Tag Archives: United States

5 Early American Longhunters

George Caleb Bingham's Daniel Boone Escorting Settlers through the Cumberland Gap (1851–52) [Image: en.wikipedia.org]

George Caleb Bingham’s Daniel Boone Escorting Settlers through the Cumberland Gap (1851–52). [Image: en.wikipedia.org]

Though less iconic than later mountain men, the American Longhunters were the first wave of semi-nomadic hunters and trappers operating west of the Appalachian Mountains. Working in groups of two or three, longhunters would journey into the frontier wilderness in search of game for as long as six months. They were a ragged and disparate bunch of Revolutionaries, mercenaries, professional hunters, unwitting geographers, criminals, and businessmen. Included were the folk heroes Daniel and Squire Boone as well as the infamous Harpe brothers, generally considered to be America’s first serial killers.

Typical lean-to shelter: [Image: en.wikipedia.org]

Typical lean-to shelter. [Image: en.wikipedia.org]

Henry Scaggs

Born in Maryland in 1724, Henry Scaggs was a hunter and explorer whose unmatched familiarity with the Trans-Allegheny wilderness landed him a gig as a land agent for Richard Henderson and Daniel Boone. In the 1760s, Scaggs was the first nonwhite to explore the rivers of middle Tennessee and Central Kentucky. After permanently settling in Kentucky, Scaggs led the 1799 search for the “Bloody Harpes,” two brothers estimated to have murdered around 40 people. After joining up with fellow Kentuckian Colonel Daniel Trabue, they came across the body of Trabue’s own son. Scaggs and Trabue were ultimately unsuccessful in their attempt to capture the Harpes.

Image: www.heritage-history.com

[Image: www.heritage-history.com]

Simon Kenton

Kenton was a noted and distinguished soldier from Virginia who served in the Revolutionary War, the Northwest Indian War, and the War of 1812. In 1778, Kenton survived several episodes of ritual torture (including running the gauntlet) by Shawnee who were so impressed by his endurance that they adopted him. Following his torture, Kenton helped capture Fort Sackville from the British during the Revolution. He again distinguished himself in the War of 1812 as a leader at the Battle of the Thames where Tecumseh was killed. Things were quiet for Kenton after that, though. He settled in Ohio and had six children with his second wife (he had four with his first), Elizabeth Jarboe.

"Kentucky" or American longrifle [Image: www.markelliottva.com]

“Kentucky” or American longrifle. [Image: www.markelliottva.com]

James Smith

James Smith was a legendary soldier and frontiersman who led the Pennsylvania “Black Boys” on a nine-month rebellion against British colonial rule ten years prior to the Revolution. Remarkably, he learned to read and write despite not having any formal education and would even go on to write a cultural analysis of Native American life in 1799. His book, An Account of the Remarkable Occurrences in the Life and Travels of Col. James Smith, contained a unique perspective; around 1755, he was adopted by a Mohawk family, learned the language, and adopted their lifestyle. Following the outbreak of the American Revolution, Smith joined the Pennsylvania militia and rose to the rank of colonel. Later in life, he became a Presbyterian minister and wrote pamphlets denouncing Shakerism.

Image: www.murderbygaslight.com

[Image: www.murderbygaslight.com]

The Harpe Brothers

Some might object to the inclusion of Micajah “Big” Harpe and Wiley “Little” Harpe as Longhunters on account of their singular bloodlust. However, violence and killing were in no way unique to the Harpes; it was, in fact, instrumental to the opening of the frontier. Nevertheless, the violence of the Harpes went far beyond frontier standards. Not much is known about their early life except that they were Loyalists and fought with the British and their Indian allies, especially the Chickamauga Cherokee. Following the war, they lived as outlaws with the Creek and Cherokee and routinely butchered and mutilated settlers, travelers, and other Native Americans. In 1799, a posse finally caught up with Big Harpe and decapitated him at a location still known as Harpe’s Head. Little Harpe was apprehended in 1804 while pirating and was formally executed. By the end of their run, the “Bloody Harpes” had brutally murdered some 40 men, women, and children.

