I am new to hunting, and have been checking out various publications to gather all the information I can. I am primarily hunting as a way to feed the family, but have found little out there geared towards meat hunters. Are there any associations, authors or articles on this topic you could point me to?
At times it does seem like the outdoor media is focused solely on the “trophy” aspect of hunting. However the vast majority of the information and recommendations we provide apply to any objectives, and I encourage you to not overlook this. The tips for locating and harvesting game—whether birds, small game or big game—nearly always apply to any hunter. In fact, for many species there is no easy way to differentiate between sexes or ages in the field. With antlered big game it is different of course, but in most cases the species are somewhat gregarious, meaning you’ll find males and females of all ages together. The one obvious exception is moose, and at Outdoor Canada we have covered the specifics of cow moose hunting in the publication on more than one occasion. (For example, my “No bull” column in the Hunting 2010 issue.)
If you’re looking for more information on handling and caring for your meat, or for cooking it, again I would suggest that there is much in the mainstream hunting media that covers these aspects of the hunt, and there is always lots of online content available covering just about any question or concern you may have.
In fact, Lee, I think you’ll find that the vast majority of hunters are “meat” hunters as you describe yourself. I know my family depends heavily upon the game I bring home to feed us throughout the year. And while I do generally try to find a “trophy” whitetail buck every year, I quickly become persona non grata at home if I don’t put a meat deer or two in the freezer every fall. If you’re not currently a member of your local Federation of Anglers and Hunters, Wildlife Federation or Fish and Game Association (the names vary from province to province), I would really encourage you to join. You’ll find that the vast majority of members are very much like you, and have securing some meat as their primary focus when heading afield.