This just in: hunting is hot again. After years of decline, the number of Americans taking to the woods to kill critters jumped by over one million between 2006 and 2011, to a total of 13.7 million, according to a new report from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The number of folks fishing surged too, from 30 million to 33.1 million.
How to explain this? Maybe recession-battered families are trying to save money by killing their own dinners – but if so, it doesn't seem like a very good investment, considering that the survey found the average hunter spent $2,465 on gear, travel and permits last year. Maybe it's because more urban lefty hipsters are taking to hunting as the latest type of locavore, planet-friendly eating, as Slate writer Emma Marris insists based on a few well-turned anecdotal examples. Whatever the reason, though the trend is bad news for woodland creatures, it's probably good for the environment. Hunters tend to be big supporters of nature conservation programs. Sorry, Bambi, but we all have to make sacrifices.