Saturday, February 25, 2012

Poll: Is Hunting Deer Over Bait Fair Chase?

From Field and Stream - Whitetail 365

by David Hurteau

There is a difference between ethical hunting and fair-chase hunting. Fair-chase is typically ethical. But ethical hunting is not always fair-chase. For example, there is nothing unethical, as far as I can tell, about baiting deer.


Note from Eric - I don't agree with David that ethical hunting is not always fair-chase, unless you are including culls and subsistence hunting.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Hunting Think Tank Update

Hunting Think Tank II
September 6-8, 2011
Dundee, Illinois

Convened by Orion-The Hunters’ Institute and supported by the Max McGraw Wildlife Foundation and the Pope and Young Club
Prepared by Eric Nuse

The value of hunting as a tool of wildlife management and to the economy is well known. However, the intrinsic values of hunting to society and to hunters is not well articulated or researched.
The meaning of the term hunting is regularly contested. Many organizations and writers use descriptors to narrow what they believe hunting to be, such as modern, sport, or subsistence.
At the first Hunting Think Tank we explored these topics in depth. We came up with a list of next steps that led to Think Tank II.

Questions we explored:

1.    Has there ever been a comprehensive literature review of works seeking to define hunting? If not, find a way to do this.
2.    Based on the results of our work, can we frame the word “hunting” so that it is accurately understood by the public and evokes a positive image?
3.    Can we develop mental tools to help with decision making prior to going afield and during the hunt to help hunters make good, ethical choices?

Our first step will be to conduct an exhaustive literature search on hunting, resulting in an annotated bibliography of the hunting literature with a focus on defining hunting, both historically and in the modern era. This work will help us build a better foundation on which to define hunting – both what it is and what it is not. Professor John Edwards at West Virginia University will oversee a graduate student in doing this work starting January 2012.

A working group headed by Dr. Thomas Baumeister will be collaborating to build an “American Model of Hunting” analogous to the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation.  The Model will be based on the core tenets and principles inculcated in modern hunting that hunters can be proud of and that the conservation community can use to build public support.
By articulating what makes up the core of hunting, organizations and individuals can examine different hunting practices and based on the specific facts, determine if they meet the definition of hunting. The tenets could be incorporated into hunter education training and other hunter curricula.

Currently, several writers who participated in the Think Tank are writing articles based on issues explored that will be published in the outdoor press.  An outdoor writer workshop with a textbook is also being developed.
This information will be made available to professionals, outdoor writers and hunters for distribution and discussion.

The anticipated long term results are: clear, honest thinking on why we hunt; clarifying the values we collectively bring to hunting; recognizing the needs hunting fills for us; and recognizing the individual and societal benefits it brings. This clarity and focus on what is important should result in raising the bar of hunter behavior, enable a rational and clear defense of hunting, assist in recruiting and retaining quality hunters, and increase public support for democratic hunting.


Dr. John Edwards, West Virginia University
Jim Posewitz, Orion-The Hunters’ Institute, author
Galen Geer, author and lecturer
Phil Seng, DJ Case and Associates
Dr. Thomas Baumeister, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks
Del Benson, Colorado State University and McGraw Wildlife Foundation
Michael Sabbeth, Attorney and author
Jim Dudas, McGraw Wildlife Foundation, writer
Eric Nuse, Orion-The Hunters’ Institute
Also assisting:
Dr. John Organ, US Fish and Wildlife Service
Dr. Jim Tantillo, Cornell University

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Mindful Carnivore

Tovar's just released book, The Mindful Carnivore, is a must read for thinking hunters and folks who care about where their food comes from. This thoughtful book is more than a journey from vegan to hunter, it is also a review of human thought on our place in nature and our impact on the land and other creatures. Well written and well researched, I rate it right up there with books by Richard Nelson, Rick Bass, Jim Posewitz and Ted Keresote.

From the jacket of the book here is what others say about it:
"A remarkably candid, nuanced, and engaging meditation on what it means to be human. There are no prescriptions or preachy admonitions—just an honest account of the mindful unfolding of a person who has taken seriously the responsibility of being dependent upon the death of other organisms in order to live. The Mindful Carnivore is a bracing read."

—Jan E. Dizard, author of Mortal Stakes and Going Wild
"An unflinching account of one omnivore’s dilemma, drawn with psychological sensitivity and ecological sense. Cerulli treats compelling arguments on both the pro- and anti-hunting sides of the environmental divide with equanimity, while being just as equally impatient with both sides’ time-worn clich├ęs and sound-bite slogans. A nourishing read!”

—Mary Zeiss Stange, author of Woman the Hunter and Hard Grass
"Tovar Cerulli has written the book I’ve been waiting for. It’s memoir, adventure story, and exploration. His journey is from vegan to hunter, but it’s more than that. It’s a journey into history, ethics, nutrition, ecology, and philosophy. An entertaining read—and an entertaining ride—into the human experience. A savory morsel indeed."
—Daniel Herman, author of Hunting & the American Imagination

I recommend picking up a copy at your local book store (or have them order it if they don't have it) and give it a read.
For those of you in the New England area here is a partial list of events Tovar is hosting. He is a great guy that you will enjoy meeting   

Events in 2012

Thursday, Feb 16 – 7:00 pmConcord, NH
Discussion and signing at Gibson’s Bookstore (RSVP here)
Tuesday, Feb 21 – 7:00 pm – Montpelier, VT
Discussion and signing at Bear Pond Books (RSVP here)
Sunday, Feb 26 – 1:00-3:00 pm – Montpelier, VT
Book launch party at the Unitarian Church, sales by Bridgeside Books (RSVP here)
Friday, March 2 – 5:30 pm – Brattleboro, VT
Discussion and signing at Everyone’s Books (RSVP here)
Saturday, March 3 – 1:00 pm – Webster, MA
Discussion and signing at Booklovers’ Gourmet (RSVP here)
Tuesday, March 6 – 7:00 pm – Northampton, MA
Discussion and signing at Broadside Books (RSVP here)
Tuesday, March 13 – 5:15 pm – Middlebury, VT
Discussion & signing hosted at 51 Main by the Vermont Book Shop (RSVP here)