Yeti

Rinella article.. CUT AND PASTED

neffa3

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If all he REALLY cared about, was whacking and stacking animals, doubtful he'd be a research ecologist in podunk Montana, making crap for wages. Let's just be brutally honest for a moment. A heart surgeon living in downtown Chicago can hunt the best of the best every year. I bet Matt could be doing a lot of things to make a lot more money that would afford him that same luxury.
I just met the guy who effectively bought the WA raffle deer tag, (I've already forgot his name), dropped a few 10k on raffle tickets to be able to hunt WA "trophy" units. He was being guided in one of our trophy desert units, while I ambled around looking for some kind of bird life. No idea what he actually does for a living but clearly has a lot of money (he was shooting a Gunwerks). While chatting about hunting he started showing me his kills from the past, there was some ID, some MT, and a couple CO, along with several nice WA bucks. I can assure you that YOU, Greenhorn, Snowy, and JM77 have all killed substantially nicer bucks that this yahoo. So money doesn't always lead to better "trophies".
 

thebestusernamesaretaken

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It’s interesting to consider if social media, i.e. HT, has corrupted my motivation for hunting. I definitely spend more time on my phone, and it is fun to get “likes”. On the upside, I absolutely love the campfire atmosphere. I’ve found my tribe. My favorite things about HT, in no particular order: stories, pictures, inspiration, new friends, networking, learning new things, sharpening skills, news, advocacy.

Hero pics and dead animals are part of the fabric – everyone has varying reasons for posting them, and it’s hard to paint in broad strokes. Matt’s deer-on-the-roof analogy doesn’t really hold up. Personally, I post the kill because I’m happy, excited, grateful, and proud. It’s fun to let others in on the celebration!

OK, Matt. While some guy in Africa was dishing out humble brag about his success, this dude had something else in mind. Seems we haven’t changed all that much, just a new platform.
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Very good point
 

thebestusernamesaretaken

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Great post.

I think the answer is no, but not because of any failings on their part. I also think we overestimate their impact - Randy and Steve are big names in the hunting media world. But their audience on social media isn't any bigger per se than any of the million wannabes on Instagram.

Their following is bigger and more dedicated but the audience is the same.

What I mean by this is that there is a core following for a guy like Randy where he retains real influence that he can use to persuade hunters in a more conservation-friendly direction.

But in the big Digital Wild West communication works differently, since everything has to be compressed and tailored to thrive in an algorithm, and you have this democratized platform that let's anyone who wants try their hand at the algorithm too. And everyone observes what works (grip n grins, how to draw) or in other words what the algorithm favors and content creators start bending towards those norms.

(Of course there are exceptions but this is mostly how it works.)

This is incredibly frustrating, too, because your first reaction is... "Oh, well why don't we use that power to model a new set of values for hunters, and turn THAT into the thing that people become obsessed with" but there isn't any way to do that as far as I can tell.

I've spent the last year or so thinking about it. But further... study, I guess, has led me to recognize that 1) You can't really top-down reorient a community's values if you are just one member or a small minority of members of that community without a tremendous amount of work and 2) it wouldn't even work if you could.

Because the actions we want to see out of hunters (stewardship, political advocacy, conservation) don't have any value as "social currency" in the face of mimetic desire (what drives the whole process) since you don't have something visually impactful to display after completing any of those actions.

This is because the whole process doesn't work like "I want to be a hunter." It's not even "I want to be seen as a hunter."

It's "I want people to see me the same way I see a person I see as a hunter." I want them to look at me like I look at Cam, in other words.

So sadly that's done by, well you all know what it looks like in practice. And you know it is that way because that's what the algorithm determined. It's like the theory of evolution.

This is a good place to segue into my idea about systems requiring/allowing folks to "earn" certain tags or opportunities but maybe I will save that for my next lecture. Anyone who read this far, I'm sorry for the ramble.
Good post
 

thebestusernamesaretaken

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As the guy responsible for what goes out the door, I feel nothing good comes of that. Walking up to spine hit animal and finishing it off is not fun for anyone. And surely not helpful for the image of hunting, even though it is a reality of what happens at times.

