Editor/Contributor: Joshua Garcia
Let me preface this by saying that I am thrilled when I see ANYONE get a successful hunt. I’m also thrilled to just see people out hunting, regardless if they are successful or not.
Contrary to popular belief, the hunting community is pretty small. According to a report taken in 2011 by The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service,13.7 million people, 6% of the U.S. population 16 years old and older, went hunting.
That’s an extremely small percentage, especially considering there are 318.9 million people in the U.S. And we’re just talking about the U.S. right now. I bring this up because if you’re in the hunting industry, as in, if you follow a lot of fellow hunters, the industry may seem huge to you, but it’s actually quite small.
Before I begin, please keep in mind that when I say ‘trophy’ I’m mostly referring to big game animals such as bear, moose, elk, caribou, etc. I’m also referring to deer that have particularly large racks.
What we’re seeing now with the hunting industry is hunters who are going after trophies and posting their trophies up on social media. And that’s great! The more we can share our hunting journey, the better!
But, if you follow a lot of hunters, especially professional hunters or celebrity hunters or hunters who are able to get out there and hunt all the time, you see trophy animal after trophy animal after trophy animal filling up your social media feeds during hunting seasons. We see all of these trophy animals and go “Wow! Wouldn’t that be nice!”
Not gonna lie, I’m envious of those who get these huge, big trophy animals. It makes me want to get those same type of trophy animals, even though I know that those animals can be extremely difficult to get and take A LOT of hard work and dedication.
Honestly, I just want a deer each season, whether doe or buck, I just want meat to fill my freezer. I’m not looking for any prized trophy animal. It’d be nice, but that’s not my purpose.
So all these successful hunts are popping up on my social media feed and the biggest of the biggest are usually the ones that are promoted the most, especially if they are somehow sponsored or if they are extremely well-known.
After seeing these big animals being taken down, we, too, want to take down those same big animals.
But NO MATTER WHAT, if you are a hunter and you are hunting for meat, there is no such thing as too small.
All too often I hear this phrase, “Not the biggest buck, but…”
Or, “It’s just a doe, but…”
Come on. Not the biggest buck? It’s JUST a doe?! You’re putting free range meat into your freezer all by yourself, YOU SHOULD BE PROUD!!! Don’t ever take for granted what you have just done! Don’t ever feel bad for the size of the animal that you just killed. You just took the life of an animal so that you could continue living. It’s a big deal.
That’s meat in your freezer.
But, we feel self-conscious because we want to be one of those hunters with those trophies.
I don’t think social media has completely ruined hunting, but I do believe that it has had a huge impact on hunters and their mindsets.
Here’s the deal; if you’re a hunter and you hunt ethically and you work your ass off, no matter how “big” or “small”..be proud that you have the ability to get out there and hunt for your own food!
I also want to say that even if you’re unsuccessful, THAT’S OKAY TOO! Unsuccessful hunts are rarely talked about on social media, because people might feel ashamed. “Well, I didn’t get ANYTHING, let alone a trophy!” Look, it’s called hunting for a reason. If it were easy, everyone would do it. It’s hard work and there are going to be unsuccessful hunts.
AND THAT’S OKAY!
Never feel bad for the size of animal that you’ve killed. Never feel bad for having an unsuccessful hunt.
Don’t let what other people post on social media dictate the types of animals that you “should” be getting. Did you get a doe? Share it loud and proud, “I JUST HUNTED FOR MY OWN MEAT!”
Just get out there, do your best and most of all: HAVE FUN!