Kentucky's finest [Image: www.murderbygaslight.com]

Kentucky’s finest. [Image: www.murderbygaslight.com]

Daniel Boone

Daniel Boone is the folkloric American statesman, hunter, Indian fighter, and frontiersman best known for his exploits in what is known today as Kentucky. During the late 1760s and early 1770s, Boone hunted and explored the area of modern-day Kentucky (including the Cumberland Gap) where he gained the reputation as a consummate outdoorsman. After founding the colony of Boonesborough in Kentucky, Boone became a militia officer and fought mainly in his adopted Kentucky against British-backed Native American forces. Contrary to the myth of Daniel Boone as a dedicated Indian fighter, Boone was known to dislike killing and violence. He lived out the remainder of his life living and hunting in Missouri, often with the same Shawnee who had fought against him so many years earlier.

5 Military Surplus Rifles for the Budget Hunter

I’ve never understood why more people don’t hunt with military surplus rifles. They’re inexpensive, rugged, easy to maintain, and ammunition is now readily available through the Internet. Understandably, a heavy rifle with iron sights leaves a lot to be desired if you’re hunting out West, but on the East Coast where the average shot is probably 75 yards or less, why not give the surplus rifle a go? Why not learn to shoot the old-fashioned way? Glass can fog up, lose its zero in the field, or put the hurt on your wallet, but iron (provided you know how to use it) will never fail you. And unlike lightweight yet overpowered modern hunting rifles, older service rifles are a pleasure to shoot because the extra weight absorbs more of the felt recoil, giving the shooter more of a push than a thump when fired. So for the more adventurous and budget-minded hunter, I recommend the following options.

Russian M44 Mosin Nagant

Image: en.wikipedia.org

[Image: en.wikipedia.org]

The M44, produced in the later stages of WWII, is the carbine version of the famous Model 1891, a Russian bolt action rifle that has been documented in armed conflict as recently as 2014 in the Ukraine. Next to the AK-47, the Model 1891 and its variants are among the most mass-produced firearms in history. With over 37,000,000 manufactured in the Soviet Union alone, it’s not hard to see why you can usually pick one up at a gun show for a little over $100. The round it uses, 7.62x54mmR, is a rimmed cartridge with a ballistic profile similar to the 30-06, which means it’s perfectly suited to taking big game in North America. While surplus rifles are a good thing, surplus ammo often is not. Spend a little extra and pick up some quality hunting ammo.

Swiss Schmidt-Rubin K-31

Image: classicfirearms.com

[Image: classicfirearms.com]

The Karabiner Model 1931 (K-31) is a straight-pull bolt action in 7.5x55mm Swiss (almost identical to a .308) that was the standard issue Swiss infantry rifle from 1933 until 1958. The straight-pull action is unique in that a round is chambered when the bolt handle is pulled directly back, rather than being turned or rotated. Among the era’s bolt actions, only the British Lee-Enfield had a faster rate of fire than the K31. Where the K31 outshines most WWII service rifles is accuracy, and the Swiss dedication to individual marksmanship is reflected in the K-31’s excellent machining, craftsmanship, and finish. In today’s market, you can get a pretty good K-31 for $400.

Yugoslavian or “Yugo” Mauser

Image: http://home.comcast.net/

[Image: http://home.comcast.net/]

This can refer to either the M24, the first Mauser-based rifled to be manufactured in Yugoslavia, or to the Zastava M48, a post-World War II Yugoslavian copy of the Karabiner 98K. The reason I’d recommend an off-brand Mauser over say a 1942 German K98 is that the former will run you about $300 while the latter, depending on its overall quality and manufacturer’s stamps, can fetch upwards of $1,000 at auction. While not exactly German-made, you’re still getting the robust and legendary Mauser-designed bolt action chambered in the powerful 8mm Mauser. You can’t go wrong with either.

Italian Carcano Model 1891/38

Image: www.icollector.com

[Image: www.icollector.com]

The Carcano achieved widespread notoriety when, according to the Warren Commission, a scoped 91/38 Carbine was used by Lee Harvey Oswald to assassinate  John F. Kennedy. Most surplus Carcanos will be chambered in 6.5x52mm Carcano, a round not unlike the American cult classic .257 Roberts. On today’s market, Carcano’s fetch anything from $150 to $400 depending on the chambering and level of wear. Overall the Carcano is a fine and handy bolt action chambered for a round perfectly suited to hunting white-tailed deer.

