Throughout the 19th century, hunters, trappers, and mountain men would emerge from the mountains each spring to meet for an annual rendezvous. They would trade, sell their furs, restock supplies, exchange news, and engage in general frivolity. The last rendezvous took place in 1840 in Wyoming. In the spirit of meeting with like-minded people to trade, this series presents discussions I have with friends about topics related to hunting and conservation. It… Read More
Those of us who have spent a lot of time hunting and fishing come to learn much more about ourselves than our skill as hunters and fishers. The outdoors offers an amphitheater to learn some wonderful things about life that is unmatched in the depth and generosity of the lessons it provides. Hunting has provided me with more opportunities than any other activity in my life to gain perspective about important aspects… Read More
My interest in conservation is deeply connected with ideas of feminism, anti-racism, decolonization, and human rights. As a teenager growing up in the suburbs, I was strongly influenced by local punk rock music culture. The punk scene is known for its association with social and political movements and creating a sense of inclusivity and equality. The band Closet Monster described the punk scene as “a self-sufficient subculture, a home away from hell”…. Read More
On a recent visit with my 90-year-old grandfather, he told me that he receives two newspapers to the house daily. The first, because the contrast of the type is easier for his failing vision. The second has an extensive obituary section and he doesn’t want to miss the death of any of his friends and the opportunity to say his farewells.
I began discussing the topic of trophy hunting in my last post, In Search of Trophies. The foundation of the post was that the social debates around trophy hunting are often structured around, and derailed by, two false distinctions. In the first post, I talked about a false distinction between two groups of hunters: trophy hunters and non-trophy hunters.
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
The first knife I ever received as a gift has a broken tip, is completely dull, slightly rusted, and opens and closes with a distinct little grind that I imagine is from sand grains having worked their way into the locking mechanism over the years. I haven’t even tried to cut anything with it in probably 10 years. But I still have it.
“The North American model of wildlife conservation has seven components that collectively form a foundation that yields its distinct structure: 1. Wildlife as public trust resources 2. Elimination of markets for wildlife 3. Allocation of wildlife by law 4. Wildlife can only be killed for a legitimate purpose 5. Wildlife are considered an international resource 6. Science is the proper tool for discharge of wildlife policy 7. Democracy of hunting It is… 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
I have a enormous sense of affection for wild turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo). I cringe every time I hear someone say that wild turkeys are ugly, unintelligent, or otherwise unworthy of our admiration. More than likely, if someone thinks a wild turkey is ugly, that person has probably never been up close to one. The colour of their feathers is almost impossible to pinpoint and when examined up close on a sunny day, has a… Read More