Some call them culinary pioneers, others call them counter-culture loving hipsters. No matter the label, it seems our little hunting club is getting bigger. There’s no way around it.
Finally, the mainstream is digesting what we’re serving, and it’s time we recognized it’s a good thing. Hunting is growing in scope and numbers, and those who go afield after organic eats are pushing the needle. There are facts to back it up.
A report released last September by the Virginia-based research group Responsive Management explains in real terms why hunting is growing in popularity after 35 years of decline. From 2006 to 2011, the study says, hunting participation nationally increased 9 percent. The new hunters likely causing much of the uptick in participation are younger, more female and suburban, in college or in the military. Urban hunters are increasing, too.
You heard that right…urban hunters. As the world has evolved and consumption of food has become less about the why and more about the how fast, droves of previously disinterested Americans are suddenly willing to consider killing, cutting, and cooking their own meat. This isn’t your granddaddy’s old redneck stereotype. We’re talking about a new breed.
But how did we get here?
From 1958 to 1975 the number of licensed hunters in America generally increased, the study says, before hitting a plateau in the mid ’80s. Then things went into a general decline for decades with hunting not only facing stronger opposition, but also an even more dangerous absence from pop culture.
Here’s the reasoning, “In both hunting and fishing, the decline in participation from the peak in the 1980s is partly attributed to a broad demographic change in the United State—urbanization.” According to U.S. Census data, 36 percent of the United States’ population lived in rural areas in 1950. Now it’s lower than 20 percent.
If this trend continues, the only chance to grow hunting would be to convince city folk to get involved.
Read more at Petersen’s Hunting