Year of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Campus Access Only

Degree Type

Master of Science (MS)

Degree Name

Environmental Studies

Department or School/College

Environmental Studies Program

Committee Chair

Phil Condon

Commitee Members

Dan Spencer, Elizabeth Covelli Metcalf


Local Food, Sustainable, Alaska, Wisconsin, North Dakota, Hunting, Essays


University of Montana


Hunting has a long history in the U.S. that has evolved as the country has progressed. In a way, each hunter also has their own history that evolves as they age. This collection of essays is a look into my history with hunting and some of the ways it has evolved. On initial read these essays have an obvious common thread of hunting and they follow me as I rediscover moments in my life that have influenced my journey to where I am today as a hunter. But the essays also go beyond the act of hunting and delve into my relationships with influential people, places, and landscapes in my life. One of the goals in crafting these essays was to explore various reasons why I choose to be a hunter and to examine why I made an unconscious decision to stop killing animals in 2007—a reprieve that would end while writing this collection. Another goal was to make these essays relatable to a wide audience—hunters, non-hunters, and anyone considering hunting. Hunters, perhaps, will recognize some of the struggles, questions, joys and heartbreaks addressed here. For non-hunters, my hope is that I have offered a honest look into hunting that may lessen some stereotypes. For someone considering hunting these essays provide candid fodder for what it is like to hunt and some insight into the potential internal struggles that hunters carry. I knew the core of writing these essays would be to explore my connection—past, present, and future—to hunting. But like many things in life, what begins as perceived simplicity quickly becomes a much greater task. The more consideration I gave this topic, the more I realized that this journey would not be as simple as trying to find out answers to "this is why I hunt" or "this is why I no longer hunted." As I have discovered these essays do not provide a concrete answer to my many questions. Instead, they have established a foundation for my continued exploration into why I desire—or desire not—to call myself a hunter.

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© Copyright 2014 James Giese