Most people will see the shot impact and the animal response. They usually can tell if a follow up will be necessary.

That's just a decision I've made. I've had some tell me they don't agree with it, but that's how it has been and will be in our content. Hope that explains.
I agree, this is not a real issue; ethical, moral or otherwise. As far as I know, humans are the only species on the planet that is concerned about a good clean ethical kill. This is a good thing and it's good to discuss as it's our duty, but stuff happens.

A follow up is sometimes necessary and it happens when any creature hunts. When it does, it's unfortunate but posting this type of thing for full display will not add to the story or the adventure. However, it could certainly put us all in harms way and would likely detract from whatever message the poster is trying to convey.

This is my opinion, everyone is free to post how they want to post and need not worry about how others see it unless they want to.
 

Southern Elk

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Here's another one. This video is probably the best video we have ever produced trying to mix conservation, landscapes, and how hunting is a foundation to improving those issues.

This was a two year project, required outside talent for sound and color, and was a very expensive trip to Alaska to get it done. Hard costs and employee cost, this was over $30,000 to produce. I am worried about the future of Sitka Blacktail deer, so I again, I don't GAF about the fact that it has only generated $207 of revenue on YouTube. We have elk hunts without firing a shot or releasing an arrow that have double this number of views and 4x the amount of revenue from YT ads.

Point being, not many people want to watch this stuff. It has been available for three years, this May. it has resulted in 77 new subscribers. Some channels can get 4X that many subscribers by giving away a hat and a T-shirt. The CPM (revenue per thousand views) is $4.65. If this was a hunt with a big bull elk, the CPM would be $12.00+. That shows how advertisers money, which gets bid/placed by computer, doesn't follow this content either.


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I'm still damn proud of that episode. If you want to watch it, here is the link -
I really enjoyed that video. Watched it a few weeks ago.
 

thebestusernamesaretaken

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I don't mean to pick on you specifically, so please don't take it that way. But I highlighted this statement because in every thread similar to this one, someone repeats this myth.

According to the most recent census data, US population increased about 7 percent from 2010-2020, down from the rate of about 9 from 00-10, and lower than any decade since the 1930s.

Also, birth rates in large segments of the population are below replacement level, and I don't see much impetus for relaxed immigration policy to counteract the fact.

In short: Our country's population is growing, but much more slowly than people seem to think, and it may well continue to slow if nothing changes.
I think that when we see population expansion comments on this forum, what many of the posters are trying to say, is really that the population growth in their neck of the woods is growing faster than they feel comfortable with.

I would expect that in most cases, this perceived population growth in their area isn't coming from increased birth rates or immigration but rather from people movement (other US citizens), from outside what they think of as their area.
 

BuzzH

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I just met the guy who effectively bought the WA raffle deer tag, (I've already forgot his name), dropped a few 10k on raffle tickets to be able to hunt WA "trophy" units. He was being guided in one of our trophy desert units, while I ambled around looking for some kind of bird life. No idea what he actually does for a living but clearly has a lot of money (he was shooting a Gunwerks). While chatting about hunting he started showing me his kills from the past, there was some ID, some MT, and a couple CO, along with several nice WA bucks. I can assure you that YOU, Greenhorn, Snowy, and JM77 have all killed substantially nicer bucks that this yahoo. So money doesn't always lead to better "trophies".
Correct, but it does lead to the best opportunities with the best hunt quality.

Not going to lie, grinding it out on public land on OTC tags is fun and all, but having the better tags in a state doesn't suck. Trophy, not a trophy, or no animal at all.
 

thebestusernamesaretaken

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Here's another one. This video is probably the best video we have ever produced trying to mix conservation, landscapes, and how hunting is a foundation to improving those issues.

This was a two year project, required outside talent for sound and color, and was a very expensive trip to Alaska to get it done. Hard costs and employee cost, this was over $30,000 to produce. I am worried about the future of Sitka Blacktail deer, so I again, I don't GAF about the fact that it has only generated $207 of revenue on YouTube. We have elk hunts without firing a shot or releasing an arrow that have double this number of views and 4x the amount of revenue from YT ads.

