Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Behind the Vail: Killing Grizzlies for God

Theresa Vail
Theresa Vail, a 25-year-old former beauty queen from Kansas, stars in her own Outdoor Channel "hunting" show, "Limitless with Theresa Vail," in which she travels the world to hire outfitters and guides who lead her to wild animals and tell her where and when to shoot and kill them for profit and entertainment.  The Outdoor Channel describes the show as "a compelling story of a young, grass roots, red-blooded, all-American woman who is on a mission to overcome stereotypes, break barriers, and use her life story as a platform to help transform people’s opinions of all the things a woman should, could and can be."

She says she "hunts" (pays guides to help her kill animals) because she "appreciates what God gave us."

"I fully believe that teaching a woman how to use a gun is the best thing you can do for her and for her confidence and her personal empowerment," Vail says. "That’s when I became completely confident in defending and protecting myself. The Second Amendment is my life."  

One of her show's episodes is described this way: "Theresa does her best to avoid succumbing to pressure in Montana as she attempts to connect with her first bull elk."

Apparently she did recently succumbed to "pressure" in Alaska when she showed a bit too much appreciation for what God gave us and accidentally killed two grizzly bears instead of one. (See "Hunting is not a Spectator Sport")

She and two hunting guides have been charged with misdemeanors. Alaska State Troopers say master guide Michael Wade Renfro and assistant guide Joseph Andrew Miller conspired to cover up the violation by obtaining a second bear tag and submitting the wrong information to game authorities. Renfro's attorney says the accidental shooting of the second bear was an "unfortunate event."

God, Ted Nugent and her many fans forgive her and continue to support her. After all, we all make mistakes -- Be honest: who amongst us couldn't easily take the lives of two magnificent wild grizzly bears instead of just one for profit and entertainment?

Yesterday, I checked out her "Public Figure" Facebook Page. Her most recent post was this:

Theresa Vail: This May, during an Alaskan guided bear hunt, I unintentionally harvested a second bear while attempting a follow up shot. I then followed poor advice and allowed the second bear to be improperly tagged. A few days later, the film crew and I reported the incident and have since fully cooperated with the proper authorities. I am deeply sorry for my mistakes.

More than 600 fans left comments, all praising Vail for her "courage" in "owning up to it." "God Bless you and God Bless America!" wrote one fan. "Only God can judge you," wrote another. "Don't let the stupid liberal anti-hunters get you down!"  Many reassured her that "real hunters" and even "God" was on her side.

As she herself posted:

Theresa Vail: Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

Although I am with plenty of sin, I nevertheless sinfully casted away:

David Stalling:  A friend of mine once took a follow-up shot at an elk he thought he had already shot once. It turned out to be a different elk and he had accidentally and regrettably shot and killed two. He reported it to the game wardens. So I can understand a hunter accidentally killing two animals. However, I do question the alleged attempt to cover it up, and I also question the hunting of grizzly bears as well as hunting for profit and entertainment.  In this particular case, two grizzly bears are now dead for profit, entertainment and amusement. How do we justify that?

I apparently pissed off God; my comment was quickly deleted and I was blocked from the site.

Here are highlights of other comments from her post:

Joey Davis: Props to you for stepping up to the plate and coming clean about it. Mistakes happen, keep on doing what you do. Your an inspiration to so many.

Sara Fronce:
If you feel like you made a mistake not only take the misdemeanor change but also donate money towards bear conservation if you don't already.
When a mistake is made often doing more than what is required shows actual remorse for the situation. Donating to a large predator conservation would be a good idea to make up for the mistake that was made. Although admitting a mistake is the first step!

Montana Mike: The absolute worst case of jealousy I have ever seen being jealous of another's professional accomplishments. What's going on here I imagine. The others better think hard before they speak though as we all will remember.

Hillary Dupont: They are jealous of her accomplishments and want to ruin her reputation in order to better their career.....NONESENSE!
Andrew Olger: Alaska forgives you. Besides, residents don't even need a brown bear tag to harvest one. Shoot, they give me 5 black bear tags a year for free and there is no set season for them. AK fish and game said to just use a black bear tag of mine if I was to get a grizzly. Happy hunting Theresa!!! Love you!!!! Ps... It's very common to shoot two and think you got just one here. Happens a lot in this great state! I would recommend arming yourselves and keeping plenty of bullets on hand. God also didn't have to tell me twice when told me to build my little Freedomland in Ester AK. Population 1979.

Alan Maxwell: There are so many laws and conflicting regulations it's a wonder we actually do something correctly once in a while. Everyone knows you have too much to lose to act improperly on purpose and the state won't give you a pass because they want the fine money. Keep your head high.

Michael Koscielniak: Seems to me Ted Nugent had similar problems sort of makes you wonder what's going on, bad guides or the state of AK looking for revenue.

Theresa Vail: Ted Nugent and I had a great conversation today about the matter. He said "it's going to suck, but you'll be fine."

Bob Clark:
 I can assure you this will not affect your popularity at all. Small blow to the ego. It's not like we all don't blow it sometime, and you had help from bad advice! I messed up a tag this year when i really knew better, and the warden kindly let me off. Get your wild and beautiful self on the tube so we can see some hunts!

Emily N Sonny: We all make mistakes. There are so many conflicting rules and regulations state by state. And even then laws change year, by year. You're an honest hunter and a wonderful role model for young girls and I wish you nothing but the best. Haters will always hate, but your true fans will always support you.

Aldo Leopold: The sportsman has no leaders to tell him what is wrong. The sporting press no longer represents sport; it has turned billboard for the gadgeteer. Wildlife administrators are too busy producing something to shoot at to worry much about the cultural value of the shooting.

Okay, so I added that last one. Wishful thinking. Unfortunately, in most of the hunting community, Aldo Leopold's wise words from half-a-century ago have been deleted and blocked.


  1. Great analogy, David... however, spell channel with two "n"s!!! LOL

    1. Thanks Larry. I am curious: Do you really laugh out loud at spelling mistakes?

  2. Thanks for taking this on. It is always the cover up that gets you. Most people acknowledge forgiveness for mistakes. What strikes me is that I find it unlikely a veteran guide would suggest covering something like this up. More likely that Miss Vail and her entourage are covering their tracks and leaving the guides to hang out to dry. Too bad we have not heard from them.

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