Doing what others do not understand -- or choose not to do themselves, has brought my life under an abundance of scrutiny and hate. Every day I can expect tongue lashings, hate mail, the works - from strangers, to followers on social media, reporters/anchors in the national news media, and even celebrities in Hollywood. How do I cope? What do I consider a breath of fresh air? When I can do some front porch sitting and get to discuss my hunting trips and memories with a media group from back home in Kentucky that actually understands my choices and perspective. They actually get it and support it! They may not have hunted where or what I have hunted, but they practice and celebrate the lifestyle. A hunter that cheers another on. During my recent trip visiting the hills of Eastern Kentucky, where I call home and the people and culture mean a lot to me, I got to meet up with a local news reporter, avid hunter and conservationist. Finally - someone that may not hunt specific animals that I hunt, but someone that also doesn’t judge me for it. Someone that appreciates the conservationist within me. Getting to share my stories with ‘home’ was something I had been struggling with, and really juggling the thought in my head. Sharing hunting stories is important to help educate each other and inspire each other, even knowing in the back of my mind there is more people that don’t realize or grasp big game hunting than those that do. Posting our harvest pictures on social media or other public avenues does the same, as well as honors that animal in more than a memory. It’s hard to know that when these recorded conversations get released, I will probably endure more hate and more judgement. However, I will not keep what I love to do hush hush. Thousands of others are doing their part in conservation and keeping the tradition alive. It is more important now more than ever that we stand for each other and we will stand for hunting.
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