Deer Hunting Nun Draws Social Media Backlash

A nun who likes to hunt. What could be wrong with that? Nothing, thought the Erie Diocese in northern Pennsylvania who posted a photo of a nun standing over a 10-point buck on Facebook. 

It was a pretty nice shot for 60-year-old Sister John Paul Bauer, who told PennLive she prayed the rosary in her tree stand shortly before the deer showed up on the first day of the rifle hunting season Nov 30. 

Praying the rosary and hunting among the benedictine nuns in Elk County is something of a pastime, as it is among much of the community. That didn’t sit well with animal rights activists opposed to hunting of any kind. 

As the Facebook page with Bauer and her prized deer received more than 1.5 million views, many of the comments turned vulgar and mean, so the diocese took the photo down. 

“We recognize that social media needs to be a two-way conversation, but unfortunately, many of those who oppose hunting posted vulgar comments, using profanity and even an obscene photograph,” church spokeswoman Anne Marie Welsh told the Associated Press. “After careful consideration, we decided to delete the post due to its inflammatory nature.”

In the nun’s interview with PennLive, she explains how she views hunting as a spiritual pursuit, in accordance with creation.

“You don’t just hunt for the sake of killing. You are part of nature. You’re part of a cycle. You’re part of creation,” she told the website.

As far as the meat, the sisters donate much of it to local families, but they share the cherished back straps. 

Photo credit: Facebook