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Author Archive: "Lily Raff McCaulou"

Call of the Mild

For the first couple of years that I was learning to hunt, I was reluctant to talk about it. There was no simple way to explain why I — a lifelong animal lover and city slicker — had decided to confront my fear of guns and learn to stalk and kill wildlife for meat.

I'd recently moved from New York City to Bend, Oregon, to cover a rural area for the local newspaper, and I wanted to identify with the rural culture that surrounded me. Though I had long considered myself an environmentalist, the hunters I met here seemed to understand and appreciate the ecosystem better than I did. I'd come to view wild game as one of the most ethical meat sources available. Whenever I tried to put these reasons into words, they came out sounding overly complicated and poorly thought-out.

More than anything, I avoided the topic because most folks in fast-growing Bend had moved here, like I had, from larger cities. I assumed most of them disapproved of hunting, just as I had until recently. Hunting is a divisive topic, and I wasn't comfortable defending my ...

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