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By Seamus McAfee via wideopenspaces.com

Hipsters are known for their love of thick-framed glasses, skinny jeans, and obscure rock bands. But more and more of them are gravitating towards an activity they can’t claim they did before anyone else: hunting. They may seem like the least likely group, but some believe the trend-setting, often left-leaning urbanites known as “hipsters” will drive a resurgence in hunting popularity. The attraction of young people to the sport, hipsters included, may even be the reason behind the recent nine percent increase in hunters . . .

Sure, the stereotypical view of the truck-driving, country-music blasting traditional hunter and the bike-pedaling, Instagram-snapping hipster may seem at odds, but a closer look may find they actually have many of the same reasons for pursuing the sport.

For starters, both groups are focused on eating better food. They often reject the industrial food complex and prefer natural food that’s harvested humanely. Hunters will tell you the sport offers a number of ethical and environmental benefits, the same values championed by hipsters. Both would agree that eating an animal raised in a wild local habitat and killed humanely is usually preferable to a cow raised in a cramped factory.

It’s easy to imagine the two groups already overlapping, such as a hunter shooting a deer and selling its meat at a local farmer’s market to some “locavore” hipsters. But hipsters are moving to the front of the supply chain, finally realizing what hunters have been saying for eons: the best way to know where your food comes from is to go harvest it yourself.

Besides their own diets, both hunters and hipsters are aware of the big picture, focusing on environmentalism and preserving a balanced ecosystem. The funds from licenses, ammunition, and firearm sales are among the most significant contributions to conservation, and hunters are the largest advocates of land and wildlife protection, making more of a difference than countless protests and political campaigns from proclaimed environmentalists.

To go hunting is in many ways to go green, considering meat from the industrial food complex is a leading cause of deforestation and global warming. And in areas without natural predators, hunting helps manage the number of animals. Previous hipsters may have been repulsed at the idea of killing an animal, but a growing crowd is realizing the harsh reality that that in a world of growing population and urban sprawl, hunting is often the best option to allow the wildlife population to thrive overall.

Nutritional-Infographic-1 (1)

As hipsters gravitate toward hunting, there’s bound to be benefits to the way the sport is perceived. As the sport becomes more politically diverse, left-leaning groups will better understand the reasons why hunters pursue their sport, and sportsmen will have less need to defend it from legislators and activists at every turn.

There’s also a positive side effect that as more hunters come into the fold, the sport will be better preserved as a tradition. The traditional hunter may shudder at the idea of a few extra hipsters in his dove field or crowding around his deer stand. But for hunting to survive, it will need different people need to participate and pay licensing fees. What better group to fill the ranks than those who understand the reasons for it and can argue for its preservation to future generations?

Ultimately these two worlds could collide in inspiring ways, causing a greater understanding of the sport, a more balanced ecosystem, and a guarantee that hunting will be around for years to come. In time, the two groups could be indistinguishable, brothers and sisters united under the same flag of responsible hunting.

So consider taking some hipsters as hunting buddies. If they learn to love their time outdoors as much as they do the city’s music, food, and theaters, they’ll likely pay you back by doing what hipsters do best – finding somewhere that no one else has heard of.

90 Responses to Will Hipsters Be the Next Generation of Hunters?

  1. I would love to think this is a big trend, but there’s a major barrier to hipsters-as-hunters: most of them live in large urban centers. Hunting is not only out of sight in these places, it’s a major undertaking; one does not simply walk out onto the 30 acres behind the house and bag a turkey. Still, I won’t be too negative. In my small city surrounded by mountains, hipster hunting is a distinct possibility. Do they make fedoras in multicam?

    • Maybe I’m sheltered, but the last person I even saw a PICTURE of who was wearing a short-brim fedora had a smug “bite me, assholes” look on his face and his name was Kory Watkins.

    • “hipster hunting is a distinct possibility.”

      Before reading this article, I would have agreed with this statement wholeheartedly! But since we’re being “Pro-Hipster” in this thread I won’t take THAT interpretation of the phrase.

      • It wouldn’t be fun anyway. There’s no way they could run very fast in high-water skinny jeans. Also, I doubt they’d let you set up a hunting blind that close to a Starbucks.

