Who knows, maybe there’s some hope for these Hipsters yet!
The best way to get organic, sustainable meat isn’t some overpriced boutique shop. It’s the great outdoors itself.
And veteran hunters are now inviting unlikely members of a younger generation to join them in the grand tradition.
A group of veteran hunters set out last month in a forest northeast of Atlanta with apprentices. Among them, a former vegetarian, a Haitian-born grad student and a farmers-market manager. They wore camouflage and carried crossbows.
They were aiming to kill white-tailed deer. But the real target: new hunters.
The number of Americans 16 and older who hunt is down 18% from two decades ago, according to federal data. An older generation of hunters is trying to lure recruits to the sport by pitching it as a good way to ensure meat is local, sustainable and probably organic.
“Earthy crunchy aligns very well with deer hunting,” says Charles Evans, 29, who works in hunter recruitment for the Georgia Wildlife Federation.
The December hunt, aimed at relative newbies, was organized by Field to Fork, a project started in 2016 by a 60,000-member national hunting group. The project locates its human targets at places such as a farmers market in Athens, Ga., where it provides samples of venison.
The trainees use crossbows, which are quieter than guns and let them train and hunt on properties closer to civilization. For some first-time hunters, the equipment is more palatable than firearms—though most rifles can shoot farther.
Who’d have guessed that we’d ever be printing a sentence like: “Earthy crunchy aligns very well with deer hunting” on our site.
Wow… when worlds collide. But we’re PLEASANTLY surprised by this story.
Then again, why not? After all, many of us know people who ONLY eat food whose point of origin they can trace back either to the wild or to a trusted farm with practices they’re comfortable with.
Programs like Field to Fork aim at younger adults with disposable income who never learned how to hunt. Hank Forester, 33, says he came up with the program over beers with Mr. Evans after being inspired by the bustling Athens farmers market where University of Georgia students and others flock for local produce.
His group handed out brochures with slogans like “HARVEST your own LOCAL MEAT” and “HUNTERS ARE THE ORIGINAL CONSERVATIONISTS.”
“We didn’t lead with, ‘Hey, do you want to go shoot a deer?’ ” says Mr. Forester, a hunting programs manager at the Quality Deer Management Association, the group that sponsors Field to Fork. “If you’re talking about local, sustainable—I can’t certify organic—you can’t do better than white-tailed deer.”
The program, which offers hunting and venison-cooking classes, now operates in eight states, Mr. Forester says.
It’s almost like some of them have been reading Doug’s book!
If a person looked to Scripture and paid particular attention to the passages within the Bible that address the topic of hunting, then they’d walk away thinking not only is hunting animals tolerated but it is endorsed by God. And that’s exactly what this little book is about: proving that God, from Genesis to Revelation, is extremely cool with hunters and hunting. I’ll go out on a biblical limb and claim right off the bat that you cannot show me, through the balance of the Bible, that the God of the Scripture is against the responsible killing and the grilling of the animals He created. ~Doug Giles
In his killer new book RISE, KILL & EAT: A Theology of Hunting From Genesis to Revelation Doug carries on with his courageous war against the lunatic fringe who dare recommend Bambi solutions to the annual production of edible wildlife. –Ted Nugent