The Rise of Hipster Hunters

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http://sportingclassicsdaily.com/issue/2015-1/article/the-rise-of-hipster-hunters

This is an article from my Sporting Classics daily feed. In short it is about a cafe owner/butcher in Austin, Texas who is supplying game meat in his business through legitimate hunting in Texas. His claim is that hunting your own meat is ecologically more sound and healthier than meat produced otherwise. I think this can only be good for hunters overall. We already know that more and more women have been taking up hunting for many years now. I have heard of this going on, but have never read an article on it. So here you go!

hipsterhunters-jpg.37667
 
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The Rise of Hipster Hunters
By JR Sullivan Fri, Feb 20, 2015



“We’re taking it away from Ted Nugent.”


From the 2015 March/April issueof Sporting Classics, on newsstands March 4.



Hunting embodies many ideas—tradition, camaraderie, stewardship, self-reliance—but it has never placed much emphasis on staying abreast with movements or trends beyond the scope of the outdoors. And this, in large part, is why hunting is so refreshing: It provides refuge from the normal paradigms of life, offering a world apart from the drone of 24-hour news cycles, social-media statuses, talk-show commentators, and the glowing rectangles to which working Americans are increasingly glued.

Recently, though, hunting has become a more relevant part of our country’s cultural dialogue. As the locavore movement—which stresses producing food locally rather than transporting it great distances to market—has gained acceptance among young, educated, and financially secure professionals, a new brand of sportsmen has begun taking to the field. These hunters head to the woods as participants in a larger conversation about the world and how to live responsibly in it; they seek meat free of steroids and additives,a reaction against the factory-farm-produced beef, poultry, and pork that crowds most grocery-store freezers. Likewise, they care little about scoring on Boone & Crockett or forking out the cash for an African safari; their interests skew more toward activism, creative pursuits, and pop culture.


In November 2014 The Texas Observer detailed this recent influx of hip, socially conscious hunters in “The Changing Culture of Killing for Food.” The piece tracks the recent celebrity surrounding hunter Jesse Griffiths—the force behind Austin’s Dai Due eatery and butcher shop, a mecca for foodies and culinary purists. Griffiths is not the stereotypical hunter as often portrayed in mainstream media; he is bearded, tattooed, and could pass as kin to Levon Helm or Robert Redford in Jeremiah Johnson—more punk than pastoral.

Writer Andrea Grimes notes Griffiths first went hunting four years ago to better understand meat’s relationship with the environment. Since that time he’s become a vocal advocate of the pursuit, proclaiming it is a sustainable and morally sound alternative to the commercial meat industry’s questionable practices. He’s even penned a book about his experience entitled Afield: A Chef’s Guide to Preparing and Cooking Wild Game and Fish, a manifesto about learning to shoot and serve wild game.

Grimes summarizes the movement Griffiths has perpetuated:

“More and more people do seem to be picking up shotguns and rifles, and they’re not necessarily beer-swilling Bubbas who hole up in $1,300 camouflaged blinds and draw game into range with deer corn. These are people taking a step beyond CSA delivery and backyard chicken coops, following the path of locally sourced eating to the next level.”

Griffiths later describes hunters such as himself:

“They’re 25 to 35, they like music, food, art. They’re socially minded, whatever that might mean. They’re interested in hunting, and maybe they weren’t five years ago, but they are now. . . We’re taking it away from Ted Nugent.”

These quotes are grossly pejorative of traditional sportsmen and suggest there are camps of polarized hunters with little or no commonality between them. Similarly, the article never suggests that hunters apart from Griffiths and his peers may also have an interest in art, food, music, and healthy eating; nor does it mention the long tradition of hunters opposed to barbaric blood sport; nor mention that trophy hunters also eat the meat of their kills.


Similarly, this fall The New Yorker published a profile about Modern Farmer, a quarterly magazine launched two years ago that focuses on the benefits of locally raised produce and livestock. Despite the magazine’s title, writer Alec Wilkinson speculates most of its readers don’t make their livings growing crops—they’re city dwellers with a renewed interest in agriculture’s antiquated methods, whether for environmental or culinary concerns.

