Photo by Hellahulla (Own work), via Wikimedia Commons
Did you know that many hunters and trappers who pose with their kills call the photographs “hero shots?” Yes it takes a real hero to shoot an animal and then mug for the camera over a once living being that had no chance to defend itself. A recent article in The Record Searchlight of Redding, CA brought the actions of these “heroes” and their photographs to light.
“As the sun was starting to dip below frost-covered hills on a frigid evening last fall, my friend Greg and I stood smiling in front of a camera on an ice-covered boat ramp. We were each holding straps loaded with a heap of dead ducks. We were doing what hunters have done since the advent of the camera — taking a “hero photo,” as one hunting blogger calls them. Hunters know why we take those pictures.”
“They’re a celebration of success, a record of our determination, passion, skill and all those bleary-eyed early mornings and when we went home without firing a shot at the ducks that stayed out of range, our deer tags went unfilled and our freezers stayed empty.”
The author then goes on to talk about how hunters should be worried about how they will be perceived when the photographs are seen by others. Common sense, right? He even titles the section of the article “And the Scumbag is Smiling.” Then he makes sure to talk about how evil “animal rights” people will put anti-hunitng measures on ballots because of these photos. But then he has to go on to tell a story about what “heroes” he and his buddy were for hiding their boat and then blowing ducks out of the sky:
“We hid the boat, and I finally had a chance to take off my jacket. With my waders pushed down to my waist and my coat dangling off one arm, I heard that telltale whistle of rippling wing feathers. Mallards overhead. I grabbed my gun and, with one hand, made one of the most incredible passing shots of my life. The greenhead folded, stone dead, as a poof of feathers fluttered down on my shoulders. I hollered in triumph. Greg gave me a knuckle bump.”
“It only got better. In the next two hours, we filled our duck straps (and, much later, our freezer, the chili pot and my smoker) with mallards, ringneck ducks and, yes, a pair of fat canvasbacks.The shutter clicked.”
“We grinned like idiots.”
Does anything more need to be said? Heroes, indeed.