Cabela's allegedly banned Pro Staff member from sharing African hunting images. Here's what we know about the controversy right now.
On Jan. 2, former Cabela's Pro Staff member Jeanette L. Hall posted a message on her Facebook page declaring she'd no longer be representing the sporting goods store.
She indicated that while there were several reasons behind her decision, the last straw was an email from Cabela's corporate office stating that she could no longer post pictures of her African hunts.
Below is the whole of Hall's Facebook post:
First big change of 2019. I have declined Cabela's offer to be a Pro Staff this year. While it has been fun teaching the past 3 years, which is one of my passions, some of the changes since the merger between Bass Pro Shop and Cabela's has troubled me. The biggest being that I received an email from corporate stating that I could no longer post photos of my African hunts or exotic hunts. This goes against everything I stand for. As you all know, I'm a HUGE advocate for hunting my beloved Africa. I will not be ashamed nor hide the fact that I proudly hunt internationally.
I emailed corporate back about this questioning why I was banned from posting my photos but they refused to give me any reason. I didn't like this secrecy and lack of transparency. Dick Cabela was a big advocate for hunting Africa and I know if he were alive he would be furious with this decision. Just as I am. It makes me wonder if Cabela's will become a camping store only in the near future as politically correct idiots continue to chip away at hunting from all angles.
Many people assumed I got gear for free from Cabela's. FALSE. I was never even given so much as a hat. I had to pay for everything. While I got a small discount on branded items only, everything else was full price.
There was much more involved in my decision as well. One of the managers had shunned me from the south store because I had voiced my opinion. Thus I had to travel to the north store, which is even further of a commute for me (fuel was not compensated as per my contract). This childishness was yet another factor prompting my decision.
So there you have it. I will no longer be active on the Cabela's Pro Staff page. It was a fun ride but I will not be gagged and told I cannot post my photos of hunts I'm extremely proud of.
Hall's post about her falling out with the giant retailer garnered numerous comments from her followers, virtually all of whom were in support and her decision. In response to one comment expressing dismay at Cabela's alleged new policy, Hall responded, "It infuriated me. I am very proud of all my hunts, but especially my African hunts. They will never understand seeing a line of villagers walking from kilometres away to take meat home from an eland I killed. It was so incredible!"
The email correspondence Hall allegedly received from Cabela's:
The negative consequences of the Bass Pro Shops and Cabela's merger seemed to be a fairly consistent theme of many of the comments Hall received.
Another person and stated former Cabela's employee wrote, "As a former employee of Cabela's, I can say from my experience that Cabela's was like a family. I took a part time job to have fun and help people to learn and guide them into the great fishing and hunting experience/lifestyle. Cabela's selected individuals with a great passion and knowledge of these sports. From the managers, assistants down to the great people in the warehouse. As soon as BP took over that sense of family was gone. Strictly about $$$. Sad to see the path taken currently!! I see less and less cars in the local Cabela's. Too bad. It was an awesome place. Hopefully someone in corporate will realize this and bring them back to what made them The Foremost Outfitter!!!"
Hall replied, "That's exactly what I experienced! It used to be fun and like family then the merger. They fired anyone with knowledge and hired kids with zero experience or knowledge. I used to love Cabela's dearly, but what BPS did was destroy it."
Additionally, Hall shared this comment from another poster:
Following the brouhaha, Bass Pro Shops allegedly released this statement to The Hunting News, which first ran the story:
Whatever else develops concerning this story, it's surely shaping up to be a PR nightmare for Cabela's and Bass Pro Shops.