About Hal Herring


I grew up in rural north Alabama in a family of voracious readers, fishing, hunting, digging ginseng, running trotlines.  It was a life mostly spent outside, but my heroes were always writers, from Guy De Maupassant to Peter Matthiessen, Dostoyevsky to Jim Harrison.

For most of my life now I’ve been a writer, too, publishing my first fiction and essays in my mid-twenties, and moving to nonfiction and journalism in my early thirties to make a living. Writing has been a stern and rewarding taskmaster.

I’ve been able to explore the issues and the ideas and conflicts that fascinate me, from hundreds of articles on conservation and the environment, to writing about guns, shooting, hunting, martial arts, and crime.

I’m a contributing editor at Field and Stream magazine, and write the F&S Conservationist blog on their website. At Field and Stream I’ve covered everything from bear poaching gangs to caviar crime rings, wetlands destruction to energy politics.

I was also, for several very productive years, an editor at large for the online news magazine New West, where my first story, a series exploring the background of a truly odd Montana criminal case, won a 2006 Online News Award for Enterprise Journalism. A Field and Stream story about an elk hunter’s terrible misadventure with a grizzly bear was a Finalist for a National Magazine Award. And so on.

I took time away in 2007 to write a book on American history and firearms, and returned to journalism to write "The Panhandle Paradox," a very long project on development issues in north Florida, supported by a grant from the Fund for Investigative Journalism.

I’ve covered some of my favorite long-form stories for High Country News, the never-back-down Western-issues newspaper that gave me my start in 1997. That start and that story- an extraordinarily controversial report on so-called “canned hunting” carried me to the Atlantic Monthly, the Economist, and onward.  I spent some good years writing about conservation for the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, the Nature Conservancy, and others.

I’m still writing for High Country News, and am proud of my long association there. My passions as a writer and storyteller lie where they always have - in exploring humankind’s evolving relationship to the natural world, and all the failures, successes and deep tensions inherent in that relationship.

- Hal



Journalism Awards

"Ted Trueblood Award"
Backcountry Hunters & Anglers

"Wetland Conservation Achievement"
Ducks Unlimited

"Conservation Communications Award"
Trout Unlimited


"Online News Award, Enterprise Journalism, 2006"
For:  'Sex, Money, and Meth Addiction: the World of the Dasen Girls'
New West

"National Magazine Award Finalist, 2008"
For: “Surprise Attack”
Field and Stream

"Conservation Communicator of the Year, 2009"
Montana Wildlife Federation


"Conservation Achievement Award, 2013"
National Wildlife Federation 

"Excellence in Craft Awards" 
Third Place, 2012
First Place 2013
Third Place 2013
President’s Choice Award 2013
First Place 2015
Third Place 2012
Outdoor Writers’ Association of America