“Adult-Onset Hunting” (AOH) was always meant as a joke.

In 2011, when I was writing my thesis—and, insanely, finishing my book at the same time—I kept stumbling over my own awkward phrase, “people who started hunting as adults.”

Something simpler was needed.

Cath encouraged me to make it playful. Out of our brainstorming came AOH, that first blog post, and the title of my thesis. (To their credit, my committee members at UMass-Amherst played along.)

The joke, like the syndrome itself, turned out to be contagious.

Over the past few years, the phrase has popped up in news reports from Montana to South Carolina to Minnesota and Wisconsin. At least once, it crossed the border, appearing in Outdoor Canada. In recent months, it appeared in a job description, a Becoming an Outdoors-Woman catalog, a symposium abstract for the next Midwest Fish & Wildlife Conference, and a new Google Hangout video series offered by MissouriNet and the Missouri Department of Conservation.

Shaking my head, I decided I had to have the T-shirt made—”Adult-Onset Hunting: It’s Never Too Late to Go Wild.”

6210-earth-forage - CopyLike early humans, of course, many of us aren’t just hunters. We’re gatherers, too. So I had a foraging shirt made as well.

If you’re a new hunter of deer, ducks, or mushrooms—or know someone who is—maybe there’s a holiday gift idea here. If you’re a lifelong hunter-gatherer, wear one and expect questions from the hunting-curious. (Just click here.)

I hope you get a chuckle out of these.

It is still a joke, after all.

Note: I may add more shirts and other items at some point. If you want updates, just join the Wake to the Wild mailing list. Now and then, I’ll also post stuff on the WTTW Facebook page.

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“Does hunting make us human?”: A collection to savor

November 7, 2014

Over the past eight months, the Center for Humans and Nature has assembled an essay collection worth chewing on.

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Participatory ecology: Greens must embrace hunting

August 7, 2014

When you get an enthusiastically appreciative email from a fellow vegan-turned-hunter on the opposite side of planet, you smile. When he sends you a thought-provoking article that echoes many of your own thoughts and feelings, you sit up and pay attention.

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Postcard from a hiatus

August 5, 2014

I haven’t fallen off the planet. I hope you find some tasty morsels in the mixed bag to come.

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A caretaker and a killer

March 14, 2014

For the future of wildlife conservation, it is crucial that we bridge the gaps between hunters and non-hunters.

Online at The Atlantic: “A Caretaker and a Killer.”

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Sex, kills, and videotape*

March 4, 2014

Years ago, I would have found it utterly repulsive to watch video footage of a hunter killing an animal. Over the past decade, as a hunter, I have occasionally watched such scenes. I still don’t enjoy seeing them. The analogies I use to explain my discomfort are both imperfect.

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Deer music, land music, sky music: A first drum

July 6, 2013

Stories take time to unfold. Months ago, I was going to write about making my first drum. I was going to start by telling how I nearly left the deer hide for the coyotes in November. Living in the modern world, I find eating venison more practical than wearing buckskin. Then I was going to […]

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