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‘Care’ is a term that hunters increasingly apply to diverse practices pertaining to their interactions with wildlife. In this article, we investigated the extent and durability of hunters’ use of care language, including appeals made to sentiment, relation, compassion, embodiedness and situated morality. After establishing the use of such language in contemporary hunting media, we discuss two case studies of contemporary sport hunting that tease out dimensions of care. These case studies show how hunters’ appeal to care is deeply problematic and oppositely, how these hunting forms bring out new relations and scopes of care with wildlife unanticipated by critics. Without discounting hunters’ sincerity, we note that hunters may use this language opportunistically rather than with consistent philosophical appeal. We conclude by discussing the possible role of hunters’ appeal to care language in mediating public acceptance of hunting.


© 2020 The Author(s). Published with license by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (http://, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.