Hunting is part of the cultural heritage of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians. But what relevance to does it hold today?
A lot. We live in a world where access to safe, healthy, and affordable food is a growing concern. Here in our province, we were not blessed with especially fertile, rock-free fields, or a gentle agricultural climate.
Food security and the environmental degradation of the industrial food system are both local and global issues, but the wild hunt is a solution tailored to our environment.
Getting our moose (or whatever we hunt) is an age old solution for filling the freezer in Newfoundland. But it has been a traditionally male activity. This is changing quickly.
Women are getting interested in procuring their own wild meat, be it because they want to know where their food comes from, or simply because they enjoy the time outdoors, the challenges of the hunt, and the bonds it creates.
Taking the first steps in a male dominated world can be daunting, however.
Lori McCarthy, founder of Cod Sounds, has made a career of her devotion to wild food and Newfoundland foodways.
“The rich history of hunting, fishing, trapping, and gathering is something that I am dedicated to passing on to the next generation, and to those who have a passion for this land and the sea,” she says.
First Event of Its Kind Happening Today
Through Cod Sounds and the incredible generosity of volunteers at The Rod and Gun Club, Lori will be holding the first Girls With Guns firearms safety and field day on November 10th to introduce women to the safe handling of firearms. The aim is to get them comfortable enough to hunt.
Women’ s field days like this are happening more all over North America. They provide a supportive and non-intimidating environment, where women can ask whatever questions they need to, and be empowered by other women on the same journey.
The number of female hunters is growing substantially every year. Marketers are noticing, offering better gear for women. Beyond worldly concerns of food, many women report a deepening spiritual connection with nature through the hunt. They also report higher self esteem from a feeling of self sufficiency.
Revitalizing culture and tradition, McCarthy and other women hunters are changing the stereotype of “hunter” from a person who is most likely male to a modern image where anyone who is concerned about quality food, or loves the outdoors can participate.