The Power of Imagery: Projecting A Stronger, Fuller Picture Of Hunting

AS A WRITER AND A PHOTOGRAPHER, I spend a lot of my time trying to portray the full experience of the hunt. If you follow my social media feed, you will see countless images and stories of my time spent outdoors and the meals that I make, though I rarely post those classic grip-and-grin harvest photos. 

My followers include an interesting assortment of both hunters and nonhunters, and recently I was contacted by one of the latter. They mentioned how much they were inspired by my photos and words that so clearly showed my deep connection to – and love of – the land and the animals that I hunt. While I’ve always found personal inspiration in sharing my hunting experiences with the wider world, this comment made me pause for a moment, because it emphasized the importance of how I shared them when it came to hunting’s social acceptance by others. 

The irony in that last statement is that I should understand better than anyone the value in how hunting is portrayed. I’ve spent a significant portion of my life on the outside of the hunting community looking in while also trying to comprehend the realities of where my food comes from and what it truly means to eat meat. 

As a former vegan hiker turned adult-onset hunter, I tend to have a different perspective than most when it comes to the depiction of hunting. I understand simultaneously what it means to revel in the success of the harvest while passing horrified judgment at the gory details of the kill.