British Lee-Enfield No. 4 Mk 1

Image: en.wikipedia.org

[Image: en.wikipedia.org]

The No. 4 Mk 1 was a late 1930s variant of the British SMLE (Short Magazine Lee-Enfield) officially adopted by England for service in 1941. Chambered in the powerful and versatile .303 British, the action was known for its accuracy, durability, and high rate of fire. After the Mosin-Nagant, the Lee-Enfield rifle platform is the second oldest still in official service, and the .303 remains a popular hunting cartridge throughout the world, especially in Canada. Like the Mauser, the Lee-Enfield saw a post-war resurgence as a hunting platform and modern “sporterized” versions without the original furniture can be had online for as little as $250.

6 Great Books for Hunters and Anglers

Summertime means vastly different things to hunters and anglers. For the angler, it means casting flies till dark or taking the boat out with the family. For the hunter, however, it’s a slow and contemplative season where one is either stuck in the past or looking a little too eagerly towards fall. It also happens to be a great time to pick up a book. Here at ParksByNature, not only do we love nature, we also love good prose. Whether it’s hunting, angling, or general nature writing that interests you, these six essential books for hunters and anglers will dazzle readers with their style, wit, and insight into the mysterious realm of nature.

1.  A Sportsman’s Sketches by Ivan Turgenev

Image: en.wikipedia.org

[Image: en.wikipedia.org]

A classic of 19th century Russian literature not always on the radar of outdoor readers, this collection of pastoral vignettes and stories contains everything from wing shooting scenes to tales of the supernatural. The book made Turgenev famous and even played a small role in abolishing Russian serfdom. In addition to the marvelous hunting and fishing scenes, the stories as a whole form a moving testament to an agrarian society on the verge of collapse and revolution.

2. The Hidden Life of Deer by Elizabeth Marshall Thomas

Image: amazon.com

[Image: amazon.com]

Whenever we recommend this book to serious deer hunter friends of ours, the usual response is, “You mean that tree hugger?” If a tree hugger is somebody that spends more time in the woods than shopping at outdoor stores, then count us in. Instead of telling you how deer should behave, this book records how deer actually behave. In The Hidden Life of Deer, Thomas weaves personal memoir, anthropological perspective, and a certain observational grace into a beautiful and revealing portrait of deer in the woods of New Hampshire. We’re not ashamed to say that a lot of what we know about deer hunting and behavior comes from this unique book.

3. The Founding Fish by John McPhee

Image: www.dec.ny.gov

[Image: www.dec.ny.gov]

John McPhee is master stylist who has chronicled everything from basketball to the history of the Florida orange. He also happens to be a lifelong shad fisherman. The Founding Fish is a cultural history of American shad fishing that seamlessly blends meticulous scholarship with the ease and locality of travel writing. The book follows McPhee as he travels up and down the Eastern seaboard fishing for the mercurial shad and meditating on the fish’s importance to America’s dietary past. For instance, did you know that George Washington’s Continental Army might have starved if it wasn’t for the spring shad run of 1778?

4. A Man Made of Elk by David Petersen

Image: www.3riversarchery.com

[Image: www.3riversarchery.com]

This is an unusual and obscure entry into the annals of hunting literature. One of the reasons for its slow reception is that Petersen is a dedicated traditionalist who only hunts one animal—elk—and does so with a longbow, a form of technology unchanged since the 1300s. Since longbow hunting requires getting up close and personal with the animal, Petersen has learned to act and think like an elk. This is probably the closest thing we have to a book on elk hunting written by an elk.

5. A Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold

Conservationist icon Aldo Leopold [Image: fpdcc.com]

Conservationist icon Aldo Leopold [Image: fpdcc.com]

Leopold was a rare combination of philosopher, naturalist, conservationist, and hunter. A Sand County Almanac (1949) is a collection of personal essays about the wilderness of Wisconsin in which Leopold developed the modern philosophy of land conservation or “land ethic.” The book describes that era of conservation history when it was believed that the eradication of certain predatory species would increase the overall abundance of game. Leopold, as a hunter, was one of the first to see that an ecosystem was a far more complex matter.

6. The Longest Silence by Thomas McGuane

Image: www.barharborbookshop.com

[Image: www.barharborbookshop.com]

You don’t have to be a trout fisherman to appreciate the tension and tug of McGuane’s prose. The Longest Silence is composed of 33 essays written over an equal number of years that take you everywhere from trout ponds in Michigan to fly fishing for bone fish in Florida. But the real subject of McGuane’s book is that mysterious and infinite silence between bites that every fisherman knows all too well.

