Former professional hockey player Tim Brent withstood a barrage of insults and death threats when on Sept. 10 he Tweeted pictures of a successful Yukon grizzly bear hunt. Rabid animal rights extremists, with zero outward regard for the actual welfare of the Yukon grizzly population, verbally assaulted Brent’s intelligence, masculinity and humble nature. When the attackers crossed the line, threatening the Canadian’s life, he reported the death threats to Twitter, which dismissed them due to the context. In other words, it’s acceptable for abusive language to be used on Twitter if the subject is one the left-leaning social media outlet agrees should be vilified. Only neither the anti-hunters nor Twitter understood the character of the man making the posts.
Not only did he not remove the Tweet, Brent followed up with a moose hunt photo and an image of his freezer full of moose, bear, elk and wild boar meat. He also tried to counter the emotional harangue with facts. “Did you know on average a single Grizzly eats around 40 Moose and Caribou calves during each calving season?” Brent Tweeted with a picture of him holding up the grizzly’s paw. London’s Evening Standard was the first to pick up the story, and it also reported on Twitter users who defended both the hunter and the legal hunt. One noted the age of the grizzly and how elders will often kill and eat cubs, and that its removal was not only beneficial to the North American brown bear population, but to the food supply for all animals in the Yukon. The Government of Yukon estimates the Yukon grizzly population to be somewhere between 6000-7000, with the global population stable.
Tim Brent’s professional hockey career spanned 17 years, often on farm teams, but with respectable bumps up to the National Hockey League. Supporters hoped he could find a spot as a third or fourth line centerman, not a star, but a steady addition to the right team. He had his moments, most notably with his family’s favorite, the Toronto Maple Leafs. Brent, like his father and grandfather before him, is a lifelong Leafs fan. He said that his father was almost happier than he was when he was brought up to play in the last game of challenging season for the Leafs. Any athlete playing at that level is talented—no question—but in the business of hockey it was said that he had more character than talent. To team owners, fans, and now the hunting community, that character counts for more than can be calculated by statistics.
Editor’s Note: The NRA Hunters’ Leadership Forum and NRAHLF.org In response to the culture war on American hunters, in late 2014 the NRA launched the NRA Hunters’ Leadership Forum (HLF) to address the cultural, political, demographic and technological challenges facing the future of hunters, hunting and wildlife conservation in the 21st century. The HLF brings together dedicated hunters who have distinguished themselves as leaders in their professions, communities and in the field as the collective hunting community goes on the offense and works together to save hunting's future. Launched in July 2016, the NRA HLF websitemonitors issues impacting the future of hunting and wildlife conservation on the state, national and international levels and shares the stories of hunters and hunting and where our hard-earned dollars go. Without hunting, there would be no conservation! Visit NRAHLF.org for all of the above and share the story links.