Rhylee Gerber, a controversial Below Deck crew member can certainly launch a provocative social media post or two. Her edgy, tongue in cheek humor sometimes ignites anger from followers but she often fans the flames of their anger by poking at the haters.
She’s recently tweeted and posted about hunting. One controversial post surrounded a photo she shared of a caribou she hunted in the Alaskan wild. Of course, she poked the bear by hashtagging vegans in her post, plus she argued with fans when some people were turned off by the image.
But now she and fans are at it again. This time she’s being accused of partaking in canned hunting. Why was she accused and what is it about Gerber that sparks fire from fans?
These are Gerber’s views on hunting
She cleared up the controversy surrounding her original post. “Being from Alaska there is a great sense of pride when it comes to hunting and fishing,” she told Showbiz Cheat Sheet. “Fishing, in my opinion, is hunting too. That being said, I’ve hunted all my life. Fortunately, I’m able to enjoy it more so these days than as a toddler.”
“Hunting, when done legally, is a choice,” she said. “My choice is to partake and when doing so, utilize every ounce that animal has to offer from meat to hides, to skull mounts.” Gerber has shared photos of the massive amount of meat she procured from her hunts.
She stressed that any hunting she does is completely legal too. “The picture [commenters] are referring to shows one carcass and many sheds [antlers that naturally fall off] for example,” she says. “What I have done is legal, humane, and my right. The fact that these commenters believe a shed I find and collect belongs to a dead animal, that they presume I killed, continues to baffle me.”
But here’s another misconception
She was recently accused of participating in canned hunting. A follower was furious with Gerber after she commented that she participated in “high fenced” hunting. “High fenced? Yes. I’ve been to those type of hunting ranches where there are several thousand acres onsite of exploring,” she tweeted. “If that’s what you’re referring to…also legal.”
According to PETA, canned hunting is the practice of paying to pursue and kill animals on privately owned property. The animal has no way to flee the hunter and typically the landowner makes a considerable amount of money because the hunter is guaranteed to make a kill. High-fence and canned hunting are not the same, according to Outdoor Life. True hunters don’t prefer canned hunting because one element most hunters desire is the “fair chase” and hunting within legal limits.
In a statement to Showbiz Cheat Sheet, Gerber clarified, “Do I find a high fenced ranch better to my advantage? No, as the types of hunts I’ve been on in any private ranch was on foot over several thousand acres and stalking our prey. Sometimes I’ve bagged one and other times I’ve come home empty-handed.”
She was also accused of hunting exotic or big game animals, a practice often seen by wealthy individuals like Jimmy John Liautaud, CEO of Jimmy John’s. “I’ve never even stepped foot on hunting grounds outside of America unless we want to consider fishing,” she points out. And no. She hasn’t hunted elephants or giraffes, she adds.
Viewers continue to come for Gerber
Oftentimes Gerber doesn’t do anything to prompt negative comments. When Bravo posted a photo announcing Below Deck season seven, Gerber, along with Ashton Pienaar and Tyler Rowland were featured. Only Pienaar was confirmed as a returning cast member from the photo. But unfortunately, it didn’t stop fans from bashing Gerber.
The thread didn’t include a few comments, but instead a flood of negative remarks about Gerber even though she is not confirmed to join the show next season. One viewer wrote, “Please no Riley!!! She’s awful and her attitude is horrific… keep her off.. not fun drama with her.” Another person misunderstood the image and wrote, “Oh no, Rhylee is back. That makes the show less appealing. Always the victim. Disrespectful but commanded everyone respect her. Expected an actual relationship to manifest after a hookup. So annoying.”
Even though Gerber hasn’t appeared on the show since it wrapped in February, she continues to be a polarizing figure. As much hate as she receives, she has a significant fan base. Fans often hop into threads in support of the redhead with the huge smile, especially when they feel as though she’s being attacked.
Recently one person pointed out she doesn’t feel the need to comment on everything, especially if she disagrees. “I follow you because you’re hilarious and I loved you on Below Deck, I absolutely hate the hunting of animals so I just ignore when you post that stuff and scroll past it,” the fan wrote. “I wish more people would get that. Sorry you are getting harassed about it.”