        • “.275 Rigby? Everyone uses that round. I shoot only artisan-loaded 6.22 Neckbeard cartridges with 98 grain platinum jacketed bullets. Oh you haven’t heard of it? I’m not surprised.”

        • I heard EVERY word of that in my head including the snarky, self important hipster voice…lol.

    • Hipsters already snowboard, camp, ski, surf, rock climb, kayak etc. these things are also he’s to do in urban areas. We ( yea I’m an aging hipster who shoots and recently rediscovered hunting) just go on trips out of the city. Plus as we age and have kids many of us move to suburbs. The really good thing is that since we can’t hunt in downtown( well I’ve been considering a plan involving arrow tag, my Great Dane and some fake antlers in te backyard) we have to go the local range to practice shooting and to site in our rifles( if we use guns not archery). This could get more hipsters into shooting !!

      • I think this is the more important point, actually. The real angle here won’t so much be “free range meat”, but rather sports. If you look at the modern yuppie scene, it keeps veering closer into extreme territory – your stereotypical metrosexual guy is likely doing something like rock climbing or mountain biking, and they’re actually pretty good at it, too. Hunting is not out of line in that spectrum, if not for the anti-gun indoctrination. But as we’ve seen elsewhere, when you take an urbanite to the range and give them a gun, they get all giggly excited after the first mag, so it’s actually a solvable problem.

    • “In my small city surrounded by mountains, hipster hunting is a distinct possibility”

      What’s a good round to drop ’em with?

      *snicker*

  2. Well this is interesting considering the Twin Cities is very anti gun and very pro-hipster but the rest of MN while not very hipster is very pro gun. I’m not sure how well these ideals truly mesh as being in the northern part of the US (that’s right we don’t claim it as midwest) hunting opportunities are plenty just outside but the very crowd you claim would embrace seems to lead the anti gun charge.

    • being in the northern part of the US (that’s right we don’t claim it as midwest)

      Which is interesting, because Minnesota can actually claim to be in the Western US (even if only barely) whereas places like Ohio…can’t.

      The term “midwest” is quite a misnomer if you think about it.

      • Consider, though, the way in which those labels originally came about.

        In the early days of this country, everyone lived in what would come to be known as the Eastern United States. Eventually, explorers kept pushing West until they could no longer (due to running into the Pacific Ocean).

        So, think about the land that would come to be Ohio, Minnesota, Indiana, Illinois, etc. It was not as far West as they could travel, but it was still farther West than anyone in their society lived at the time.

        • As in when Northwestern University was founded-to serve what was then the Northwest Territories of the US.

        • @Russ in AK…All true, but the term is still odd today

          Of course you’re about as far northwest as it’s possible to get… more western than the Canadian “Northwest Territories which are starting to look distinctly NorthCentral.

  3. In my experience hipsters love to play dress up and not much else. Males like to dress as stereotypical masculine figures like every day is Halloween. One day is lumberjack day, the next is trucker day, then there’s outdoorsman day. I’ve invited a few hipsters to a group shooting event and individual range time, all for free to them, and none have taken me up on the offer. They’ll typically say they would like to go shooting but can never seem to find the time. Actually, whenever I suggest doing anything that would match their clothing they can’t seem to find the time.

    • I concur. I live in LA, there are a large amount of douchey hipsters and there are a lot of neat people doing real things but hunting isn’t one them.

      And since everyone knows the world revolves around LA, I am skeptical of this article.

      Or maybe LA doesn’t count for hipster cred. To obvious maybe. I was combing out my beard and mustache looking for a copy of harry smiths Anthology of American Folk Music on vinyl and I could only find a copy for sale in Portland…

      • To be fair LA isn’t exactly hunter friendly in the first place. Any hunting outing will take a significant bit of effort and driving to accomplish. I’m in LA looking to hunt for the first time this year and will be driving to Arizona for doves. If i was back where I grew up I could hunt deer in the back yard.

    • Actually, whenever I suggest doing anything that would match their clothing they can’t seem to find the time.

      Thanks for supplying my daily laugh requirement.

