Stop With The Apologies

Craig James | November 30, 2020

Over the past year or two, the social media outdoor scene has been overrun with bullies who are out to bash hunters for the deer they choose to kill. It’s ridiculous and pathetic to say the least.

But, over the past few months I have noticed an equally concerning trend online, and I don’t like it a bit. I’ve even given it a nickname of the “Deerapology.”

A hunter will make a post that goes something like this: “I just shot a small 8-point, not a big buck by any means, just an old public land, free tag, scrub deer, cull buck that I’m grateful and blessed to have shot.”

Really? Because when I read this, you don’t sound blessed at all. Sounds to me like you’re not even proud to have killed it, and it makes me wonder why you’d even post it online.

To illustrate the point, here’s a example.

Let’s say my loving wife Brandy throws me a birthday party. Afterward I decide to post a picture and brag on her hard work, and I say something like this: “My wife had a nice birthday party for me tonight, not the best party ever, but good. Food was OK, would have rather had steak. Cake was a little dry, not the best present this year, but I’m truly a blessed man. God is good.”

Sound grateful to you? I didn’t think so.

If you’re proud enough to post yourself with a dead deer, be proud enough to stand strong by it. Fishing legend Hank Parker told me once that every fish you catch ought to make you proud, and the same could be said for deer kills. If you’re not going to be proud, maybe you should reconsider pulling the trigger?

My biggest problem with this trend is it actually encourages bullying. After all, you’re basically admitting you are not proud of the animal you just posted online. Don’t expect the cyber bully crowd to take it easy on you just because you say, “just little scrub buck.”

If you’re proud, be proud. If you got excited in the moment and shot a small 4-point, tell it like it is. If you just killed a small buck that’s headed to the jerky slicer, be happy about it and don’t hide that from the online folks.

And if you’re truly thankful and blessed, act like it.


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