For many of us, the months spent in between hunting seasons are filled primarily with two things: preparation for the next season and telling stories about past seasons. Story-telling forges bonds and shares learning, and it’s probably one of the most important social spaces of creative and intellectual exploration for hunters. I imagine that story-telling has always been an inseparable part of hunting. From cave paintings to social media, it’s likely difficult… Read More
One of my favourite conservation stories happened the day of the Wall Street Crash on October 29, 1929. That afternoon, Rosalie Edge stood up at the annual meeting of the National Association of Audubon Societies. She called out the room of directors and employees for staying silent on the ongoing overhunting of birds of prey, and challenged them to show the courage to stand up against powerful gun and hunting groups. Edge… Read More
In 2015, I was in Kugaaruk, Nunavut interviewing hunters for my graduate research. We were talking about ringed seal and polar bear ecology and the environmental changes hunters had noticed over the years, including changes to sea ice, climate, and wildlife. We were also running a harvest-based seal sampling program in which hunters took measurements and submitted samples of seals that would be used to understand seal health and learn about the… Read More
Despite being listed as threatened under the federal Species At Risk Act (SARA) in 2003, the Alberta government has made very little progress on woodland caribou protection or recovery. The Canadian and Alberta governments recently signed a new collaborative agreement to work towards caribou conservation. The agreement has some strengths and promising features but also leaves a lot of space for further delays by the Alberta government.
This is not a repudiation of animal rights. The purpose of this discussion is not to diminish the history of the animal rights movement or demonize its proponents. We sometimes see the conservation movement as a linear thread through history on which we trace the growth of ideas and key figures in a neat and tidy narrative. In reality, the story of the conservation movement is as beautifully tangled and intricately complex… Read More
The environmental author Edward Abbey once said, “Hunting is one of the hardest things even to think about. Such a storm of conflicting emotions!” As we move our way through the hunting season, we will be acquiring new stories to tell about this year’s successes and adventures. We will take and post photos on social media as a way to tell those stories. Many of us will grapple with the images and… Read More
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
Its March 2016. 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… Read More