“How better to address the question ‘Does hunting make us human?’ than to live the hunting life fully, unconscientiously, ethically and unapologetically? To teach by lived example, with humility and without regret, that all life feeds on death, including, eventually, our own.” – Mary Zeiss Stange
How well do you understand hunters? Consider your best hunting partner. You might spend days on end with this person every year in meandering conversations about life’s important questions. You have likely spent hours listening to them describe what is important to them and what motivates them to hunt. Maybe you don’t hunt but you have seen photos, social media captions, heard and read stories from hunters, including friends who hunt. You… Read More
I wrote this piece as a Conservation Contributor with Hunt To Eat. It was originally published on the Hunt To Eat blog. Squirrel hunting might be where small game meets big game hunting. Squirrels have a fascinating ecology, offer amazing hunting opportunities, and make delicious table fare. I can remember occasions while hunting whitetail deer when I chose to swap out my deer rifle for a .22 and switch my deer hunt… 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
Canada has less than two years to meet its target to protect 17% of terrestrial and inland waters and 10% of ocean areas by 2020, commitments made under the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). Icons of the conservation movement, such as John Muir and Henry David Thoreau, are widely credited for convincing the public to care about protecting natural spaces in the late 1800s. Today, 47 National Parks protect 328 198… Read More
There is no question that two centuries of rapid expansion of human settlement and industrial development on this continent have been tough on grizzly bears. They continue to face declining habitat and the impacts of policy decisions that are polluted by human interest and partisan priorities. The British Columbia government made two announcements in 2017 concerning grizzly bear management in the province. In August 2017, the B.C. government announced that it would… Read More
In a sense, each and every one of us is a trophy hunter. In two ways, actually. I have somewhat deliberately avoided this topic. For one, I didn’t want to belabour the debate about trophy hunting. For another, while often presented as straight-forward and simple, the nuances of trophy hunting become quite complex, so it takes a deliberate open-mindedness to discuss it. Unfortunately, I haven’t seen that openness in much of the… Read More
I recently changed the declination setting on my compass from 11° 22.26′ West to 22° 49.56′ West when I moved from Peterborough, Ontario to Nain, Nunatsiavut, Labrador. If you have ever used a compass to follow directions or navigate to a point on a map and you are unsure what I’m referring to here, you may have found yourself slightly off your target.
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