With meat shortages during the coronavirus pandemic, some Americans consider hunting for the first time. International Business Times reported that at least three major meat producers were forced to partially shut down. Smithfield Foods, Tyson Foods, and JBS USA stopped operations of more than a dozen processing plants nationwide due to the outbreaks.
New Mexico resident David Elliot “first considered hunting elk back in January,” Fox News reported. He wanted “to help feed friends and family when the U.S. reported its initial coronavirus case,” the reported added. Elliot received a permit to shoot a female elk and plans to attend a hunt later this year.
“I want to make sure it’s a clean, humane shot, as much as possible, and get a bunch of food,” Elliot said.
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Hunting License Sales Go Up
David Elliot, emergency manager at Holy Cross Hospital in Taos, New Mexico, had always wanted to go big-game hunting and, with the coronavirus pandemic spreading, there seemed no better time to try to fill his freezer with free-range, super-lean meat https://t.co/wUsA3TKlXP
— Reuters (@Reuters) May 4, 2020
This spring, game and fish agencies in various states have reported an increase in hunting licenses and permit applications. In Indiana, the season’s first week saw a 28% increase in turkey hunting licenses, as per the New York Post.
“People are starting to consider self-reliance and where their food comes from,” said Hank Forester of the Quality Deer Management Association. “We’re all born hunters.”
42-year-old Nina Stafford killed her first deer in January. New York Post reported that she saw “hunting as a viable alternative” in case stores experience “shortages over the closures.”
“The coronavirus has only made me want to go and do it more so that I don’t have that scared feeling of where’s my next meal going to come from,” said Stafford.
Fox News clarified that hunting license applications have increased in some states. It also mentioned that despite this, both California and Florida have seen a decline in those numbers.