Point being, not many people want to watch this stuff. It has been available for three years, this May. it has resulted in 77 new subscribers. Some channels can get 4X that many subscribers by giving away a hat and a T-shirt. The CPM (revenue per thousand views) is $4.65. If this was a hunt with a big bull elk, the CPM would be $12.00+. That shows how advertisers money, which gets bid/placed by computer, doesn't follow this content either.


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I'm still damn proud of that episode. If you want to watch it, here is the link -
I'm glad that you said that because that was my favorite episode. I was afraid that you were going to say something like you wasted all that money. I didn't want to overplay this, but I thought that it was some of your best work.
 

ElkFever2

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FWIW I find @Big Fin’s conservation and advocacy videos to be among the best hunting-related media on the web, especially in terms of significance and importance. I always wish the videos were longer. It’s hard to get outside my own perspective though, and wrap my head around the reality that the audience for this kind of content is so small.

There are many hunters, and few hunter-conservationists. Some efforts to create more of the latter have backfired, and others have gained a little traction. It seems to be a fine line.
 

thebestusernamesaretaken

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Matt has his right to his opinion, but I think it's arrogant to think that he should be the guy to tell us who is and who isn't hunting correctly or for the right reasons or not. It seems like he thinks he's Moses or something. He went up on the mountain and came down with a list of commandments for all to live by and obey? I don't think that highly of him.

It's not that people disagree altogether about some of points he brought up in this article; but he doesn't get to choose how other people behave or choose the reasons why they do what they do. He seems to have a very self-righteous opinion of himself. Everyone hunts for different reasons and their reason is no less important to them than yours is to you.

He called social media posters of grip in grins pictures are in the attention-seeking toddler stage of their hunting career. Who is he to say that when he is riding on the coattail of his brother's social media fame only to attempt to claim fame of the same sort from a different perspective? His brother Steve worked to build a platform of work that audiences are interested in. The only thing Mat is creating is controversy. Doesn't this just make him an attention-seeking toddler himself? Perhaps he's just creating clickbait & controversy to engage and entertain people on his brother’s socials media forums and others. He wouldn't be interesting at all if Steve R. wasn't his brother. No-one would ever pay attention to him.

I don't typically post grip and grins or other things that some folks would consider offensive. But when I read his writings, I want to pull up every bloody pic I can find and post it as if it would really be an insult to him. He would just like the attention that someone bestowed on him.

When the hunting industry started to create video content in the late 90s and 2000s, it was mostly promotional product content displaying kill shots on private land. We all watched them. Kill shot after kill shot on really big animals. Videos and their producers were legendary. They were always selling us something and people knew that was why they created the content in the first place. We all absorbed the content because it was all that was available. Everyone had to sit through the commercial in order to get it. For a while it was entertaining and somewhat educational but grew tiering of same ole kill shot after kill shot. We wanted real substance and true learning.

Obviously there existed a demand for viewing such content. For many, it was the only mentor that a new hunter had because this activity isn't easily transferred. People aren't always helpful to new hunters because they don't want to create competition for themselves. They don't tend to mentor new unrelated people even when asked unless, they feel the person is worthy (meaning that they had sucked up enough to the great hunter). Steve and Matt were lucky enough to have a father to teach them hunting. Others were not so lucky, but Matt would endeavor to make this harder on that person. Super nice guy.

Now, there exist tons of information good and bad on social media. A person can now pick and choose what path they go down. The individual can decide which hunters to emulate and which ones not too and that's good. They can turn off the irrelevant folks. Before, people had to take what they could get, (the guy who chose to help) and that wasn't always the best path. Now, the information is so good that people who wouldn't give you the time of day before are upset that it's out there. I'd say that's a good sign.
 
