HUNT WILD NEWS REPORT
The Value of Hunting Stories
Our desire to tell hunting stories is an instinct that sits deeply in us. Through stories we convey values, teach moral lessons, entertain, pass on family and cultural traditions and communicate tacit knowledge. Our stories form a piece of the larger conservation narrative.
The environmental author Edward Abbey once said, “Hunting is one of the hardest things even to think about. Such a storm of conflicting emotions!” As we move our way through the hunting season, we acquire new stories to tell about the year’s successes and adventures. We will take and post photos on social media as a way to tell those stories. Many of us will grapple with the images and words we use to best represent these experiences.
This desire to tell our stories is an instinct that sits deeply in us. Humans are a storytelling species. Through our stories, we convey values, teach moral lessons, entertain, pass on family and cultural traditions and communicate tacit knowledge through metaphors.
As hunters, we understand how much meaning and emotion is wrapped up in a photo, a taxidermy mount or the story of a hunt. We are also very familiar with the polarization around hunting when the general public reacts to grip-and-grin photos or the notion of trophies. But we also understand how global biodiversity conservation needs regulated hunting.
We desperately have to continue conservation efforts, and hunters are needed in those efforts. Public lands, species at risk and many other conservation issues need the revenue generated from economic activities associated with hunting, the volunteers and organizations working on the ground, and the biologists and managers who work tirelessly to manage wildlife populations.
How do we meaningfully tell stories about such a controversial topic in order to enhance communication with the public and inspire conservation action?