In modern culture, hunting has been dominated by a stereotype of burly men in camouflage who view the pastime mostly as a sport. [Speak for yourself, Jacki Lyden. My friends and I were writing hunting-related poetry and essays in our twenties.]— this NPR piece is interesting. Interviewed is Lily Raff McCaulau, author of Call of the Mild: Learning How to Hunt Your Own DInner. (Her book seems to have had two different subtitles.)
McCaulau takes a state-sponsored Becoming an Outdoors Women workshop in Oregon, including a pheasant hunt, of which she says,
And there was one other woman who hadn't shot a bird. So the two of us went up kind of close to where the dog was holding the bird, and when the bird flushed, it flew up in the air. We both took a shot and killed the bird. And I was really shocked by my reaction because I was expecting to just be wracked with guilt and really confused about what had just happened. And instead, I was euphoric. I couldn't believe that I had it in me and that I'd done it. I felt empowered and proud and amazed and relieved.Others on the program talk about women in their 20s and 30s who take up hunting. Read the transcript.
Meanwhile, Slate says that "hunting is undeniably in vogue among the bearded, bicycle-riding, locavore set."
The expansion of hunting into liberal, urban circles is the latest development in an evolving and increasingly snug coexistence between humans and beasts in North America. Jim Sterba’s new book, Nature Wars, examines the paradox of the rebound of many wild species, particularly in the densely populated East Coast of the United States. Whitetail deer, turkeys, Canada geese, black bears, and trees are all doing wonderfully in 2012, thanks to conservation measures in the past and vagaries of history and cultural change. The problem, Sterba says, is that most modern North Americans have no idea what to do with these species. We gawk and gape; we feed them doughnuts; we run into them with our cars; we are surprised and alarmed by their messy habits and occasional aggressiveness; we manage them all wrong; we want them gone from our neighborhoods, but we abhor the idea of killing them.(Let's see . . . Beard? Check. Bicyle-riding (well, sometimes)? Check. Locavore? Check. I had no idea that I was so much in tune with the zeitgeist — or maybe the zeitgeist is now in tune with me?)
So hunting is not a red state thing. It is a red meat thing," concludes writer Emma Marris. "And, more than that, it is a necessary thing."