Rinella article.. CUT AND PASTED

Greenhorn

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Over the past decade, hunters have increasingly publicized pictures and videos of their kills to large audiences on social media. This monumental change in hunting norms occurred gradually and with little thought for its consequences. These consequences are overwhelmingly negative. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for sharing photos of harvested game with friends and family. I strongly support individuals and organizations that use social media to cover issues of importance to the hunting community. But it is time to unfollow hunters who post pictures of dead animals to hundreds, thousands, or even millions of, mostly, strangers.

Social media has corrupted our motivations for hunting and is risking the future of the very activity we love so much. Traditionally, we hunters took to the woods for hides, horns, meat, personal enjoyment, and a sense of self-reliance. Now, for the first time in human history, many seek a digital harvest. Rather than butchering meat for the freezer or tanning a hide, these kinds of hunters mostly want photos on their iPhones to beam out across the internet. More than cooking and eating what they shoot, they’re interested in exchanging it for likes and followers — and even corporate sponsorships in gear and dollars.

Primitive Hunter Gatherer on his phone matt rinella essayPrimitive Hunter Gatherer on his phone matt rinella essayLike. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Adobe
With my last name, this may strike some as a curious position. I’m the brother of Steve Rinella, the founder of MeatEater and maybe the most influential hunter in America today. While I dearly love Steve and am close with some of his coworkers, I’ve come to realize their approach — and the approach of many others — of blending hunting and media, and their efforts to publicize and commodify hunting and wildlife via every available digital platform, undermine hunters everywhere. It’s easy to forget these days that people can remain friends despite vehemently disagreeing, but we’ve managed to do just that.

My argument starts with the fact that, in much of the US, public-land hunting is so overcrowded it’s no longer worth it. The mainstream and hunting mediahave run articles bemoaning declines in hunter participation for years, but this is utter nonsense. The number of hunters is extremely difficult to determine, and even if hunter numbers have dipped slightly since the 1980s when US Fish and Wildlife Service data indicate they peaked, it’s irrelevant. Existing hunters are hunting more. When I crunched the data, it became clear that hunting license sales increased a whopping 30% between the 1980s and 2010s, and then the COVID-19 hunting boom increased hunter and license numbers even more. So, even if there are a few less hunters, those hunters are buying more licenses and spending more time crowding the woods.

Also, since the 1980s, the American landscape has changed in major ways. The US population size has increased by a third, the square footage of housing per person has doubled, and many former hunting spots are consequently residential neighborhoods now. The US simply doesn’t have the habitat needed to support the wildlife and hunters it used to.

matt rinella essay photomatt rinella essay photoLook, ma. I’m famous! Kurtis Frasier/Free Range American
As a result, big game draw odds have plummeted, private lands are increasingly leased for hunting and thus off-limits to the public, and public land hunting often begins with struggling to find parking at the trailhead, followed by struggling to find animals so pressured they suffer from PTSD. According to 2017 survey data, over half of hunters have abandoned spots due to crowding. In short, hunter numbers have grown beyond what the resource can support. I believe social media is largely responsible for this because it draws people afield under false pretenses and encourages hunting for unjust reasons.

I’d be remiss if I ignored my own history with hunting social media. I was never big on posting grip-and-grins online. Years ago, I completely stopped after seriously asking myself why I wanted lots of people to see what I had shot. Upon reflection, I realized bragging was my sole motivation. This troubled me. I’ve always had a low tolerance for bragging by others, so I disliked realizing I was guilty of it myself. It didn’t help that I was bragging about dead animals harvested for food. This seemed more consequential and perverse than the soccer trophies, kitchen remodels, and other inane shit people brag about online.



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Greenhorn

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Page 2 (CUT and PASTED)​

The Negative Consequences of Hunting Social Media​

For proof that social media, and hunting television, are increasing hunter numbers on already overcrowded public lands, consider what hunting influencers sell their followers on Facebook and Instagram and throughtheir TV shows. In addition to hunting products, influencers like my brother sell books that teach rudimentary hunting, game cooking, and backcountry survival skills. Many are now teaching classes wherestudents learn elementary woodsmanship, game calling, map reading, and strategies for applying for tags.

