Is hunting actually good for the environment? That’s what conservationist Brant MacDuff says. We spend the hour with him talking about his book, The Shotgun Conservationist: Why Environmentalists Should Love Hunting.

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Key words: hunting, conservation, Brant MacDuff, podcast, book recommendations, author interview, book podcast, book show, creative nonfiction, writer’s voice, Francesca Rheannon

Hunters are like…

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, hate the pollution and inhumanity of factory farms, you could be a hunter in the making. And if you’ve never even considered hunting, Brant MacDuff’s book The Shotgun Conservationist shows why you should — or at least support it.

A Change of Heart About Hunting

I’m a convert. I used to hate the idea of hunting. But that all changed when I moved into what had been my mother’s home before she passed away. Set in the middle of the woods, I noticed that the understory that used to be so abundant and biodiverse, was now deeply depleted, decimated by the deer whose population has exploded over the past thirty years.

Ground-dwelling birds have gone scarce, among other native species. So a few years ago, I invited a group of hunters to act like the top predators that humans long ago did away with in this area. They come every season, bag some deer and share the meat with me, their families and local food banks.

It so happens that I spoke with Brant MacDuff the day before hunting season opened. And I was joined by a fledgling hunter, my friend Jordy. He’s studying environmental science in college and he is keenly interested in conservation and sustainable forestry. You’ll hear him ask MacDuff some questions toward the end of our conversation.

About the Author

Brant MacDuff is a taxidermist and conservation historian. He’s worked for a variety of museums and aquariums, all while supporting his primary work as a public speaker on natural history.

Read An Excerpt