If 15-year-old Sara Brandenburg bags a Stone’s sheep on a family hunting trip in the Yukon this week, she’ll become the youngest woman ever to complete the North American sheep grand slam.
Having hunted all over the world, Sara and her 18-year-old sister, Katey, have perhaps more hunting experience that many hunters three or even four times their age. They’ve successfully hunted everything from deer in Colorado to grizzlies on Vancouver Island to eland in South Africa.
They’re nice young women, too, having grown up in a Colorado hunting family that’s taught them to love and respect the outdoors. “My parents introduced me to the outdoors,” said Sara. “They didn’t want us growing up playing video games and eating potato chips.”
That’s why it’s so unfortunate that several British tabloids, including the Daily Mail and The Sun, chose to run a demeaning article that portrays the young huntresses in the worst light possible.
The Sun started off its story with this: “PRETTY teenage sisters have turned themselves into angels of death—shooting dead DOZENS of wild animals then smiling for sick photos with the bodies.”
The title of the Daily Mail piece read, “Bloodlust: Meet the ‘twisted’ teenage sisters who love shooting rare wild animals.”
Those “sick” photos show the girls posing in normal hunting pictures alongside their proud mom and dad. None of the animals pictured with the girls—which include a whitetail, pronghorn and dall sheep—are rare or even threatened.
To make matters worse, Sara told Outdoor Life’s Alex Robinson that she and her family had no idea that the reporter who interviewed them was planning to write such a sensationalized piece.
“We were really nice to them, the guy even stayed in our house for like three days,” Sara told Outdoor Life. “We all thought he was just going to do a story about how we really like hunting.”
Instead, the reporter chose to degrade, smear and outright attack the girls and their family. In doing so, he attacked all hunters, everywhere.
Read the full stories in both newspapers (and check out the photos) and tell us what you think.
Bloodlust: Meet the 'twisted' teenage sisters who love shooting rare wild animals
Be sure to read the comments after the stories, too. Goes to show how little the Brits and non-hunters know about the tradition we love—and the battles we continue to face as a hunting community.