The target audience for all this is clearly hunting-curious nonhunters because seasoned hunters don’t need 101-level how-to content. If you have any doubt that motivating people to hunt and selling them products is big business, consider how many influencers do it. Here, for example, are more than 200 of them on Instagram. In addition to inspiring people to hunt, influencers inspire people to become fellow influencers. They do this partly by example and partly by teaching the relevant skills to do so, like how to attract sponsors and how to film their hunts. In other words, influencers motivate people to hunt for the same shitty ego- and profit-motivated reasons they hunt themselves.

a whitetail buck and doe matt rinella essaya whitetail buck and doe matt rinella essayAre photos of live game animals a better representation of the hunter’s experience than grip-and-grins? Adobe

Top hunting influencers like to call themselves conservationists, but the fact of the matter is influencers are terrible for habitat. No matter how great areas look in terms of feed and cover, game can’t live where there are hunters on every ridge. That’s exactly the situation influencers have created in their quest for more hunter-customers. Most influencers don’t have to hunt the places they’ve blown up because they largely hunt private land, take expensive trips to remote hunting destinations, and enter pricey limited tag lotteries throughout the US and beyond.

Influencers like to believe they’re elevating our reputation among the nonhunting public, but social media has severely damaged our reputation among nonhunters as well as reduced hunting opportunity. For example, read about the banning of grizzly bear huntingin British Columbia or watch The Women Who Kill Lions on Netflix. Or Google something like “social media hunting controversy” and settle in for a very long read.

Moreover, hunting influencers routinely engage in selfish, greedy behavior that poses threats to our reputation among nonhunters. Generating enough content to gain big followings and attract sponsors necessitates gobbling up tags and killing more than one needs. Top influencers commonly kill three or more elk a year along with a variety of other game. If you’re reading this, you’re probably following several of them right now.

If I was a nonhunter doing a quick scan of hunting social media, my gut response would be one of shock. It is a cornucopia of carcasses with zero explanation of what they plan to do with all that meat. If you’re a nonhunter reading this, please believe many traditional hunters are as disgusted by all this greed as you are. Traditional hunters believe wild game is a precious resource, and we harvest only what we need to eat between seasons, thereby increasing the chances for other hunters to take an animal.

quail cooked over and open firequail cooked over and open fireDoes showing an animal processed, cooked, and eaten make hunting more palatable to nonhunters? Adobe
 
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Greenhorn

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PAGE 3 (CUT AND PASTED)

Hunting social media is also horrible for public access. Friends growing up in the rural Montana community where I live remember freely hunting the surrounding ranchlands. A tractor repairman friend remembers having permission to hunt a 100-plus-mile swath running from eastern Montana all the way to South Dakota. Access started dwindling in the late 1980s with the advent of cable-TV hunting shows. These shows increased the appeal of hunting to the point where people became willing to pay big money to lease private hunting lands. Nowadays, it’s laughable to think banging on doors will result in hunting permissions in this prairie country because years of social media hype have made un-pressured ground so rare and monetarily valuable that landowners can’t resist charging for it. Hunting influencers like to pretend fellow hunters are their stakeholder group, but their real stakeholders are large landowners and the hunting industry.

Social media hunters further degrade opportunities for traditional hunters by deceiving people into thinking hunting is something it’s not. When famous hunting personalities pay to kill elk on ranches that are off-limits to the public, what they’re doing is more like slaughtering livestock than hunting wild elk. If that’s what gets them off, great, but putting videos of their “hunts” on social media without indicating they are stalking areas off-limits to the public dupes legions of newbies into thinking publicly accessible basins are brimming with bulls just waiting to be shot. Nothing says, “let them eat cake,” quite like using social media to inundate traditional public land hunters with throngs of aspiring hunting influencers while stalking quasi-domestic wildlife on private ranches.

