By Glen Wunderlich
Lansing, Michigan - -(Ammoland.com)- Years ago, Detroit Lions fans and fans throughout the NFL, were treated to one of the most creative and celebrated running backs of all time.
His name was Barry Sanders, and although he was widely known for record-breaking performances, it was what he didn’t do and how it relates to hunters.
Barry Sanders didn’t toss the ball into the crowd, nor did he invent a new dance for the world to critique. He didn’t spike the ball. He didn’t jump into the stands after a single touchdown. Barry Sanders never rubbed his greatness in the faces of those who may not have appreciated it. He would tap-dance his way into the end zone enroute to yet another 100-yard day and politely hand the ball over to the nearest official.
Barry had no need to boast with antics designed to draw attention. He was the best. Period. His actions proved it. And, sportsmen would do well to take a page from Barry’s book.
A sportsman would always understand that a certain respect is due to the animal which life he has taken. He realizes that conspicuously displaying a dead animal in public may offend some people, although the manner in which it is done is more of a factor than anything. As a hunter, he is a minority and understands that he makes up only 7 percent of the population.
However, polls have shown consistently that most people approve of hunting. So, why not show our best side in the best light? We, no doubt, have nothing to gain by doing otherwise.
When a sportsman photographs the hero shot, he prepares the scene. The back of a pickup truck is good for many things, but not for great images. Blood should be wiped away and otherwise minimized. Tongues should not left hanging to one side of the jawbone, but rather neatly tucked into the closed mouth.
It’s always best to get photos right after the kill with the deer intact. Nobody wants to see how adept you are at field dressing; avoid such images. Try different angles, different lighting, and different poses – anything to mix it up. Use a fill flash even in daylight. It costs no more today to take 100 photos than it does one.
Think about your background. Can you improve it before snapping the shutter? Has clutter been removed? Do guns appear to be safely pointed and actions shown open, if they are in the picture?
Yes, we are talking image. It’s what you’ll retain after the steaks and chops are long forgotten. And, if done with a bit of foresight, it can result in the image of a sportsman.
About Glen Wunderlich
Charter Member Professional Outdoor Media Association (POMA). Outdoor writer and columnist for The Argus-Press (www.argus-press.com) and blog site at www.thinkingafield.org Member National Rifle Association (NRA), Michigan United Conservation Clubs (MUCC), member U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance (USSA), Quality Deer Management Association (QDMA), Commemorative Bucks of Michigan (CBM). Adjutant of Perry, Michigan Sons of Amvets Post 4064 and Chairman Perry (MI) Youth Hunt Extravaganza, a sanctioned event of Perry Sons of Amvets held the fourth weekend of September each year.