About Me

In a collection of essays called The Heart of the Game, the writer Thomas McGuane recounts an imaginary exchange between a hunter and a non-hunter. The exchange goes something like this,

“What did a deer ever do to you?”
“Nothing.”
“Why should they die for you? Would you die for the deer?”

This exchange could just as easily be an internal conversation within a hunter’s imagination. It’s part of a deeply personal, ethically loaded set of questions that I suspect many hunters have asked themselves: how do I feel about taking the life of an animal? How do I know it’s right? How does it affect the world beyond me?

I am interested in creating knowledge about wildlife. Hunting has changed my life and informed my perspective on conservation. Effective conservation depends on multiple groups of people engaging in dialogue to create knowledge and find solutions. My goal is to celebrate the complexities in hunting and conservation. I want to understand how we can collaborate to create knowledge about wildlife and use that knowledge for conservation.

Version 2

I want to see a future with wildlife on the landscape. To ensure a future with healthy wildlife and ecosystems, we need positive and thoughtful dialogue. Conservation is inherently bound up in social and political issues and we need to address these multiple considerations together. We cannot separate the human and ecological dimensions of wildlife conservation. I believe that wildlife conservation needs to be driven by the best available knowledge, including both science and local knowledge. I am interested in the processes we can use to create that knowledge.

This blog is a space to discuss issues related to hunting and conservation and to reflect on my experiences with these topics.

My perspective on hunting and conservation has been shaped by a wide variety of experiences and people. I’ve spent over 15 years backcountry camping on foot and from a canoe in all seasons. I’ve been hunting for about eight years and I have been lucky to hunt a variety of big and small game. I have a Ph.D. in Environmental Studies and my research looked at the social and ecological dimensions of wildlife research and management in the Arctic. This research allowed me to travel throughout Canada’s north, witness breathtaking landscapes, and talk to people about their thoughts and experiences hunting and fishing.

I have been involved in a number of great research projects in different parts of Canada. I have worked as an instructor at Fleming College in Ontario, Canada in the Ecosystem Management and Ecological Restoration Programs. I have met, worked with, and learned from inspiring people from a diversity of backgrounds about wildlife, culture, and hunting and fishing. Currently, I live in Nain, Nunatsiavut, Labrador where I am involved in creating a marine management and conservation plan for Nunatsiavut called Imappivut.

To summarize, I’ll simply rely on the hunter’s final response in Thomas McGuane’s imaginary conversation, which encapsulates what being a hunter and conservationist means to me,

“Why should they die for you? Would you die for the deer?”
“If it came to that.”

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