I can’t understand being proud enough of this fantasy hunting to film it or brag about it on podcasts. Aren’t the videos a tacit admission one lacks the tenacity for real hunting? Many traditional hunters think so. I’d rather kill a one-eyed calf with a limp on public land than a half-tame giant that’s only accessible to people who can afford to pay for it. At a bare minimum, these “hunters” should explain to their followers that they’ve paid to stalk glorified cattle at hunting amusement parks. Then they could give a virtual tour of the lodge and a cost breakdown.

Here is perhaps the biggest problem with hunting social media: It is blatantly dishonest. It doesn’t take much hunting experience or familiarity with wound-loss data to see that social media hunters regularly hide the sorrowful side of killing animals for sport and meat. Social media shows too many smiling faces and too few fading blood trails. I know hunters that upload their grip-n-gloats before the meat cools when things go right but post nothing at all when they wound and lose game. Even major hunting publications encourage this lying by omission by discouraging hunters from posting videos of poorly hit game.

“Keep on hunting, but post nothing in 2022. This will prove you’ve moved past the attention-seeking toddler stage in your development as a hunter and now go afield for mature reasons.”

Showing only the happy parts attracts people to hunting on false premises, which is deeply unfair. It causes people to gear up and head afield thinking they’ll simply pull the trigger and drag their winter meat back to the truck. It’s not a true representation. The cold, hard fact is that pulling the trigger sometimes results in wounded animals and severe regret. This is especially true for new hunters. If influencers insist on recruiting new hunters and selling them gear, they should at least have the decency to ensure these hunters go into it with their eyes wide open. Of course, honest social media that consistently shows wound loss would provoke public outrage. As such, the influencers have painted themselves into a corner: Showing only the happy parts is lying and showing everything could destroy hunting. If they want to stop lying while maintaining our right to hunt, the only option is to take hunting offline.
 
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Greenhorn

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PAGE 4 (CUT & PASTED)​

What’s Lost if We Stop Posting Harvested Game?​

As long as there have been cameras, hunters have been taking pictures with their game animals. Before the internet, these photos were displayed in albums and sometimes on walls in sporting goods stores. While the pictures aren’t new, the motivations for showing them, and the numbers and types of people that see them, have changed dramatically. Instead of a few family members or hunters in bait shops seeing the images, they are broadcast to everyone willing to look at them across the internet. This mass posting of dead game has become so common that it’s tempting to think something virtuous might be lost if we stop doing it.

To determine what’s at stake, I recently asked eight hunters who are widely followed on social media why they show us what they shoot. If they can’t explain why looking at what they kill is indispensable to the future of hunting, who can?

Their responses included “picture storage” and “informing friends what I’ve been doing.” Both are goals easily achieved without hundreds or thousands of followers. Most other motivations I heard about clearly don’t benefit the hunting community, such as “gaining credibility as a hunter” and “being addicted to the adoration” of followers, as two interviewees put it. One said, “It’s only worth [posting dead game] if people buy something,” and six of the eight admitted bragging was a motivation.

hunter walking in the Scottish highlands matt rinella essayhunter walking in the Scottish highlands matt rinella essayDoes a photo like this help or hurt hunting? Adobe

One motivation mentioned to me that demands more serious consideration is “celebrating the animal.” This could ostensibly benefit the hunting community as it could be seen as a positive to nonhunters watching. But do they mean celebrating the animal’s magnificence? If so, why not stick to photos of living animals? All animals look way better alive. Do they mean celebrating the animal’s life like we do loved ones at funerals? If so, why don’t we post pictures of open caskets to celebrate departed loved ones? When people say they show thousands of people what they shoot “to honor the animal,” much as I want to believe their motives are pure, all I hear is “to honor my abilities.” They’re honoring themselves, not the animal.

One interviewee said his motivation was to “portray hunting honestly” as a counter to all the dishonest depictions on social media and television. I’m positive this interviewee provides warts-and-all depictions of real hunting. I know the guy. He once released a heartbreaking video involving an elk he wounded. Nevertheless, it’s impossible to regularly consume hunting social media without regularly consuming bullshit, and there’s no way to distinguish the truth from the half-truths and outright lies.

