Friday, July 15, 2011

REI and Whole Foods: Fertile recruiting ground for new hunters, and what to do about it

For a long time, I've been talking about the undocumented - yet obviously growing - interest that foodies are taking in hunting. For the sake of categorization, let's call this the Whole Foods crowd.

But last weekend when I was at the Outdoor Writers Association of America conference at Snowbird in Utah, one of the participants - Mark Taylor from the Roanoke Times - talked about another fertile ground for recruiting hunters: the REI crowd.

Why didn't I think of that? Both the Whole Foods crowd and the REI crowd are already deeply immersed in one facet of hunting: food for the first group, outdoors for the second.

The reason I didn't think of it is that I'm as quick to stereotype as anyone - and in this case, not without good reason.

I've been shopping at REI since I started hunting and found myself in need of a good pair of hiking boots. Last year, I got a lot of Smartwool base layers there, which made for my most comfortable duck hunting season ever. And the year before, I got a replacement mouthpiece for my Camelbak (a water-carrying backpack) after a mouse savaged mine while I was on a hunting trip.

I was surprised to find that the replacements at REI didn't come in black. The store employee told me that blue was the standard color - he didn't even know they came in black. I told him mine was a camo Camelbak that I'd gotten from Cabela's. He informed me that REI had made a deliberate decision NOT to carry items in camouflage.

Hmmmm. Perhaps I was being sensitive, but I perceived that as a slight - REI was targeting a demographic that didn't want to be associated with hunting. It bothered me, but not enough to stop shopping there: At REI, I can try on women's base layers; if I buy from Cabela's, I have to order them online and hope they fit correctly.

Nonetheless, I harbored a negative association with REI shoppers ever since then. When I'm at a wildlife refuge for duck hunting and I see people decked out in REI gear driving up in Volvos, I know (or assume, anyway) that they're in for a hurtin' surprise when they pull up to the check station and see all the camo-clad guys lining up for a chance to kill the birds that these people just want to observe.

But there are plenty of "stereotypical" REI people who hunt. Mark Taylor is one of them: When Hank and I met him, we immediately pegged him as a super-fit outdoorsman - the kind of guy who could do a triathlon at a moment's notice.

And perhaps the most prominent one now is Steven Rinella, who made his TV debut last year on the Travel Channel's Wild Within, a show about hunting. I think I watched every episode of that show and didn't see him in camo even once. He looked like an REI model.

(Incidentally, Hank told Rinella he should come duck hunting with us sometime; I told Hank that we'd have to break Rinella and force him to wear camo if he took Hank up on it.)

So, back to that Venn diagram of intersecting communities at the top of this post: What do the Whole Foods and REI crowds have in common? I'm going to take a guess (because I don't have actual data) that these stores cater to an urban clientele because frankly, most ordinary rural folks don't make enough money to shop regularly at either store. (Whole Foods is also known as "Whole Paycheck.")

Why does this matter?

Because the leading cause of the declining number of hunters is widely believed to be not PETA's absurd publicity stunts, but urbanization.

I know from experience that it's harder to hunt when you are an urbanite. You can't walk outside with a gun and get dinner (unless you're a cannibal). Hell, half the time you have to drive quite a ways just to do target practice, and when you get there, you've got to fork over ducats to do it - you can't just throw clays with a hand thrower in your back yard.

If you'd like a little more scholarly take on the effects of urbanization, check out the 2008 report Responsive Management did for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, The Future of Hunting and the Shooting Sports, and head to page 199.

That report also notes that it'd be a good idea to "consider packaging and advertising hunting and shooting opportunities as part of a comprehensive, overall outdoor experience" to the outdoorsy (read: REI) crowd. But it doesn't address the potential shared interests of the foodies.

I think that's a huge oversight, because we have excellent examples of hunters who are deeply immersed in the food world. Obviously, one of them is my boyfriend Hank, who runs the blog Hunter Angler Gardener Cook and just released the book, Hunt, Gather, Cook: Finding the Forgotten Feast.

I've been spending a lot of time with him on his book tour this summer, and while he is definitely the star of the Hank and Holly Show these days, I have found no shortage of foodies who have wanted to engage in deep conversations with me about why I love hunting so much. Foodies want the best quality food - the most flavor and the least cruelty - and they know hunting is an excellent way to get it.

