A Hunter’s Heritage – The Introduction of Dr. Chris O’Brien

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Welcome to the first installment of A Hunter’s Heritage. I’m Dr. Christopher O’Brien, a hunter, shooter, educator and Save the Hunt Coordinator for the California NWTF. Hunting and shooting have been a part of my life since I could recite the four basic components of a rifle shell when I was barely out of kindergarten. When I wasn’t hunting with my father I was reloading his shells for him and I shot competitive smallbore rifle matches when I was in grade school and high school. My interest in hunting transitioned from the field to my academic studies when I went to college and studied hunter-gatherer societies throughout history. I spent several years of my life living with contemporary hunter-gatherers in Africa and my dissertation in part explored the impact of aboriginal hunting on game populations. I continue to hunt, shoot, lecture and teach on the significant time depth of our hunting heritage, the crucial role it has played in human societies in the past, its critical contribution to wildlife conservation today, and its necessity for successful conservation efforts into the future.

A Thompson Gazelle harvested by the author during his research in Africa
A Thompson Gazelle harvested by the author during his research in Africa

My intention is to make this a regular feature here on our NWTF Save the Habitat, Save the Hunt webpage. I will share with you my experiences and perspectives on how the human hunting heritage impacts all of our lives (even those of our friends who do not hunt) and how, without hunting, our world would be a very different place.  And we all need to play a role in making sure the hunting heritage continues with future generations.

A California gobbler harvested by the author.
A California gobbler harvested by the author.

So stay tuned….and good hunting!

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