Seattle, Washington. Steven Rinella talks with guests Andrew Radzialowski, Janis Putelis, and environmental historian Randall Williams. Subjects discussed: how hunters have identified over the course of 50 years in relation to one another and to the non hunting public; historian Dan Flores; Plains Indians and bison herd equilibrium, or the lack thereof; changing perspectives of hunters and their guns; hide hunters and the burden of guilt for animal extermination; a roadkill recipe for hogs stuffed with whitetail deer from Steve’s college years; William Temple Hornaday; the closing of the American frontier; whether the American West should be regarded as a place or a process; the historic emergence of anti-hunting groups; a different kind of group that Steve founded in high school; the semantics of the words conservationist and environmentalist; and the changing culture of wild game consumption from the mid 1940’s to the present.
In May of 2015, Randall completed his Ph.D. in history at the University of Montana, where his graduate studies concentrated on Western U.S. and environmental history. His dissertation, “Green Voters, Gun Voters: Hunting and Politics in the Twentieth-Century United States,” explores the changing ways in which American sportsmen imagined, articulated, debated, and pursued their policy interests from the end of the World War II up until the mid-1990s. Among the various developments examined by the study are the rise of popular environmental concern, the emergence of organized anti-hunting activism, the eruption of the modern Second Amendment controversy, and the continued debate over public lands in the American West.