Another motivation cited by the social media hunters I spoke with was promoting acceptance of hunting by illustrating field-to-table connectivity. To me, it’s a stretch to think nonhunters learn anything profound that revolutionizes their views on hunting when we post dead deer followed by a recipe for venison osso buco.
 
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Greenhorn

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PAGE 5 (Cut and PASTED)​

What Should We Do About It?​

My brother Dan has joked about developing an internet-enabled rifle scope that automatically uploads kill shots to a hunter’s social media feed. His joke illustrates how hopelessly entangled social media is with hunting. Prospects for disentangling the two seem dim. Once before, however, hunters did abandon a common practice that wasn’t serving them. Through the 1980s, visibly transporting big game on vehicles was common. Then, in the 1990s and early 2000s, sportsmen’s groups, hunting magazines, and game management agencies began encouraging hunters to conceal carcasses to avoid offending nonhunters. The campaign seems to have worked some because I don’t see as many predominantly displayed deer on the highway as I used to.

If we unfollow hunting social media, we’ll do much more than avoid further public relations problems. We’ll be better, happier, and more successful hunters. In addition to no longer completely wasting time and suffering other downsides of staring at phones, we’ll stop contributing to a system that:

  • Incentivizes hunting for the wrong reasons
  • Diminishes draw odds
  • Crowds public hunting grounds
  • Makes wildlands uninhabitable for wildlife
  • Pays landowners to lock out the public
  • Degrades our reputation among nonhunters
The solution to all this is simple. I’m appealing to hunting influencers: Stop posting it. I’m appealing to hunting content consumers: Stop following it. I’m appealing to all hunters everywhere: Get on board with my New Year No Post Challenge. Keep on hunting, but post nothing in 2022. This will prove you’ve moved past the attention-seeking toddler stage in your development as a hunter and now go afield for mature reasons. More importantly than proving it to others, you’ll prove it to yourself. Is hunting still fun without the likes?

When it comes to hunting, we should take our lead from the Ju/’hoansi people of the Kalahari Desert, a hunter-gatherer tribe that the anthropologist Richard Borshay Lee studied in the 1960s and 1970s. Ju/’hoansi customs strongly encouraged humility, as quotes from a tribesman illustrate:

“Say that a man has been hunting. He must not come home and announce like a braggart, ‘I have killed a big one in the bush!’ He must first sit down in silence until I or someone else comes up to his fire and asks, ‘What did you see today?’ He replies quietly, ‘Ah, I’m no good for hunting. I saw nothing at all…maybe just a tiny one.’ Then I smile to myself because I know he has killed something big.”

The contrast between Ju/’hoansi hunters and social media hunters couldn’t be sharper. These humble tribesmen were reluctant to tell their closest friends and neighbors they had killed something. Conversely, social media hunters tell the whole world. The Ju/’hoansi had the right idea. The proper attitude for the hunter is one of understatement and humility. Hunting is about seeing without being seen. Hunting is best done quietly.
 
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Big Fin

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Here is a copy and paste of my comment from a different forum, Rokslide, where this same topic and article popped up earlier in the week.

Good discussion here. I’m glad Matt is willing to say these things. There’s a lot of value in what he is saying and even more value in forcing those of us with platforms to think about all of this. I think the fact that he’s Steve’s brother gives his message even more power. When Matt did his demonetize/de-something else gig about a year ago, I found that to be a helpful discussion, also.

Since my name came up in this thread, I'll jump in and give some thoughts of a guy who has some of these platforms, knowing it might just make for a bigger target.

For me, I would get rid of FB, IG, and YT in a second if those were not the primary distribution channels of our society and thus, for communicating the WHY of our platforms – To promote self-guided public land hunting and create advocates for that cause.

Right now, those are the primary media outlets of our day, replacing a lot of the role previously served by TV, print, etc. Just how it is.

I have IG and FB for our platforms. I have a social media firm that runs those for me. I have no interest in them, so I hand it off to a professional firm. I do have monthly meetings and weekly calls with them to determine what we schedule as the message, the images, and I’m really keen to see the results of each. Me and my crew run the YouTube part of our distribution. I run the podcast part by myself.

