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Steve Grip N Grin-Site

I love grip-and-grin photos as much as anyone. When I make a kill after a hard hunt (or catch a fish after a tough day of angling), I like to bust out the camera and the smiles and snap a few shots for the sake of memories and…let’s admit it…maybe a little bit of bragging. After all, there’s nothing wrong with being proud of hard-earned fish and game. However, many of us have felt the sting that comes with having our trophy photos misinterpreted as gloating, cruel, or worse, especially in today’s climate of internet hysteria where people are eager to jump to the worst possible conclusions without considering the full meaning of what they’re looking at. Every hunter and fisherman needs to decide for himself how to handle these situations, and I’m certainly not suggesting that we run and hide for fear of criticism. But I do think it’s worth while to listen to a variety of perspectives on this issue, especially coming from someone as experienced, articulate, and well-intentioned as Ryan Hatfield, the editor of both Western Hunter and Elk Hunter Magazine. Read his blog entry “View from the Mountain” here and expand your brain.