When Sister John Paul Bauer eased into her tree stand early this month at the beginning of Pennsylvania's deer season, she had no reason to believe that she was setting up for a firestorm of social-media outrage. Instead, she prayed the rosary as she waited in the dawn light, hoping for a deer to cross in front of her. Perhaps she meditated on the words of Genesis 1:28, "God blessed them and said to them, 'Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.'” When she dropped a 10-point whitetail deer, then posed proudly with it, the outcome of her successful hunt was not just an answer to a prayer, but part of a continuing and deeply-felt Pennsylvania tradition. Bauer, who is a teacher at Elk County Catholic High School in St. Mary's, told Erie News Now, "In St. Mary's, this is what you do.” Continued Bauer, “You go hunting. Everybody goes hunting. The coach, myself, the students.”
That's why it was such a surprise when not only did her trophy photo on social media garner over a million views, it ignited a nasty backlash from anti-hunters. “Was your God not clear when he said, ‘Thou shalt not kill?'” fumed one commenter. "Disgusting!" sneered someone else. "Hunting is atrocious...especially for one who is supposed to be pious," lectured another.
This is by no means the first time that anti-hunters have attacked people who posted images of their legally and ethically taken game harvests on social media. It was just over a year ago that teenage Texan cheerleader Kendall Jones' photos of her hunt in Africa resulted in a vicious firestorm of controversy, up to and including death threats.
Sister John Paul Bauer has since removed the image, so NRA Family will not re-post it here.