Do you want to become a name on my blacklist? If so, follow these simple guidelines to surge my blood pressure and make yourself weakly vulnerable to public perception among deer hunters.
The Tacky Tailgater
Nothing exemplifies the homage of a buck’s life than a photograph of him in the back of your rusted truck amongst beer cans and chewing tobacco tins – said nobody ever. I’ve snarled at the sight of these glory photos more than I care to admit. Case in point, hunter drags the buck’s head toward the back of the tailgate and holds the rack with a $ grin during the black of darkness. To add insult to injury, most of these photos show the tailgate stained red, deer with its tongue hung out like a panting dog and the animal’s eyes glazed over like frosted flakes.
A splendid example of a “Tacky Tailgater”.
After successfully slaying a deer that you are proud of – whether it’s a doe or 200” buck, is this the illustrious image that you want to pass along to family or friends? If you said ‘yes,’ you’re coming off as a substandard redneck. These glamour shots are better off stuffed deep inside your cell phone’s photo gallery alongside your bathroom mirror selfies. Simply put, keep these to yourself.
How hard is it to pull the animal into a natural setting and take a descent photo? Hell, pull the deer into your yard for goodness sake. Clean him, prop him, and smile. It’s that easy.
The Bloody Buck
I’m well aware that hunting is a blood sport, but this doesn’t give you the green light to take photographs of a deer smeared in red. Unless you killed a deer with your bare hands, it doesn’t make you look any manlier to pose with a bucket full of blood covering your hands and the animal. Imagine the impression this creates to a non-hunter (someone who isn’t against hunting, but just doesn’t participate). You aren’t winning anyone’s appreciation over by spotlighting the gruesome bloodbath.
This isn’t so bad if you’re sending to your hunting buddies the moment after a recovery, but wait until it’s cleaned up a bit before you post it for the world to see.
How much of an inconvenience is it to carry a roll of paper towels and bottle of Windex in your truck? Clean your animal up to make it look presentable. No person wants to see a pool of blood alongside your prized possession – unless they still live in the Age of Barbarians. Paying tribute to the animal’s death doesn’t give you the thumbs up to exemplify the physical nature of death itself. Treating your kill with honor speaks volumes for not only you, but the entire hunting community as a whole. And that’s something we all must remember.
The Buck Rider
Please don’t hitchhike atop your deer. Harley Davidson’s are meant for joyriding, not your dead animal. Seriously though, why do people saddle up on the back of their buck and pose with a cheerful smile while cranking back the antlers as if their doing bicep curls? You literally look like ‘Giggles’ the clown. Period.
Ride ‘Em cowboy! Actually, for the sake of decency please don’t.
There’s just something that truly irks me about these particular poses. It’s as if you’ve lost all proper hunting etiquette to glorify the death you’ve just taken. I’d rather begrudgingly look at a dopey photo of you standing beside your deer on a tailgate than have to stomach seeing you plopping on its backbone.
Here’s the granddaddy of them all, a tailgatin’ buck rider!
Now before you start calling me a tree hugging liberal, let me get my point across. To me, hunting is a privilege. If you’re taking the life of another animal, it should be shroud in the deepest respect. That starts with an ethically clean kill, proper management of the meat and a feeling of gratification for following the hunting handbook. I personally didn’t start realizing this until later in my hunting career. I’m certain that you know old-timers that have hunted all their life, but have turned a little soft. At times, they’ve become more apt to watch deer than physically kill them. This is because they’ve come full-circle and truly understand the value of life better than most of us ever will.
Above, the author demonstrates what a top notch trophy pic looks like.
The amount of non and anti-hunters outweigh the population of our tight-knit outdoor community. Everything that we do is scrutinized through a microscope of doubts. I feel that it’s critical that we leave a lasting positive impact on those who don’t understand our love for the hunt. The small details are what often times mean the most. For example, let’s not add fuel to their fire by taking a photograph of an animal with an arrow still stuck in it. Or a picture of a deer that had its leg blown off during gun season. Yes, it’s inevitable for things like this to happen. Yet, these aren’t the moments to be spotlighted or bragged about.
My conclusion is this. Celebrate the hunt without humiliating the critter that you’ve taken. Never apologize for being a hunter, but at the same token, don’t ever take the animal for granted. I hope that you see where I’m coming from for the betterment of the future of our beloved addiction.