Whether you call it shaming or not, the fact remains that an Ohio youth hunter was asked to take off her sweater, which proudly showed a picture of her and her harvested buck.
There are two stories here. In one article, it was said that Domonique Yatsko, a 9-year-old Ohio hunter from a proud hunting and farming family, had legally and ethically harvested a beautiful buck, tagged it correctly, reported the kill to the state's harvest information program, and proudly celebrated with her family.
The story goes on to say that Domonique's family had a sweater made in honor of her first deer, printed with a sweet picture of her and her buck.
Once she proudly wore that sweatshirt to school, though, things went south quickly. Now, there's an update to the story.
The original piece stated:
"Domonique proudly wore her sweatshirt to school soon after and was told by her teacher that 'killing animals is not what we do' (The way her mother tells it) Domonique was so shamed by the teacher and ridiculed by others in the school that she threw the sweatshirt in the trash as soon as she came home."
Domonique's mother, Heidi was quoted as saying:
"We're a farming family, and (our ancestors) have lived in this area since 1827, so she's used to raising livestock, planting crops, and planting fields for wildlife as well as hunting."
The Ohio mom went on to say:
"The principal's quote to me was 'we don't have dead animals in school,' so, I asked her what (do) they serve in the cafeteria?"
Go give your mom another hug, Domonique!
Now for the updated version. School officials at the Highland Local Schools in Medina County, have now said that the teacher in question simply took her "out of class and asked if she had another shirt to wear because some of the kids in the classroom were upset by it."
Another shirt? But there's more:
While the girl's family had said that no apology from the school ever came, the district disagrees, saying:
"Following a phone call from the student's mother, an apology was issued almost immediately to the student and the family by the teacher, principal, and superintendent"
School district officials went on to say,
"While the (district) respects the rich tradition of hunting that so many of our students and families share, we are also aware that not every family hunts and not all children have been exposed to those types of images"
That kind of waffling is called the 'justification two-step.'
It's highly doubtful that the great state of Ohio, one of the richest in the land for whitetail deer hunting, wants to squash one of the state's greatest assets. A youth hunter, 9 years of age, should be celebrated.
Even while trying to be fair to those outside of the hunting community, if there's going to be uproar about a skilled young lady proudly showing a picture of her and her deer, not to mention the future meals it will provide for her family, then it's certainly time to protest burgers, fried chicken, pork chops, even the pepperoni on the pizza they serve because they are all, all of them, animal meat products.
If it's done within the hunting regulations set forth, and with a licensed adult, then the youth season represents one of the greatest things a hobby can have: a bright future. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources should be proud young hunters are continuing the tradition! If they want to increase the number of Ohio hunting licenses sold, this is one way to ensure it.
In the meantime, congratulations to Domonique on her first time harvest! The only thing this young lady should be concerned about is the next deer she sees during hunting season.
Photo via Outdoor News