Unfollowing Hunting Social Media Will Make Hunting Better: Matt Rinella Essay

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WCB

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Honest question: Would anyone care about what Matt Rinella had to say if his brother didnt have such a large hunting media presence?

My $0.02: Matt seems like a reasonable guy and I like him well enough from the appearances I have seen and heard on meateater stuff. He writes well and makes some good points. However, I doubt I would know who he was, if it wasn’t for his brothers position within the hunting media landscape, which is inclusive of a pretty substantial social media footprint.
That could be part of the problem...The views/opinions he has are quickly pushed aside by known "influencers" and many in the industry without a second thought. Even though a large population of hunters feel the same. Hell until some social media accounts that call these "influencers" out starting gaining traction poaching, trespassing, general dipshit moves by "influencers" were unknown and still when they are called out are mostly swept under the rug.
 

Mtnboy

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Honest question: Would anyone care about what Matt Rinella had to say if his brother didnt have such a large hunting media presence?

My $0.02: Matt seems like a reasonable guy and I like him well enough from the appearances I have seen and heard on meateater stuff. He writes well and makes some good points. However, I doubt I would know who he was, if it wasn’t for his brothers position within the hunting media landscape, which is inclusive of a pretty substantial social media footprint.
I'm not really sure what you are getting at?

So since his Brother is famous in the hunting world he shouldn't be allowed to have an opinion?

Seems like a good thing that he's able to use the notoriety from his brother to spread this message to me.
 

JRam07

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Honest question: Would anyone care about what Matt Rinella had to say if his brother didnt have such a large hunting media presence?

My $0.02: Matt seems like a reasonable guy and I like him well enough from the appearances I have seen and heard on meateater stuff. He writes well and makes some good points. However, I doubt I would know who he was, if it wasn’t for his brothers position within the hunting media landscape, which is inclusive of a pretty substantial social media footprint.
No, he would be labeled as a keyboard warrior.

Doesn't make any point he raises less or more important.

Though it would make it easier to ignore and sweep it under the rug.

I said this to some people when his R3 article came out, it would be wise to acknowledge that this sentiment is out there and that it is more widespread than one might think, or it will bite people in the butt in the long run.
 

ODB

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I don't think anyone is saying not to get the kids around you into the outdoors. The first Blood Origins podcast with Matt addresses this very topic.

However, the line does have to be drawn somewhere. Let's say that it is true that 5% of the US population hunts. Let's also imagine that R3 is wildly successful, and doubles this amount. Unless we make some serious habitat progress, wouldn't you agree that doubling hunter numbers would be disastrous for the sport as we know it? If so, the unfortunate truth is that not every kid, or even a majority of kids, can hunt. It's kind of depressing to think about, but hunting is always going to be a minority hobby.

For sure. I think Steve is going to face a few questions he is going to have trouble with. I say this as someone who is very torn about Meateater. I owe a fair bit of my interest in cooking wild game, beyond basic principles, to his influence. I also have been increasingly jaded at the direction that organization is taking.

Last point well taken. I really liked very early meateater; a dude hunting and writing books. That’s good stuff. What it has become is nothing I want to be associated with.
 

Poser

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Spent some time on the Mountain Purist website. I'd recommend it. Caught this article about the top 20 influencers in Western Hunting. How many do you/we support by "likes", buying their gear, "following", and recommending to others?


It is interesting to note that only the top 2 on this list have the YouTube metrics to posses a monetized channel. Not that you make much money off a monetized channel, but it is interesting to note nonetheless as on the actual general YT influencer (not hunting specific) scale, these are mostly all small potatoes.
 

ODB

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Honest question: Would anyone care about what Matt Rinella had to say if his brother didnt have such a large hunting media presence?

My $0.02: Matt seems like a reasonable guy and I like him well enough from the appearances I have seen and heard on meateater stuff. He writes well and makes some good points. However, I doubt I would know who he was, if it wasn’t for his brothers position within the hunting media landscape, which is inclusive of a pretty substantial social media footprint.


Good question and yes, absolutely. I don’t care about his name, I care that his ideas align with my own. His name could be Elmer Fudd for all I care.

Is he riding his brother’s coattails a bit to spread his message? Yes. But he is not monetizing your support like Steve is. That and the potential net effect of the Meateater hunter factory are the problems he’s most concerned with.

It’s a legitimate concern from any voice.
 

Pacific_Fork

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If they can't stand the heat, get the hell out of the kitchen. That old line of "don't divide hunters" is the lamest bullshit excuse for people to hide behind.

I take these comments, assess them in the context of what we do and what we hope to accomplish, and then use that process to try craft a better product. That's how business works. Create a better message and do more toward what the customer (audience) is asking for and do it while sticking to you business plan.

Nobody owes any of us in the media world a like, a share, or a living. I've been self-employed most my entire adult life. If I can't handle the realities of operating a business, I should be flipping Big Macs (and nothing against the hard working folks at Mickey D's).

