Hunting is one of America’s deeply held national traditions. Some of our biggest folk heroes were hunters — men like Daniel Boone, Davy Crockett, and Theodore Roosevelt. But how did hunting become a tradition in America in the first place and how did that tradition influence American culture, including its arts and conservation laws?
My guest todaytackled the history of American hunting, especially its sporting form, in his latest book. His name is Philip Dray and his book is The Fair Chase: The Epic Story of Hunting in America. Today on the show, Philip and I discuss the start of sport hunting in this country during colonial times and how European hunting norms influenced the pastime in America. We then dig into how Americans developed a new and democratic form of hunting. Philip shares how magazine writers and artists in the 19th century helped create the myth of the noble sportsman that we have todayand how hunting changed as Americans moved West. We then dig into how the decimation of the American bison after the Civil War led hunters to start the conservation movement in America and Theodore Roosevelt's role in that movement. We end our conversation discussing the state of hunting in America today.
Get the show notes at aom.is/hunting.