Taking Tasteful Wild Game Harvest Pictures

Photos of animals that have been harvested elicit a strong response from everyone who looks at them—pride from the hunter, admiration from the industry, disgust and outrage from the anti-hunting crowd… The list goes on.

We, as hunters, shouldn’t feel ashamed to share our hard work and determination. Hundreds if not thousands of groups exist on social media for that purpose alone. Within those groups, the topic of respectful hunting photos rarely surfaces. We take the good with the okay, congratulate the hunter, and move on for the day. Even when we stumble upon photos we wouldn’t have taken, we remind ourselves the ‘perfect’ picture isn’t always possible and we go about our day.

An example of this that comes to mind for me personally are photos where the deer is hung by the neck. I know that’s how a portion of the industry prefers to hang their larger game. My family has never done it that way. We hang from the hind legs and rarely—if ever—take pictures of an animal once it’s been lifted up off the ground. I congratulate the hunter and move on—I know it’s a valid procedure, even if I wouldn’t post pictures of it myself.

Now, I know we don’t share our photos for the approval of those outside of the hunting industry. Many of them will never approve of what we work so hard to accomplish and protect. At the same time, many of us have public social media presences where we work together to educate people about our conservation efforts and the positive impact we have on wildlife populations and the environment. We will always struggle with extremists who look for any amount of ammunition against the hunting industry. Sharing poorly composed pictures can turn the conversation from an open dialogue to an anti-hunting frenzy.

Being conscious about photos you post to social media can help spread the message about hunters and their respect for the outdoors. Here are a few tips I try to follow when I take and share pictures to social media:

*Take a few minutes to clean up around the animal’s mouth. Carry wipes if you can!

*Position the animal so the wound isn’t front and center of the photo.

*Support the animal’s head from behind. Try not to stand over top of the animal.

*Consider black and white—this isn’t a hard and fast rule for me, but sometimes, creating that perfect picture isn’t possible and converting the picture to black and white can help lessen the negative emotional response

*Be sure the weapon is pointed in a safe direction in the picture. Try not to rest it against the animal with the barrel angled towards you—the angle of the picture may be deceiving and lead viewers to think it’s pointing at you.

*Be conscious of the comment you include with your photo. Using ‘lol’, laughing emojis, and other similar phrases could come across as disrespectful to the animal.

Hunting is emotional—for us as hunters and those who don’t agree with hunting. Showing a little extra compassion in your harvest photos will never hurt when you want to have a conversation with someone about why you hunt.

Am I off target? Overly cautious? Do you have more thoughts on how to create a tasteful harvest photo? Let me know!

Photo: Tarra Stoddard

Photo: Tarra Stoddard



Kendal Quandahl

ReelCamoGirl Brand Champion

Avid Huntress


Instagram: horse_hound_hunt

GoWild: Kendal Quandahl


 ReelCamo Girl is a lifestyle brand focused on ladies who love the outdoors.There is a growing need for a place for women to share  their outdoor experiences, as well as an interest in clean eating and  self-sufficiency. Through our website and social media networks, we  offer a safe place where the ladies can share their pictures, stories, wild  game and fish recipes, and news articles about conservation and  hunting perspectives.

ReelCamo girls are strong, capable, kind, compassionate, nature & country-loving individuals. We encourage responsible and ethical hunting. We care about the land and wildlife management and about long term sustainability. We hunt, fish, dive, shoot and hike…for peace of mind, happiness, pure clean protein & connection to the outdoors. ReelCamoGirls can shoot a gun, draw a bow, track an animal, get CAMOed up, bait a hook, clean a fish and still be feminine.

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