There's also Jackson Landers, who focuses on helping people learn to hunt for their food. He's got a book coming out in September, The Beginners Guide to Hunting Deer for Food. (Jack, not coincidentally, was on the same panel as Hank at the outdoor writers' conference where Mark Taylor brought up the REI crowd.)

And let's not forget the Bull Moose Hunting Society which caters to an urban adult audience that is interested in hunting for its food. Bull Moose started in San Francisco (and good Lord, you should've seen the insane comment thread - now gone - on the SF Chronicle's website when it published a story about Bull Moose).

So what's my point here? There are two:

One: Urbanization may have sapped hunters' numbers, but we have a tremendous opportunity here to draw urban people back in to hunting. Many of them have the money; all we have to do is invite them in and show them the way.

Two: While hunting organizations and state fish and game agencies have been absolutely wonderful about recruiting women and children into hunting with special training and hunting opportunities, we are overlooking a critical need for such programs for adult men.

Hank brought this up at the outdoor writers' conference, and long before then, our friend Darren - an adult who took up hunting a couple years ago - bemoaned the lack of supports for people like him.

I know why women need special programs: We can be easily intimidated in the presence of men because we assume - not always correctly - that they know more about guns and other weapons than we do.

The reality is that men who didn't grow up around guns or hunting may feel the same awkwardness, and just as importantly, they, too, lack natural mentors.

The Responsive Management report, while it isn't addressing this issue from the same direction I am, does offer one particularly relevant piece of advice for catering to this crowd: "Ensure that programs are non-partisan, which makes them more inclusive. ... Avoid political or value-laden commentary within programs. Programs with partisan content risk alienating potential participants."

Yes, folks, "urban" often equals "liberal," and there is no greater turn-off than implying people need to change their political beliefs to join our club. While I have seen a marked shift against gun control among liberals who've started hunting, that usually comes after they fall in love with hunting and buy a gun.

So that's my food for thought for the day. Whether you're a hunting writer, a fish and game agency or a wildlife organization employee or volunteer, or just someone who's willing to be a mentor, consider reaching out to the Whole Foods and REI crowds. Trust me, they're interested - all they need is a guide.

© Holly A. Heyser 2011

39 comments:

Brian said...

I agree that there are many folks who just need a guide or a little advice and reassurance.

Something I have wanted to write about for a while is perhaps a little more controversial - just how many active hunters do we need or want?

I'll leave it there as its something I have in the pipeline, so don't dismiss me as selffish or elitist just yet ;-) And yes, I agree with recruiting, I try to provide support with new hunters where ever I can.

SoleAdventure.com said...

Holly,

Great article! I too have noticed a disconnect between Cabela's and REI, and quite a few people (myself included) do live in the middle. I addressed it a bit, including a great article on hunting from Backpacker Magazine (the REI crowd). You can see it at...

"Killer Hike"

NorCal Cazadora said...

Brian, I've seen that issue come up a lot lately. I totally recognize that the more people who do this, the more those of us who already hunt will have to share, and ultimately either face smaller limits, or the need to radically increase habitat.

But I approach this from a political standpoint: If urban voters DON'T hunt, or worse, have a negative view of hunting, we stand a strong chance of losing what limited rights and opportunities we have now.

Do all urbanites need to hunt? No. But if enough of them hunt to increase knowledge of hunting and decrease negative associations, hunters and wildlife will benefit.

Soleadventure: I definitely don't live in that world (I've always been more of an indoor-fitness type), but I am heartened to know that many of my fellow hunters do.

For my entire adult life, though, I have occupied multiple seemingly conflicting niches, so I can relate to feeling of being stereotyped wrongly.

jryoung said...

I think there is definitely a disconnect towards the REI/Whole Foods crowd. Which I find myself oddly in the middle. I am much more REI/Whole Foods than I am Cabelas (crowd wise) but I have been a hunter for 20 years and a shooter/fisherman for many beyond that.

As far as gear goes, I'll take REI any day of the week over Cabelas, especially Cabelas branded stuff.

Crowd wise though, this is the market that hunting needs to go after. They are typically educated, have disposable income and many are fans of Michael Pollen et. al.

Just yesterday I was waiting for food at the Oaxacan Kitchen Mobile Truck and some folks started talking about this event of fishing and eating your catch through Forage SF. I'm not sure who would devise such a brilliant outing, but color me impressed ;)

Anyway, these foodies really didn't know who Hank was, but were pretty well versed regarding Forage SF and other foodie events.

