The Changing Wildlife Tableau of Hunting Magazine Covers

In: Society & Animals
Erica von Essen Norwegian Institute for Nature Research Oslo Norway

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Hunting trophies are shown to be undergoing socialization in photos. They are no longer personal souvenirs that serve a purely introspective function for the individual. Hunting photos are discussed, critiqued, and conspicuously displayed across online and print platforms. They are shared between hunters and lately also between hunters and the public. Criteria for good hunting photos reflect the changing modality and times in which photos are shared. The ways hunters stage, compose, and manipulate their hunting tableaux evolve to address external and internal pressures regarding their representation. This evolution is illustrated in qualitative interviews with hunting magazine editors and hunting photographers in Sweden, as well as review of 320 hunting magazine covers from 1960s to today. To this new class of hunter-artists, the presentation of the quarry as object or sovereign wildlife changes the hunting tableau and also responds to contested ideals of authenticity in nature.

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