Your message is pretty clear, you’re running a business and are willing to do most anything to increase your audience and likes for $$$. You kill a ton of animals each year and no way you can consume all that meat without giving it away. IMO that is a problem and not sustainable for the traditional hunters. I’ve talked to you in person several times at events and have no problem with you personally, you’re a nice down to earth guy that’s does a lot for conservation and I appreciate it. However, I think your current methods of spitting out video after video of kill shots and promotions isn’t doing hunters any favors. I’ve seen our draw odds plummet as a direct result time after time in the last 5 years especially. We can’t create more habitat, the human population is exploding in the west. The demand is exceeding the supply. The woods are more crowded than ever no matter the miles you hike. When will influencers realize the damage being caused? Like the Upton Sinclair quote goes, “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”
 

Idaho_Potato

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Good question and yes, absolutely. I don’t care about his name, I care that his ideas align with my own. His name could be Elmer Fudd for all I care.

Is he riding his brother’s coattails a bit to spread his message? Yes. But he is not monetizing your support like Steve is. That and the potential net effect of the Meateater hunter factory are the problems he’s most concerned with.

It’s a legitimate concern from any voice.
I think some people missed the point too that Matt probably knows more about the environment and how it relates to hunting than the average guy. He's a federal scientist and PhD in Ecology. It's literally his job to have an objective view of science right at the interface of agriculture and the environment.


He is a public scientist and we literally pay his salary with our tax money so I don't think this is doxxing anyone. Happy to remove if otherwise.
 
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dreamingbig

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It's also hard NOT to help influencers make money off of wild game. Take Steve Speck from Exo. He has a podcast, instagram, YouTube videos, and works hand in hand with other influencers such as BRO. Yet, Steve also has one of the best hunting backpacks out there. I don't know about anyone else, but I'm sure not capable of stitching my own backpack that can carry out 80+ lbs of meat. Where do you draw the line? Do you not buy his high quality pack just because he's an influencer? How do you Depublicize, Deglorify, Demonitize EXO when a hunting pack is a critical part of hunting?

Have you seen Steve’s personal Instagram? His post count is NOT influencer status.


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OXN939

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I’m pretty sure his sons SOF. So that would explain his focus on that. Of all the reasons to trash that guy that ain’t one in my book.

So you appear to be correct, one of his kids evidently is a 2/75 guy... which brings up a few other points:

1. He has been doing that since way before his kid graduated in 2018.

2. He is about as far from being a "quiet professional" as t is humanly possible to be.

3. He posted a picture of his kid's unit insignia on Facebook at, apparently, his graduation... I guess OPSEC is not at the top of the priority list in the Hanes household.

4. I still stand firmly by my comparison between that chick taking a sexy photoshoot at her father's funeral and influencers removing their shirt to stage a river crossing packout scene with a dead elk for the gram.
 

ODB

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Just had a thought…Steve often likes to refer to the biblical story of Jacob and Esau to illustrate (kind of) the tension between the hunter and anti-hunter.

I find it heavily ironic that Steve and his Brother are now publicly tangled in a battle of ideas about what hunting is and what it should be. To the point that one is directly challenging the livelihood of the other.

There’s a reason those stories from the Bible have lasted so long. Maybe we should pay more attention to them. Aye…
 

AnnualRye

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There were actually outfitters doing illegal things. I am glad he brought it forward and contributed to an active investigation. The amount of land owner tags given out in NM is eye opening. You think the residents would want more of that pie.


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Were they, or just in his view because he didn't kill an elk down there? When you make your entire living and identity off being an elk killer and then are unsuccessful on a hunt, I can see how excuse-making and accusations creep into the conversation to explain your lack of success. Perhaps he's as salty as he claims Matt Rinella is?

It'd be one thing if it was an isolated incident, but this isn't the first time he's taken to the airwaves to piss and moan. What about him bitching about the antelope hunters in Nevada this year because there was too much hunting pressure and some guy was hunting "his waterhole?" Didn't he bitch about some guys the year before or couple years prior on another hunt doing "illegal things" and turning them in? Bitching about some hunter on the Rich Outdoors podcast a couple years back that called him out on an elk hunt? Come to think of it, a lot of his content involves some sort of bitching about other hunters. What's the common denominator here?

With regard to his method of helping and educating hunters, we've had "grinding", "hammering", working out, eating right, bugling and shooting arrows out to 100 yards shoved so far down our throats as an influencers' contributions to the hunting community we are choking on watered-down, repeated information. Want to make a real difference about all the animals you're not seeing or hunter crowding using your platforms? Educate people on how they can volunteer with RMEF, the Mule Deer Foundation, NWTF, etc. Post "content" of you out volunteering yourself doing those things, going to your state legislature and lobbying for public lands and wildlife management. How many YT videos does he and other content creators have on those topics? Any at all? If they do, what's the proportion of the volunteering and advocacy posts/videos/podcasts to the shirtless Crossfit content? I've never seen Randy Newberg post one video of himself shirtless, power squatting then chasing down a protein shake in the name hunter recruitment and public lands, and I hope I never do (no offense, Randy).

Even through a squint it should be clear to see which hunters in the social media space are out for their own ego, monetary gain and hubris, versus the ones that use their platform to truly enhance hunting and opportunity. I imagine this is the frustration Matt Rinella is largely speaking to.
 

