On average, 13.7 million hunters hit the field ever year in pursuit of game with 11 percent of that figure being women. Celebrity sportswomen are commonplace on television and the Internet, and more have recently come under fire by the anti-hunting community for promoting an outdoor lifestyle.
However, in recent months, average women hunters are finding themselves in the crosshairs, being threatened and harassed by people from around the globe.
As is the case with Charisa Argys, a Colorado native and avid huntress who recently came under attack after a photo of her with a trophy mountain lion was shared on Facebook by an animal rights activist. That person, Silvia Wadhwa, is a German financial journalist currently working in Frankfurt, Germany.
“I posted a photo of my daughter with her recently adopted housecat on our local Humane Society Facebook page,” Argys said. “The next thing I knew, this Silvia person commented on and posted a link to my personal page with a photo of my mountain lion. I have no idea how she found me.”
The comment in question referred to Argys’ mountain lion photo saying “Sadly, you don’t love ALL cats, Madame … ”
Different anti-hunting organizations quickly picked up on the photo and it was then posted to dozens of Facebook pages, including the International Animal Rescue Foundation World Action (World Action), which includes numerous branches representing different countries around the world. According to World Action’s Facebook page, they specialize in environmental welfare, conservation, preservation, and anti-poaching.
A fire storm of comments surfaced targeting Argys, often negatively referring to her physical appearance as well as threats to her life and family.
“I have never been called so many horrible, hateful names in my life.” Argys said. “They even went as far as to post my full name, address and directions to my house.”
“Let’s hunt her!”
“This ugly woman is an embarrassment and shame to all women around the world;”
and, “I hope she knows how much she’s hated. Male or female, I hope they all suffer horrible hunting accidents.”
After a flood of comments, mostly by sportsmen to World Action in support of Argys, the photo of her and the mountain lion were removed. However, it was soon replaced with an article about women hunters on their sister site, speakupforthevoiceless.com.
Focusing on sportswomen, the article entitled “Hunting is Not Conservation,” attacks women hunters, and at times men, referring to hunters as having “antisocial personality disorder or sociopathology.”
According to the unknown author, women posing with their kill, specifically mentioning women wearing bikinis, is “behavior typical of serial killers that feel they need to prove themselves to their family or victims.” The author goes on to say that hunting gives women a “form of sexual gratification, a feeling of power and lust” and claims that women hunters wish “they were sexually abusing women, or maybe themselves.”
These types of articles may seem laughable but the threats Argys continues to receive are not a joke.
“I went on my first hunt when I was three years old,” Argys said. “I have been hunting with my dad ever since and it is a family tradition to us. I really can’t believe this is happening to me and my family.”
Argys is not alone, as women hunters across the country are finding themselves under attack like never before. As reported by the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance (USSA) in an earlier publication titled “Hunters in the Crosshairs,” celebrity women such as Melissa Bachman, Olympian Corey Cogdell, Olivia Opre and others have come under scrutiny from the anti-hunting community in recent months.
Outdoor Channel’s Nicole Reeve of “Driven with Pat and Nicole” was also a target of malicious posts.
Why are animal rights activists targeting women hunters?
“They’ve seen an increase in women hunters over the past several years and that makes them nervous,” said Nick Pinizzotto, USSA president and CEO. “The increase in women hunters, shows that our hunting heritage is not only being passed on from the father of the family, but from both parents. Certainly something that the anti’s don’t want to see as it puts their agenda in great jeopardy.”
Numerous photos of women hunters with downed game can be found on all branches of World Action Facebook pages, and at times, full names of individuals along with locations of where to find them are posted.“This is just the beginning,” Pinizzotto said. “The anti-hunters are attacking all methods of hunting to spread their radical agenda. Women, unfortunately, are just their next target. We have to come together as a community to make them stand down and to protect not only our hunting heritage, but all who enjoy it.”
Outdoor Channel’s new ownership made a vow to stand and fight anti-hunters and Second Amendment opposition. See the article here.
The USSA has an article detailing how to deal with anti-hunters and harassment.