  4. Overall, the more people under our tent, the better off we are. However, I have seen some of these kids’ elitist tripe on these interwebs. Basically, they are so much better than cousin-humping rednecks because they hunt for sustainability. I see a distinct trend towards some of these hipsters becoming Fudds 2.0; elitist city boy with hipster beards that look down on “regular” hunters, and are totally cool with their man Barack’s rules on guns because they really don’t think those rednecks should have guns. I am hoping that it is a small minority, but there have been enough of them to worry me.

  5. My son is a 19 year old hipster college student who plays a Fender Stratacaster in a church prase band. He is luke warm towards hunting. I think he would be much mor excited about it if we would have had more oppourinities to hunt when he was growing up. The reason hunting is dieing out is not from the lack of intereste but from the lack of opportunity. Hunting in now a rich mans sport. It is outragous expensive! I even tell people I don’t hunt any more, I cant afford it. Unless hunting can be made more afforadable to more people it will die out!! I am a shootest however and all my recent gun buys are tactical weapons.

    • I am a shootest however and all my recent gun buys are tactical weapons.

      What a shame that you’re forced to leave a 2A protected form of gun ownership for one that isn’t.

      (/sarc. Not on the “what a shame” part, because that really is a bad thing, but the rest of what I wrote.)

    • “The reason hunting is dieing out is not from the lack of intereste but from the lack of opportunity.

      The lack of opportunity is tied more to reduction of available and accessible habitat. Everyone is happy to live in their precious little suburban utopia…”MY neighborhood is good” syndrome, but rampant development and sprawl are cancerous problems that too-often go ignored.

      “Hunting in now a rich mans sport. It is outragous expensive!”

      Not really. It does not have to be. Put down the magazines and such that tell you all the must-haves that you really don’t need.

      The single hardest (and generally most expensive) part of hunting in contemporary times is access to lands.

      • Hunting is cheap but the public lands are garbage. Im lucky to have family with land or I probably wouldn’t hunt either. There’s too many idiots with zero training on public lands. if i wanted to get shot for walking around minding my own business I’d go to new york and start swearing at cops.

        Until the DNR can put in efforts to supply more public hunting land and better training and and *gasp* restrictions to keep illiterate morons out of the public woods with a shotgun shooting at any stick that makes a sound, hunting will be either a rich mans sport or a dead mans sport.

        • The false dichotomy of Statism rears its ugly head once again.

          It is not the State’s “job” to provide hunting lands, per se. A tremendous amount of private hunting land is available; some of it is privately held and privately managed, some of it is private land that is publicly managed.

          For the latter, it is not really the State’s job to find these lands and convince landowners to make their land accessible.

        • Yea the problem here is lease prices have gone up. Most leases around here are for exotics or expensive day hunts. I am looking for a lease that I can camo or RV with family on all year close enough to Houston to drive in 2 hours. Hard to find.

        • Obviously JR_in_NC missed yesterdays lesson http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2015/03/daniel-zimmerman/10-facts-to-share-with-anti-hunters/

          Which states all of the money pumped in for conservation efforts which fund programs like the DNR. AKA we are funding them to provide wildlife and land in an effort to allow us to hunt. This isn’t a “statism” idea, it’s just a fact that we have paid for them to do conservation and not having any land or animals to hunt means they aren’t using the money provided to them to do what they need to do.

        • “Obviously JR_in_NC missed yesterdays lesson”

          I didn’t miss jack squat.

          The rest of your comment is absolute nonsense. They ARE using the money earmarked for conservation for conservation..mostly anyway. That does not mean, and here, let me quote your first comment…

          … the DNR can put in efforts to supply more public hunting land

          What I was remarking about is that it is not the responsibility of the State to provide lands for you to hunt.

          Get off your butt and find private land owners to let you hunt their land or buy your own. Or lease. Or…hunt already existing private land that is publicly managed. Or, hunt publicly owned land.

          Or, lobby the State for how you want those conservation funds spent/which lands are bought…but, they have to be bought (or managed) from some private landholder, so it ain’t quite as easy as them “supplying land to hunt.”

