Conservation involves complicated layers that must be navigated. It involves a diverse set of voices, nuanced motivations, and vastly different ideas about the best types of programs and policies. Inevitably, there is a great deal of push and pull and disagreement about the right kinds of decision-making in conservation and what constitutes a morally right way to approach conservation. Bounties and killing contests occupy a contradictory space in the North American conservation… Read More
Among the many things that draw hunters into the field to pursue new species, curiosity is perhaps one of the simplest and most ancient. There is an exciting sense of curiosity that drives hunters to want to continue to experience new landscapes, natural phenomena, and species. While we are certainly driven but such primordial motivations to hunt, we also commonly express less practical, but equally human, reflections about the many considerations that… 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
“Buffler!” exclaimed Boone Caudill, A.B. Guthrie’s iconic character in his 1947 novel, The Big Sky. Guthrie’s story gives us glimpses into both the beauty of the landscape and the mindset that led to some of the biggest mistakes we made on it. Guthrie writes,
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.
“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
Most people have at least a passing familiarity with the history of bison (Bison bison) in North America. More specifically, people have probably heard about the almost complete eradication of the species from the continent due to a complete lack of management. Perhaps fewer people are familiar with the bison as a success story, the one that is ongoing and will hopefully have a happier ending.
On October 30, the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (OFAH) announced that the province of Ontario would be expanding the spring bear hunt pilot project for another 5 years. Like most issues related to hunting, the factors and considerations involved in decisions about the Ontario spring bear hunt are numerous and complex. The history of debate over the spring bear hunt is in many ways the perfect example of the challenge in balancing science… 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
My identity as a hunter is inseparable from my identity as a conservationist. My understanding of being a conservationist includes everything one associates with the concept of conservation: naturalist, animal lover, environmentalist, manager, activist. Here, I want to articulate how I conceptualize the relationship between my motivation to hunt and my role in conservation. In other words, how can hunting be enacted as land ethic?