It makes me feel connected to the land, and of course to the animal that I am hunting. Like every animal in the woods, I am both competing with, and cooperating with, all of the natural world around me.
          Unsurprisingly, it brings Joy. It also brings a gratefulness for the hunt, and often the people I have shared the hunt with.
          And that’s what the trophies on my wall are trophies of, that challenge, and that cooperation. It’s a reminder of the experience, which the kill is part of, but only part of.

      • JWTaylor
        Hunting is about food in certain parts of Africa and the rest of the world. Especially in the third world. If local people can make money by selling hunts that is a very good thing.
        There is nothing wrong with celebrating the harvest of food for people. Food market conditions in very rural Africa are not the same as in the West.

        The hunting economy should be much better explained by hunters than it is today. And I’m not a hunter. But I do understand very well why conservation in America, Africa, and everywhere else is so very important.

    • You summed up my thoughts exactly. It’s not the act of killing something, it’s the stupid delight many hunters take in posing with a dead animal.

      • I have that same grin in my photos standing with a gallon of fresh picked huckleberries.
        Has nothing to do with killing or blood.

  9. “She ended up deleting her Facebook page because the threats numbered into the thousands within 48 hours of the photos going viral.”

    It’s time to hold ‘Facebook’ to account and require them to provide IP addresses for threats made over their networks.

    Perhaps when the word gets out you will be charged with a felony for making threats on Facebook, or any other ‘social media’, the attacks will diminish…

  10. I’m OK with hunting. One of my friend’s shoots a gazillian ducks every season. Like everything else on social media you need to use good judgment. Publicly posting ain’t.

  11. I’ve tried on Instagram to support young hunters that have legally harvested an animal ,the liberal who scream peace also screamed for death on the children,they also made threats on me I could careless. Something should be done because these kids are learn ng the value of work and ethics .

  12. Facebook is the work of the devil, having led to more waste, misery and human suffering than any other technology in history.

    Back in the day, did we put our hunting photos on billboards and buy ads in the local newspaper? Of course not. Even the wealthy elite who could afford to publish their expensive exotic African hunts had no such need for attention. They hung taxidermy on their walls and shared photos privately with friends and family.

    For those who are pathetically desperate for attention, social media now exists for you. Share every aspect of your life with the world if you like. But be careful what you wish for. You might get more attention than you wanted.

    • There’s been photos of hunts posted on restaurants, bars, VFWs, and all sorts of establishments for decades. Before that, there were newspapers and magazines and books filled with hunting exploits. Before that, they made songs about them. Long, long before that, we painted our hunts on cave walls.
      We’ve been doing this since before our species existed. It’s part of our DNA.

      • Not in vegan restaurants or coffee-filled safe spaces frequented by snowflakes, I’ll bet.

        No argument about the DNA. But getting published in Field & Stream is not the same as social media.

        • The only social media I do is IG, and it’s for TTAG, so maybe I just don’t understand the difference, but..I don’t understand the difference.

  13. Don’t use Facebook, life still goes on. Plus there are people I don’t want to connect with.
    G+ is better😁

  14. Let’s explore what the state of conservation would be in Africa without big game hunter money in the mix, shall we?

    These large animals are competing with humans for resources. Understandably, they get wiped out by farmers and villagers who consider them a dangerous nuisance. Result?

    No lions
    No giraffes
    No cape buffalo
    No elephants
    No rhinos

  15. How about posting some photos of Governor Palin with her Caribou, Wild Boar and her bear on this thread? May be even post photos or video of Sarah clubbing Halibut with her infamous halibat?
    Heck, why not just post photos of Sarah competing in the Miss Alaska swimsuit segment?

    Seriously, i had not idea that giraffs, even males, were so vicious. The hunt was ethical conservation.

  16. “Papa” wrote, “…once you’ve hunted armed men for money, a man seldom cares for anything else.” A few of my friends have “seen the elephant “, and not just the one at the Smithsonian. We still sport hunt, either with a camera or if 100% of the meat goes to feed the hungry. Does lack of animal protein cause brain damage ? Just asking. We need a N.I.ofH study. Let the lamentation, gnashing of teeth and pathetic trollstorm commence. “con safos” 30

  17. Next time read and post all of the Google definition, not just the part that bolsters your…comments…”any insult slides off and returns to the sender”…do you have any arguments other than BravoSierra? Troll storm alert; alert in effect until… naptime. 30

    • Google definition? Oh, you’re a child. That expression has been used in Spanish for a little bit longer than Google.

  18. “and beams with pride over her kill…”

    Culling the population I can see, but I don’t get having pride over having successfully hit an elderly animal the size of a building after being guided there on a paid ‘hunt’ that is more like a shooting gallery.

  19. Is bear meat really good eating? I just bought some property up in the hills and found a big old pile of bear poo right where the pistol range is going. I’m not really interested in hunting something if I’m not going to want to eat it. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll shoot it if I have to. Just not sure about hunting it.

  20. jwtaylor, thank you so much for making my point. “Oh, you’re a child”. Always remember, If the case law is against you, argue the facts, if the substantiated facts are against you, argue that law…if they are both against you…call the other attorney bad names. 30

  21. Right on. I personally love to gator hunt the most, for the rush and excitement. Hunting a predator is just fun. You can become the hunted. Maybe I’m just twisted. I’ve got no problem hunting other critters, but, I primarily focus on gators because of the intensity.

  22. That makes me want to vomit.

    I am in NRA instructor in Basic Rifle, Basically kept pistol, Personal Protection In The Home, Personal Protection Outside The Home, a tactical firearms instructor, and a lifetime NRA member. That is not hunting. That is despicable.

  23. I am a gun owner and stand for the Second, but that was a stupid picture, just asking for trouble.

  24. This is scientific game management and it is 100% why the Southern White Rhino has been saved from extinction thus far while the Black Rhino looks like it will soon be extinct. You have to cull the animals to maintain a healthy breeding gene pool as the natural habitat of these animals has been so far eroded. Africa is projected to be the most populous continent quite soon so with all those people the wild animals will be massively losing out. Without game management programs where hunters pay large amounts for the privilege of harvesting one of these fantastic beasts that is past its prime then you are left with game wardens doing it with no additional and badly needed funds coming in to fund the upkeep of the game reserves. All these anti-hunting and anti-game management people are not putting up any funds to save these majestic creatures and the main funding source to save them is the same the world over as hunters fund the majority of conservation efforts that actually work. In the contest between humans and wild animals in Africa the animals will always lose and soon will be extinct if much more game management isn’t established in many more game reserves. It is SCIENCE so use logic instead of your emotions and while you’re at it make out a check to several of these game reserves.


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