          Don’t expect the State to do it for you. That’s Statism whether you want to admit it or not.

      • Absolutely this. When I live in NC there was plenty of land to hunt on in the family. But I never got out.

        Now I live in Phoenix and I’m that mid twenties semi hipster (Blue collar house painter so I’m not sure if I can be a hipster) and I don’t know where to begin learning how to hunt even though I want to. All the land is in the mountains several hours north.

        • “I don’t know where to begin learning how to hunt even though I want to.”

          Some suggestions:

          (1) Go to the shooting range you ordinarily go to. Spread the word you are interested in hunting. Someone will mentor you, but be patient.

          (2) Just go. The worse that can happen is you won’t be successful.

          I like to tell folks getting started begin by just getting out in the woods. Look for sign. Look for habitat you think will hold the animals you want to hunt. Start building your instincts. It is amazing how quickly they will return to you; it’s all there, just you have to re-awaken it.

          (3) Consider off-season “hunting” with a camera.

          (4) Be very wary of getting too much info from magazines and the ‘Net. Too much is gear oriented, bad advice regarding firearms and shooting and a lot of “success is all that matters.” Hunting is, or can be, much, much deeper than just the immediate gratification ‘result.’

          (5) Before you hunt for real (alone, anyway), have a plan for what you will do after you harvest an animal. This is one area where it REALLY helps to hunt with a ‘mentor’ for a while, but you can do it by yourself if you want/need to.

      • Predator and varmint hunting is much, much easier. I head out to parts of eastern Utah, southern Idaho, western Wyoming, look for coyotes, and when I see them behind somebody’s fence, I just drive til I see a house and ask them if they would mind if I took care of that for them. Never once been told no, and I’ve been invited back many times. Also got fed dinner a couple times.

      • http://www.fws.gov/hunting/whatdo.html

        You didn’t miss anything but yet somehow you missed that it states on the Fish and Wildlife government website that “By respecting seasons and limits, purchasing all required licences, and paying federal excise taxes on hunting equipment and ammunition, individual hunters make a big contribution towards ensuring the future of many species of wildlife and habitat for the future.” AKA it’s their job to help provide land.

        Plus the original answer was hunting is a rich mans sport because public lands suck. You’re saying go find private land, well rich people can find private land not everyone likes strangers hunting on private land so that’s not always a viable option. Down south sure their seasons are open almost year round. North of your confederate line where deer season is about 10 days, ha good luck!

    • Hunting doesn’t have to be expensive. A lot of people look at the price tag of cold gear sold at Cabela’s and Bass Pro and think, “Holy hell! How is anyone supposed to afford to be warm enough to hunt when you’ve gotta spend $300 on a base layer?!” When the reality is that you can be warm for very cheap if you don’t care about the label on the gear. I’ve been using a set of long underwear I paid $20 for and Camo, including a pair of bibs, that keep me warm in the negative single digit cold with two digit winds and I paid less than $300 for everything I wear, including boots. Oh, and that is when I’m 15 feet in the air in my tree stand. It is completely possible to hunt on a budget. Plus resident whitetail tags here are only $32.50 for either sex, and doe tags are only $17.50. You can take two deer for $50 and eat great meat for most of the year on 2 decent bodied Whitetail. I’d say if that’s not cheap, I’d like to know what is.

      • “Easy” hunting is a “rich man’s” game. Plenty of state, and fed land with $0, to very cheap access. All you gotta do, is get off your duff, and put in a little work.

        • Agreed. There is some great hunting on public lands. But walking a couple of miles into an area that doesn’t see much human contact is a turn off to the people who want it all for no effort. I’ve never paid to hunt a piece of land. Around here, most landowners are happy to have the deer or coyotes thinned out on their land.

        • I made my own bone saw out of a reciprocating saw blade and a scrap block of white pine.

        • Here are a few things that can save money when you want to get into hunting on a budget.

