‘My Winchester spoke to her’: Crafting the Northern Rockies as a hunter’s paradise, c.1870-1910

Jones, Karen R. (2010) ‘My Winchester spoke to her’: Crafting the Northern Rockies as a hunter’s paradise, c.1870-1910. American Nineteenth Century History, 11 (2). pp. 183-203. ISSN 1466-4658 (print); 1743-7903 (online). (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

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This article considers the construction of the Northern Rockies as a hunter’s paradise in the latter years of the nineteenth century. It explores the crafting of the region as a game utopia by a cadre of hunter‐tourists, whose writings of what I term “fictionalized reality” celebrated the Rockies as an American Serengeti for sports and a realm of pioneer exoticism. Significantly, it argues that hunting became far more than an exercise in imperial tourism, instead representing a regenerative mechanism through which the sportsman emerged from the game trail, firstly as an exemplar of American masculinity, and secondly, as a fully‐fledged westerner. Stories of nature red in tooth and the “hunter‐hero” thus effectively obscured the political and economic realities of frontier assimilation to present the West as one vast playground for entertainment, adventuring and honorable violence. The article discusses the engagement between hunter and hunted, taking in themes of western tourism, codes of manhood, nature appreciation, gun‐play, and the gaze, before concluding with an analysis of how the “storied past” of hunting literature, photography, and taxidermy broadcast a strident identity for the Northern Rockies that persists to this day.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled keywords: frontier, gun culture, hunting, identity, masculinity, memory, nature
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General)
Divisions: Faculties > Humanities > School of History
Depositing User: Zoe Denness
Date Deposited: 02 Oct 2012 09:32
Last Modified: 27 May 2014 13:32
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/31130 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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