Editor Ann Marie Gardner corroborates Wilkinson’s suspicion and explains this new fascination with farming stems from wanting more self-sustaining, natural ways to eat less possible in urban environments. These neo-farmers remain fixed to the city, likely because of their professions, but choose to live off the land for luxury, armed with the knowledge that doing so benefits the environment and their health.

The fact that Modern Farmer can attract a readership that has only a loose connection with its subject matter suggests there’s an audience beyond the typical hook-and-bullet outdoor crowd interested in land and wildlife management. While Modern Farmer exclusively covers agrarian issues, hunting seems like the next logical step in the farm-to-table and locavore movements it promotes. Some devotees to these beliefs, such as Jesse Griffiths, have already arrived at this conclusion, and it would come as no surprise to see more of these rural revivalists trek to the field, gun in hand.

The profile also notes that since Modern Farmer’s inception in 2013, the magazine has become a talking point in elite media circles, garnering high praise (and a National Magazine Award), which further indicates an increased fascination with the ethos it espouses. Now the question is how will this renewed vigor for locally produced food affect hunting in America?

Experienced sportsmen may be rolling their eyes at all of this, imagining a bunch of yuppies tramping through the woods and scaring off all the deer. And they’re probably right—these new hunters will inevitably foul opportunities at game, as would any nascent sportsman. But despite however self-important or naive these hipsters may seem, their presence should be embraced nonetheless, for the sake of the sport and wildlife, both of which they seem bent to encourage. These eager, engaged sportsmen may provide the jolt of enthusiasm needed to combat the misguided and poorly informed anti-hunting rhetoric that too often proliferates through the creative class. Now we’ll just have to wait and see how deep their convictions run if shooting game doesn’t stay in vogue. +++




JR Sullivan is an editor at Sporting Classics. His work has appeared in Eidé, Fourteen Hills, Home & Hill, Nashville Scene, Short Story America, and The Sequoya Review, among others.



From the 2015 March/April issueof Sporting Classics, on newsstands March 4.



Cover image: Jody Horton

By JR Sullivan
 

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ActionBob

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Experienced sportsmen may be rolling their eyes at all of this, imagining a bunch of yuppies tramping through the woods and scaring off all the deer. And they’re probably right

The professional farmers are rolling their eyes as well.... This is all good and well for those affluent enough to afford it. However there is no way the projected peak World population of something like 9.2 Billion persons can be adequately fed in an environmentally stable way from the type of farming this is talking about, nor from hunting.

This whole debate is as screwed up as the Elephant debacle! Those who think they are doing good for the environment and "sustainability" are actually promoting things that will ravage the wild places we have left... Well intentioned but oh so mis-informed.

There are really two basic possibilities to feed that many people;
You can burn down the remaining forests, plow up any remaining prairies, graze cattle in places like Yellowstone, and farm organically or under low intensity methods. This is somewhat happening now to Africa's marginal land better left to wildlife.
Or you can let technology advance and grow the required food, fiber, alcohol, fuel, and even pharmaceuticals more intensely on the prime ground already in agricultural production... It can be done.

There is however room for people to have their food produced however they want, at a price! If you can pay for it, you can have it... It is much more economical to produce food on large modern efficient farms... So don't try to force the masses to pay to have their food produced that way. And force the ensuing carnage to the remaining wild places........ Unless your the first one to offer to get off the planet to make room for someone else.

On a lighter note this type of hunting certainly could add value to the game. Especially the younger ones that are better eating. "Experienced Sportsmen" may or may not like this.

Of course this whole debate is much more complicated than this... The statistical data I see says that should be the peak of the Earths human population and predicts that education and economics will improve to the point that families get smaller in those places where today they have more kids than they can support... Not to get into a philosophical debate on this, but facts are that educated populations statistically have smaller families, on average. Africa may be approaching this point, albeit slowly. If your privy to the information, it is fascinating stuff.
 