          1) Wear the clothes you have and layer for warmth. Don’t spend money on the latest and greatest camo, because it is almost completely unnecessary. Check out some old Fred Bear pictures to see what he wore hunting, it’s almost always basic “US Woodland” pattern camo, flannel, and khakis and all that stuff is cheap as dirt at thrift stores. Anyone who would argue that Fred Bear didn’t kill an incredible number of deer with his old bows (very close range if you’re using a rifle) is either the greatest hunter alive or is full of it. This is easily where I find myself the most prone to spend money unnecessarily. Cold gear on the shelf always looks better than what I have at home, so I find myself thinking that I could be so much warmer if I just had that $100 pair of Under Armour long underwear, when if you actually get down to it, it really only makes a near zero improvement for a lot of money. Thrift shop (it’s more than just a catchy tune).

          2) If you don’t have land to hunt, knock on doors. Many farmers and landowners don’t want deer and other game animals on their land because they can cause damage to crops and livestock. If you don’t ask, you will definitely not get permission, but if you do, you may just get an excellent spot to hunt that isn’t far from your home. Also look into state maps of walk-in and public hunting areas. You may have to drive a little more, but there are some absolutely great public lands to hunt.

          3) Study the tag options in your state. Sometimes people think that there is only one option for getting a tag, when in reality there may be several. Some states allow you to buy just a doe tag for less than a buck tag is. Sometimes you don’t even need a tag to hunt some animals, like feral hogs and coyotes (although coyote meat is maybe not the most desirable, their pelts are worth something to a fur trader).

          4) Team up with a friend to share gear, get permission on hunting ground, and especially hunt together. Hunting with a partner is a blast, plus sharing gear can save both people money as sometimes you just have two of something and the other guy could use it. Not only can you have some interesting conversations, but when a kill is made, it’s nice to be able to share the burden of loading out the harvest.

          5) Guns and ammo. I guess that if you are buying new for hunting deer, I would recommend buying a package gun from Ruger or Savage and the best soft tip hunting round you can afford and shooting it as much as you can afford before hunting.

        • That’s a good point, Wiregrass. Knives and cleaning gear can almost always be something you have already. I would definitely suggest sharpening any existing knife you own that you intend to use as a gutting or cleaning knife.

        • Some really good advice given here.

          I second the ‘stay away from name brands’ on clothing. First and foremost, you want to think ‘warm’ and ‘dry.’ Even camo is down the priority list in most cases. And camo does not have to be expensive. (I’m still using a cheapo camo backpack I bought 20 years ago for about $20, for example.)

          On firearms, you may well already have a suitable firearm; you don’t necessarily need special rifles and stuff to hunt. Even if you only have handguns, consider handgun hunting to start. It’s harder – more like bow hunting, but you can save cash outlay in exchange for taking the more difficult path.

          Just whatever you hunt with … practice a LOT before you go and know your (and your gear’s) limitations.

  6. Although I grew up with guns, and I’m not really a hipster, I got interested in hunting a few years ago by eating wild game served at restaurants in Brooklyn.

  7. I get the hipster is an urban species, but are there female hipsters, or is it just a male trend? If so, how does one identify the female hipster?

    • Wearing horribly fitting stretch pants (without the body to do them justice), matted hair, unwashed for days, puffy jacket, orange sneakers, unfashionable mans hat.
      At least that’s what they all looked like wandering around Yale and waiting in line at the trendy breakfast joint.

      Sort of white-trashy, 80’s, cross-dressing. But that was three or four years ago. The hipster need to cast off anything that becomes common means they are always chasing their own tails with regards to what to wear and what to do.

      Just doing what you want and being who are is too complicated I guess.

    • Here in Richmond we have plenty of hipsters who blend in a little with the metal heads, anacro punks, crust punks, etc. The difference we can pick out the hipsters as the trendy Followers they are, mosty kids from nova who just adopt whatever Is “In”. I do take hipsters hunting though, Down to Southampton county.

  8. Maybe, but I don’t know if they can handle the sacrifice. They might actually have to pull their headphones off and listen to the woods.

  9. This may be true there, but most hipsters in say Atlanta, Albuquerque, San Diego, or NY City, won’t be doing any Hunting ever, nor will they ever be purchasing firearms or bows. This is true of many of them around the country, especially in urban areas.

