Before I say one more thing, let me congratulate these rookie Youth Hunters for their successful and safe hunts. Their Mentors really set these kids up for a lifetime of wonderful memories. The pictures display wonderful smiles, satisfaction, and demonstrate proper safety. These visuals are important when sharing pictures about hunting on Facebook and other sites. These pictures are magazine quality except…
Why the Bloody Tongues? When the average person looks at the pictures, they are drawn to the tongue hanging lifelessly out of the deer’s mouth. The Youth Hunters, and the deer, look amazing except for the tongues!
Now don’t get me wrong, I have the same kinds of pictures from years ago. They are not hanging on the wall because the tongue image is so distasteful. It only takes a moment to shove the tongue inside the deer’s mouths. A cloth, grass, or sanitary wipe can remove any blood from the nose. Now the picture will highlight the hunter, and the trophy.
Like it or not, most folks do not hunt. Others find hunting an awful “Blood Sport”. Driving around with dead carcasses on our hoods, heads, legs, and horns sticking out of the truck beds, and pictures of bloody hearts and bullet holes do not send the best message for our sport. Times have changed. A quick cell phone picture can send the wrong message in a hurry. The spin can destroy positive attitudes and impressions about hunters and hunting.
It is up to the mentors to model appropriate behaviors. We teach safety, marksmanship, tracking, survival, and hunter skills. These important lessons will be practiced over their lives. Molding Youth Hunters into Ethical Hunters is critical. Hunting is no longer about subsistence. Hunting today is a choice to harvest organic, free range, healthy meat. It is cheaper to buy meat from the store than to hunt.
Usually, the photographers are just as excited as the lucky hunter. They simply forget to take more time to take a great picture. Ironically, we spend so much time building up to this moment, why would you rush through the final reward? The picture confirms the harvest and creates a moment in time that will last forever.
Now some our hunting brother and sisterhood will react to this article, and others negative opinions, with a single fingered salute. “If they don’t like it don’t look!” or “Mind your own business!” The truth is that all hunters are measured as one group. Impressions we make reflect upon all of us.
We can certainly post these pictures to our groups or use them in our sporting circles of friends. Pictures remind us about special moments in our lives. As parents, we hang them in our children’s rooms, so they are reminded about good choices and positive moments. Their trophies, pictures, antlers, and other rewards remind them that their cup is always half full.
Years ago, hunters would cut the tongue out of the deer’s mouth, to confirm ownership. This common practice allowed for a positive identity, if the deer was stolen. You also placed the tongue in a bag to eat. Many hunters found the tongue, heart, and liver, delicacies.
You must admit that the pictures of a great hunt would look better without the tongue hanging out. Ethical hunters show respect for their harvests by taking a moment to stage their picture. The weapon, or garment, cover the bloody wound, the tongue is placed into the mouth, lighting and backdrop are positioned, and several pictures produce a perfect memory.
Tuck the Tongue!
For more Montana Grant, see his tongue at www.montanagrantfishing.com.