Lately it seems, with hunting comes public hate; and with that hate comes so much slander, uneducated comments, and worse, death threats. When that’s not enough negativity, non-hunters begin making your hunting pictures go viral, and the media jumps in. Here’s hoping for a breath of fresh air. Recently, a specific Mainstream Media outlet, a platform youhope is neutral, has reached out to me to hear my story. Fingers crossed it’s a few minutes of not being judged but listened to. Being judged for my hunting and conservation efforts has become a part of life I feel I am slowly going numb to. Instead of letting it knock me down, I have used it as motivation keep climbing with my efforts. With the rocks thrown at myself and fellow hunters, I’ve built more dreams; and have met many people along the way. I encourage others to do the same. This specific adventure has brought me way out of my comfort zone, in a way I’ve never imagined having to do. In November of 2018 I received several emails and one serious phone call, requesting my cooperation and participation in a hunting documentary broadcasted by CBSN. Was I thinking they possibly had the wrong number? ABSOLUTELY! Did I say yes? ABSOLUTELY! What could go wrong, right? Honestly, what more do I have to lose? More hate? More threats? More judges jumping on the band wagon? It won’t phase me.
This is the thing – I get to do more of what I love. Hunting! And sharing that experience with others. As an added bonus, I hunted with an outfitter I have so much respect for and had hunted with prior to this -- 5 Star Outfitters, owned by Koby Howell. This is a place I go to for fun hunts, a beautiful view and stunning accommodations. Now, the cameras were not an ordinary part of my hunting expedition, but the camera crew was fantastic to work with and made it an easy transition. When there’s already so much on your mind while hunting – i.e. stalking an animal is not the easiest thing to do, but I enjoy that way of hunting, try stalking an animal with a line of 6-7 people and two cameras. I was more concerned that I would never lay my eyes on that Blue Wildebeest! It took a few trips out in the field chasing this specific Blue Wildebeest … After keeping one camera operator from walking backwards into a cactus, and then me stepping into a cactus myself, he was finally spotted once again. This hunt had already been difficult, trying to get all the content the CBSN crew needed. Now the final chapter to record - its harvest time. As always, the goal is a quick, clean, and ethical kill, with the least amount of struggle and suffering for the animal as possible is all I could think of. Talk about the experience of a lifetime … the intimidation of cameras, chaos of the stalking, mishaps in between, making new friends, more hunting memories (this one I’ll never forget!), pleasant conversations about hunting and laughs over coffee. All this led to a successful harvest of a Blue Wildebeest meat hunt.
One of the best perks about hunting - making new friends! One of the crew members shot a gun for her first time. That’s huge! Intimidation had robbed her from taking that opportunity for many years. I was excited and honored to be a part of it. And for the record, she was 3 for 3 ON TARGET! I hope that if only one thing is taken away from this entire documentary, it is that I have gained more than just steaks and burgers for my family to honor this once in a lifetime story.
For the full CBSN Originals documentary: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/trophy-hunting-killing-or-conservation-cbsn-originals/