"If you serve to protect the Wildlife, you don't take 'selfies' with your kill," Kentucky native Timothy Kulig wrote on Facebook. "The problem becomes when you put 'hunters' who enjoy killing, in charge of your wildlife. There is a conflict of interest there. These are the smiles of hunters, not the concern look of wildlife professionals."
Another commenter, Tonya Taylor, was equally condemning:
"I don't appreciate the trophy-pose I see here. This was not a hunting trip, or at least it shouldn't have been."
The latter comment triggered a reaction from KDFWR, who countered her remarks by parsing a difference between two essentially synonymous words for what the photo represents:
"Tonya Taylor, this was not a 'trophy' pose. Had this been an unusual live animal that was captured, the officers would no doubt have wanted a memento of their experiences."