Summertime in Hell

Contributed by Alex Vail of The Flying Kayak

Hell’s Bay in the Everglades backcountry of southern Florida is one of the best, and most diverse fisheries in the southeast. With summer right around the corner, the temperature isn’t the only thing that’s beginning to heat up. The fishing is, too. Before you go racing off into the backcountry, keep in mind a few helpful tips that will make your trip safer, more enjoyable, and hopefully more successful.

Boats 

Though I’m a big fan of kayaking and paddle craft, I have to advocate the use of power boats in Hell’s Bay and the surrounding areas. There’s simply too much water to cover. With the closest kayak launch being over 12 miles away at Flamingo, you’d end up spending your whole day paddling. Instead, shallow drafting flats boats, or the ever popular Gheenoes are perfect for this area. You can cover a lot of water much faster and they’re overall safer than a kayak. Why, you may ask?

Sunset over Hell's Bay, Florida [Image Credit: Alex Vail]

Image Credit: Alex Vail

Summertime storms. South Florida’s rainy season is already underway and when these big thunderstorms boil up in the afternoons, you have to be prepared to dodge them. That’s something that is very difficult to do while paddling a kayak, especially when you’re 10 miles from safety.

Safety

Hell’s Bay and the entire surrounding area is a massive mangrove swamp. Twists and turns, bayous, creeks, and small bays are what make up this place. And it all looks the same. Exactly the same. You absolutely need some form of navigational tool. I will not go out on the boat with at least a nautical map of the area, a compass, and a GPS. Preferably, more than one GPS with spare batteries. Getting turned around out there is a real possibility.

Glimpse of Hell's Bay in Florida on a sunny day [Image Credit: Alex Vail]

Image Credit: Alex Vail

In addition to that, sun protection is your next top priority. There’s no shade anywhere, so long pants, long sleeve shirts, and wide hats are a must. During the summer it’s oppressively hot. So sun gloves and sun buffs make that necessity list, too. And with it getting hot, the bugs begin to become a very big issue. Early morning and late evening is obviously the worst time, but simply being out of the wind or in the mangroves can be a one-way ticket to losing gallons of blood from mosquitos. Definitely bring plenty of bug spray.

Fishing

So why suffer through all of this? Well for the fishing of course!

Angler holds a snook at Hell's Bay, Florida [Image Credit: Alex Vail]

Image Credit: Alex Vail

Snook, tarpon, and redfish all call Hell’s Bay and the backcountry home over the summer. Flipping weedless jerk baits or DOA shrimp alongside the mangroves can be a sure ticket to some of these fish. Just be sure to bring plenty of extra tackle as losing fish in the mangroves is a harsh reality of this place. Also take special note of the tides. These fish need tidal movement to begin feeding and the more movement, the better the bite. Look for drop-offs and creek outflows to land some of the bigger fish. Like most fish, early morning and late evenings are the best time. Just be sure to give yourself enough daylight to navigate back to Flamingo where the only boat ramp is.

So, if you find your way down in sunny south Florida this summer, don’t hesitate to give the backcountry a try. It’s a fantastic fishery that shouldn’t be overlooked at any time of the year, especially not summer. Just be sure to plan ahead, bring plenty of tackle, and maybe just an extra can of bug spray.

After the Hunt: Wild Turkey Recipes for Spring

Don’t wait until fall to devour that gobbler! These three wild turkey recipes are perfect for dining al fresco this spring. Looks like it’s time to fire up the grill.

Wild Turkey Mole

Courtesy of Jonathan Miles at Field & Stream

Wild turkey mole [Image Credit: Johnny Miller]

Image Credit: Johnny Miller

Mole originated in southern Mexico, and traditionally includes dozens of ingredients cooked over the course of many days. This recipe, adapted from Chicago chef Rick Bayless, is less demanding but still has so much of that traditional flavor. When grilling the turkey, remember not to overcook! This recipe serves 4. Leftover mole can be frozen.

