Attention, Hipsters: Hunting Is the New Beekeeping, So Get on That.

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The adoption of hunting as a hobby by those who bear zero resemblance to the cast of Duck Dynasty continues! When last we checked in, it was women taking up their rifles in the hopes of bringing home the venison. Now it's food-supply-conscious, authenticity-seeking urbanites—i.e., hipsters.


That's according to Maclean's, reporting on the changing demographics of hunting with the headline: "Hipsters are going hunting." The American Sportfishing Association says more and more people in the U.S. are interested in hunting and fishing:

"It's not just the boys going hunting," said Chris Benson, who coordinates a program for Ducks Unlimited Canada that introduces new people to hunting. "It's women, it's environmentalists, it's people from large urban centres who just want hands-on outdoor experience."

For instance!

When you hunt your own game to make Canada goose prosciutto, as Drake Larsen of Iowa did a few Wednesdays ago after work, you have the ultimate alternative to the factory-raised meats typically found in the grocery cooler. "We never buy a package of ground beef. Ever," said Larsen.

The word "prosciutto" is a big red flag. Remember quinoa? This sounds like a good way to make hunting more expensive for the people who have to do it to put food on the table.

This would be very much in line with the beekeeping and the pickling and the chicken coops and the taxidermy. But I'm skeptical that this is really the latest in hipster affectation. The numbers certainly suggest that there's a wider variety of people trying out hunting, and maybe there a bunch of urbanites suddenly tramping into the woods, attempting to eat more ethically. No doubt a few of them even mean business!


But hunting requires venturing into a rural area, proper equipment in tow, getting out of bed at the ass-crack of dawn to sit and wait for a couple of hours in often frigid weather. If you're successful, then you have to butcher an animal. It's a lot of hard work and it's often boring. I'd bet a freezer full of venison the next big thing in hipsterdom will be something marginally less time-consuming, like hominy.

Image via Getty



Can I come in from an ecosystem management angle? The reality is, hunters fund a shit-ton of conservation through license and gear purchases (non-hunters frequently do not know this), and hunter numbers have been falling steadily in most parts of the country. If this gets people in hunter's ed and out there and putting money in the budgets of game and fish departments, I'm all for it. BUT. Please god. Go with experienced hunters, especially in the beginning. Work with your firearm extensively beforehand and make sure you are crystal clear on firearm safety. Be respectful to the people out there who know what they're doing, and be humble and honest about your rookie position. (ETA that is crucial: if you wound an animal, IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY. I don't care how long it takes.)

And since it's already almost February, before people rush out to buy camouflage and meat bags, I hope they consider taking up fishing first this summer to see if they can hack it in terms of patience and guts (literal guts, I mean).