tv hunting blindRecently on social media (which has no doubt helped to recruit young and millennial hunters, but which has also done plenty of disservice to our sport and way of life in my opinion, though that is a topic for another day) there has been an inordinate amount of bashing of TV hunters or “celebrities.” (BTW, I do not like that latter term; just because a guy or gal hunts on TV that does not make him or her a celebrity or, God forbid, a “professional hunter,” another moniker that really peeves me.

Just this week on Facebook I saw 2 different posts: 1) What annoys you most about TV hunters? And 2) What do you hate most about hunting TV shows?

To the second poster I ask: Why do you assume everybody hates hunting TV just because you do?

Then, predictably, in response to these posts comes the wave of rude and negative comments as hundreds of people with nothing better to do cut loose and pile on those of us fortunate enough to hunt on TV for a living. (For the record, I cherish my opportunity and never take it for granted; I know I am lucky and blessed, and I have a responsibility to act, speak and hunt responsibly on BIG DEER TV.)

Being in the unique position of both TV host/producer and blogger, I respect and encourage opinion and criticism. Somebody saying, “I just don’t like so and so on TV” or “I don’t like that show” or “Hanback, I don’t agree with something you said the other night” is perfectly fine.

But that is not the way it goes in most of these threads, which quickly turn ugly. Peppered amid the respectable comments (and often hijacking the discussion) are the petty and the vitriolic, like: “All those guys on TV make me sick…they all hunt in high fences…it’s all about the money…put these guys on public land and they’d never kill a deer…I hate so and so…”

To the latter I say careful, people, hate is a strong word.

I’ve long wondered: Why this anger and resentment toward people who hunt on television? I have theories.

Envy: People who think they are great hunters (they may or may not be) get jealous and take out their resentment on people with shows, feeling they could do it better.

TV hunters behaving badly: On occasion (infrequently) a TV host gets busted breaking a game law, and it hits the fan on Facebook. I cringe when this happens because social predictably explodes with comments like: “typical of celebrity hunters”…they all do it…”

Well, that offends me. I have been in the business a long time and tell you 2 things: 1) All the TV hosts I associate with are honest, hardworking and law-abiding people; 2) No, we don’t all hunt in high fences. I hunt wild deer on lands just like you hunt.

Our “tear-you-down” world:  Sadly, unfortunately, we’ve gotten to a place in society where bitter people criticize, name call, speculate, and downright lie in a misguided attempt to ruin a person and their career before moving on to their next destruction project. An outdoor TV host/show is an easy target.

On a more positive note, while the bashers are a rude and rowdy clan, they are a tiny minority. Social has given them a megaphone to spew their bitterness, one of the reasons I say Facebook has been a disservice to the hunting way of life. But most people, the silent majority, enjoy watching Outdoor Channel and Sportsman.

Why do you think the TV hunter bashing goes on? I know that fair, responsible, deep-thinking hunters read this blog, and I’d like to get your thoughts. I respect your opinion.