I am interested in creating knowledge about wildlife. Hunting has changed my life and informed my perspective on conservation. To effectively conserve wildlife, we need multiple groups of people to engage in meaningful dialogue. My goal is to celebrate the complexities in hunting and conservation and explore their relationship. I want to understand how we can collaborate to create knowledge about wildlife and use that knowledge for conservation.
If you derive any enjoyment from the largely intact suite of wildlife that lives in North America, you have benefitted from wildlife researchers and the role that scientific research has played in North American conservation over the last century.
We need wolves, bears, and large cats on the North American landscape. They belong here, and neither the landscapes we call home nor our own cultures would be the same without them. It’s not only proper management practice to protect the place and role of predators in North America, it’s both a patriotic act and a moral responsibility.
There is an issue that has become increasingly relevant in recent years as technological advances in hunting equipment have begun to outpace our conversations around its use. It’s a debate I’ve heard in different settings and for various purposes, but it comes down to a question that is personal, legal, and ethical in nature: where do we draw the line in our use of technology in hunting?
My last post suggested that we should be conscientious about the perspectives of our audiences when we communicate about hunting. When thinking about how we frame and present our roles as hunters, one approach positions hunters as an isolated group and therefore better off taking an offensive position to protect our interests. In contrast, I believe it is valuable to actively cultivate collaboration and dialogue with many different social communities to create a diverse… Read More
I’m writing this from Kugaaruk, a community of about 800 people in Nunavut’s Kitikmeot Region. Kugaaruk is on the southeast side of Pelly Bay, which at its north end opens up into the Gulf of Boothia, in the Canadian Arctic. The community itself is right at the mouth of the wide Kugaaruk River and is surrounded by an amazing topography of rocky hills and islands. Right now, the ice in the bay… Read More
When the whole story about Cecil the lion (Panthera leo) broke out in July, I didn’t expect it to continue “trending” for very long, and I’ll admit that I was surprised this post still had some relevance. In any case, I still planned to post it, because I think the conversations that have been generated by this story have ongoing relevance for hunters and the field of conservation. This particular story might have… Read More
Far too often, popular representations of hunting tend to both polarize and homogenize it, leading to misrepresentations and simplifications. In the last few days following the Cecil story, a number of media outlets have discussed and represented hunting through broad assumptions, generalizations, and stereotypes. In response, we’ve seen hunters come forward with proclamations about the enduring honour of hunting as a tradition that is defined and given meaning by its most respectable proponents…. Read More
One of my hesitations with social media is the inherent difficulty in using these tools to discuss issues that are located in a large and complex grey area of social opinion and politics. However, increasingly, news websites seem to be showing Twitter responses as part of their coverage, so there’s no denying that these are important platforms for engaging with current issues. This does not mean that we need to simplify our discussions to… Read More