I took 4-year-old hunting – trolls say Im raising murderer but Im a good mum

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This time last year Jesica Murphy made headlines around the world after being accused of "raising a murderer" because she takes her daughter hunting with her.

She received chilling messages from outraged trolls who said her little girl, Lyla, then four, would be an “assassin” one day.

Now, 12 months on, Jessica chatted with the Daily Star to reflect on the hate spewed in her direction.

READ MORE: Mum warned she's raising a 'murderer' as she takes daughter, 4, hunting with her

"There were a lot of sick comments from people saying things like my daughter was going to be a human killer and that it should be mine or my daughter’s blood all over me," she said.

Jesica, 24, has been hunting since she was a child and she now heads off with her gun once a week.

And the New Zealand based hunter, who is a full-time stay-at-home mum to two girls, said the activity actually makes her a good parent.

Explaining why, she said: "Everyone has their own way of keeping their mental health in check.

"Being a full-time mum to two beautiful girls can be a handful and mentally exhausting at times and for me hunting is my reset button.

"It’s my way of clearing my head and my way to be the best mum I possibly can be.

"I understand it’s not for everyone and a lot of people don’t understand it but just because it’s not for you is no reason to judge people.

"Everyone has their own way of coping and this is mine."

But Jesica doesn’t just hunt for her mental health, she also does it to provide food for those less fortunate and to help farmers and the wildlife itself.

And referring to hunter misconceptions, she said: "Some people think we kill animals for fun and we enjoy seeing animals die.

"They don’t see that we do it to source our own food and they don’t see the ones we leave to grow up the things we do to keep the animals and wildlife going.

"We don’t go on killing sprees or kill things for the sake of it. Here in New Zealand pigs make a huge mess on our farms because they kill lambs and cause a lot of damage for farmers.

"So it’s our way of keeping the numbers under control as well as sharing the meat around to those less fortunate.

"There’s so much more to hunting that just taking an animal."

Lyla is now five and she still enjoys hunting with her mum.

She particularly loves being in the bushes surrounded by her dogs and being "dirty and free".

But mum Jesica added: "She’s too heavy to be carried now and only likes to come if my grandad comes with the bike because she reckons she doesn’t like walking far… that’s five-year-old sass for you.

"I didn’t start until I was four and started off with shooting pigs so it wasn’t as strenuous but she still loves it and in her own time I’m sure she will come for bigger walks."

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Jesica uses dogs to track and catch her prey, usually pigs. And if the hunt is a success she will take the meat to a chiller before skinning and cutting it up days later.

She donates extra meat to those in need and she teaches Lyla about where meat comes from and to respect wildlife as a food source.

And she said this means more to her than the opinions of keyboard warriors who have targeted her in the past year.

"I’ve been hunting for 20 years now and I love what I do and I love being able to share things I’ve learnt in that time for my grandad and others I have hunted with over the years," she said.

"To share that with people and kids is a great feeling and nothing anyone says could change that."

Jesica added: "There is probably more support than hate now from people which is amazing. Some of the comments and support I get is really overwhelming.

"I didn't realise I would ever be an inspiration to people. Growing up I was always scared of what people would think about a girl going hunting because back then it wasn't very heard of."


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