ANTI-HUNTING GROUP SETS SIGHTS ON MOUNTAIN LION HUNTER

Photo Credit: Franchesca Esplin

The anti-hunters are at it again! This time, they have set their sights on a Colorado hunter who killed a mountain lion. Earlier this month the hunter, Franchesca Esplin, participated in a legal mountain lion hunt. Someone turned her photos into the anti-hunting group, Prairie Protection Colorado, who then used her as an example of “sadistic killers” who hunt for fun.

According to their Facebook, Prairie Protection Colorado started with a mission to stop the “annihilation of prairie dogs up and down the Front Range”. Recently, they seem to have changed their mission and have set their sights on predator hunting in Colorado. This includes a bobcat trapping petition and an attack on mountain lion hunting.

This is the mentality of people who kill predator species for sport and fun. Make no mistake that Colorado's wildlife…

Posted by Prairie Protection Colorado on Thursday, February 21, 2019

The organization’s Facebook page is filled with false information. In one post, they blame hunters for orphaning the “kitten” that attacked the trail runner earlier this month. In a separate post, they cherry-picked facts from a CPW press release about the pride of mountain lions in Edwards. They claim they are “orphaned kittens”, but conveniently left out the part where it was reported to be two separate liters WITH their mothers.

Franchesca’s hunt didn’t quite fit their narrative about orphaning kittens though since she harvested a tom. Instead, PPC decided to attack her for trophy hunting. Deanna Meyer, the executive director of Prairie Protection Colorado, defines trophy hunters as those who express “complete glee and elation at the kills that they’ve performed.”

Buckle up folks, because the madness doesn’t stop there. Deanna Meyer says she is a hunter herself! She says she has lived off of wild food for 25 years. “I do not find anything wrong at all with ethical hunting,” Meyer said. “To me, that doesn’t include selfies of the dead animal with laughing and elation.”

PPC’s followers have organized in mass and are harassing Franchesca and her family. “My husband is a taxidermist and we run our own business,” Franchesca says. “With all this, we’ve had to go as far as making a post that the phone numbers and email were for business only and we wouldn’t tolerate harassment.” They have also received death threats and ultimately have had to deactivate their Facebook accounts.

“I want there to be an awareness that while people are entitled to their opinion, they really need to be educated and respectful of other people’s opinions and their way of life.”

I’ll turn this one over to you, readers. How do we combat such willful ignorance? Is there any hope for educating the public about the importance of hunting with groups like this around?

And here is a shout out to Franchesca Esplin, heck of Cat!

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