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geetar

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My dad and me have had the social media argument. He says social media is ruining the world. I say it’s only exposing people for what they are. To me social media hasn’t ruined hunting. Peoples lack of restraint, attention seeking, and lack of consideration of what they post has hurt the sport/pastime/lifestyle that hunting is.
 

ajrcktts

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My dad and me have had the social media argument. He says social media is ruining the world. I say it’s only exposing people for what they are. To me social media hasn’t ruined hunting. Peoples lack of restraint, attention seeking, and lack of consideration of what they post has hurt the sport/pastime/lifestyle that hunting is.
Separate topic altogether, but I feel like social media, as a whole, is a net negative to our society if for no other reason than it allows idiots and crazy people to find each other and feel like they have support. Flat earthers, anti (all) vaxxers, birds aren't real, etc. Those people would be ostracized and disappear if they couldn't find each other so easily online.

Rant over lol
 

geetar

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Separate topic altogether, but I feel like social media, as a whole, is a net negative to our society if for no other reason than it allows idiots and crazy people to find each other and feel like they have support. Flat earthers, anti (all) vaxxers, birds aren't real, etc. Those people would be ostracized and disappear if they couldn't find each other so easily online.

Rant over lol
Haha they’d probably all be sitting in a room together making each other crazier.
 

rwc101

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The Rain Deer stats are even worse given I'm the source of at least 40k of those views. Wish videos like that were more popular. Content that focuses on conservation and the food aspect of hunting probably attract the kind of new hunters that are a net positive.

Birds aren't real.
 

MT Bound

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I listened to Matt R. on Blood Origin podcast & MeatEater and also listened to Kifarucast discuss it.

1. IMO it appears he has too much time on his hands to be so deeply thinking about this obscure sh!t. It's obvious to me he does not have any children, if he did he wouldn't have the time to be pondering such odd ideas. that's the main take away I had..."ahhh this guy isn't raising any kids so he has all this time to think about weird ideas..."
2. Manifesto? Who the F--- writes a manifesto? A couple infamous people come to mind immediately, and not for good reasons.....

Anyway, to me he seems like he's losing his sh!t to be perfectly honest. Requesting that people stop posting hunting pics on social media is like requesting that 50% of the population stop driving cars, it's not going to happen, direct your energy elsewhere man.

But hey, I would be rated as a "9" or "10" on his "hunters scale", that makes me feel like a real champ! (heavy sarcasm)
 

rtraverdavis

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We get a ton of emails and comments from people (who are the ones we hope to reach) that upon watching our content and starting to follow more of what we do that they have become more interested in conservation. That gives me the feeling that it is not a futile effort that is without result. In fact, most of them who write and become interested are a high proportion of adult onset hunters who have a concern for wild things and wild places. They are engaged and communicate well. Those are who we hope to reach.
Randy, I want you to know that, while I am not even remotely at the level of you and many others here on HuntTalk, and I still have a ton to learn, you are largely responsible for me becoming an active advocate for wildlife and hunting. I write letters and call elected representatives. I donate to causes and volunteer time. I do my best to be aware of changes that will effect wildlife and hunting in my home state, and am working with a group of other hunters to begin organized advocacy for changes we would like to see. This is not something I ever did before engaging with your platforms.

I grew up with a dad who hunted, and went on several hunts with him, but never got into it when I was young. I was all about surfing and fly fishing and playing music. But in 2015 my dad once again invited me on a hunt, applied for the tags for me and basically took care of everything, and on that hunt I killed my first deer. Something changed then. Seeing the deer go from animal to food transformed me. I became obsessed.

I went to the internet to learn all I could about hunting, which led me to your videos on YouTube, which led me to your podcast, which led me here. Your message, your passion for wildlife and landscapes, your emphasis on conservation rang true with me. It wasn’t greedy and self-aggrandizing, but showed a deep awe of the natural world and an urgency to make sure it doesn’t disappear, which is something that I’d always felt but never really knew what to do about it.

And so then it is here on HuntTalk where I’ve really learned what I can do about it—from you and countless others. When I first joined the forum was right around the time Jason Chaffetz pulled that stunt of introducing a bill to sell off “undesirable” public lands. People on the forum mobilized, and for the first time in my life I called my elected representatives as well as Chaffetz’s office to state my opposition. And it worked. I got to see first hand that advocacy by regular individuals could work—if enough people were involved. Seeing that made me hungry for more, just like killing my first deer did.

All that to say, while your conservation message may not be front-and-center in the internet algorithms, it does work, and I thank you for it.
 
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