Paul McCarney

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When the naturalist and ornithologist George Ord formally named pronghorn in 1815, he was unsure whether the species was an antelope or a goat. In the journals of their famous expedition from 1804-1806, Lewis and Clark made over 200 references to what they described as “wild goats or antelopes”. Pronghorns are also featured in the petroglyphs and pictographs of Indigenous nations throughout the continent. Over the years, and perhaps serving as a… Read More

It is a generally accepted truth among hunters that heavy winters with deep snow are bad for deer, making it especially difficult for them to evade predators like wolves and coyotes. As I was looking for some recent science that might be interesting to hunters, I came across a new study about boreal woodland caribou that sheds some new light on the effects of snow depth and wolf predation on calf recruitment…. Read More

I have no real personal connection with wild sheep (Ovis spp.). I’ve never seen one, eaten one, and know relatively little about them. Perhaps because of this lack of opportunity to interact with them on some personal level, I’m somewhat fascinated by them. At least a part of this fascination has to do with some pretty remarkable life history, physical characteristics, and habits of the species. I’ve also been reading some pieces by Canadian biologist Valerius… Read More

I don’t believe that science is detached from the social, cultural, and political implications of the knowledge it produces; however, these posts are intended to specifically focus on recent updates in scientific knowledge concerning species that hunters might be interested in. In an effort to keep these posts focused and concise, therefore, this post is a two-parter. The research paper I’m talking about here relates to a hotly debated and highly emotive… Read More

As a hunter and outdoorsman, I’m fascinated by wildlife and ecology. Not surprisingly, I have a particular interest in understanding everything I can get my hands on about North American wildlife, especially those species that are also important table-fare in various communities. This first post may be somewhat removed from the regions and species many of us hunt, but I chose this story because it’s a species that is relevant to the areas I work… 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

The beaver (Castor canadensis) is one of North America’s most fascinating, beautiful, and industrious species (and super tasty). Many of my posts relate directly to hunting, but the goal is to discuss a range of issues and topics relevant to conservation. This one is an endorsement for giving the beaver our full respect and appreciation as an integral component of the ecosystems we cherish and as an honourable national animal for Canada. Seriously, I think… Read More

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