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The professional farmers are rolling their eyes as well.... This is all good and well for those affluent enough to afford it. However there is no way the projected peak World population of something like 9.2 Billion persons can be adequately fed in an environmentally stable way from the type of farming this is talking about, nor from hunting.

This whole debate is as screwed up as the Elephant debacle! Those who think they are doing good for the environment and "sustainability" are actually promoting things that will ravage the wild places we have left... Well intentioned but oh so mis-informed.

There are really two basic possibilities to feed that many people;
You can burn down the remaining forests, plow up any remaining prairies, graze cattle in places like Yellowstone, and farm organically or under low intensity methods. This is somewhat happening now to Africa's marginal land better left to wildlife.
Or you can let technology advance and grow the required food, fiber, alcohol, fuel, and even pharmaceuticals more intensely on the prime ground already in agricultural production... It can be done.

There is however room for people to have their food produced however they want, at a price! If you can pay for it, you can have it... It is much more economical to produce food on large modern efficient farms... So don't try to force the masses to pay to have their food produced that way. And force the ensuing carnage to the remaining wild places........ Unless your the first one to offer to get off the planet to make room for someone else.

On a lighter note this type of hunting certainly could add value to the game. Especially the younger ones that are better eating. "Experienced Sportsmen" may or may not like this.

Of course this whole debate is much more complicated than this... The statistical data I see says that should be the peak of the Earths human population and predicts that education and economics will improve to the point that families get smaller in those places where today they have more kids than they can support... Not to get into a philosophical debate on this, but facts are that educated populations statistically have smaller families, on average. Africa may be approaching this point, albeit slowly. If your privy to the information, it is fascinating stuff.

Maybe ........ though as one watches literally dozens of offspring vomit forth from the typical third world hovel - choose your continent - I have to suspect mother nature has a more dramatic remedy in the works. We are one untreatable viral contagion away from a 25-30% correction.
 

sierraone

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The professional farmers are rolling their eyes as well.... This is all good and well for those affluent enough to afford it. However there is no way the projected peak World population of something like 9.2 Billion persons can be adequately fed in an environmentally stable way from the type of farming this is talking about, nor from hunting.

This whole debate is as screwed up as the Elephant debacle! Those who think they are doing good for the environment and "sustainability" are actually promoting things that will ravage the wild places we have left... Well intentioned but oh so mis-informed.

There are really two basic possibilities to feed that many people;
You can burn down the remaining forests, plow up any remaining prairies, graze cattle in places like Yellowstone, and farm organically or under low intensity methods. This is somewhat happening now to Africa's marginal land better left to wildlife.
Or you can let technology advance and grow the required food, fiber, alcohol, fuel, and even pharmaceuticals more intensely on the prime ground already in agricultural production... It can be done.

There is however room for people to have their food produced however they want, at a price! If you can pay for it, you can have it... It is much more economical to produce food on large modern efficient farms... So don't try to force the masses to pay to have their food produced that way. And force the ensuing carnage to the remaining wild places........ Unless your the first one to offer to get off the planet to make room for someone else.

On a lighter note this type of hunting certainly could add value to the game. Especially the younger ones that are better eating. "Experienced Sportsmen" may or may not like this.

Of course this whole debate is much more complicated than this... The statistical data I see says that should be the peak of the Earths human population and predicts that education and economics will improve to the point that families get smaller in those places where today they have more kids than they can support... Not to get into a philosophical debate on this, but facts are that educated populations statistically have smaller families, on average. Africa may be approaching this point, albeit slowly. If your privy to the information, it is fascinating stuff.

Bob, Maybe I misunderstand the article. I don't think the writer nor the hipster have any intentions of feeding the world. That is a separate issue. I agree 100 percent though that there are too many people in the world, and it has been that way for some time. I interpret this article as a big plus for hunters, because we are attacked on so many fronts on a daily basis. And if we can attract a different group of people, especially young people, the past time that we love so much is in that much better shape. You are absolutely correct in that the world cannot be fed by organic farming. It's just that the idea of having more hunters on our side of the political debate I believe is a big plus for hunting and hunters, not feeding the world.
 