I jumped right into their conversation sharing my enthusiasim for hunting and gathering and the event coming up. That spiraled into talking about where to find wild mushrooms, to hunting and a couple really expressed interest in learning to hunt but had no idea where to begin. I could tell that the two men were uncomfortable because of the machismo surrounding guns and hunting. I think it is one thing to be a woman or a child expressing interest, but a whole other thing when a man with no previous exposure to guns and hunting does.

I gave them my name and contact info and told them I'd be glad to help get them started if they were interested. Who knows where it will go, but if I can help someone make the leap I feel pretty good.

I can see the challenges though as there are idealogical gaps between the crowds. Just going to the gun range alone and seeing the messages displayed on bumper stickers could be enough to turn the Prius driving type off. Hopefully, the neophytes and the "classic" hunter can find some common ground and we can welcome some newfound interest in the sport, conservation efforts, and deliciousness that makes it to the plate.

NorCal Cazadora said...

SoleAdventure, I'm reading that article now (great stuff), and pleased to find a Nuge quote that isn't batshit crazy:

“Do we really need to shoot wild animals when there’s a Safeway down the street?” I asked The Nuge. “Is this just murder as sport?”

“That’s like saying recorded music is available, so none of us needs to make our own,” he said. “Vegetables are on store shelves, so we don’t need to tend gardens. I’m sure we could find someone else to breed our wives for us, too. Not me. I have nothing to do with the mass assembly of food. I hunt, kill, butcher, and cook my own, knowing that it’s the healthiest, most natural nutrition available to mankind—while at the same time bringing balance to the environment. Remaining connected to the good Mother Earth is a driving force in all the hunters, fishermen, and trappers that I know.”

NorCal Cazadora said...

JR, AWESOME STORY!!!! Fun that they were talking about Hank's event, but even better that you reached out to them. Mentoring takes time and patience; offering to be a mentor is no small thing.

hodgeman said...

"Two: While hunting organizations ...have been absolutely wonderful about recruiting women...we are overlooking a critical need for such programs for adult men."

Well said! Many times if I bring this up I'm openly mocked. But I bet I could do a men's version of BOW (which my wife and I support actively)and book it out to capacity for many years to come.

I had the benefit of a grandfather and father who passed on at least a modicum of knowledge and I grew up in a hunting culture. A great many people do not have that benefit in the modern era.

I shop regularly at an REI-esque retailer in Fairbanks. Once when speaking with the owner I told him if he sold guns I'd never shop anywhere else. The look on his face was pure shock. The retail industry is very clever at segregating their market to increase sales. It never dawned on him that so much of his equipment might be in the hands of the hunting community- he assumed they all shopped somewhere else.

Brian said...

We are definately of one mind ITO of the socio-political benefits (dare I say cultural imperative) that can come from transforming urban ambivalence, or antipathy, towards hunting.

Tom said...

I'm amazed at the different backgrounds hunters come from. I'd be lying if I said I hadn't ever looked down at the REI crowd. I credit some of my change in attitude to my brother's interest in hiking in his college days. I now consider myself a bit of both - a veteran hunter and a novice hiker/backpacker.

That article from BP magazine mentioned in this thread was absolutely awesome. So glad to have found and read that.

NorCal Cazadora said...

Hodgeman: I think the answer might be not special classes divided by gender, but special classes targeting what Tovar calls "adult-onset hunters." I think if we offered those classes in or close to urban areas and marketed then as "Hunting 101 for Newbies," women might not jump to the conclusion that they'll be surrounded by men whose gun/outdoor knowledge dwarfs their own. The ad copy seems easy: "Don't know a thing about guns or hunting, but you'd like to hunt for your food and expand your outdoor experience? Come to this class..."

Brian: Yay! This seems so obvious to me, yet I still run into hunters who are willing to castigate peers for voting for Democrats. We just can't afford that division.

NorCal Cazadora said...

And Tom: I'm sure - especially after reading the Backpacking article - it goes both ways. Same with the foodies. It seems we all become heretics when we move into the intersecting portions of those circles. But if we keep this up, we'll have a pretty sizable heretics club...

jryoung said...

Here's to hoping that those of us with differences and can find common grounds.

The backpacking and hunting cultures share much more in common (moreso with the backpacking hunters) than they do differences. From shared gear interests, to appreciation of the vast expanses of wildernes and public lands available to us all.

