In a post to her Twitter account this Saturday, South Dakota GOP governor Kristi Noem shared a photo of herself holding a rifle while crouching over the corpse of a black bear she apparently shot and killed.
“Great bear hunt with Safari River Outdoors Outfitters these past few days,” she wrote in the post.
Noem is a vocal supporter of the 2nd Amendment and an avid hunter. Her posts to social media about hunting are always met with a contingent of critics, and this time was no different.
Great bear hunt with Safari River Outdoors Outfitters these past few days.
Check out my Instagram story for more photos ‘eh? 🇨🇦… and yes, 🇺🇸 🙌🏼🇺🇸💪🏼🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/trIGGUV0ig
— Kristi Noem (@KristiNoem) May 19, 2023
“Look, Kristi Gnome killed a big beautiful Bear. A warm blooded, feeling animal. Just snuffed out the life of that gorgeous creature, in his own home, without the least bit of reservation,” wrote one Twitter user. “Takes a unique cruelty and a dark shriveled heart to be that hateful of nature.”
“Beautiful creature. Tasteless photo,” a user wrote, then another responded, “This bear died for a photo shoot for sick f***s.”
“This is disgusting,” wrote another.
The comments beneath Noem’s photo seemed to be made up mostly of her critics.
“Disgusting. Shooting a bear for fun and a photo op. And nope, I’m not vegan. But we don’t kill cows for a photo op. You suck!”
“WAS a big supporter. Not now.”
Killing for the sake of a photo op. https://t.co/PyJ5dXhY61
— Bob Levine (@idguy) May 20, 2023
“Seriously this is so wrong. The poor animal did not deserve to have its life taken away for a photo op. Had a lot of respect for you but lost it all,” wrote conservative influencer Oli London.
Noem had her defenders in the thread as well, many of whom pointed out that hunting is good for conservation efforts.
“They are managing the population. It’s regulated. It’s not just a trophy kill that will be lots of meat and stuff. I love animals, but it’s not as barbaric as it seems. It balances the ecosystem. If they don’t regulate, more will die long-term.”