From Yahoo News:

Americans turn to hunting for food, renewal during pandemic

No shit.

David Elliot first thought of shooting an elk to help feed family and friends back in January when the United States reported its first novel coronavirus case.

Elliot, emergency manager at Holy Cross Hospital in Taos, New Mexico, had always wanted to go big game hunting and, with the pandemic spreading, there seemed no better time to try to fill his freezer with free-range, super-lean meat.

So for the first time in his life, despite not owning a rifle or ever having hunted large animals, he put his name in for New Mexico’s annual elk permit draw.

This is fantastic.  We have a new gun owner.  Not because of self-defense in the strictest sense, but because he’s hungry and he’s going to get burger meat straight from nature.

With some U.S. meat processors halting operations as workers fall ill, stoking fears of shortages, and people having more time on their hands and possibly less money due to shutdowns and layoffs, he is among a growing number of Americans turning to hunting for food, according to state data and hunting groups.

For years the population of hunters has been dwindling, even as guns have become more plentiful.  It’s simply been a demographic change.  More Americans are moving into the suburbs where hunting is less popular.

With people seeing how fragile the supply chain for meat is, going out and getting your own in a crisis has some appeal.

Game and fish agencies from Minnesota to New Mexico have reported an increase in either hunting license sales, permit applications, or both this spring.

Indiana saw a 28% jump in turkey license sales during the first week of the season as hunters likely had more time to get out into the woods, said Marty Benson, a spokesman for the state’s department of natural resources.

“People are starting to consider self-reliance and where their food comes from,” said Forester of the hunter research and training group. “I think we’re all born hunters.”

Self-reliance.  That might be one of the best outcomes of this crisis.  While some whine and winge about the government not doing enough, others are learning self-reliance.  Anything from doing your kid’s hair cuts to learning, to bake your own bread, to doing more home repairs instead of calling a repairman, to getting your own meat out of the woods.  There may be a silver lining in all of this and that is some Americans are re-introduced to the concept of self-reliance.

I hate to see harm come to the agricultural and meatpacking industry.  I have friends in South Dakota whose livelihood is ranching.

Still, if this setback creates more gun owners and more hunters, I’ll gladly accept that silver lining.



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