Are hunters becoming endangered species?

This Sunday, Oct.1, small game hunters can commence their quests to spend enjoyable autumn days afield while also benefiting from the satisfaction of occasionally harvesting their own food, or at least some of the meat portion of their family's diet. Whether it's wild turkey, ruffed grouse, cottontail rabbit or squirrel, the query harvested via hunting is as honest and straightforward an endeavor as is growing your own vegetables.

A few generations ago, the general acceptance toward harvesting one's own food was widespread. But as recent generations have been forced to leave rural areas and scrambled to the larger urban areas to find better paying jobs, their ties with the earth and what it can provide us are evaporating. More and more, we have become hunters of the dollar while being totally dependant on third-party strangers to provide us with our food. Whether it's meat, vegetables or fruits, we normally have no true knowledge of where it actually came from or what it endured before we bought it. That's not the case when we harvest our own food.

Unless you're a farmer or rancher who raises livestock or poultry, those of us in rural areas are pretty much dependant on someone else for our food. But by spending some time hunting, we can occasionally enjoy the experience and satisfaction, however brief, of self-dependency. Certainly precious few of us can claim being totally self-sufficient when it comes to our food, but just having the ability and desire to supplement store-bought food with some we've harvested ourselves is a good feeling in this age of abundant fast food businesses and super markets.

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