I like to do things for shock value sometimes. I was at the local farmers market a couple of months ago and we up to the local vegan/raw food stand. Now, as mentioned above I think those with common interest should explore them than rather exploit our differences.

The local vegan/raw shop makes great food, nutrient dense borderline superfood type items. Not to mention the "coconut haystacks" that are a mix of carob and coconut and simply delicious. Anyway, I inquired about some of the shelflife of their oat bars outside of refridgeration. They asked why and I replied that I was going on a hunt for 12 days, plus three days to get to my destination. They had the "we're vegans, why are you talking to us" look on their faces and I complimented them on their food because of it's qualities. I told them I can take a Clif bar or the like, but their bars are simply better (the downside being they have no preservatives). That seemed to break the ice a bit, but I could tell they were a bit put off by my interests.

I don't expect the those way out on the edges to come together, but in this case we share a common interest in healthy foods and I would hope that could be explored by others going forward.

NorCal Cazadora said...

JR, sometimes I eat these little vegan snacks they sell at school - oatey little things shaped like hearts. Two of them have 300 calories, and you feel full after eating them for sure, and I don't feel like I'm betraying my cause by eating them. :-)

MAT kinase said...

I don't think many people feel like you do. I can't guess how many shooting ranges/clubs I've emailed in different states I've lived in trying to find someone to take my money for adult shooting classes.

Fragmentary Green said...

My urban, liberal, Whole Foods-shopping brother and his wife are also hunters. I went with them once to check out REI, things were ridiculously expensive, and we left.

NorCal Cazadora said...

Mat: I think we just need to make a LOT of noise. People like Jack Landers are getting sign-ups for classes - it's not that freakish!

Fragmentary Green: Yep, it ain't cheap! But I LOVE the Smartwool I got there - better than the base layers I got from Cabela's!

Matt said...

I ran into this blog by clicking on a google images picture accidentally. I've now been on the site for over an hour and I think I'm going to come back. You're a talented writer and I really like reading your work. Keep it up :-)

Tovar@AMindfulCarnivore said...

I was going to mention the same Barcott essay that SoleAdventure suggested. The crossover is definitely happening for some.

And I agree that the mentorship factor is crucial. When I was doing my thesis research with adult-onset hunters, most talked about the person who "took me under their wing." A few were self-taught (reading books, online articles, etc, and then heading to the woods), but they were definitely in the minority.

I suspect REI would be a good venue for that crossover shoe some of us were discussing recently: Birkenstalks.

NorCal Cazadora said...

Matt: Thanks! Glad you like it. What was it you were searching for?

Tovar: I was lucky when it came to duck hunting - Hank had to teach himself how to do it, and duck hunting is COMPLEX.

Al Cambronne said...

Great Venn diagram, and something I can really relate to. I keep hearing that old Steely Dan song "Stuck in the Middle With You."

Years back, I skied a couple local biathlon races. Just dabbled, but I have to wonder... Do serious biathletes have some kind of bipolar ski culture/shooting culture identity crisis?

Oddly, I've been buying most of my hiking boots at Cabela's lately. And when I go cyclocrossing on trails and dirt roads this time of year, I'm also scouting for berries and potential deer hunting spots. I drive an old Subaru, but I've found through experience that there's plenty of room for one or two deer back there with the seat folded down. Great ground clearance, too.

Still, I've been told I should have a truck to hunt. Other days, I figure I should take off my camo cap before I walk into a bike shop or an REI. It's a little confusing.

Richard Mellott said...

Hi Holly,
Speaking of mentoring on the street, I just came in from walking my new German Shorthaired Pointer, who is a real "hunter" magnet! Well, one of my neighbors down the street, who I'd never met, was out washing off the dog pee from his trees, and my dogs came up and contributed to the restocking. We both laughed, and then he asked me about the breed of the dog. We ended up finding out that he was an avid bass fisherman who had just inherited his grandfather's gun collection, and was wondering about going, you guessed it, hunting for the first time (guy looks to be in the "over the hill gang," just like me). To make a long story even longer, my hunting buddy is moving up to Sacto, so I told this guy that "there is an opening." We talked about our backgrounds: seem to have a good rapport, and good ground for developing a new hunter (ex-military, in shape, works for a school district like I do).
We'll probably go to the range, get him acquainted with the guns (44.mag & 30-30 lever actions, defense shotgun), and start on his hunter safety program. It will be good to have someone in the neigborhood that I can mentor, and help him feed his family.
What comes around goes around, and I will be helping to expand our community.

ironrailsironweights said...

