Six years ago, Texas teen huntress Kendall Jones was one of the most publicly bullied people in the world; today, she's the newest brand ambassador for Riton Optics. Her story is proof that "cancel culture" only works if you allow yourself to be "canceled," as well as the fact that perseverance and courage are rewarded in the end. So how did this young woman go from the target of a Democratic presidential candidate to a heroine for women who hunt?
Kendall's story began long before today's social-media giants took hold, in a family of hard-working hunting enthusiasts who taught her to love the sport, conservation and the outdoors. Joining her family's hunting tradition, she hunted the Texas hills and the African savannahs with equal intensity. By 14, she had become the youngest hunter to harvest the “African Big 5,” which consists of the leopard, lion, Cape buffalo, rhinoceros and elephant. By 21, she had completed the “Dangerous 7,” adding a hippopotamus and crocodile to the list. Then, ominously, the anti-hunting social-media world found her.
Says Kendall, "In 2014, the social media posts of my hunting adventures went viral and created a storm of criticism from mainstream media. I was bullied to a level that no human should experience. I received daily death threats through social media, constant media harassment, and many exploitation attempts by celebrities, as well as a Democratic congressional candidate. Fortunately, I was able to overcome the negative criticism thanks to the support of my family and friends. I learned a lot about myself and how strong I really am. In turn, I channeled that negative energy towards bringing conservation awareness to the non-hunting community and helping others overcome bullying."
Today, Kendall has been able to use her notoriety to bring awareness to conservation and responsible hunting as part of the Riton Optics team. Stated Calley Carpenter, Director of Marketing, “We’re excited to have Kendall join the Riton team of Ambassadors. Beyond being a strong advocate for the outdoors and conservation, Kendall has a vibrant personality that fits well with our Riton team.”
Kendall will be featuring the Riton Primal line of optics in her adventurous outings, as she continues to hunt all over the world. To follow Kendall's adventures, click here! For more about Riton Optics, click here!