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It's just that the idea of having more hunters on our side of the political debate I believe is a big plus for hunting and hunters
Agreed 100% Dave, it was the "Modern Farmer" thing that got me going... sorry. I get up a pretty good head of steam on some of these things too quickly sometimes.
 

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Maybe ........ though as one watches literally dozens of offspring vomit forth from the typical third world hovel - choose your continent - I have to suspect mother nature has a more dramatic remedy in the works. We are one untreatable viral contagion away from a 25-30% correction.

I keep thinking about this as I watch the TV programs trying to raise funds to save wildlife, while the next commercial is saving starving children.
:A Bang Head::A Bang Head::A Bang Head::A Bang Head::A Bang Head::A Bang Head::A Bang Head::A Bang Head::A Bang Head:
 

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Maybe ........ though as one watches literally dozens of offspring vomit forth from the typical third world hovel - choose your continent - I have to suspect mother nature has a more dramatic remedy in the works. We are one untreatable viral contagion away from a 25-30% correction.

Don't know if it will happen in my life time, but agree with you, it will happen.
 

sierraone

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I keep thinking about this as I watch the TV programs trying to raise funds to save wildlife, while the next commercial is saving starving children.
:A Bang Head::A Bang Head::A Bang Head::A Bang Head::A Bang Head::A Bang Head::A Bang Head::A Bang Head::A Bang Head:

Same here. One minute it's save the abandoned dogs, the next, it's save the sick children, but it's always gimme gimme.
 
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sierraone

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Agreed 100% Dave, it was the "Modern Farmer" thing that got me going... sorry. I get up a pretty good head of steam on some of these things too quickly sometimes.

In my opinion, feeding the world is beyond our capacity unless science comes up with a cheap pill that people can take that will supply all of the protein, carbs, nutrients, vitamins, etc, etc. I will stick with beef, salmon and tuna as long as I can! And venison in the crock pot!
 

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Same here. One minute it's save the abandoned dogs, the next, it's save the sick children, but it's always gimme gimme.
Yea and without a common sense plan. All about being "hip" and PC.

After watching that Elephant and the Pauper video yesterday... And having experienced a campfire unit elephant hunt personally.... Aye yi yi!

Well intentioned idiots will destroy the World!

I sure as hell did more to feed a bunch of hungry kids (I saw non that looked starving or even unhealthy) when I shot that elephant in a CAMPFIRE unit than any donation would do that goes 90% + towards fund raising and administration.

Very simple, shoot elephant, feed elephant to kids! Direct and positive response right now! Not to mention the $10,000 or so of trophy fee going to the community.
 

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Yea and without a common sense plan. All about being "hip" and PC.

After watching that Elephant and the Pauper video yesterday... And having experienced a campfire unit elephant hunt personally.... Aye yi yi!

Well intentioned idiots will destroy the World!

I sure as hell did more to feed a bunch of hungry kids (I saw non that looked starving or even unhealthy) when I shot that elephant in a CAMPFIRE unit than any donation would do that goes 90% + towards fund raising and administration.

Very simple, shoot elephant, feed elephant to kids! Direct and positive response right now! Not to mention the $10,000 or so of trophy fee going to the community.

Very few will put their money where their mouths are like hunters do
 

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Very few will put their money where their mouths are like hunters do
That community had a decent school and a medical clinic, as well as several wells providing clean safe water that is tested monthly... All with the money from hunting!

If you watch those feed the children dis-infomercials, you would think they are drilling wells all over Africa.. .Hunters are paying for and getting that done!!

The amazing thing is that in a country as corrupt and devastated by greed and crooked, terrible politics as Zimbabwe, hunting is getting money and resources to the people who need it the most... And it is a symbiotic relationship between Outfitters, PH's, Trophy Hunters, and local communities.

Until bureaucrats screw it up... And as if Zimbabwe does not have enough trouble, now the bureaucrats from the USA have to get in from their Washington DC desks and add to the mess!
 

