“My first hunting experience was when I was three years old,” Charisa Argys told KCNC-TV in Denver, adding that she was introduced to the sport by her father.
Itt became a point of bonding for them. “It’s always been quality time for us. It’s always been a time when we got to get away,” she told KCNC.
In February 2013 she hunted and shot a 175-pound male mountain lion and posted photos of her kill on the Internet, saying on a clip with the cat: “It was an extreme hunt and it was well worth it.”
“I am very proud of what I had accomplished that day,” Argys told KCNC.
But a year later, those images turned her world into a deluge of hate messages — even threats to her life — after one was posted to an animal-rights activist page, she said.
“They were calling me horrible names. They were saying they wanted to kill me, they wanted to see me dead, they called me fat, they called me ugly, they called me the B-word, they called me the C-word,” Argys told KCNC. “There really wasn’t anything they weren’t willing to call me and to say.”
One comment reads, “The only answer is to take out these psychopaths. Problem solved — animals saved.”
Another calls for “an eye for an eye.”
Then this one: “You are a disgrace to those of us who respect life, human and animal. I’d love to hunt YOU and hand YOUR head on my living room wall.”
“You know it was definitely cyberbullying,” Argys told KCNC. “These were not just threats but I would say they were terroristic threats.”
Beyond that, Argys’ hunt in question is legal in Colorado.
“It’s part of wildlife management,” state Parks and Wildlife spokesman Mike Porras told KCNC. “You may not like hunting, we understand that. But there’s a right way and a wrong way to express your opinions.”
In addition the agency said Argys hunted her mountain lion in an area where there is an effort to reduce the number of wild cats.
Argys added that Silva Wadhwa, a former reporter with CNBC based in Germany, claimed responsibility for beginning the online frenzy and told Argys in a Facebook message that while she disagrees with trophy killing, “I do not and will not ever condone or encourage insults, threats or death wishes.”
Not that Argys need the boost — she vows not to be intimidated and to continue hunting.
“If I don’t stand up for myself and I don’t take a position on what I feel passionate about how can I expect my children to stand up if it happens to them?”