There are few moments more rewarding to the big game hunter: you’ve finally taken that trophy buck or bull and a little bragging to your buddies is in order. Long gone, however, are the days of the meat pole, and gathering around a truck bed at the local check-in station is mostly a thing of the past. We now carry our braggin’ boards around in our pockets—and punch our tags with a #.
Before you hit that “Post” button on Facebook and Instagram, however, take a moment to fine-tune your message. It’s no longer just the guys at the barber shop who will be subject to your bragging. For many, you may be one of the only glimpses into the hunting world they ever experience. Soccer moms, youth hunters, and that aunt who types in ALL CAPS will be in on your story. Post as if the whole world is watching, because, well, they probably are.
Set the Stage to Tell Your Hunting Story
If a picture is worth a thousand words, you’d better take the time to tell the whole story. Did you harvest your trophy in the bed of a pickup truck? Didn’t think so. Big game has a habit of expiring in the gnarliest timber and deepest ravines. Even if it takes a little extra dragging, pose your photo in a way that showcases the landscape. You won’t regret it.
Carefully consider the landmarks and scenery in the background of your photos. Some details are best kept a secret. This may ensuring your keep a good relationship with a landowner or that your public land spot stays productive for years to come.
If you recover your animal after dark, do all you can to have adequate lighting in your photos. Some hunters even return the following day to capture images in the daylight. Just remember to compensate for the effects of rigor mortis, especially on a hanging deer.
Respect the Animal, Keep It Clean
Show respect for the animal by cleaning him up a bit. Death is a messy business, but tucking the tongue in and taking the time to wipe up visible blood and allows the majesty of the animal to shine through.
After cleaning him up, do the same for yourself. Wash excess blood from your hands and straighten your camo hunting clothing. It’s not vain to look your best—this is a memory you’ll want to cherish for the rest of your life.
Sit Up Straight and Behind the Animal
Position yourself behind the animal to showcase his strength and size. Hold the antlers securely, and take at least one photo looking directly into the camera. No matter how hardcore of a hunter you are, be sure to muster up a smile. Victory is worth celebrating!
Many hunters like to include their gun, hunting bow, or hunting pack in their photos. You’ve spent good money on your hunting gear, there’s no shame in showcasing it. Just ensure that the animal is still the star of the show, and your rifle is always pointed in a safe direction. For more information on taking the perfect hunting photography, check out these photography tips.
Tell the Whole Hunting Story
A successful hunt is much more than simply harvesting an animal. There are little moments all season that led up to pulling the trigger. Do your best to document the entire hunt, and include these photos in your posts. It allows others to experience the entire journey.
As most hunters know, the work really begins after the animal is down. The process of getting game from the field to the table is fascinating to many folks, and helps to show that your harvest is more than just a trophy. Don’t be afraid to share a few photos or your favorite wildgame recipes!
Optimize Your Social Media Hunting Posts
Let’s face it, we all enjoy receiving “likes” and comments on our social media posts. Plus, if you’ve followed the steps above, your photos are showcasing the hunting community in a positive light—which is great for everyone. A few simple enhancements can help your content to receive more views and gain the attention of companies in the hunting industry.
Be sure to tag your hunting buddies so they can revel in the glory with you. Don’t hesitate to tag sponsors or your favorite hunting gear brands as well. Many will be on the lookout for content to use on their own channels. Hashtags can also be a great way to gain interest and new followers on Instagram.
Take the Time to Answer Questions and Encourage Other Hunters
Addressing feedback, both positive and negative, is a responsibility that now rests squarely on your shoulders. Take the time to answer questions and encourage others, as some folks will be genuinely curious.
Some battles, however, are not worth fighting. If you begin getting attacked, it’s often best to ignore the remarks completely. In some cases a “block” may be in order. How you handle the situation will set a positive example for other hunters, and could sway anyone else on the fence.
Your hunting achievements are certainly worth showcasing, and the world deserves to see the beauty hunters experience. Perfecting your hunting posts on social media will protect the image of the hunting community and pass along our traditions for generations to come.
Along with your social posts, don’t forget to share your hunting and fishing photos on our Bass Pro Shops trophy Braggin’ Board!