In no particular order.
It’s becoming more and more common for hunting influencers to act shocked and defensive when social media users begin to call them out for doing or saying something stupid. Many of these celebrities even appear to be surprised when a group of people don’t agree with them on every topic. Rather than addressing the issue in a genuine fashion, they’ll oftentimes dodge, duck, dip, dive, dodge and deflect their way all over the internet. When they do, here’s the five dumbest things you’ll hear:
- “We have a bunch of keyboard warriors out there.”
Ah, the old keyboard warrior comment. This one reeks of irony, because no influencer has an issue with unknown users who are fans of their content; it’s only when someone disagrees with their posts do they become a “keyboard warrior.” Calling anyone who disagrees with you a keyboard warrior is like saying all white people are racist, in that it starts to water down what the designation meant in the first place. Are keyboard warriors real? Sure – I just had a guy with a handful of followers and six posts call me a socialist cuck the other day. But, getting called out by hundreds of people for posting something stupid doesn’t mean they’re all keyboard warriors. Grow up.
- “I guess I’m just not as pure/perfect as some of you. I guess some of you have never made a mistake.”
Listen up, asshole. Everybody makes mistakes. Everybody makes a bad shot now and then. It’s part of life. WE JUST DON’T PUT IT ON THE GODDAMNED INTERNET. Just in case anyone was wondering if TAB is perfect, I’m here to tell you I’m not. I’ve spined a deer before and I handled the situation quickly and appropriately. I did not share it online where someone from the anti-hunting community could use it as ammunition against us.
Now, I can already hear what the influencer is saying: “I had to pay a lot of money for my film crew, and I only have one tag I can fill on this hunt. Just because the shot wasn’t perfect doesn’t mean I can afford to lose this footage.” I hear you, Mr. Influencer. I really do. And I sincerely appreciate the ones who provide additional context that explains why that wasn’t a good shot and what they could have done to avoid it. But, if you’re going to play the influencer game and post content online, you have to also be able to handle the criticism that comes your way. You like getting free boots every year, right? WELL, NOTHING IN LIFE IS FREE, PAL! TAKE YOUR LICKS!
- “Nobody who hates you is doing better than you.”
That’s simply untrue. I hate a lot of people who are doing worse than me. It’s 2022, and I’m an equitable, equal-opportunity-hater. And to be so conceited as to think I actually hate you? Pull your head out of your ass. I hate the Taliban and raw onions; I merely find your online presence annoying. On a side note, if you’re over the age of 50, should you really be using the term “haters” anyway? I don’t understand why half of these influencers give a shit about the “haters” to begin with. News flash: you made it! You’re living the dream! Shut the f**k up and let me have my little website. I’ll disappear during hunting season, I promise.
- “I feel bad for the people who stay so mad all of the time.”
Don’t feel bad for me, buddy. This is my dojo. This is my happy place. I don’t give a shit what Teddy Roosevelt says about critics, I’m the man in the arena. Actually, to be honest, I’m almost never mad. I like jokes and having a good time more than anything else. And that guy who disagreed with you online? He’s not mad, either. In fact, right after he pressed “send” he walked over to his wife, smacked her ass, checked the meatloaf she was making, told her, “I love you babe, but they never should’ve let y’all vote” and then watched her connect the dots. The point I’m making is life goes on and none of this social media shit matters. Do influencers actually believe someone who disagrees with them is pacing back and forth and fuming all day? WE ALL HAVE LIVES. YOU ARE NOT SPECIAL.
- “If people only knew the work it took to get here.”
Oh, so you’ve got a monopoly on working hard, eh? You don’t think the rest of us are working hard? Granted, I’m sure some folks aren’t working all that hard, but most people are out there busting their ass to pay the bills, pay for their hunts and put their kid in a private school so they don’t come home one day and hear how Billy now identifies as a kittenself (look that shit up if you need an excuse to start drinking). You don’t get a gold star for working hard. You get what you earn. ‘MERICA! Or sometimes your dad worked hard and now you get to ride his coattails for the rest of your life. ALSO ‘MERICA! Regardless, spare me the bullshit about “the grind,” “the hustle,” and the “blood, sweat and tears.” You’re promoting hunting products, not kicking in doors in Fallujah.
A word from the author: Listen, I’ve made this point before, but influencers, content producers and television celebrities play an important role in the hunting industry. We all like to have nice gear, clothes and weapons, and that only happens if hunting-focused companies are successful and profitable. Influencers are an integral part of almost every company’s marketing strategy, and that’s been the case for a long time. I begrudge no one for trying to make a buck, but if you’re going to put yourself in the spotlight, you need to be able to take a little feedback from the hunting community.
Hunters are a diverse lot. Western hunters might see things differently than Southeastern hunters. Even within a specific subsect there can be vast differences. Nobody who’s ever walked this earth has made everyone happy. Nobody who’s ever walked this earth has been perfect. That certainly includes me.
Where I think the hunting industry fails us most is when they fail to take care of hunters. It’s easy to get caught up in marketing products and recruiting new hunters, but too often it seems like little thought is given to how things impact hunters on the ground. Anti-hunters are real. Overcrowding is real. The decline of some species (like mule deer and turkeys) is real. We’re losing hunting lands to development and it’s getting more difficult to access private lands. So, if you ever wonder where I stand, it’s in the corner of hunters who are doing it for the right reasons, understand why hunting is conservation, and are tired of feeling like the quality of their hunts comes second.
I’m not the leading authority on what’s right and wrong, and because I’m human I’ll miss the mark from time to time. But, what I write is what I believe, and I’m always open to debate and discussion.