The results from our IG, FB, and YT content are interesting to follow. We break all our content, whether videos, social, or whatever, into four categories; 1) entertainment, 2) information, 3) education, and 4) advocacy. When we examine what people watch and engage in, the content with animals and filling tags get many, many times the amount of engagement as does any other content category.

Even with the lower engagement in the other three categories of our content, my crew knows we will continue to do a heavy emphasis of food, information, education, and advocacy. Those are critical parts of our WHY. If people continue their habits of engaging in those at much lower levels, it doesn’t matter to me. It is part of our plan and we will do it.

As for clicks, likes, etc. None of that means squat to me. It has no bearing on what I do, what I post, and surely has no impact on my relationship with our sponsors. They support us because of our public land and conservation message/work. If any of you who do subscribe to our IG, FB or YT have unsubscribed, I completely understand and I don’t blame you one bit.

As to Matt’s comment that nobody shows the ugly parts of hunting, misses and wounding, I think that is mostly correct, with some exceptions. We, and a few others, show it all, the good, the bad, the misses, the hits, and what the outcome is.

When I was on TV, the network tried everything to get me to not air a NV archery mule deer hunt from our very first season. They did not want “no-kill” episodes. I told them I was paying them for airtime and so long as the episode was delivered to their specs, according to the contract, they had to air it. Eventually, they aired it. The next year, we had three or four no-kill episodes. Just how it happens for us. Since then, we’ve had many of them. Hell, this season, I was on five hunts of my own. Two no-kills. Just how it goes.

Our fourth year, I hit a bear in Alaska and I didn’t recover it. I felt terrible. I sent it to the network, and again, they advised me against airing it. I aired it. It showed the reality of me somehow effing up a 280 yard shot that I should have made. We’ve shown every miss and the few instances where an animal was not recovered. We don’t show shots of finishing off an animal if a follow up is necessary.

I get a lot of heat when we air those episodes that have some messy outcomes. Some don’t like that it is shown. I think an unrecovered animal is a painful part of hunting that will happen sooner or later, no matter how hard you try to avoid it. So, we show that and try to reconcile the feelings that come with it.

I have no false hopes that I’m the best elk hunter, a mountain athlete, or whatever. I have friends who are top-end predators, whose skills remind me how below average I am. Hell, I’m an aging CPA with a bum liver who drives a desk for a living. I’m not too worried about impressing anyone. My goal is to tell a story of what happened, sometimes a good outcome, sometimes not. Hopefully something folks can relate to.

I hope Matt continues to make these points. I agree with a lot of what he says. I think a lot of value comes from these discussion and Matt is good at pushing them forward.

Some who have social media accounts or other media platforms might point out that I’m in a different situation and thus I will look at this discussion differently. This endeavor doesn’t pay my bills, rather has cost me a few hundred thousand of my own dollars that I’ll likely never get back. So, I operate how I feel is best for our WHY and I don’t really give a damn about likes, shares, money, gear, or whatever.

I’ve spent 14 years doing this, between TV, podcasts, videos, forums, and other platforms. Before that, I spent 15 years volunteering on these issues and realized me and/or my little non-profit groups were never going to have a large impact on public land policy, access, conservation policy, etc. That is why I started these platforms. Maybe someday I’ll make some money at it, but not at the expense of doing it how I want and what I think is best. Money is not why I started it, not why I’ve done it, and not why I will continue to do it. And as such, there’s a lot benefit to me and our message by engaging in discussions such as this. I suspect my personal situation likely gives me more reason (than other content producers) to agree with Matt and many of the comments I’ve read when scanning this thread.

These threads are always helpful for me as I consider what we do, how we provide our messaging, and what we can do better. It is why I have a forum and it is why I drop in on Rokslide a few times each week when I have coverage. And why I am a sponsor here. Rokslide is a social media platform, the same as my forum is. I feel a lot better about a social media platform like Rokslide run by Ryan, Robbie, Jordan, and the crew than I do FB, IG, or YT.

