Paul McCarney


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

We are in the midst of a biodiversity crisis. Globally, we are losing species to extinction at a minimum of 1,000 times the natural rate. Half of Canada’s wildlife species have declined since 1970. It is by now beyond debate that humans are impacting the world’s biodiversity, including wildlife at all levels, at a magnitude and rate that has never been seen before in the history of this planet. Academics and social… 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

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 don’t recall when I first heard someone use the term fair chase. I do recall becoming gradually aware of a set of thoughts, feelings, and ideals regarding different aspects of hunting that I would later come to identify as a developing understanding of what is collectively referred to as fair chase. Fair chase is a concept that is somewhat popularly understood as the moral foundation of our community; however, while many… Read More

I understand some people’s general disdain for list posts: “7 ways to…”, “10 reasons why…” I capitulated for this post, but it is at once a plea for others to get involved in conservation and some suggestions for easy ways to start. As a hunter, issues around conservation are always on my mind and I find myself constantly worried that I’m not doing quite enough. I also often think about how to… Read More

In my opinion, one of the most important and commendable steps in North American wildlife conservation came in 1916, many years before Aldo Leopold wrote Game Management (1933) or A Sand County Almanac (1949). It came at a time when North Americans were really beginning to take notice of the disappearance of wildlife on this continent, signalled by dwindling buffalo, beaver, and wild turkey populations, and the complete disappearance of the passenger pigeon in 1914…. Read More

My last post suggested that we can, and indeed should be conscientious about the perspectives of our audiences when we frame messaging about hunting. When thinking about how we frame our roles as hunters, there is a line of thinking that takes the stance of the “unapologetic hunter”. In contrast, I make the case that it is valuable to actively create new allies and that we need to cultivate collaboration and dialogue in many different… Read More

Ideas are given meaning in context and this meaning is expressed through language. We tend to better understand new information by situating it in our own lived experiences. For me, sometimes this happens more unconsciously as simply a way to make sense of what I’m taking in; other times, I come across something that clearly has direct applications to my own priorities and interests. I recently came across a study that has the… 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. The bison is colloquially known in North America as buffalo…. Read More