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I love the "hipster hunter" movement. Not only is it more hunters, but it is the kind of people joining the sport who can help make hunting PC. Any way to show the positives of hunting to the masses is good for all of us. Also, this movement has been around for a long while amongst chefs. I doubt you guys watch as many cooking and travel shows as I do, but I have seen Gordon Ramsay, Marco Pierre White, and Anthony Bourdain all hunt and cook on television. It is shows like these that will help convince people to at least view hunting with an open mind while before, their only exposure to hunting was in a negative light.
 

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I love the "hipster hunter" movement. Not only is it more hunters, but it is the kind of people joining the sport who can help make hunting PC. Any way to show the positives of hunting to the masses is good for all of us. Also, this movement has been around for a long while amongst chefs. I doubt you guys watch as many cooking and travel shows as I do, but I have seen Gordon Ramsay, Marco Pierre White, and Anthony Bourdain all hunt and cook on television. It is shows like these that will help convince people to at least view hunting with an open mind while before, their only exposure to hunting was in a negative light.
I agree wholeheartedly, I have always enjoyed cooking and have been hunting for 39 years. They both go hand in hand, as whats better then cooking and eating fresh food that you harvested yourself. I do enjoy when one of the chef's get it done on television and after, they eat a festive meal for all to see.
 

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The professional farmers are rolling their eyes as well.... This is all good and well for those affluent enough to afford it. However there is no way the projected peak World population of something like 9.2 Billion persons can be adequately fed in an environmentally stable way from the type of farming this is talking about, nor from hunting.

This whole debate is as screwed up as the Elephant debacle! Those who think they are doing good for the environment and "sustainability" are actually promoting things that will ravage the wild places we have left... Well intentioned but oh so mis-informed.

There are really two basic possibilities to feed that many people;
You can burn down the remaining forests, plow up any remaining prairies, graze cattle in places like Yellowstone, and farm organically or under low intensity methods. This is somewhat happening now to Africa's marginal land better left to wildlife.
Or you can let technology advance and grow the required food, fiber, alcohol, fuel, and even pharmaceuticals more intensely on the prime ground already in agricultural production... It can be done.

There is however room for people to have their food produced however they want, at a price! If you can pay for it, you can have it... It is much more economical to produce food on large modern efficient farms... So don't try to force the masses to pay to have their food produced that way. And force the ensuing carnage to the remaining wild places........ Unless your the first one to offer to get off the planet to make room for someone else.

On a lighter note this type of hunting certainly could add value to the game. Especially the younger ones that are better eating. "Experienced Sportsmen" may or may not like this.

Of course this whole debate is much more complicated than this... The statistical data I see says that should be the peak of the Earths human population and predicts that education and economics will improve to the point that families get smaller in those places where today they have more kids than they can support... Not to get into a philosophical debate on this, but facts are that educated populations statistically have smaller families, on average. Africa may be approaching this point, albeit slowly. If your privy to the information, it is fascinating stuff.

ActionBob,
The problems that you have outlined are definitely a huge problem in most third world countries but the US, Canada and most other countries do not have a food shortage problem, they actually produce a large food surplus. You do not see many starving people in Canada, I don't actually personally know anyone who is starving for example but there are plenty of people who throw away large amounts of food and growing obesity rates are an international epidemic in the West. How many obese or people who throw away a lot of food do you know for example? Obesity is caused by gluttony and over indulgence:1) over eating, 2) eating unhealthy: high carb, high fat, and highly caloric food and 3) lack of exercise. I think that a majority of Westerners could afford organic and healthy food if they where actually willing to invest some money and time to prep it and clean up their diets.
 

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I love the "hipster hunter" movement. Not only is it more hunters, but it is the kind of people joining the sport who can help make hunting PC. Any way to show the positives of hunting to the masses is good for all of us. Also, this movement has been around for a long while amongst chefs. I doubt you guys watch as many cooking and travel shows as I do, but I have seen Gordon Ramsay, Marco Pierre White, and Anthony Bourdain all hunt and cook on television. It is shows like these that will help convince people to at least view hunting with an open mind while before, their only exposure to hunting was in a negative light.

Yup like getting more women into shooting and hunting. The gun grabbers and eco crackpots are having kiniptions
 

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