The amount of anti-hunter bullying that now takes place on social media has risen dramatically in recent years. Their hateful and often violent comments are meant to intimidate hunters. If this type of bullying were directed at another group, it would be all over the media and people would be outraged. As hunters we need to stand up for what we believe in, be educated on the facts and be united in our cause.
This past week, we were fortunate enough to visit with 3 predominant women within the hunting community and get their inputs on how to deal with anti-hunters and the increase in cyber-bullying.
Meet the contributors
Eva Shockey is the co-host for her father Jim Shockey’s television show on Outdoor Channel called Jim Shockey’s Hunting Adventures. With a combined passion for conservation and adventure, Eva is now a full-fledged Outdoor Channel and Wild TV personality and is quickly making a name for herself within the industry as a proud, female outdoorswoman.
Kristy Titus is an Oregon native and lifelong hunter and angler. Raised in the backcountry and part of the RMEF Team ELK, also on Outdoor Channel, she has spent a large amount of time hunting and trekking through the woods and jungles and appreciates serving as an ambassador for women hunters while experiencing the thrill of fair chase hunting. She is passionate in the support of wildlife and habitat conservation and outdoor education. Her ultimate mission is to inspire others, giving them the confidence to tackle the most demanding outdoor activities.
Taylor Drury, seen on Outdoor Channel’s Drury’s THIRTEEN grew up around hunting and learned about the outdoors from her dad, Mark, and Uncle Terry. Her dad has been taking her out since she was a little girl and now that she is older, Taylor has gained a respect for the sport. For her, there is nothing more fun than spending time with family while trying to harvest an animal.
2girls hunting: Ladies, have you been bullied via social media due to your hunting interest?
Eva: Yes, I have been bullied because of my involvement in hunting; most of this bullying comes from people who don’t understand my way of life and what I do, along with other hunters, for wildlife conservation.
Taylor: It is human nature for people to lash out at what they don’t understand. The bullying has increased lately due to people spending more time on social media.
2girls hunting: Do you feel that female hunters receive more threats versus our male counterparts?
Kristy: Yes, I believe that people feel women don’t stand up for themselves and hunting is a predominant male activity. Again, know your facts: female hunters are the fastest growing population of hunting.
2girls hunting: Kristy, do you have any suggestions on how to respond in a way that promotes the lifestyle in a positive light?
Kristy: I make sure I give facts; like did you know that through state license and fees, hunters pay $796 million a year for conservation programs. I often refer to my web page, along with the website hosted by the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, for facts and research.
2girls hunting: How about wild game or trophy photos? Taylor, do you have any suggestions on how to pose with your harvest to be less offensive?
Taylor: How I was raised was to pose with just me sitting behind the animal, and to display this animal as the primary focus. I don’t like to put my foot on or show any disrespect toward my harvest.
2girls hunting: Do you think there is such a thing as “trophy hunting?”
Eva: Most people think that trophy hunting is the size of the antlers. When I hunt, I do “selective hunting,” such as a more mature deer or moose. For all the time and effort that I put into every single hunt, for me … they are all trophies.
2girls hunting: Eva, any suggestions on how to avoid the critics? (Even though they will always be there.)
Eva: Overall, hunters are responsible for hunters. It doesn’t matter the size of platform or followers, we all make the same contributions. We all need to show respect for the animal and the situations that are presented. I believe with every part of me that what I’m doing is right, so there’s nothing that I’m apologizing for.
2girls hunting: Here’s what we don’t understand … Why do anti-hunters search out social media sites and pictures that they disapprove of? Do you think they are just looking for attention and arguments? When it comes to hunters and being bullied, social media and the media itself seems to just turn a blind eye. So, let’s stand up for your rights to hunt. Be proud of legal, ethical hunting and defend our actions as hunters.