Appreciate folks having this discussion. I don’t have it all figured out. I’ve made some mistakes and I’m sure I’ll make some more. Following discussions such as this gives me a lot to consider and think about as we plan, produce, and distribute our content, whichever of our four content categories it falls into.
 

np307

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There is nothing Matt Rinella's approach (or anyone else's) can do to stop what is coming. The future of hunting is simple. As the east becomes one giant suburb, hunting will give way to professional cullers and, even if the west avoids this urbanization/suburbanization impending on the east, tag costs will rise dramatically as demand far outpaces supply.
 

TOGIE

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my 1st thought on this article, even though it is maybe a couple of thoughts in one:

firstly, matt is absolutely right, on nearly all counts. he is sticking to is guns, he is pointed, he is extreme, and he is unwavering, even when that opinion is big giant smash in the nutsack to his brother. he is putting hunting heritage and the resource first. i find that very admirable.

but when anyone has an extreme opinion it is likely some nuance will find holes in it. steve and randy can both, obviously, communicate those nuances better than i ever could. I only think matt (and maybe he really already does) needs to take a step back and look at all the good his brother is doing for hunting. i believe randy is doing the same. steve is an excellent example of how hunters should behave and think. and that's not to say he's perfect, it's obvious if you pay attention to steve's show and social media that he does not hide the mistakes, and he takes a lot of undeserved criticism for it. but at the same time even more people HUGELY wanna be like steve. and that's not to say they wanna be famous like steve, they wanna be good, thoughtful, food oriented hunters that have a desire to conserve the resource and the land, like steve - think about that for second, that is a great thing for hunting IMO.

I personally wanna emulate steve in many ways, i wanna emulate randy in many ways. my personal takeaways from their media (besides trying to win hunts with cool dudes 😁 ) is to pursue hunting with righteous, ethical passion; to learn from the mistakes and celebrate the successes; to have joy in the pure adventure of hunting, animal or no animal; to be ecstatic about shooting antlerless animals because the freezer is getting more full. the list could go on and on.

but in the end, matt is right. but what is the reality? people are the problem - inherently selfish messed up people and we're ALL a selfish messed up person in some way or another, that's just a fact. and social media is the crack cocaine left out and happened upon by a recovering addict.

i've been more hesitant to post my pictures these past few years. and i may stop altogether the more i think about it.
 
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KB_

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Personally, I don't think they are all bad. But Matts feelings on the topic completely make sense to me. When you get a few bad apples doing something, everybody (good, and bad) gets lumped into the same category.

I enjoy a few of the shows and pages out in the grams and the Tubes. But man he is not wrong that there is a number of these shows and individuals that have a serious misunderstanding of what this truly is.

There is a few pages out there that like to bash these individuals and while I find them distasteful at times, Man do they ever shine an ugly look at those Matt Rinella is talking about. I get a good laugh out of it once in awhile, but it really paints a picture as to how bad it has gotten.

I think a lot of the platforms maybe started as something people just wanting to share their hobby and their way of life, while others saw the monetary value. To be honest, its pretty obvious to me who is who in the space.

I'm finding myself using the grams and the books less and less as I get older and ill gladly take that challenge in not posting any grips and grins. Although with the way things are going in Montana, that wont be so hard cause they will have killed everything.

However I will not refrain from posting videos of myself tomahawking down the ski hill for comedic relief.
 

neffa3

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One of Matt's ideas that resonated with me is that while there may be fewer hunters total, we have far less game, far less access, and those hunters are hunting far more places. That's a recipe for shitty hunting.

Another one that I'll certainly own up to is my own selfish, greedy desires to be a great hunter, and viewed as a great hunter. That greed has led me to make decisions I've come to regret later. However, to be fair, I'm struggled with that inner demon long before social media. Just as the greed to be great drove my athletic career, I've used that greed to become a better hunter. It's certainly an effective motivator. However, I don't look back on my past overly fondly. And have worked to right the ship so to speak. I don't think I'll ever being able to completely stamp the greed out of my hunting desires but I've come to accept that it comes with enough negative baggage that I need to make the conscious decision to "care less"; to be more okay at being shitty. Recently I am having more fun, but I also have less in the freezer...

