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hunter with dead timber wolf

origin of image unknown to author

In Canada there still exists such a thing as an “outdoorsman”. Hunters, trappers and anglers, whose specialist knowledge allows them to navigate and subsist in the wilds of Canada’s less densely populated areas (that being, most of it), are numerous here, and a reminder of the pioneer and First Nations legacy.

The wildlife of Canada can be found in great numbers within the vast boreal forests. Big game such as moose, black bear, elk, caribou and deer, as well as grouse, ducks and other migratory birds and waterfowl abound. Wildlife protection exists in the form of reserves and conservation areas and careful monitoring is in place to keep ecosystems in balance. Hunters are the finger on the pulse of climate change, warning us of the irrevocable changes taking place in areas otherwise unknown to, or unnoticed by the wider world.

“Nature, red in tooth and claw”

You could say outdoorsmen are an important part of Canadian cultural heritage, a valued tradition. Hunting was at the heart of those first inhabitants’ subsistence – for food, fur, hides and skins. Indeed, many continue what was first taught to them by their ancestors. They possess skills and knowledge that should not be allowed to fade from memory.

Or you might feel that there is no call for this kind of activity anymore in today’s hi-tech, highly-sanitised, civilised society; that we have evolved beyond such cruel and barbarous pursuit of animals, whether for  food, population control or for trophy purposes. Perhaps you think that the savagery of survival is a thing of the past, now that we are such a cerebral race there is no reason to favour brawn over brains.

Hunting – a traditional outdoor pursuit that keeps us linked to the land or just plain animal cruelty… what’s your view?