PETA’s Threats And Harassment Deserves Greater Sportsman Criticism

During my lifetime I’ve been witness to many despicable, deplorable acts perpetrated by one person onto another.   We all know nature can be cruel and relentless, but I contend that some within our Homo sapiens population have seemingly failed to get the memo on evolution.

Perhaps nothing better exemplifies my point than an experience I had about 15 years ago while working ambulance.   As I recall, we were dispatched to a residence of a person suffering severe panic attacks that were endangering her life.   In a nutshell, we discovered a 30–something year old woman who had been a sex slave to her neighbor for the past several years.   The woman, who had a teenage son, endured acts and behavior I simply cannot describe within this blog.  It was gut-wrenching…and tore my heart out more than you can imagine.

Why did she do it?   To protect her son from criminal prosecution.   Turns out the son had broken into the neighbor’s home and stole some items that were fairly petty in the whole scheme of things.   To prevent the neighbor from reporting the son and pressing criminal charges…the woman chose instead to endure a living hell, that, at times, even involved being locked in a closet for days on end.

So, why do I bring this up?   I want to give you some perspective.   When I speak of acts and words that I find utterly repulsive and beyond the bounds of our typical community standards, I know about what I speak.   I’ve experienced it first-hand.

Maybe it shouldn’t come as a complete shock that in recent weeks I’ve been feeling those same sickening sentiments about a series of comments that posters have tried to make to this blog.   You see, some folks allegedly from PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) have viciously attacked my good friend, Michele Leqve, whom I first wrote about in the blog back almost six years ago.   Michele is credited as being the first woman to ever shoot a polar bear with a bow.   And because I defended her in my previous blog post…I also became subject to their relentless attacks.

Check out a small sampling of excerpts from the comments these people have tried to make (but were not approved for complete publication) on this blog:

“…disgusting pervertion of womanhood … i hope someone shoots her with a bow and arrow just after she’s been run to exhaustion….”

and this one:

“I’ll be impressed when the Bitch can shoot all you FUCKTARDS making you extinct.”


“… I hope you all have the experience of being hunted down and shot one day.”

Indeed, dozens of PETA-supporting folks tried to comment, but almost without exception their words were crude, repulsive and totally devoid of decency in attempting to make an argument debating their point of view.   Instead, these folks chose to use vulgar language and prove to me once and for all how they represent the pure hypocrisy of what they profess to be.

After all, how can a person ever truly believe in the ethical treatment of animals when they can’t even display common courtesy to their own kind.   Seriously, I can accept and tolerate the fact not everyone views hunting the exact same way as I do.   Yet, it appears the typical PETA member can show no tolerance in return.   I can even appreciate they might feel strongly the way they do…but when they cross the line and attempt to post such absolute garbage on my blog site they have just wasted those few minutes of their life and exposed a big flaw in their human character.

My friend, Michele, has been harassed to the point she had to change her e-mail and her cell phone number to avoid all the vicious threats.   I might point out that back in 2006 when Michele killed her polar bear she was on a legal hunt and the meat from the animal was taken and used by her Nunavut Eskimo guides.  Today, her trophy mount remains on display at a major sporting goods store in Canada for thousands to see.

I began this blog post describing how the perceived threats of one person can be so powerful it ultimately devastated the life of another person who was susceptible to such behavior.   In reality, I personally find it difficult to draw a distinction in my mind between the low-life person who would make threats to achieve any desired result—whether it be in an attempt to stop hunting by intimidation or to bargain for silence on filing a criminal report in exchange for perverse sexual pleasures.

Sometimes people are just downright mean and impossible to understand.  That pretty much describes my sentiments towards many who supposedly embrace the actions and behaviors behind the PETA organization.

©2012 Jim Braaten. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction without Prior Permission.

I’ve Done Some Thinking….

While I’ve taken a break from blogging (see previous post) I haven’t stepped away from reading other outdoor blogs or following the current “hot-button” issues that surround us in the outdoors world.   What suddenly occurred to me is the notion I think many of us fail to consider when we form our thoughts and opinions on the outdoors.

What is our ultimate goal (or what should it be)?   Seriously, as a group of outdoor users what should we all be striving towards to accomplish in our outdoor pursuits?   Mind you, I’m not talking personal goals here…I’m talking identifiable benchmarks we can collectively use to determine we’re achieving something good and proper for each of our various outdoor activities.


Only by sharing a common goal for how we should be enjoying the outdoors can we expect to achieve success and harmony in all of our outdoor pursuits.

Let me provide an example.   Yesterday I read on Facebook where someone posed the question should crossbows be used during the regular archery deer hunting season.   In many states, and my home state of Minnesota being one of them, crossbow users are greatly restricted to use only during select times and/or by persons showing a doctor diagnosed disability.

Now, on one hand those individuals suggesting “yes” point to the fact that as a hunter ages it gets increasingly difficult to pull back on a bow, even today’s modern compounds incorporating marvelous engineering designs can still be too much for muscles enduring atrophy.   Yet, traditional archers understandably have reason to limit an expansion of deer hunter opportunities leading to increased competition on a limited commodity.

So, we have a standoff between two factions of sportsmen each with a personal vested interest in rules being construed to their recreational advantage.   Emotions over the issue build, eventually one side or the other starts to undermine the other’s stance with negativity, and suddenly sportsmen are at odds over a matter that should not even be occurring.   Why?   Because inherently we let selfish desires sway our thinking (and acting) due to the fact we’re all not operating toward an established outdoors goal.

Here’s another example.   In Minnesota, like a growing number of states, we’ve been experimenting with various deer management principles involving antler point restrictions (or APR’s).   The thought being if hunters are required to count a certain number of points on a buck to make it legal, this will help shift the buck population to one that is more mature, hence more trophies.

The problem is not everyone wants to deer hunt with those added restrictions.   Indeed, one faction of hunters wants the DNR to mandate certain criteria to theoretically increase the number of trophy deer bounding through the woods.   On the flip side are deer hunters who prefer doing things the traditional way allowing every hunter to determine what they consider to be a trophy.   Bottom line…selfish personal desires place otherwise regular, agreeable sportsmen at great odds.

Okay, enough talk about a goal.   Let’s establish a common goal among all sportsmen that should be widely understood as well as embraced.   The goal needs to take “what’s best for me” out of the equation.   The goal needs to be so ridiculously simple that everyone understands it.   The goal needs to resonate and become woven into the fabric of everything we do, henceforth, when it comes to hunting, fishing, trapping, etc.

The goal needs to rejoice in the fact that although many of us choose to enjoy the outdoors in slightly different ways, our differences should never become kindling used for torching fellow sportsmen.   Indeed, the goal might need to re-focus our thinking for the greater good of our beloved outdoor pursuits, but that’s okay and a healthy step in the right direction.

THE GOAL:  All laws, rules and regulations should be developed and construed allowing the MAXIMUM number of people to participate and to enjoy the outdoors.   There you have it!   Notice I didn’t say to enjoy the outdoors a certain way at the expense of how others might enjoy it.   Of course, the underlying caveat to this goal must always consider what is good for the natural resources first and foremost.

Honestly, folks, I’ve really growing tired of the divisiveness prevalent within our ranks seemingly motivated by pure selfish thinking.   It’s a cancer and needs to be dealt with before it spreads out of control.   As a group, we can’t afford to alienate other sportsmen (or future sportsmen) because we strive to push for personal agendas losing sight of what should be the greater goal.   Then, of course, if we all choose to continue operating without a common goal for our beloved outdoor activities we simply continue on a destiny of eventual doom.

Your thoughts?

©2012 Jim Braaten. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction without Prior Permission.