Buck Shaming A Real Shame

Craig James | October 29, 2019

Be warned, some of y’all ain’t gonna like this one, but what I’m gonna say needs to be said.

What in the name of Fred Bear has happened to the hunting community? As I scroll through Facebook looking at deer pics enjoying everyone’s success, one trend is becoming more and more common, and it’s not a good one.

“Buck Shaming.”

The comments usually go something like this.

“You should have given him another year” or “I wouldn’t shoot a 2-year-old buck” or “You won’t ever kill big bucks if you don’t let them grow.”

Then there are those on the opposite end of the spectrum doing their share of buck shaming, as well.

“He only killed that because he hunts a trophy lease” or “Anyone can pay to kill a big buck” or “It’s easy to kill them over a 55 gallon drum of corn.”

And the list of negative comments goes on and on day after day. And sadly, I don’t see it stopping anytime soon.

One recent example of buck shaming I saw posted in a Facebook hunting group just this week. In the picture was a teenager proudly holding what looked to be a 1 1/2-year-old piebald 4-point as he smiled proudly from ear to ear.

The very first comment I saw was, “He should not have killed that deer.”

Wow… unbelievable disrespect, not only to a fellow hunter, but a child at that. 

It really makes me wonder as hunters when did we become so divided, and why are some folks so dern mad? We all have different goals, opinions and ways of doing things. We don’t have to agree on every point, but we better get it together and start respecting one another.

You can bet your gun cabinet the folks at PETA are all on the same page, as well as the folks that are out to take our second-amendment rights. I’m sure these folks giggle when they see hunters arguing back and forth on social media.

Bottom line is this, If we have any chance of passing hunting down to future generations, we have to get back on the same team. I hope that happens soon. The fighting needs to stop.

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  1. 139King on November 15, 2019 at 6:25 pm

    During my 51 years of pursuing white-tail deer, I’ve had to hunt areas which held less than desirable deer populations, and the bucks contained within its confines wouldn’t have been considered “trophies” by anyone’s standard or definition. However, when a hunter puts in their hours mapping, researching, pounding the ground, picking out ambush points and trees to hang stands, doing all that’s required in pursuing their obsession, then successfully tags, the hunter has accomplished their goal and should feel duly satisfied and proud of themselves. It matters not if the buck they’ve bagged is a cow-horn spike, a stubby-racked 4-point, or a nice wall-hanging 8-point. A trophy is in the eyes (and freezer) of the beholder. Even a doe taken in such a legal manner is considered a trophy.

  2. gawhitetail on November 4, 2019 at 7:20 pm

    Man oh man. This one hits home.

    I will try to be brief but I will likely fail.

    I’m 52. My dad started taking me with him when I was 8 or 9 and I killed my first deer (a doe) when I was 11. Hooked. All in. Addicted.

    I had an acceptional experience and upbringing in hunting. Dad always had a place to take me and I there were never limits or restrictions on what I could shoot when I was young. I was allowed to grow into my hunting maturity.

    Dad hunted all over North America but loved whitetails the most. We started hunting the Alabama Black Belt in the early 1980’s and that’s when it started getting serious. I killed the biggest buck of my life at 17. A non-typical 12 point that grossed 149. Dad’s best is a non-typical 21 point that misses B&C by about 7 inches to stack on top of five 8 points that are over 150.

    On the last club in Alabama, the club members and guests took somewhere around 65 bucks that scored over 140 in 16 years. And we killed a ton of does. But, those days are long gone.

    I tell you all of this to tell you that I QUIT hunting 7 years ago.

    I had already left my own personal desire to kill bucks in the past. I was there for the experience.

    We were in camp at our club in Greene county when 2 dads brought there young sons in with their first deer, both small bucks. We were all high fives and cheering for the kids and the dads when the guy that runs the club comes over to tell them “you know that will be a $500 fine.” That fella was lucky to walk away without a beating.

    I’d had to tell my own son who was 15 he had to pass on bucks and his only deer was a spike when he was 10. He didn’t want to go anymore.

    In the early 1990’s we were heavily involved in QDMA in our local chapter.

    Now, in large part, I blame QDMA for the death of my passion. Not to mention TV and retailers.

    I have always said that you will never know a man’s true character until you have hunted with him. Nothing brings out the worst in a man than hunting. Not money, not women, nothing.

    I know several who manage out of GREED.

    We have stopped managing for the quality of the fellowship and the future stewards of the sport and the resource.

    I can tell you first hand that my successes are not measured in inches or the number of points, but in the memories, lessons, and experiences in the woods with my dad and son.

    A hunting legacy is not built on how many big bucks get taken. Minimum scores and such only minimize the memories.

    Sorry for the rant.

    If you read this to the end, thanks.

  3. rabbithunter1 on October 29, 2019 at 11:50 am

    I agree with you 100% I look at it like this if its a kid are new hunter let them shoot it if its a trophy to them and encourage them to continue enjoying the sport .find the positive in it . and you can bet that the ones that are saying the negative things did not start off letting deer walk ? more than likely they started as i did 46 years ago if you see a deer that is legal to take shoot it. and over the years i have learned to let deer walk . i am not a horn hunter ,meaning i don’t hunt just for a trophy to hang on a wall to brag about .me and my family eat about 8-9 deer a year . last year in our club we had a 9 year old boy kill his first deer ever a 2 year old doe and he was so excited about it that he could not stop talking about it the rest of the season .and all the members gave him hi fives and congratulated him .after that his dad told him he had to shoot a buck and he let several bucks walk because he wanted to shoot one to mount. and that is what hunting is about .not a competition between hunters

  4. Uncle T on October 29, 2019 at 11:23 am

    I am with you on this we all stared out probable about the same some had better opportunity’s than others but if they think back their early experience they were some of best times. So lets not take that away from any one but get out and encourage others and today’s youth to go hunting or fishing.

  5. reb1952 on October 29, 2019 at 10:59 am

    Good observation, and I totally agree. A trophy is always different for each of us….not a good place to be to shame fellow hunters for their good fortune!

  6. smitty914 on October 29, 2019 at 10:33 am

    The internet is full of telephone tough guys.

  7. drewskyc on October 29, 2019 at 10:30 am

    Brother I could not agree with you more. Especially when it involves a kid, I have no idea why some people are so negative. I have seen it a little even in the GON Forums where people will talk trash about someone catching a fish they thought should have been let go, etc etc. I specifically do not post pictures of my kills or my families kills on other social media platforms specifically because I don’t want the naysayers coming out of the woodwork. And you are right. Our enemies are surely united against us. We would be much better served to honor each and every legal kill especially by the younger generations.

  8. bljames on October 29, 2019 at 10:05 am

    Love it!
    I totally agree, great blog

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