Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Linked: hunting license sales and ... food?

Good news, and good press: The Sacramento Bee reports today that the number of hunting and fishing licenses sold in California has risen for the second straight year. It's the first time since 1990 that sales have increased two years in a row, so that's pretty cool.

Not only is the story fair - always a good thing - but its exploration of reasons for the trend covers a couple of my favorites. One is the possibility that the increase is attributable at least in part to the rising number of female hunters. Thank you, thank you very much! Yes, I was part of this two-year trend.

The other one I really like covers one of the main reasons I hunt: food.

Here's what reporter Matt Weiser had to say:

The increase may also reflect a trickle-down effect from the organic food movement.

An offshoot is the "eat local" trend, in which consumers are rejecting foods made in far-flung factories. Instead, they seek health benefits and a smaller environmental footprint by buying food raised in their own region.

"When you see a culinary trend like that, those who have been associated with hunting or fishing say, 'I can go get me some of that'," said Sonke Mastrup, Fish and Game deputy director. "It adds to the allure or prestige. Not only are you serving wild game to your friends, but it's game you got yourself."

He goes on to talk about the book, Omnivore's Dilemma, and its influence on American food culture.

I tell you, this is very real. When Boyfriend and I throw parties and he puts out his immaculate spread of smoked, cured and other game meats, not one person comes away without trying and liking at least a few bites. And yes, many vegetarians have left our house with meat stuck in their teeth. Hee hee hee...

So, cheers to the Bee for a good story, cheers to California for the good news, and cheers to all the good food we go out and get for ourselves.

Of course, if the trend keeps up, the quest for that food is going to get a LOT more competitive. But if that's the price we have to pay to ensure hunting isn't driven extinct by misguided, naive and well-funded people, then so be it.


Jesse's Hunting & Outdoors said...

Fried up some wild turkey breast chunks last weekend from our farm in Mizzurah. Dipped them in some special bourbonized BBQ sauce, some dayum good eatin.

Folks claim the store bought birds are pumped fill of juice to make them nice and fat and that wild meat is better for ya. After dumping blue chemical coated corn out of that turkey's crop I wonder which one is really the better eating. Or safer eating?

Blessed said...

So be it indeed! However, I wonder if more interest in hunting will help protect the lands that we hunt on by making more people vocal about keeping those wild areas wild.

This is great news - especially coming from someplace like Sacramento.

SimplyOutdoors said...

I am completely shocked and pleasantly surprised by this story, especially since it came out of Sacremento.

I hope it does create more drive for people to want to protect land.

Very cool news!

NorCal Cazadora said...

Blessed and Simply, that's my hope. More people hunting means more people pushing to preserve habitat and strengthening species.

And JHO, you definitely have a point - I can never know if my game meat is tainted by pesticide-coated food, especially that I hunt ducks primarily in rice-growing country. But I do know that most game animals eat more than farm food, and their meat is more flavorful, and they haven't been injected with any drugs, and they lived better lives than farm animals. At this point, I'll take what I can get.

Tom Sorenson said...

That's great! Always nice to see a well written and informative - and even FAIR - article on hunting in a big city newspaper. I respect and congratulate Matt Weiser.

NorCal Cazadora said...

The Bee has been really good - it's been quite some time since I've seen something negative. I know their editorial page editor was sure pleased to have my perspective in their paper, so there's definitely not an institutional bias against hunting.