So, in the spirit of book recommendations, below you will find the most notable books I read in 2018. Some are old, some are new. Some are non-fiction while others are fiction. Regardless of your tastes, there should be something on this list that will pique your interest.
Our way of life is under attack and science-based wildlife management has taken a back seat to emotional and ideological decision making. Under the weight of politically manipulated social pressure, hunting opportunities have been eliminated here in British Columbia and around the world.
You cannot control the animals, you cannot control the weather; you can only control your outlook and experience. Surprising as it may be to those who haven’t experienced it, but hunting in the mountains is often as much a mental challenge as it is physical. Here is a classic scenario, and I typically encounter it a couple times a year while guiding in Northern British Columbia around the beginning of September.
I was once vegan, and now fill my freezers with the spoils of our hunts. When people hear that I previously (attempted to) make my own tofu, and now proudly hang trophies throughout my house, they are usually dumbfounded. You, my dear reader, are likely having a similar reaction.
In this article, I hope to show you that my former and current lifestyles are far less contradictory than you might presume. Further, I will argue that despite our many differences, the time has come for those who profess to care deeply for the flora and fauna of this planet to band together on what common ground is shared rather than emphasizing and disputing the morals and ethics of our seemingly opposed world views. It is important to note that these are my own personal views and not those of any organization or group with which I am associated.
The Wild Sheep Society of BC hosts the annual Spences Bridge Sheep Count in early April of each year, volunteers dust off their binoculars and spotters and make the journey to Spences Bridge to locate, identify and record bighorn sheep. This ground-based population inventory provides an estimate of total abundance and an index of the sex and age composition of the population for the bighorn sheep located between Lytton and Cache Creek, British Columbia.
Fermented and dried meats aren’t cooked, and as such require different considerations than the sausages in the first article. Having never experimented with whole muscle curing wild game, my biggest concern was that there could be diseases present in deer meat that could not be managed through the regular pork or beef preserving techniques – particularly when creating anaerobic environments by grinding and stuffing sausages.
British Columbia is home to over 50% of mountain goats (Oreamnos americanus) that are found globally, with an estimated half of those residing in the Skeena region (MOE 2010). Mountain goats are ranked S3 and are Blue Listed in British Columbia, indicating they are a species of special concern (BC Conservation Data Center 2016), for management. Mountain goats are not only a species that need to be conservatively managed; they are also a symbol of rugged wilderness and have important linkages to First Nations cultures, hunters and non-hunters, in the Province of British Columbia and beyond.
I am not a hunter, in fact the only thing I’ve ever shot was a beer can from forty feet away. And that was only after missing two-dozen times. I worked as a ranch hand for a few seasons and a farm hand for a few others.
It has taken me a while to wrap my mind around what drew me to mountain hunting and what continues to bring me back. I may not ever fully understand this love, but I believe I am getting closer to some level of comprehension. Like most others, I have gone through numerous phases in life.