A hunting-mad US lawyer has defended her controversial hobby, after graphic Instagram posts landed her on the receiving end of criticism and even death threats from people opposed to her lifestyle.
Nikki Tate from Dallas, Texas, often updates her Insta account with photos of her grinning while holding animal carcasses and slabs of butchered meat, but it turns out not everyone is quite so pleased.
The 27-year-old is a self-confessed hunting addict and spoke to the Sun to tell her story.
She said: "I became involved in hunting about 10 years ago when I went to my uncle's ranch in South Texas.
"It was then when I shot a bow for the first time. I loved the challenge, and given my athletic history and competitive personality, I instantly became addicted.
"The very first time I hunted, it was the time of year where we could only kill bucks, and I saw over fifteen doe walk past me, some within 10 yards. I remember shaking the entire time.
"I hadn't pulled back my bow once, yet the adrenaline pumping through my body was unlike any sport I had ever played.
"Ever since that moment, I have been hooked. I've hunted several animals, but my favourite by far is waterfowl.
"I was always told to stay away from waterfowl hunting or else I would never go back to hunting anything else. Well, they were right.
"I spend almost every weekend waterfowl hunting, but I do get a few deer hunts in a year to help fill the freezer.
"I wouldn't trade the early mornings, hard work, blood, sweat, (and yes, even tears), for anything."
While Nikki hunts for pleasure, the primary reason for her activity is meat and she claims that everything she hunts is either eaten by herself and her husband, or donated to charity.
"We eat everything we kill, unless we are hunting predators," added Nikki.
"My husband and I skin everything ourselves, and if we can't eat everything, we donate it to organisations that are aimed at feeding the homeless.
"We pride ourselves in only taking ethical shots, and work hard to make sure that it happens."
The young law official states conservation as another key reason for doing what she does.
"Hunting helps maintain animal populations at levels that are compatible with human life/activity.
"For example, hogs are insanely overpopulated and can cause serious damage to agricultural products, fields, and other vegetation, which can harm livestock. We also hunt coyotes and bobcats for purposes of predator control.
"I do occasionally enjoy a solo hunt (it's actually therapeutic), but hunting with my friends and family is what I enjoy the most.
"I have made so many memories in the duck blind and deer blind - from killing my first deer with my husband to watching my husband catch a duck in mid-air.
"I am also extremely lucky to have a few girlfriends who would rather sit in the blind instead of going to brunch."
However, Nikki's controversial lifestyle and social media bragging have attracted a lot of negative attention. Some animal lovers have even gone as far as to send her death threats.
She said: "I pride myself in respecting others for their beliefs and practices, regardless of whether I agree with them.
"I hunt for food, conservation, friendship, and so much more, all of which are very important to me. If I can respect others' beliefs, values, and reasons (even those that involve human life and death), please respect mine.
"Most people love my hunting pictures and social media pages. I think people really appreciate the fact that I don't sugar coat anything.
"I am who I am and I am not going to change that.
"If I kill a deer in a sweat suit and it's evident that I haven't showered in a few days, I am still going to post a picture with my deer.
"I'm hoping people are looking at the deer, anyway."
Source: The Sun
Words: Paddy Maddison
Featured Image Credit: Nikki Tate/Instagram