Carpenter, David. 2010. A Hunter’s Confession. Vancouver, B.C.: D. and M. Publishers Inc.
A Hunter’s Confession is a memoir and an essay on the morality and meaning of hunting. Carpenter brings his superb prose and extensive hunting experience together in a book that openly discusses the moral dilemmas of a hunter. No matter where you are on the position of animal-rights and the role of the consumptive use of wildlife, readers will find much to ponder.
Carpenter explains how his attitude toward hunting has changed as he’s gotten older. He thoughtfully explains how he transitioned from being a body-count hunter (one who hunted to fill the bag-limit) to one who entered wild places to experience a more spiritual interaction with nature. He decries what he sees as the overemphasis on trophy and high animal counts in much hunting literature and hunting lore. He is concerned with the protection of open space and wildlands and wonders whether hunting is playing a role in the degradation and lack of respect for nature. Yet, Carpenter does not adopt a simplistic condemnation of hunting. He knows that hunting has been a force of good for protecting wildlife and open spaces. He also sees immense value from the hunting practices and philosophy of the Native Americans. In this regard, the author is somewhat conflicted, and honestly so, about hunting and its role both for the hunter and the broader society.
I commend the author for his emotional transparency and taking on the difficult questions such as bloodlust, and environmental degradation. Too often the socio-relational and moral elements of hunting are not considered in a thoughtful way. I just wish the author provided an answer to the dilemmas and problems he reveals.
On the negative side, Carpenter fails to provide proper distinctions. He neglected to distinguish between regulated hunting and poaching when he spoke of the impact hunting has had on wildlife populations. Additionally, he falls victim to the old canard that dominionism is somehow opposed to the respect for nature view and has caused the domination of the environment. His simplistic and inaccurate understanding of Christian teaching on humanity’s role as manager of the environment is unfortunate but a common one among non-Christians.
Nevertheless, his question, “Why do you hunt?” should be answered by all hunters (trappers) and those who use wildlife in a consumptive manner. Likewise, his point is well made when he asks, “Are you hunting to fill a void in your life or are you hunting to connect to nature in a deeper way than just simply observing?” I find these questions poignant. It is because Carpenter asks these questions in such a powerful way that I recommend this book for those interested in exploring these questions. I would simply suggest that these questions should be asked to non-hunters as well as all activities in nature are subject to the selfishness and egoism rampant in the human heart.
The book is available at Amazon.com for 14.00. A number of used copies are available also for less than 3.00.
About the Author
Stephen M Vantassel http://wildlifecontrolconsultant.com specializes in wildlife damage management and has a particular interest in environmental ethics.
Wildlife Control Consultant, LLC.
Announcing Stephen M. Vantassel’s latest book:
Wildlife Damage Inspection Handbook, 3rd ed.
The 3rd edition is completely revised and expanded. It is now 180 pages (8.5×11), perfect bound, and printed in full color. With almost 500 photos and images for illustrative support, readers learn about the principles of identifying damage to structures, gardens, and predation to livestock. The book has 12 chapters and 25 species modules that provide the essential and technical informaiton necessary to correctly identify damage by vertebrate species.
Hard copy: Cost: $85.00 plus 5.85 for priority shipping with delivery confirmation to the continental U.S.
Send questions to the author at stephenvantassel(at)hotmail(dot)com.
Dealer inquiries welcomed.
Let me put my years of writing for the wildlife damage management industry to work for you.New products?Biographies?How-to? Training manuals?Reviews–I will review books, manuals, and products related to wildlife damage management. Contact me for details. Expert WitnessAs the wildlife damage management industry grows, legal issues will follow. I can provide testimony regarding: industry practices, negligence, fraud, and liability. Accepted as an expert in a binding arbitration case in Virginia, 2009.
Stephen is available for speaking at conferences, workshops, and at a company work sites.
His speaking engagements have included:
- New York State Wildlife Management Association’s Annual Meeting, Oswego, NY (Feb 24-25, 2012)
- A All Animal Control Annual Meeting, Charleston, WV (Jan, 2012)
- Kansas Pest Control Training (Cat 1C) Bird Control & Bird Diseases (Oct, 2011)
- Connecticut NWCO Association Annual Meeting (2011)
- National Wildlife Control Operators Association Annual Conference (Jan, 2011)
- Kansas State Pest Control Association Meeting (2010)
- National Pest Management Association Annual Conference
- National Pest Management Association Wildlife Management Conference (2008)
- Nebraska Urban Pest Management Conference (2009-2011)
- New York Wildlife Control Operators Association Meeting
- Wildlife Control Technology Seminars
- State of the Wildlife Control Industry
- Marketing and the Wildlife Control Industry
- National Wildlife Control Training Program (now available in Print click NWCTP)
- Raccoon Research
- Inspecting Structures for Wildlife Damage
- Issues to Consider before Starting a Wildlife Control Business
- Rabies and the Wildlife Control Operator
- Disease Safety
- Safety on the Job
- Woodchucks and Skunks