Put A Smile On That Hunting Face

I have a pet peeve.

Actually, I have several pet peeves, but one in particular this time of the year really irks me.

It’s a picture of sportsmen displaying the success of their adventure only to show little to no excitement in the associated pictures.   Really?   You put all that hard work and dedication into bagging a nice buck or a game bag full of roosters and you can’t put even a slight smile on your face for the camera?

Why display a somber looking face like this hunter when you have every reason to show happiness.

I know that if I was a judge for a hunting photo contest there would be a preliminary factor that would toss out at least a third to probably a half of all pictures submitted.   No smile…no chance of winning my photo contest.

Look, I get it that you’re a hunter and you want to look rugged and tough.   I also get it that maybe you’re not big on pictures being taken and a smile doesn’t come naturally.   Tough!   As a sportsman this fall who anticipates to be in a position of success I want you to condition your mind to smile when a camera is around.   Maybe few people look at the smile and they focus on the nice rack, but I will notice whether a smile is present or absent.

You see, I think showing a little smile is akin to showing some respect for the animal.   You’re not laughing, you’re smiling.   You’re showing the world that you are happy in your accomplishment.   You’re showing some emotion which people like to see.   Honestly, I even happen to believe a deer looks BIGGER when the smile is more noticeable.

This hunter got it right, besides...with a deer like that how could you not show a big ol' smile.

This hunter got it right, besides…with a deer like that how could you not show a big ol’ smile.

Okay, well maybe that last statement isn’t exactly true.   But seriously, why should I get excited about your deer or your day spent in the pheasant slough if you pose with nice critters and you don’t even appear happy.   I figure there must be something inherently wrong.   I think to myself if I had shot a deer like the one I am seeing I know I would be exuding excitement that would show for the camera.   Maybe, just maybe, I am mistaken and the game being shown is not that big of a deal.

I know most hunters don’t think about this until it is too late…but these pictures last a lifetime.   That wild turkey or pile of ducks or whatever deserves a little crack of smile.   A smile shows you are genuine.   A smile shows you’re proud of what you are posing by in the picture.   Most importantly, a smile is what invites other hunters to share in your raw excitement of the moment.

This fall I want all of my hunters to pledge they will put smiles on their faces when posing with their game for pictures.   It’s such a little thing to ask, but yet it adds so much to the quality of the picture.