Urban hunters view killing their own meat as a greener alternative to purchasing commercial meat.
by Timothy Moyer
There’s a new buzzword in town when it comes to outdoor sportsmanship: ethical hunting. Those who call themselves ethical hunters are just as likely to ride bicycles as to drive trucks and identify as progressive over traditional or conservative. These new urban hunters view killing their own meat as a greener alternative to purchasing commercial meat. The most famous example of the new breed of hunter may be Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, who in 2011 took a pledge to eat only meat he killed for one year.
Inside the new urban hunters demographic of hunting
Not only are urban hunters flocking to hunting who may have stayed away in previous years, greater numbers of women are learning to hunt. In just eight years, a Canadian hunting course has seen 1,000 new women graduate, ,which represents a greater increase in women than men, according to the Vancouver Sun. These new hunters are driven by a desire to get closer to their source of food, whether by growing their own vegetables, raising backyard chickens or shooting their own deer. Wild game forages for fruits, berries and nuts and feeds on fresh grass and plants, in contrast to factory-fed animals who may be fed corn and drugged with antibiotics. Many of the new hunters view conventionally raised meat as unhealthy and praise the richness of flavor in game.
Urban hunters etting up to speed
Hunting takes a lot of knowledge, skill and practice. Many of these new urban hunters have found themselves unprepared for the realities of a day in the blind, from caring for firearms to harvesting game. Online programs like huntercourse.com offer hunter safety education and basics that can help novice hunters increase their comfort level and skill. Local outdoor education programs may offer hunters the chance to practice tracking, blind construction, firearms maintenance and other practical skills necessary to the sport.
Hunting licenses and regulations add a level of complexity: urban hunters must carefully review permitting and licensing information or risk finding themselves in violation of local laws. Urban hunters looking for a good location to put their new skills to the test should research local regulations regarding hunting. Some areas even allow for urban hunting of certain species. For example, Missouri allows hunters to harvest deer in certain counties and also holds managed hunts of deer and turkey in urban areas. All are open to novice and experienced hunters. Hunters in urban areas must follow all local regulations and ordinances. Even if the county allows urban hunting, hunters may not be able to use their firearms in all areas.
Hunting may not be for everyone. It requires physical endurance, heavy lifting of harvested game and an adventurous spirit and appetite. For those truly interested in getting closer to the source of their food and in abstaining from the sort of factory farming present in the meat and game industries, it may be a viable source of food and entertainment. Those interested in learning more about hunting can go to the urban hunter forums, find local recreational hunting clubs and outdoor education centers where they can meet other hunters and gain inspiration, skills and tricks.