Hunt, Post, Share, Like
For a hunter or trapper, there may be nothing more self-fulfilling than the successful harvest of a game animal that you have pursued. But before you post about your success on social media, stop and ask yourself a few simple questions. Am I displaying a positive, ethical image of hunting? Am I showing the respect I have for the animal I just harvested? Social media may be many people’s only exposure to hunting, and thus may be their sole source for forming an impression of this activity. Most hunters are mindful and ethical, but a single negative post can be spread across Vermont and create a negative impression of hunting.
Vermont Fish & Wildlife suggests the following tips to accurately reflect a positive hunting experience in social media. These tips are equally important for trappers.
- Display respect for the animal in its life and in its death. Ask yourself if your non-hunting friends would view the photo as respectful of this animal’s life.
- Make sure the animal looks its best. Place the tongue back in mouth and try to minimize blood in the photo to instead focus on the beauty of the animal. Try to take a photo of a successful hunt in the animal’s natural habitat. Blue sky, forest, and mountains places hunting in the context of its natural surroundings
- Don’t just post ‘grab and grin’ photos after a successful hunt. Show all the aspects of the hunt to give people a more complete picture of what hunting means to you. Post photos of a silent snowy forest or quality time spent outdoors with friends and family.
- Include posts from after the hunt too. A photo of you enjoying a plate of tasty venison with friends and family will help people make the connection that wild meat is a healthy, local, sustainable food source.
- If you see friends posting unethical behavior, don’t be afraid to speak up. Please forward any posts that include illegal activity to the Vermont Fish & Wildlife’s Facebook page so our wardens can look into it.
If done properly, social media can be a great opportunity to show non-hunters why you are passionate about hunting and to inspire conversation and spark interest.