Cheerleader Cyber Attacked
A 19-year-old Texas Tech cheerleader is the latest female hunter to be attacked by animal rights groups after she posted photos of her successful African safari on Facebook.
Kendall Jones, from Cleburne, Texas, has been hunting with her father since she was a child, including being on a safari when just six years old.
Her latest hunt however has brought her a wave of Facebook attacks, including death threats.
Those included “Come to South Africa and try to hunt our endangered animals, you will be shot on sight and believe me, there will be celebrations.” “I hope you get eaten by a lion, you cow,” and “How about we have a real hunger games? I vote we hunt this horrible woman down first.”
Anti-hunters have also created “the official Kendall Jones Hate Page” on Facebook.
But even these attacks have not deterred her thoughts on hunting.
In an interview with a Houston television station, she said she always gives the meat to local villagers, but does not want to give up her hobby.
In fact, she is pursuing a reality television series about her passion. She stated that all of her kills were the result of fair chase.
Jones is the latest female hunter targeted for her passion, but certainly not the first.
Charisa Argys, a Colorado native, legally harvested a mountain lion and posted the photo online with her father.
Then an animal rights activist from Germany led a campaign to spread it to dozens of Facebook pages and Internet sites belonging to international anti-hunting organizations. The floodgates opened with specific threats targeting her physical appearance, her life and her family.
“I have never been called so many horrible, hateful names in my life,” said Argys.
“They went so far as to post my full name, address and directions to my house. It was awful.”
The U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance has been working to help sportsmen fight cyber harassment from animal rights extremists by building support for them from the hunting community.
"It is never okay to harass and even assault someone simply because they choose to live their life differently." said Nick Pinizzotto, president and CEO of the Ohio based USSA.
"Unfortunately anti-hunters clearly lack this basic value and have decided to use their keyboards to attack law-biding hunters.”
Whereas Jones and Argys are not hunting celebrities, some of the recent attacks have targeted high profile hunters as well.
Jana Waller, host of Skull Bound TV, was recently barraged by activists after also posting photos online.
She is undaunted by the criticism.
“It’s a shame that people who know nothing about hunting and conservation feel the need to spew insults and threats regarding a topic they obviously are uneducated about,” said Waller.
“Without hunters’ dollars spent in Africa, there would be catastrophic effects on the vast majority of their animal populations.”
“Trying to explain that hunters are true animal lovers is like trying to explain algebra to a two-year old. They’re just not going to get it,” she added.
Another high profile hunter, Melissa Bachman, outdoor TV host and producer, came under attack after posting a photo of a male African lion she legally harvested while on a safari.
Anti-hunters quickly took to social media to attack Bachman, labeling her as an “animal murderer.”
Other posts included “I hope you die alone – losers.”, “I wish to have some money and kill you all myself” and “If I have the opportunity I will put a rifle inside Melissa’s mouth and I will shoot.”
"Each and every hunter needs to band together and support one another in our rights as hunters” said Bachman.
"What the antis fail to comprehend is that if it weren't for sportsmen and women, populations of game and non-game species plus the lands they inhabit would be in dire straits today, period."
Anti-hunters wrath hasn’t been focused just on individuals. Organizations such as USSA and Dallas Safari Club have received threats and media outlets such as HuntingLife.com have as well.
“We have received death threats towards us and other people we have posted on our site,” said Kevin Paulson, owner of HuntingLife.com.
"The antis are especially venomous toward women and those who are hunting big game such as cats in Africa and the U.S.“
As the cyber threats to female hunters and others continue to escalate, so to have the efforts to protect these innocent victims.
“As an organization with the sole mission to protect hunting, fishing and trapping, we see it as our responsibility to step up and lead the effort to put an end to cyber harassment of sportsmen,” added Pinizzotto.
"We are currently working with a number of conservation partners and key individuals to do just that.”