Ingredients

  • 1 wild turkey breast, whole or split
  • 2 dried ancho chiles, seeded and stemmed
  • 2 tablespoon lard or vegetable oil, divided
  • ½ onion, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 4 plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise
  • ½ cup dry-roasted unsalted peanuts
  • ½ cup roasted unsalted almonds
  • 2 slices white bread, torn into chunks
  • 1 chipotle chile with sauce from a can of chile con adobo
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 quart chicken stock, plus slightly more if needed
  • ¾ cup red wine
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 tablespoon cilantro, chopped
  • Salt & pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. Heat a skillet over medium heat. Tear the dried ancho chiles into pieces that will lie flat in the pan. Toast the pieces on both sides until they begin to crackle, but flip or remove them once they start to smoke. Transfer the toasted chiles to a bowl filled with hot water and soak for 30 minutes.
  2. While the chiles are soaking, heat 1 tablespoon of lard or oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is deep golden brown (about 8 minutes). Remove pot from heat.
  3. Arrange the tomato halves cut side up on a sheet pan. Place the tomatoes under a broiler set to high. Roast the tomatoes until blackened and bubbling, about 5 minutes, then flip tomatoes and roast the other side for the same effect. Allow the tomatoes to cool, then peel off as much skin as you can. (Some charred bits left behind on the tomatoes are fine and will add character to your mole.)
  4. Scrape the tomatoes and any juices into a blender, then add the cooled onion and garlic to the blender. Drain the ancho chiles, discard the water, and then add chiles to the blender. Add nuts, bread, chipotle, cinnamon and about 2 cups of chicken stock to the blender, and blend until very smooth. (Note: Stop and scrape down the sides of the blender to make sure all ingredients are blended. Add more stock as needed to yield a smooth, pourable puree.) Press the puree through a sieve into a bowl.
  5. Over a medium-high burner, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon lard or oil in the same pot or Dutch oven (rinsed and wiped clean). When the oil begins to smoke, add the puree and stir constantly for 5 – 7 minutes, or until the mixture has considerably darkened and thickened. Add the remaining chicken stock, wine, vinegar, and bay leaves, and reduce heat to low. Simmer this mixture, partially covered, for about an hour, stirring occasionally and adding more stock or water as needed to maintain a saucy consistency. Add salt and pepper along with a tablespoon of sugar, to taste. Keep the sauce covered while you cook the turkey.
  6. Allow the turkey to sit out covered, at room temperature for about 30 minutes before cooking. Light a medium fire on one side of a charcoal grill, leaving the other side open. (If you are using a gas grill, set the burners to medium on one side.) Rub the turkey breasts with olive oil, and generously salt and pepper them. Place the turkey on the grill, directly over the heat, and cook each side for about 5 minutes to brown it. Move the breast to the side without coals and cover the grill. The turkey is done cooking when a meat thermometer placed in the its thickest park reads 150°F. (The size of the breast and temperature of the grill will determine cooking time.) Wrap the cooked turkey breast in foil and let it rest for about 10 minutes. Gently reheat the mole as needed.
  7. To serve, slice the meat across the grain. Ladle the mole onto plates and nestle the turkey into the sauce. Garnish with chopped cilantro.

Grilled Wild Turkey Rolls

Courtesy of Something Sweet Something Salty

Grilled Wild Turkey Rolls [Image: somethingsweetsomethingsalty.wordpress.com]

Image: somethingsweetsomethingsalty.wordpress.com

These mouthwatering wild turkey rolls are so easy to make. They would make a great addition to any BBQ. Even the leftovers are delicious!

Ingredients

  • 1 lb thick-cut peppered bacon
  • 1 can pickled, sliced jalapenos
  • 1 1½ lbs wild turkey breast

Marinade:

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ½ tablespoon white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ teaspoon ground pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (or 1 teaspoon garlic powder)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, stir together ingredients for marinade.
  2. Cut meat into 1½-inch cubes. Add meat to marinade in bowl. Let meat marinade for a minimum of two hours.
  3. Cut each piece of bacon in half. Into the center of a bacon slice, place one slice of jalapeno over one cube of turkey. Tightly roll bacon over turkey and hold in place with a toothpick.
  4. After cleaning the grill, heat to medium heat (around 300°F – 350°F). Place rolls on sides and cook slowly, turning every few minutes. Since bacon grease will be dripping down, keep a spray bottle handy to chase away flare-ups. When the bacon is fully cooked, the meat should also be fully cooked.
  5. Remove cooked turkey rolls from grill and let stand for five minutes before serving.