Isn't gun control another big reason behind the decline in hunting? It's not easy to hunt if merely buying a gun is a bureaucratic nightmare.

Peter

Anonymous said...

I think there may be one more group of folks out there.

The vegetarian, Whole Foods Shopping, Suburban, REI loving types who simply don't do meat because they can't work it into their lifestyle humanely or in a cost effective way but are fine with it if you can.

I have no issue with hunting for food, or buying the humanely raised kind of meat at WF and such stores. I just don't think that the way the bulk of the meat in our society is raised is something I want to be involved with.

My town doesn't allow raising chicken for eggs or meat and I haven't found a local source for humanely grown meat that I can afford on a regular basis. I have no idea how to hunt and the idea of starting seems pretty daunting, my hunter friends tell me the processing costs where we live were so high the last few years it wasn't worth it anymore. It's not allowed to do it yourself "in town." Lentils are just cheaper and easier.

hodgeman said...

Peter- as passionately as I feel about RKBA issues, I just don't see gun ownership as a barrier to hunting. Of all the logistical issues regarding hunting, finding a gun is among the easiest.

Urbanization and suburban sprawl has eliminated many of the places open to hunters just a few years ago- for folks living within populace areas of the US just finding a place to hunt may be the biggest obstacle of them all.

hodgeman said...

@anonymous- processing your own game isn't hard, daunting at first, but not hard.

Not sure where you live that you can't process game at home but what happens in my kitchen (blessedly) stays in my kitchen.

You can field dress game and bring it home as wrapped quarters which will eliminate the "deer hanging in the tree" spectacle that I'll assume those rules are about. I can usually manage a deer or small caribou quarter on the kitchen counter in about 20 minutes of careful trimming.

Fragmentary Green said...

@most recent anonymous: I am pretty much that kind of vegetarian, if you scrub the REI-loving part. Meat isn't my thing, but I've helped my brother process deer and a turkey. It's a good set of skills to have.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your usual spot-on insight, Holly.

I'm here at the urban foodie epicenter, San Francisco. Ten years ago if I told someone I grew up hunting I was EVIL, now I'm "taking responsibility for my place in the food chain". What a difference a few years makes. I literally have a list of people who want to go hunt pigs with me; definitely that's an product of the greater awareness about food. The list ranges from my old friends I've known for years to surprisingly dainty women, gay men, and even people who are usually vegetarian. I would venture to say that hunting is more PC in San Francisco that Sacramento at this point. I've had literally three people ask to go today alone.

Unfortunately, my favorite hunting spot, in the suburbs 40 minutes from downtown San Francisco, is a small (160 acre) piece of land that I am super lucky to hunt, and can't be so presumptuous as to bring others on out of respect for the landowner. But I just made plans with my suburban housewife friend (who I haven't seen for years except on facebook until today) to go to the target range. I am actually thinking of starting a "take an urban liberal shooting' effort. Most people's issues with guns are lack of exposure, and we're in a prime position to change that right now. How we play it is going to make a big difference in their views going forward.

Neil H.

Jessica said...

That's funny about REI not really wanting to associate with hunting culture. I guess that's just how they've done their branding, and it seems like it's probably based on liberal-ish disdain for hunting. There's a Sarah Palin line of thought in here somewhere, but i don't know if I want to find it.

But, judging by the comment thread here, it seems that that disdain is going by the wayside - as more people grow more concerned about the safety (and soul) of our food supply chain, there's a greater interest in alternative ways of finding food, even if that means crossing some cultural dividers. And I think that's something to be happy about.

Hil said...

Totally a minor point off topic here, but I must point out that I HAVE hunted with several duck guides who don't wear camo. :) They preferred the old oiled-cloth/tincloth classic look. Course they also shot jillion-dollar Parkers and Merkels....

NorCal Cazadora said...

Sorry all for not responding more quickly - Hank and I were up in Truckee hanging out with hikers and foodies. Seriously!

So...

Al: I know a couple biathletes and they are avid hunters - unusual in that they started shooting before they started skiing. Most, they tell me, start the other way around.

And truck? I get by with a Toyota Rav4, which perfectly carries all my duck gear and one passenger. If it weren't covered with duck stickers, though, I'm sure people would assume I'm a bird watcher.

Richard: LOL, Hank and I were recruiting all weekend too!

