Colorado Mom Is Targeted By Terrorist-Like Activists Over Photo Taken During Legal Hunt
Charisa Argys, a young mother and hunting enthusiast is being cyber-bullied by animal rights activists because of a photo she posted on social media. The photo in question? One of Argys posing with a mountain lion she had moments before killed during a legal seasonal hunt in her home state of Colorado. The photo was present on Argy’s Facebook page for over a year before it caught the eye German journalist and animal rights activistÂ Silvia Wadhwa, who apparently went digging through Argy’s online accounts after seeing a mundane photo of Argy’s daughter with an adopted house cat. Wadhwa then posted the trophy photo underneath the house cat photo with the comment “Sadly, you don’t love ALL cats, Madame.”
This is where things go south. While Wadhwa’s comment was benign, other activists were less calm about the matter. Argy’s photo was reposted to anti-hunting sites such as the International Animal Rescue Foundation World Action, and from there she received death threats, threats of rape, and threats against her family. These so-called “activists” went as far as posting Argy’s full address with directions to her home. And while World Action has since removed the photo, the abuse continues. It certainly doesn’t help that they replaced the photo with an article on female hunters in which they are called “anti-social,” and “sociopathic.”
There is NO excuse for this behavior. Even if Argys had been engaging in illegal hunting, I would be aghast. But what Argys was doing was not only perfectly legal (as you can see from this piece of literature from the state of Colorado), but often necessary in order to control mountain lion populations. According to the Abundant Wildlife Society of North America:
“The short-term benefit is that with more lions around, perhaps more people will have the pleasure of seeing them. The long-term problems are:
1.Â Â Â Â Â Â Decline in wild game populations due to uncontrolled predation.
2.Â Â Â Â Â Â Economic hardship – loss of hunting revenue, increase of livestock and pet losses.
3.Â Â Â Â Â Â Spread of disease by predators.
4.Â Â Â Â Â Â Attacks on humans.”
So while I am uncomfortable with hunting simply for trophies, I can’t help but support legal, necessary hunting (especially considering that the conditions that make it necessary are often brought on by human populations), and that is exactly what Argys was doing.
Some of the comments Argys received were particularly chilling. One read, “The only answer is to take out these psychopaths. Problem solved â€” animals saved.” Another calls for “an eye for an eye,” and most disturbingly, one reads:
“You are a disgrace to those of us who respect life, human and animal. Iâ€™d love to hunt YOU and hang YOUR head on my living room wall.”
Yes, because threatening to cut a woman’s head off and mount it is SO respectful to human and animal life.
Argys is rightfully and understandably upset by the unwarranted vitriol being heaped on to her, but she refuses to be intimidated. And she shouldn’t be. She was doing nothing illegal. Colorado Parks and Wildlife spokesmanÂ Mike Porras agrees:
“â€œAbsolutely itâ€™s legal. Itâ€™s part of wildlife management.Â You may not like hunting, we understand that. But thereâ€™s a right way and a wrong way to express your opinions.”
This is a perfect of example of the difference between Â gun nuts like the dog killer I wrote about last week and your average responsible gun owner. Argys followed all the rules necessary for legal and productive hunting. She had a permit, she was well-trained and had been introduced to the sport as a child by her father, and according to the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Department, Argys hunted the 175lb mountain lion in an area where there was a specific focus on reducing the number of wild cats for wildlife management purposes.
But I think the most important takeaway from this story is that regardless of all that, cyber-bullying is wrong and disgusting. Argys is far from the only female hunter being harassed online. I refuse to link to them here, but there are dozens of sites set up to bully these women, most of whom are exercising their legal right to hunt in areas where predator population is a problem. And even the few who ARE doing something illegal deserve due process, and shouldn’t be sent death threats from pretend activists who are just as bad. Don’t agree with hunting? That’s fine. You’re well-withinÂ yourÂ rights to protest hunting laws, lobby for stricter ones, and argue with hunters. But you do NOT have the right to send death threats or threats of rape, or any other threats. Period.