It’s not wrong to want to show support to the products you believe in. It just might not look too great all at once, and here’s why.
Today, it seems as though the image of “the hunter” has gone from the crazy redneck or gun-slinging cowboy to members of a larger group of people, including urban, country, men, women, and people from all different walks of life. This is a good thing. The idea of spreading the sport of hunting to others stuck with many, and the sport has grown a great deal.
What has helped grow the sport tremendously, of course, is social media. However, social media sheds light on certain qualities that hunters have and enjoy sharing, not all of which are good. At large, the community of hunting is such an empowering and uplifting group of people, we all look to show support before we look to dismay.
Today, however, some hunters can be quick to attack other hunters with their posts or hunting images. There are hunters who share the sport at all different levels of experience. Many will share their first deer, and others may share the last squirrel hunt they ever went on with their father. Sometimes, however, some people share photos that may just rub other hunters the wrong way, and here’s how to overcome that from both sides.
What You May Think Your Fake Sponsor Tags Say
When you harvest a deer that you are proud of, there may be so many factors that lead you to your success. You are excited, on cloud nine, but most of all, you want to show support to the companies that you believe helped you get there. You show your support by adding captions that state something like, “I could not have harvested this deer without the help of…” and list off a few companies.
What Your Fake Sponsor Tags May Really Say to Others
Hunters see the other hunters on television or from magazine articles and see them taking their photos with a product that helped them kill their deer. This has sometimes triggered other hunters to, for a lack of better terms, get carried away with their product tagging. In other words, making it look as though you have fake sponsors. The Facebook status above makes fun of the situation and adds some humor to his status on a successful hunt he was on this year.
The companies you have tagged obtains free advertising so they are loving the support. What it may say to other hunters however may be different. The first thing, is that often times people can be jealous and when you are successful, they have to do anything in their power to knock you down. I say, don’t pay them any mindset. If tagging all of the products you believe in makes your happy, you go for it. The second thing, however, to me which is more important, is that it may take away from the work you put in that didn’t really require all of those products.
Compare and Contrast: a Tale of Two Stories
Hear me out on this one. Pretend we’re sitting around a campfire and I began telling you of a hunting story. This is a true story by the way, of my 2016 buck I killed in Western New York. The story begins with me reading a topography map, locating a spot that I thought would produce and realizing it was a three mile hike back to that location.
I hiked back with my teammates, a cameraman and empty packs. We separated and hiked up and down mountains, full of sweat, never giving up. To make a long story short, I grunted in a nice mature, mountain whitetail, put a great shot on it. We then we all quartered the deer up and packed it out. The story, shows hard work, determination and really showed you just how hard we hunt and used our experience to get us that buck.
Now, let’s give you a sample of a story that shows me tagging some fake sponsors. I am so lucky to have got my buck today. I could not have done it without the help of my Rocky Boots, Sitka Gear and Scent Crusher bag. My Mathews bow made a great shot, but due to the accuracy of my Nikon Rangefinder, Dead Ringer Broadhead and Easton Arrows, the deer didn’t make it far. I couldn’t have done it without my Alps backpack and Buck knife that helped me quarter and pack the deer out nearly four miles afterwards.
Now, yes those are really the products I used during this hunt. No, it’s not a shameless plug for those companies because honestly, I get nothing in return for that. What I am showing you, however, is that the first story showed you how good of a hunter I was and the second showed you how good of a hunter I’m not, unless I am using those products. I am not saying that the hunt was easier or could not have happened without those products, but it takes away from the hard work and dedication that I, and my team, put in to make that hunt possible.
Alternative ways to show your support for the products.
Now I am a firm believer in all of the products that I use. I spend roughly 400 hours a year hunting whitetails alone and am able to put a lot of products to the test, so I know what works for me and what doesn’t. If I truly believe in a product, of course I want to give them some support, but I have found a better way to do this without taking away from the hard work that I put forth to harvest my deer.
On television, social media and in print, there are many forms of advertising that you may not even be aware of. Indirect advertisement is called product placement. Sometimes, an author or television host may describe or mention the product, but often times it is just shown in the background or foreground. Taking a photo of you and the deer you harvested with 15 products laying next to your deer really is more work and can look too much like an advertisement rather than a true happy hunter with his harvest.
Just smoked probably the oldest mature doe I've ever killed. It's not always about the horns for me it's the challenge of going after the biggest, baddest challenge in the woods and she read the script! Probably my 9th or 10th deer of the season. And 20th something self-filmed kill but my very FIRST with my new 870 12-Gauge I got from my father! #sickforit #nikonsportoptics #tactacam
Above is a picture of me shortly after I shot one of the most mature deer I’ve ever killed in my life. It was exciting and really I just wanted to share the moment with our followers. Regardless if it is a sponsored product or not, this picture shows a moment I was proud of, with products I believe in. Just by looking at the photo you can see several different products that I use while I’m hunting. Although I may not be a photogenic person or look as good as Luke Bryan on camera, I showed my support in the products without over doing it.
Bottom line, just do what makes you happy and don’t let anyone tell you any different. In the same breathe however, don’t take away from your hard work and knowledge that made your hunt successful by adding an over abundance of what some are calling fake sponsors. If you are true to yourself and really support a product or a company, of course add them to your success story. If others aren’t a fan of your work, it’s easy for them to keep scrolling.
Whether you are the person in the photo or the person looking at the photo, hunters need to support other hunters. Jealousy can get the best of many people and it will show through negative comments. Now more than ever, with the voice of anti-hunters and internet trolls in this world, we need to come together as hunters and support one another as much as possible.