Blue Jays pitcher Erik Swanson defends hunting post with son and dead geese

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Toronto Blue Jays relief pitcher Erik Swanson posted a photo on his social media that showed him posing with his son alongside more than a dozen dead Canada geese.

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“Starting the off-season outdoors!,” he captioned the divisive Instagram photo, which was shot in Roseau, Minnesota.

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Many fans were not pleased with some blasting Swanson while others defended the player.

“This is so cruel! What are you teaching you child?!!!” one person wrote. “One thing is hunting, the other is celebrating in front of dead bird bodies, this is disturbing and disgusting!”

Another horrified user commented, “Wtf!!!!!! Horrible thing to teach your child. Also these are protected species.”

A third wished him well: “R.I.P. to your Blue Jay career. Such a tone def post. You shot a flock of CANADIAN GEESE and you play for a Canadian team.”

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However, one fan wrote that they were “proud” of the pitcher for being comfortable enough to post that he hunts.

“We need more mainstream people saying that we hunt,” they continued. “Now for those reading this and saying I can’t believe he hunts, a couple of points to consider. Canadian Goose populations are at all time high with a number of populations being deemed nuisance animals.”

They added: “They make great table fare and are eaten for the majority of the time by goose and duck hunters. Hunting of geese and other duck species is an evidence based conservation success story that continues to create habitat, protect breeding ground for all waterfowl species.”

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Another asked: “Not sure why everyone’s hating on the fact that he is legally and ethically providing for his family, while teaching traditions to his [son].”

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They continued: “Some of our best memories growing up were hunting with family. Before you ridicule, please do some research on hunting, and its positive impacts on our ecosystems, environment, and economy.”

Swanson has since responded to the backlash on X, formerly known as Twitter, and defended his post.

“I am an avid hunter/fisherman and I will always be,” he wrote.

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“For the people who are asking me why I have my son with me, I am teaching him a very important life lesson… the beef, venison, poultry, fish, fruits and vegetables all come from somewhere, not just the grocery store,” he explained.

Swanson continued: “Now when he hunts and he harvests his own food, he knows exactly where his food is coming from and what is in it. Next time you go to the grocery store or restaurant and order something, remember that it had to come from somewhere. Know what you are eating! Safe hunting to all!”

Swanson finished his first season with the Jays with a 2.97 ERA and 75 strikeouts in 69 appearances.

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Originally posted 2023-10-17 16:16:25.


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