OregonSteeler

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Your message is pretty clear, you’re running a business and are willing to do most anything to increase your audience and likes for $$$. You kill a ton of animals each year and no way you can consume all that meat without giving it away. IMO that is a problem and not sustainable for the traditional hunters. I’ve talked to you in person several times at events and have no problem with you personally, you’re a nice down to earth guy that’s does a lot for conservation and I appreciate it. However, I think your current methods of spitting out video after video of kill shots and promotions isn’t doing hunters any favors. I’ve seen our draw odds plummet as a direct result time after time in the last 5 years especially. We can’t create more habitat, the human population is exploding in the west. The demand is exceeding the supply. The woods are more crowded than ever no matter the miles you hike. When will influencers realize the damage being caused? Like the Upton Sinclair quote goes, “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”
To give Randy N. credit, he seems (at least what he preaches) to hate YouTube and most social media outlets. He has brought his video content to a paid website for those who want to get away from social media. I feel a key piece of something being "social media" is that it's free to the users and easily found by anyone. I do not subscribe to his channel but honestly have been thinking about it just for entertainment during down time at home. My personal opinion is that less evil than most other influencers out there. What can I say, I like watching hunting videos. If I'm a hypocrite, oh well.......
 

TheTone

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That guy's a parasite. Macho man doesn't have a problem throwing fellow hunters under the bus because they had the audacity to hunt antelope in Nevada and Elk
There were actually outfitters doing illegal things. I am glad he brought it forward and contributed to an active investigation. The amount of land owner tags given out in NM is eye opening. You think the residents would want more of that pie.


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But is he willing to call out other influencers that buy NM landowner tags every year and aren’t open and honest about it? Doesn’t seem to be and I’d guess it’s because you don’t want to bite a hand that might share the same sponsors and paydays you do
 

dreamingbig

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But is he willing to call out other influencers that buy NM landowner tags every year and aren’t open and honest about it? Doesn’t seem to be and I’d guess it’s because you don’t want to bite a hand that might share the same sponsors and paydays you do

I would have to listen to the podcast again but pretty sure he is on board with getting rid of land owner tags . I also think he mentioned others who buy them. At least the ones he knows. Example Phelps crew in NM.


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Pacific_Fork

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To give Randy N. credit, he seems (at least what he preaches) to hate YouTube and most social media outlets. He has brought his video content to a paid website for those who want to get away from social media. I feel a key piece of something being "social media" is that it's free to the users and easily found by anyone. I do not subscribe to his channel but honestly have been thinking about it just for entertainment during down time at home. My personal opinion is that less evil than most other influencers out there. What can I say, I like watching hunting videos. If I'm a hypocrite, oh well.......

I agree, and I would never call him evil. It’s just the intentions in the beginning of all this social media crap vs reality of consequences the average traditional hunter is facing today is real. No influencers can hide or skirt around these issues and get respect much longer. Seeking unlimited content and kill shots for $$ and likes is in no way a benefit to our hunting culture.
 

dreamingbig

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Were they, or just in his view because he didn't kill an elk down there? When you make your entire living and identity off being an elk killer and then are unsuccessful on a hunt, I can see how excuse-making and accusations creep into the conversation to explain your lack of success. Perhaps he's as salty as he claims Matt Rinella is?

It'd be one thing if it was an isolated incident, but this isn't the first time he's taken to the airwaves to piss and moan. What about him bitching about the antelope hunters in Nevada this year because there was too much hunting pressure and some guy was hunting "his waterhole?" Didn't he bitch about some guys the year before or couple years prior on another hunt doing "illegal things" and turning them in? Bitching about some hunter on the Rich Outdoors podcast a couple years back that called him out on an elk hunt? Come to think of it, a lot of his content involves some sort of bitching about other hunters. What's the common denominator here?

With regard to his method of helping and educating hunters, we've had "grinding", "hammering", working out, eating right, bugling and shooting arrows out to 100 yards shoved so far down our throats as an influencers' contributions to the hunting community we are choking on watered-down, repeated information. Want to make a real difference about all the animals you're not seeing or hunter crowding using your platforms? Educate people on how they can volunteer with RMEF, the Mule Deer Foundation, NWTF, etc. Post "content" of you out volunteering yourself doing those things, going to your state legislature and lobbying for public lands and wildlife management. How many YT videos does he and other content creators have on those topics? Any at all? If they do, what's the proportion of the volunteering and advocacy posts/videos/podcasts to the shirtless Crossfit content? I've never seen Randy Newberg post one video of himself shirtless, power squatting then chasing down a protein shake in the name hunter recruitment and public lands, and I hope I never do (no offense, Randy).

Even through a squint it should be clear to see which hunters in the social media space are out for their own ego, monetary gain and hubris, versus the ones that use their platform to truly enhance hunting and opportunity. I imagine this is the frustration Matt Rinella is largely speaking to.

I get it you don’t like him. As to your question I will answer with… It sure looks like it so far. Threatening hunters on public land? Wouldn’t call the game warden and didn’t have his number? Chasing game off public back to private. Taking hunters from public to private (better be an unit wide tag).


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