Texas Tech cheerleader ignites social media firestorm

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by JASON WHEELER

Bio | Email | Follow: @jasonwheelertv

WFAA

Posted on July 1, 2014 at 10:29 PM

They are the shots seen 'round the world: Carcasses of a menagerie of exotic animals brought down by the bullets and arrows of a beaming 19-year-old Kendall Jones of Cleburne.

The prolific young big game hunter has become the hunted on social media. After Jones posted pictures of her takedowns on her Kendall Takes Wild Facebook page in recent days, some respondents have violently threatened to take aim at her.

Others have chosen a more peaceful response — starting a petition urging Facebook to remove Jones’ page.

Facebook has taken down some of those photos, so Jones created a Support Kendall page to defend her sport.

But she has her share of supporters, too. Jones' following on Facebook has skyrocketed this week.

Jones didn’t respond to our requests for an interview, but on her page she defends the controversial kills in Africa as being a positive for conservation, preventing inbreeding and generating money for game reserves.

As a high school athlete, Jones was featured on WFAA as a Scholar Athlete of the Week, who — in her off time — helped stray pets and had dogs at home.

"Yes I have two of my own,” she said in the February 2013 segment.

Now, she is becoming much more well known for her less domestic collection. Jones isn’t just shooting animals; she says she’s also shooting a series for the Sportsman Channel.

That outlet wouldn’t comment on any potential collaborations with Jones, but released a statement saying the channel "enthusiastically supports ethical, fair-chase hunting and all of its participants — like Kendall Jones."

Jones is a cheerleader for Texas Tech University, which is not commenting on the controversy, saying simply the firestorm was created while she was "on personal time with her family."

E-mail jwheeler@wfaa.com

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