    While they may have an open mind (which they don’t!), when it comes time to pulling the trigger, cleaning the animal with a knife and bonesaw, and then rucking it out of the wilderness with blood stained hands, I highly doubt hipsters in their skinny jeans are going to be interested.

    Just the thought of having to sleep in below freezing temperatures, miles from civilization, without cell phone service turns most people hipster or not away.

  10. The answer lies in the term itself, i.e. “hipster.” If hunting is hip today, it will be un-hip tomorrow, and they will all flock to the next hip thing, which won’t be called “hipster” anymore, and certainly won’t be hunting.

    I like to tell my coworkers when they ask me if I have any tattoos, “No I don’t, I’m kind of a rebel that way.”

    Don’t get sucked in by temporary wannabes. You is a hunter, or you ain’t.

  11. I’ve had experiences. You can make them Fudds easy enough, but the anti-gun is pretty deeply ingrained in them.

  12. I don’t care what their heritage or lifestyle might be. Bring them into the fold and teach them to be responsible hunters, so that this tradition will not die or be drown out by the anti-hunter/disarmament community. We owe it to our future generations to fight hard for the right to hunt and maintain our 2a rights. Especially since the public propaganda…eeer education system is failing to teach gun and hunter safety to our children.

  13. Hipsters don’t do anything that hasn’t been done before. They’re nothing new; just recycled beatniks from the 50’s. Fashion is cyclical.

  14. Oh goodie another article on hipsters and hunting. It’s been days since I read one on the net, pass the PBR!

  15. Today’s hunting hipster is tomorrow’s gungrabbing Fudd. “I’m a gun owner and I support the Second Amendment, but . . . .”

  16. Ah but you forgot the important detail, they’ll likely be the Fudds of our generation, likely to vote for politicians that look to ban “high capacity baby-killing clipazines- for the children and for craft beer”. I’m not holding my breath that they’ll ever support the 2A.

    • My thoughts exactly. As long as they have their “Ironic” and obscure hunting rifles in calibers that haven’t seen the light of day in 75 years, they don’t care about what any one else thinks.

  17. Wow. A lot of TTAG readers really give off the “You kids can’t join my redneck club!” vibe here.

    Whether you’re a hunter or simply a gun owner, it’s never a bad thing to have a new generation of supporters. When all you old dudes die off muttering about hipster kids, those of us that are left will lose our rights if there aren’t enough of us to stand up for them.

    Doesn’t matter if you’re a redneck “gun nut” as portrayed by the media or a Starbucks drinking hipster, I support anyone getting into what we do.

  18. On clothing, I’d think at least for pants a good pair of fleece-lined jeans would work great for very cold weather. Those things are very well-insulated and sooo comfortable.

    As for hipsters and hunting, I’ve thought it interesting how you have two groups of people with similar views its seems, yet oftentimes completely different politics:

    1) The environmentalist, ultra-liberal, back-to-nature, hippie types

    2) The homesteading, survivalist, hunting type who also loves the environment and nature, but tends to be much more conservative in their politics

    Hipsters getting into hunting if they come to understand that if you want to eat meat, hunting it is not somehow evil while letting other people kill it is, I think is good. If they are just getting into it because it is “hip” then that’s a bad thing. But that happens with hipsters and shooting period. If they are getting into guns because it’s “cool” and all that, in the end that can be a bad thing.

    What we want are hipsters who understand the Second Amendment and the right to keep and bear arms and even if they still disagree with it, understand that gun rights people are not evil or the crazies the haters love to portray us as.

  19. Wait, this cant be correct.

    I thought the Chicago based Center for Statistical FlimFlamery funded by Joyce Foundation claimed a 15% reduction in hunters since 1985, based on their extensive survey of 1300 respondents on guns and blah blah blah. You know, the one that all the anti-gunners were citing to prove gun ownership is going down, etc.

    On the other hand, maybe Nick was right…

  20. Its because some of them are actually intellectually honest. They know that it is counter-intuitive to be against hunting if you like organic, range crown meat instead of factory garbage that harms everybody involved. Not everybody are vegetarians.

    A surprising number of them are also pro-2A. I chalk it up as the further “libertarianization” of america.

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