Photos of a man dove hunting with an infant on his back have drawn wide ranging opinions on social media beginning with backlash and then defense from the hunting community.
In the photos posted by Texas-based Hacienda Wildlife Company on Facebook, owner Travis Zatopek is carrying his infant daughter in a carrier strapped to his back as he fires a shotgun blast. The girl is wearing headphones, but that didn’t stop the Internet trolls from having a field day.
The photos have been shared more than 16,000 times and garnered more than 3,300 comments, prompting Zatopek to offer a defense of his parenting methods.
“We do not apologize for raising our girls around guns and hunting. Educating them young is a huge attribute for their future…” he wrote. “Hunting is not just a sport, but a way of life. We feel it is important for our girls to experience the great outdoors and wildlife versus video games and Illusive Pokemon’s. This is our choice, and we stand true to our values.”
The father also shared that he and his wife were raised around hunting and guns, which made them better for it, and that they have raised their two older daughters to be familiar with guns and hunting as well, adding that the infant was placed in the carrier just briefly for a photo opportunity.
“We, as parents, promote positive family morals and values along with teaching them respect and responsibility,” he went on. “Unfortunately, many of the youth today are not taught this. We’ve raised every one of our girls around guns and hunting, just as we were!”