Hopefully the direction I'm on will help me raise little hunters that don't make some of the poor choices I have in the past. If I'm successful it'll be worth every unfilled tag.
 
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my 1st thought on this article, even though it is maybe a couple of thoughts in one:

firstly, matt is absolutely right, on nearly all counts. he is sticking to is guns, he is pointed, he is extreme, and he is unwavering, even when that opinion is big giant smash in the nutsack to his brother. he is putting hunting heritage and the resource first. i find that very admirable.

but when anyone has an extreme opinion it is likely some nuance will find holes in it. steve and randy can both, obviously, communicate those nuances better than i ever could. I only think matt (and maybe he really already does) needs to take a step back and look at all the good his brother is doing for hunting. i believe randy is doing the same. steve is an excellent example of how hunters should behave and think. and that's not to say he's perfect, it's obvious if you pay attention to steve's show and social media that he does not hide the mistakes, and he takes a lot of undeserved criticism for it. but at the same time even more people HUGELY wanna be like steve. and that's not to say they wanna be famous like steve, they wanna be good, thoughtful, food oriented hunters that have a desire to conserve the resource and the land, like steve - think about that for second, that is a great thing for hunting IMO.

I personally wanna emulate steve in many ways, i wanna emulate randy in many ways. my personal takeaways from their media (besides trying to win hunts with cool dudes 😁 ) is to pursue hunting with righteous, ethical passion; to learn from the mistakes and celebrate the successes; to have joy in the pure adventure of hunting, animal or no animal; to be ecstatic about shooting antlerless animals because the freezer is getting more full. the list could go on and on.

but in the end, matt is right. but what is the reality? people are the problem - inherently selfish messed up people and we're ALL a selfish messed up person in some way or another, that's just a fact. and social media is the crack cocaine left out and happened upon by a recovering addict.

i've been more hesitant to post my pictures these past few years. and i may stop altogether the more i think about it.
hunting with righteous, ethical passion -pure adventure of hunting - Question- does pure and righteous still exist when there is a monetary outcome.
 

TOGIE

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One of Matt's ideas that resonated with me is that while there may be fewer hunters total, we have far less game, far less access, and those hunters are hunting far more places. That's a recipe for shitty hunting.

oh my other thought was related to that.

i fear matt is placing too much blame on social media for the lack of animals. and maybe he's not, but it sure seems like he is. whereas the dwindling animal populations has more to do with our booming population, changing climate, disease, and incessant desire to bulldoze every piece of winter range for condos.

after we recognize that we can have the conversation about how there indeed probably are too many people in the woods in too many places.
 
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mulecreek

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Hopefully the direction I'm on will help me raise little hunters that don't make some of the poor choices I have in the past. If I'm successful it'll be worth every unfilled tag.
Before you know it those little hunters will be the only ones in your family filling tags and they wont be able to slap the smile off your face.
 

TOGIE

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hunting with righteous, ethical passion -pure adventure of hunting - Question- does pure and righteous still exist when there is a monetary outcome.

i feel like there is a lot to untangle with that question, philosophically, if you will.

is the firefighter less righteous cause he/she gets paid? some firefighters are bros that like to use their badassery to sleep around, or cheat on their wives. some firefighters barely make ends meet, being faithful husbands or wives, come home in the morning after a full night awake running around dealing with hurting or dead people, support their spouse and children and will barely even tell you they're a firefighter when you ask them what they do for a living. who is more righterous? either of them? neither of them? does the money change that? who can say. do you know what their true motivation is?

at the end of the day, everyone needs a pay check. motivations should come under scrutiny more than purely the money i'd think.

just something to think about there.

the money thing is difficult to wrestle with. and particularly difficult to wrestle with in the world of hunting. but i think you can't just say that someones pursuit of hunting is not righteous or pure because they get paid. i think it's clear from the social media posts thread that there may be even more (on a normalized basis) unpaid hunters engaging in unrighteous, "unpure," pursuits than paid hunters in this world.

i guess i can't say for sure one way or another.
 
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