Ironrails: I don't think gun control is an obstacle for newbies. Remember, new controls irritate people who are already shooters, but if you're just getting started, then the gun-control environment is the only thing you know.

Anon No. 1: It is time for a chicken revolution, bigtime. There's just no reason not to let people raise chickens, particularly when you can do so without a rooster.

And I'm with Hodgeman: You don't HAVE to send game to a processor. But what you do need is someone to show you what to do with it. If you'd ever like to give it a try, you might find some butchering classes in your area. They often deal with animals like pigs or sheep, but a mammal is a mammal is a mammal, with few variations (those usually being where to avoid cutting stinky glands).

I hope to do my first whole butchering job this fall when Hank will be gone for nine weeks. I'm nervous about it, but not enough to stop me from going deer hunting.

Neil: I have the same issue. When I hunt public land I can definitely take new people, but I can't share the private-land opportunities I get.

Jessica: If you haven't yet, check out the "Killer Hike" article SoleAdventure pointed out in the second comment on this post. Really good piece that enlightened me a bit about backpacking culture. I did a foraging walk on Saturday with lots of folks from the REI crowd, and it confirmed much - there were several vegetarians (none outwardly hostile to hunting, though), and there was definitely a strong look-but-don't-touch ethos in this crowd, which is of course the exact opposite of what we do.

Hil: Shhhhhhhh! I just want to make Rinella wear camo!

Photo Review said...

Thank you for writing this article. My wife and I fall exactly into the group you describe. We're both urbanites, stumbling along trying to get into hunting as best we can. We both love shooting but often feel ostracized from other urbanites for our hobbies. At the same time coming from the city, it's not always easy to find mentors in the sport of shooting and hunting, because we're viewed as too liberal.

Still I've found that the support for her is much better thanks to people like you and other women's groups. But for an adult male, I'm pretty much on my own.

Maybe this year will be our break out year. Thanks for not giving up on folks like us.

Frankie

NorCal Cazadora said...

Frankie, one other thing you might try is getting involved with a hunting organization. I've made a ton of friends in California Waterfowl, and I've hunted with many of them. It's no guarantee, but when you tell people you're trying to learn, they might just offer to help.

Good luck!

George Oberstadt said...

I couldn't agree more with the comments about outreaching to adult men to recruit them into hunting. That's precisely why my title is now Hunting Heritage program manager (not Youth Camps).

CWA has some great events with just that in mind and some DFG waterfowling (and other types of hunting) clinics that we are partnering with DFG on. Great places to learn skills and network with folks.

Feel free to email me george_oberstadt@calwaterfowl.org if I can help anyone explore the hunting opportunities that CA has to offer.

NorCal Cazadora said...

GEORGE, THAT'S AWESOME!

Not just that women are no longer under the kids' umbrella of the old title, but the acknowledgement that men need help too.

You rock! Holler if you have a specific event you need promoted and I'll spread the word in foodie circles. (I'd spread it in REI circles except, LOL, I don't really travel in those circles.)

NorCal Cazadora said...

Click here to check out CalWaterfowl's programs page.

Actonian said...

Great article, great blog.
Don't forget the paleo crowd. They're somewhere between the REI and Whole Foods circles. Their focus is nutrition and they realize quality nutrition comes at a premium... whether you hunt for it or pay top dollar. Grass-fed meat and wild game, raised by nature, is what we were meant to eat. It's all about the omega-3:omega-6 balance.

I'm looking forward to meeting you and Hank in the Boston area (Craigie on Main) for the book event! You guys rock!

NorCal Cazadora said...

Oh, Actonian, you're KILLING ME. I won't be with Hank in Boston (though I was fortunate to eat with him at Craigie on Main last summer). When Hank starts the fall leg of his tour, I'll be at home doing my day job (teaching).

As for paleos: Point well taken, and I'm very interested in that movement, which is why I have "Hunt Gather Love" on the blogroll. But I don't think I can pigeonhole paleo folks as patrons of any particular store ;-).

KnobbyGoGo said...

Former REI employee and present day REI customer, foodie, and hunter passes along a big "thank you" for sharing your thoughts! Really enjoying your blog, Holly.

NorCal Cazadora said...

Well, you are in the sweet spot of a revolution! Wait, that's a horribly mixed metaphor. Tennis, war? Oh well, whatever.

Thanks for coming by, and I'm glad you're enjoying the blog!