On this episode of Gritty Bowmen I talk with Shane Mahoney. Shane Patrick Mahoney is the President and CEO of Conservation Visions Inc.. A Newfoundland native, he holds both an Honors and a Masters of Science degree in Zoology from Memorial University of Newfoundland. Mahoney has over 30 years experience working primarily as a scientist, wildlife manager, policy innovator and strategic advisor.
Shane is a brilliant and passionate conservationist. And he has been working on a massive project called “The Wild Harvest Initiative.” Shane explains it like this: Safe, healthy food is important to everyone. Every year, some 40 million citizens in the United States and Canada take to the fields, mountains, forests, streams, and lakes, returning with a harvest of wildlife and fish to feed their families and share with friends. Just how much of this natural, organic food do these two nations provide annually, and how valuable is it to our societies? At this point, no one really knows. “It’s time we did know,” said Shane Mahoney, founder and CEO of Conservation Visions, Inc., a private conservation organization focused on building broader coalitions in support of biodiversity and the natural world. “We’ve known for well over a century that conservation of the world’s ecosystems is critical to human well being and that the sustainable use of wild resources brings enormous and unique benefits to human beings everywhere.”
On november 30th of this year, British Columbia says it will no longer allow the trophy hunting of grizzly bears in the Canadian province.
Of the approximately 15,000 grizzlies in British Columbia, about 250 are killed by hunters annually, according to government figures.
Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development Minister Doug Donaldson characterized that level of hunting as “sustainable” in an interview with the CBC.
However, he says the decision to end trophy hunting is “not a matter of numbers, it’s a matter of society has come to the point in B.C. where they are no longer in favour of the grizzly bear trophy hunt.”
The key word in the above statement is “trophy.” As stated, the population of Grizzly Bears is robust and the harvest rates are sustainable; but regardless of these facts, Grizzly Bear hunting has been banned by the voice of the people. And something that was “legal” is not legal anymore. I’ve been saying this for a long time, legal is not an argument for hunting. As Steven Rinella recently said, “it’s legal for a man to cheat on his wife but nobody believes that makes it okay.”
Why did 90% of the electorate vote against “trophy hunting Grizzly bears?” If you’re a hunter, are you surprised by this vote? Is hunting even a relevant activity in today’s world? Why do people despise trophy hunting? What is trophy hunting? How have hunters in the United States and Canada portrayed hunting in the last 20 to 30 years? What motives and values do we display and promote on our TV Shows and Social Media Outlets? Does it matter? If we send the wrong message, what’s at stake?
These are the sorts of questions that Shane tackles on a regular basis. I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to personally visit with Shane and have him as a guest on this podcast.
I hope you listen to this entire podcast and that it causes you to feel an increased measure of concern for wild animals and wild places. For, “hunters of have an inseparable relationship with nature and a responsibility to protect it.”