Identifying the source of your food has become a trending phenomenon. However, will it lead to an increase in the number of active hunters? It has become common for many hunters to indulge in wild game cooking. It is inspiring many to take part in hunting activities with renewed vigor.
Is the farm-to-table movement the future of hunting? This article delves into the various aspects of wild game cooking, hunting, and associated activities.
Only the Newbies Will Stick With It?
Field-to-table receives a common criticism that new hunters will not continue for long once they understand how difficult hunting is. However, there is substantial data that suggests otherwise.
Experts from the National Deer Association and other prominent wildlife Federations piloted a field-to-fork recruitment drive in 2016. In 2021, they had 45 events across 17 states of the US. A thorough survey and coordination between the various agencies made it all possible.
They can verify that more than 80% of participants from inception continue with it. Is that not a success?
The director of the National Deer Association suggests the importance of confidence in shaping a hunter. Confidence is the vital driving force that can help new hunters to prosper in their expeditions.
A new hunter will have to source or purchase tactical gear to begin the hunting journey. They also need to get their hunting license. Doing all these activities by themselves helps to grow their confidence. Independence is a critical aspect that shapes a hunter’s approach.
Programs and Courses
Various ongoing hunting programs and courses have a design that rewards the super avid hunters. There is a trial phase which each one has to go through with a scheduled hunt. However, the follow-up hunts are on a first-come first-to-get basis.
Experts in the field say that there is 100% attendance in most of these courses. Also, there is greater involvement of the community in hunting. Parents often get their kids to the hunting sessions. However, a vital aspect to note here is that different people have different approaches and varying confidence levels.
The underlying philosophy is to learn more to become a confident hunter.
Is Cooking the Motivator?
Celebrated author Hank Shaw, whose award-winning blog is popular among such audiences, has a take on the subject. He has more than two decades of experience watching new hunters from various backgrounds and regions.
He suggests that wild game cooking is not the biggest motivator for many. However, at the same time, it is one of the many factors driving people to hunt even though it may not change the hunting trajectory drastically.
A point to note here is that people who contact him or are presently active hunters, love hunting beyond just field-to-table. Food is a drug pulling them towards the sport. With time the hunters also have a matured understanding of woodsmanship.
The experience gathered as a hunter helps them discover the animals and other forest conditions. Moreover, a sense of companionship develops between the hunter and the environment to a certain extent, which helps them grow a desire to protect the habitat.
Hunting is Beyond Just Food
There are many advocates for the field-to-table movement. However, if you get in touch with avid hunter cooks, you will hear the other part of the story. They all admit it is not just the food.
There are a few courses run by some of the industry leaders across various parts of the world. Most of them highlight the importance of the direct harvest. There are comprehensive learning methodologies teaching hunting techniques and field-to-table concepts.
The universal appeal for most participants in such courses is the food of course. However, as they experience hunting, being in the midst of nature, and feeling the thrill of the entire experience, it all changes.
Meal Always Snatches the Headline
Picking up groceries, buying meat, and cooking it is easy. But hunting is not an easy task. Hence, you will not hear many adventure stories about cooking that grandparents tell their grandkids, even at the dinner table.
Food takes center stage in any event as it helps build a bond with the people you share it with and creates a sense of protection. It is what field-to-table hunting does at its best. Beyond the catchy Instagram tags and pictures, an avid hunter would love to boast his first kill and enjoy it over a meal.
In the end, it is all about the experience that the hunter gets during their adventure. The adrenaline rush, the smell of the forest, nature’s beauty, and the hunt – could it be any better?
With that, I rest my case. Happy hunting!