Grilled Turkey with Greek Lemon Sauce

Courtesy of Martha Daniels at Missouri Department of Conservation

This delicious wild turkey recipe reminds us of the Greek street food, souvlaki. Just make sure to make enough – everyone at the BBQ is going to want thirds.

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 lbs wild turkey, skin removed, cut into ¼-inch thick slices
  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons fresh orange juice
  • ½ teaspoon minced garlic
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest

Directions

  1. In a medium-size bowl, stir together olive oil, 3 tablespoons lemon juice, 2 tablespoons oregano, ½ teaspoon salt and pepper. Add the turkey slices to this marinade. Cover and place in refrigerator to marinade for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  2. To make the lemon sauce, mix together the remaining ingredients in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate.
  3. When finished marinading, place the turkey on wooden skewers to help hold in moisture. Grill over medium heat until done, about 10 minutes or more.
  4. Serve skewered turkey with lemon sauce.
image: www.ancient-origins.net

Should Millennials Hunt? A Response to Michael J. Parker

By Jack Kredell

Michael J. Parker’s Huffington Post article “Millennials Must Hunt” recounts the story of his life-changing first hunt and calls on Generation Y to take up hunting as a way to resist the environmentally damaging industrial food apparatus. According to Parker, the queasy refusal to personally source our food has lead us “to outsource the ‘sausage-making’ to third party leviathans, whose increasing power have left us disconnected from the wild.” Parker’s solution is for the eater to reabsorb the “emotional, environmental, and psychological burdens” through hunting. “The further we put ourselves from the source of that act,” writes Parker, “the worse the impact for everyone and everything in the chain.” The solution is for Millennials to return to a pre-industrial or ‘direct’ mode of food production through hunting, thus ending our dependence on industrial food practices.

As a city-dwelling Millennial who began hunting in college for many of the same reasons as Parker, I completely agree that we need to radically rethink our food practices. I also think that hunting might be part of the solution. However, going on a thousand dollar guided mule deer hunt in the Yellowstone wilderness because it offers “the most honest possible version” is not a viable solution to the food crisis: it’s a form of privilege. Millions of Americans already supplement their diets with fresh wild game every year, and the vast majority don’t require expensive guided hunts in the wilderness to do it. The arrogance of a first-time hunter to say what honest or real hunting should look like.

Parker’s version of nature and hunting is also deeply elitist. This is hunting as safari, a cottage industry where people spend large amounts of money flying to exotic locations for the experience of hunting wild animals in their ‘natural’ habitat. Not only does it privilege one ‘natural’ environment, Yellowstone, over others-it simply isn’t sustainable. Are we all going to fly to Montana and ride horses into the wilderness for our food? Why not don loincloths and spears to make it even more authentic?

The deeper problem with Parker’s model is that it operates under the romantic notion that the social and environmental crisis is rooted in the individual’s existential relationship to the world. Hence this truly warped and counterfactual statement about our reliance on industrial farming: “It is our fear of facing the gruesome consequences of our own choices that leads use to outsource “the sausage-making” to third par party leviathans, whose increasing power have left us disconnected from the wild.” Industrial farming is widespread because of the demand for food that, unlike a Yellowstone mule deer, people can afford. That it does so at the expense of quality and the environment is a direct result of the socio-economic inequalities brought about by capitalism. It has nothing to do with us not choosing to have an existential and authentic relationship with our food. Even paleolithic societies had a division of labor.

The problem is not the distance between people and their food, but between people and other people-the chronic income inequality that sustains and even makes necessary cheap industrial food. The irony is that the kind of hunting Parker encourages is not the least bit sustainable, and nor is it the kind of hunting that millions of Americans already take part in. If anything, Parker’s story reads like an attempt to reinsert masculinity into the food chain as a response to the intergenerational power struggle between hard conservative Baby Boomers and soft liberal Millennials.

When it comes to solving the food crisis, we need to abandon individual concepts like authenticity and start thinking in terms of collectivity. A solution that doesn’t benefit everybody is part of the problem. Parker’s call on Millennials to hunt is little more than an exercise in privilege that snobbishly ignores the millions of American hunters who already practice a more sustainable version than Parker’s. Everybody should have the right to eat good food, not just young entrepreneurs who go on thousand dollar deer hunts when the equivalent can be accomplished few miles from home for the cost of a 20 dollar hunting license.

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