A new survey shows that acquiring meat remains the number-one reason why hunters hunt. Responsive Management, which tracked hunting participation for nearly three decades, indicates the reason for the continuing emphasis on game ranges from the economic to the sociocultural.
An important benefit of hunting is its potential as a source of food that hunters can acquire themselves in a cost-effective manner. During times of economic downturn, such as the recession that gripped the country for much of the last decade, hunting is an attractive option for putting food on the table.
Another reason for the uptick in hunters is the locavore movement, a growing national trend reflecting interest in eating locally and taking a more active role in the acquisition of food, especially organic, free-range, chemical- and hormone-free meat. Individuals from nontraditional hunting backgrounds flocked to lessons and seminars offering instruction on how to hunt and process game meat. They take up hunting for reasons of self-sufficiency, health, sustainability, or a desire to reconnect with nature.
One high-profile example of the locavore movement is Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg who said animals taste better when you “hunt them yourself.”
Another example is the creation of a documentary titled An Acquired Taste, which follows three teenage locavores as they decide to learn how to hunt as a way of connecting with the source of their sustenance. (Watch the trailer here.)
“We’ve had youth and adults stand up after a screening sharing their transformation, and people choking up saying that they had never understood their father or brother’s hunting habits until now, and that, at last, they felt reconciled,” said producer/director Vanessa LeMaire.