The Shotgun Conservationist: Why Environmentalists Should Love Hunting (Hardcover)
On Our Shelves Now
At the intersection of hunting and conservation, a man shares his personal journey from staunch anti-hunter to compassionate, ethical hunter, weaving together a larger history of humans, animals, the environment, and our food systems.
Picture a hunter. Who comes to mind? Millionaire playboys or big truck owning folks? Maybe so, but there’s more to it. Because if you love nature, value sustainability, abhor the pollution and inhumanity of factory farms, you could be a hunter in the making. And if you’ve never even considered hunting, The Shotgun Conservationist reveals all the reasons you should. Brant MacDuff makes us rethink who hunts and why. Growing up an animal lover with no hunting background, MacDuff himself would seem an unlikely advocate. Yet a lifelong love of the outdoors and a restless curiosity compelled him to investigate a simple question: is hunting conservation? So convinced, he consistently holds a hunting license in multiple states and gives lectures on the positive impact hunting has on conservation efforts nationwide and around the world.
MacDuff tells the story of how he became a hunter and the colorful characters, big personalities, and firsthand research that helped change his mind. His journey led to a deeper understanding of how hunting protects public lands, supports sustainable ecosystems, encourages biodiversity, and can help bridge social and political divides. Along the way, he introduces us to a new generation of hunters, different from timeworn stereotypes and preconceptions. And who better than MacDuff? A trans man living in Brooklyn, he defies expectations of who hunts and invites people of all backgrounds into the field.
Whether or not you decide to take up hunting, The Shotgun Conservationist provides a new perspective and appreciation for those who do.
About the Author
Brant MacDuff is a taxidermist and conservation historian. An avid outdoorsperson and jack of many trades, Brant has worked for a variety of museums and aquariums, all while supporting his primary work as a public speaker. He teaches instructional classes on taxidermy, gives tours at the American Museum of Natural History, and lectures on natural history at schools, businesses, private events, outdoor retreats, and museums. When not on the lecture circuit or at home in Brooklyn, Brant can be found indulging in his many outdoor hobbies including hunting, horseback riding, shooting sports, kayaking and rafting.
“MacDuff’s conversational writing will keep readers hooked, and his well-considered reflections offer plenty of food for thought. Nature-minded readers will find this full of insight.”—Publishers Weekly
“A self-described ‘hunter blatherer’, MacDuff cheerfully covers a lot of ground with grace, humor, and plain old-fashioned common sense. Rarely have the connections between hunting and environmentalism been made so clear.”—Jim Tantillo, Cornell University, Department of Natural Resources
“MacDuff skillfully navigates the choppy waters of modern hunting with humility, sincerity, good humor and authority. Weaving facts and figures into an engaging personal narrative, he explores the many sides of hunting, from conservation and politics to ecology. An excellent read.”—Professor Adam Hart, University of Gloucestershire, author of Unfit for Purpose: When Human Evolution Collides with the Modern World
“MacDuff provides a wonderfully fresh take on sportsmen and women, and the unique role hunters and anglers play in supporting the foundation of conservation funding in America. I encourage hunters and non-hunters alike to pick this one up!”—Christy Plumer, Chief Conservation Officer, Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership
“All wildlife enthusiasts, whether they hunt or not, should understand hunters’ contributions and that successful wildlife programs would cease to exist without them. Brant paints a complete portrait of the value of hunting to all wildlife species and their management.”—Kip Adams, Chief Conservation Officer, National Deer Association
“MacDuff present a strong case that birders, backpackers, and everyone else should acknowledge the vital role hunting has played in protecting habitat—and welcome efforts to grow and diversify the dwindling ranks of hunters—even as we explore new ideas for sustaining and growing those efforts.”—Audubon