One of my hunting buddies has a t-shirt that has always amused me. “There’s a place for all God’s creatures,” it proclaims in bold print, with various game animals silk-screened nearby. Then, in slightly-smaller script, the punch line: “Right next to the potatoes and gravy.”

This shirts captures in a hopefully (if slightly) humorous way, a fundamental truth of hunting that many non-hunters often forget: We eat what we kill, and we should not apologize for that facet of our sport. I consider myself a reasonably-sensitive guy, and slogans like this do not bother me.

There are other shirts that I’m not so certain about. Example A is shown above. While I do not apologize for killing (and eating) wild animals, I also do not view the act of killing as funny, nor do I take it lightly. Of course we all use euphemisms for killing, and “taking the air out of” a deer is fairly low on the OTP (Offensive Totem Pole). Still, while I wouldn’t think less of you if you wore such a shirt, I probably wouldn’t don one myself.

Obviously, hunter opinions are all over the map on issues like this. Is worrying about the “image” we project with such displays a form of needless hand-wringing; a wasted concern over what the non- and anti-hunting public think of us? Or do more of us need to watch what we wear and/or how we talk and act? It seems to be a fine line we walk, and whenever I feel myself tottering, I think of my wife.

Shari was a borderline anti-hunter when we met many years ago; she now enjoys hunting, fishing and above all, eating wild game. More than once I have heard her tell her friends that, had I not conducted myself well and showed her hunting in a respectful, positive light, she would not only have dumped me, but turned to the dark side. Tomorrow is our 20th anniversary, and I’m glad she selected neither of those options!

So what’s your opinion of the t-shirt slogan? Examples of good/bad ones you’d like to share?