A few years ago, wandering around online, I found one of the writers that inspired me to start this blog. Scotty Westphal blogs at https://retrieverman.net/ and at first I thought his blog was mainly about dogs, for which he has a passion. But what kept me reading was his unique viewpoint, a combination of political liberalism, a strong conservation ethic, and a love of hunting. Hailing from West Virginia, his opinions are likely at odds with much of rural Appalachia, but his writing is steeped in a deep feeling for the natural and human history of his beloved hill country.
It’s good to hear a voice that can bridge the cultures of hunting and environmentalism, so often at odds with each other. I’m reminded of another nature writer from the early 20th century, Aldo Leopold. His most well-known book, “Sand County Almanac”, helped shape the growth of environmental ethics (it certainly had a great impact on me when I first read it as a twenty-something). Leopold was also a hunter, forester, and one of the founders of the science of wildlife management.
Here are some of my favorite posts from Scotty’s blog “Natural History”. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I have. A lot of the work on his site is about dogs and canids, but not being a dog person, I was most drawn to his nature writing. Scotty is currently completing an MFA in creative writing, and like most artists is seeking a wider audience for his work. Please share your comments to his blog.