Congratulations to 2019 Merlin Community Scholar Fellow, Thomas Baumeister, for making the paper with his research and writing project on elk. Prompted by a concern for the state of hunting and conservation and ethical questions regarding the measure of the hunt, fairness, and respect, Thomas offers valuable & important food for thought — for hunters and non-hunters alike. The article is a perfect example of how philosophy reaches beyond the classroom and why asking philosophical questions matter to our everyday lives (and the lives of others), practices, and policies. The piece went live on the Merlin website on Sunday. January 13th, was submitted for consideration as an op-ed to the Helena Independent Record on Monday, Jan. 14th, and appeared as a featured “guest view” article on-line and in print on Thursday, Jan. 17th.
Elk are elk and their worth does not rely on us, though it is influenced by our ability to identify and communicate that value. If we truly love and appreciate elk, it’s time for hunters to reclaim the ethical highroad of fair chase hunting that honors elk for what they are and demands the hunter to be the very best he or she can be. In this article, 2019 Merlin Community Scholar Fellow Thomas Baumeister, discusses two different “measures” of hunting, how fairness and respect are part and parcel of reverence, and why reinstating the ethical pursuit of the hunted as a measure is important.