I messed up a deer hunt & shared the video… some people didn’t like that.

Video description:

The title pretty much says it all. Recently, I was out hunting Sambar deer in Baw Baw, Victoria, with my friend Pete from Baw Baw Adventures, filming the hunt as part of season 1 of the Australian Huntsman. During the hunt, I took a difficult neck shot on a Sambar hind. The animal dropped, but then jumped back up and took off into the bush. What proceeded was a 2-hour search as we followed the blood trail until it entered private property that we didn’t have access to. At this point, our options were to illegally trespass onto a property with our firearms and continue the search for the animal (a property that we had been given explicit instructions by the owner not to go on), or regrettably end the search. Out of respect for the law, we did the latter.

I recorded the entire hunt, which, if you haven’t watched it, you can check out here: https://youtu.be/70DD2DVqOec

If you want to watch the other other episodes in season one you can check them out here https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLwY-MKJlALMD1RoSPW5SZtkRc0iGiTmo2

Since the release of this video, I have had a number of people, both publicly and privately, criticize and challenge some of the behavior I exhibited during this hunt. This, in and of itself, isn’t a bad thing. In fact, when communicated with the right heart, criticism can be extremely positive and transformational. The issue is with the ill-informed comments based on assumptions and lack of information or the comments produced in bad faith, which are intended to shame and tear me down rather than offer wisdom or correction for the sake of growth.

I felt it was important to film and release this follow-up video for three reasons.

Firstly, the 17 minutes of video documenting this hunt does not fully represent the entirety of what happened. It doesn’t share all of the information about how it went down or how, for instance, the property owner was contacted about the animal and how requests for entry were made.

Secondly, I learned a lot of lessons from this experience. I made mistakes on this hunt that in the future I want to avoid. It’s important for me, therefore, to own these mistakes. Given I publicly share information about my hunts, I also feel it’s important that I publicly admit my mistakes and communicate my desire to learn and grow.

Finally, some of the biggest criticism that I have received on this video is that the video should never have been released in the first place. That the video paints hunters in a bad light and could damage how we are perceived by the wider non-hunting community. This I couldn’t disagree more with, and I cover the reasons why in this video.

For those of you who don’t know more or follow my hunting journey, I feel that it’s important that I communicate that I am committed to the proliferation of positive hunting culture throughout Australia, this being one of my life’s goals. I am also committed to personal growth, learning, and transparency. With this in mind, I will continue to create content that both educates and provides an opportunity for all of us to grow. Life is messy, people are messy, and sometimes content is messy, but that’s okay. We shouldn’t hide the mess, sweep it into the corner, and pretend it doesn’t exist. This just creates larger issues further down the line. We should be open and honest about the address, seek to control the narrative, and do our best to find a solution. As long as we choose to think the best of and encourage each other, committing ourselves towards growth, then we can rest assured that the world will be a better place.

To everyone who supports me and what I am doing in the Australian hunting space, thank you. Your kind words and encouragement strengthen my resolve and remind me that people are fundamentally good, and that goodness can be called out from those who choose not to show it.

– Chris


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