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Will Meat Shortages Get More Americans into Hunting?

With concerns developing in the wake of COVID-19 around some meat processing facilities closing, you may have noticed less and less meat on the shelves of your local grocery stores. Many who work at these factories have tested positive for coronavirus, forcing many plants to cease their operations.

But, Americans can’t go without a protein source in their diet — and most aren’t willing to transition into a vegetarian or vegan diet. And they don’t have to, because they may be able to get their meat the old fashioned way — as many of our readers already do.

Could the meat shortage encourage more interest in hunting? Let’s take a look at where we are right now. 

Pork is one of the meats being affected in large numbers. There are three main plants that have closed for the foreseeable future, which is a scary thought. Smithfield Foods in South Dakota, Tyson Fresh Foods in Iowa, and JBS in Minnesota provide many of the country’s meat products. With restaurants being closed, more people are cooking at home — so shortages at the grocery store is sadly becoming normal.

Many states have noticed that with everything going on with the coronavirus pandemic, more people are applying for hunting licenses in their areas. Colorado Parks and Wildlife data showed an increase in licenses applicants by almost 15,000 over this time in 2019.

If you can’t get your meat protein at the store, it might be time to go out and hunt your own. 

For experienced hunters, this won’t be a problem. They have the skills and experience necessary to bag some tasty game. For those who haven’t been hunting before, hopefully they have some mentors in their life to help them get started. It’s definitely important to get some shooting range time in with any new hunting rifles or shotguns you purchase before you head out into the field. Otherwise, you’re just going to waste ammunition.

Of course, not everyone has people like this in their lives. Fortunately, there are other ways to learn this timeless skill.

The NRA offers a first time hunter’s safety course that would be excellent to take. It’s a free course, and covers the basics in hunting education with videos, audio clips, and action shots that will put you in the right frame of mind. You can also look up courses in your state which will allow you to be certified in hunting safety.

Of course, after you hunt that large deer, elk, or other animal, you have to learn how to field dress it to get the animal ready for butchering. Luckily, there are many video tutorials on YouTube which will go over the proper steps to preserve the animal before you can pack it into your freezer. Field dressing is definitely a handy and necessary skill to learn. 

There may also be butchers in your area that will help you with wild game processing if you are unable to do it yourself. 

Then you’ll be ready to go out for that big spring hunt to get some high quality meat to freeze and store right in your own home — no grocery store needed.


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