Editor’s Note: This is a column written by Switzerland County’s David Hewitt. The articles center on all things ‘outdoors’, from hunting and fishing to woodsmanship.
There’s a new movement afoot in hunting circles.
One that I never thought I’d hear of:
The rise of hunting hipsters!
What’s a hipster you might ask? I’m sure you’ve seen them, they’re usually the 20- and 30-somethings that have a penchant for skinny jeans, scraggly facial hair, tattoos, ear gauges, knit hats in the middle of summer and heavy rimmed glasses. You can identify them by their affinity for alternative and “Indie” music and their sometimes smug, “I’m smarter than you” attitude. They’re into just about anything hip, cool or different, but hunting?
Who would have thought…
Now the above description might be a little tongue and cheek, but you get my point. Folks that identify themselves as “hipsters” are probably the last group that I would have thought would embrace hunting. After all, a lot and I mean a lot of hipster types identify with PETA, vegans and similar save the animals, global warming groups. But I’m glad to bring these “new” hunters into the mix.
For hunting to survive for future generations, new hunters have to be recruited into the pastime. They can’t all come from hunting families where kids are raised up with a hunting heritage. There has been a huge push by just about every fish and game organization to introduce hunting to youth and to ladies, but maybe they ought to be targeting “hipsters” and other non-hunting young adults.
Today’s socially conscience adults in that 20- to 30-ish age group are well versed on current issues and have a deep desire to make a change in the world. Many of them want to get back to a more simple lifestyle and hunting fits right into that mix.
With all the talk today about chemically-enhanced foods; steroid injected meats; GMO’s; food preservatives; etc, the taking and eating of wild game just makes sense to this aware group of new hunters. These young folks are driving the organic food movement: pesticide-free plants, free range chickens, grass fed beef – so why not add pure, natural venison, rabbit or squirrels to their table?
This social group is quickly realizing that their meat doesn’t just magically appear at Kroger or IGA.
But for the “hipsters” to get involved and stay involved in hunting, it will take the old timers – of which I’m quickly becoming – to welcome them into the group.
Remember, these guys aren’t your typical young hunters that came from an outdoors background. You’ll never see me wearing skinny jeans or stretchy pants, no one needs or wants to see that and I probably won’t be buying a pair of Vans shoes or riding a long board or piercing my nose, but if I can share my passion for hunting with someone who is into the hipster scene, well, I’m all for it and can get past the gauged ears and sleeve tats.
For far too long, we as hunters have had the reputation of being somewhat backwards, slow, and redneck in the bad sense of the word. At times, we’ve been our own worst enemy in how the non-hunting world sees us in today’s society. Maybe an influx of new blood into the hunting society will do us all some good.
So, for all my hunting pals out there Along the Trail, if you have a chance to help out someone from this new group of hunters, take the time to pass on some of your knowledge, get to know them, take them out into the woods if you can.
Who knows, you might just make a new friend, help preserve our hunting tradition, and learn a thing or two from them…
– David Hewitt