Detroit News Staff Writer Charlie LeDuff, left, watches Beasley butcher a raccoon.
Image credit:Detroit News, To urban hunter, next meal is scampering by.
Detroit News has a wonderfully written article about an elderly gentleman who lives the life of a nocturnal hunter-gatherer on the derelict periphery of Detroit Michigan. The recent downsizing of Detroit from a population of 2 million to around 900,00 has opened up plenty of habitat for wildlife. With few other predatory species to compete with, a hungry man with a good hunting dog and a .22 rifle can have some good eating, and make a little cash. It's locally produced meat, certainly.
The only concern I would have about a diet heavily maintained with urban game would be how much of it is raccoon. Raccoon are likely to eat from streams and storm-water basins amidst the old factories and drum storage yards. Rabbits and squirrels being totally vegetarian and relatively short-lived: they are less of a concern.
I love this quote showing the urban hunter's disdain for industrial animal raising.
"Coon or rabbit. God put them there to eat. When men get hold of animals he blows them up and then he blows up. Fill 'em so full of chemicals and steroids it ruins the people. It makes them sick. Like the pigs on the farm. They's 3 months old and weighing 400 pounds. They's all blowed up. And the chil'ren who eat it, they's all blowed up. Don't make no sense."Not the sort of thing you first imagine when thinking of a 'transition town,' - mostly what gets written about the transition town diet turns on planting hazelnut bushes and turnips - but it really does fit.
Relative to the headline of this post - raccoon being nocturnal animals, successful raccoon hunters become partially nocturnal during hunting season.
Much of a raccoon's diet consists of frogs, worms, clams, and other aquatic creatures. Their prey is directly exposed to storm water runoff coursing from old industrial sites, rooftops, and roads. Hence the concern about bio-accumulating toxics.
.22 long-rifle cartridges, a suitable round for such small game, cost under 10 cents each.
The man from Detroit is not poaching; per the linked article, he is properly licensed and follows regulations. (Note: illegal market hunting is unsustainable. TreeHugger does not infer that poaching is ever acceptable, Peak Oil or no Peak Oil.)
We have posted on a related trend in the UK. See Eat The Enemy: Invasive Squirrel Introduced As 'Ethical Food' and
Eating Aliens: Are Invasive Species Ethical Food?
More posts on and exurban and urban change, and lifestyle changes that result.
Transition Town Plants Up Nut Trees for Food Security
Kunstler on Peak Suburbia; Harpers Magazine on Detroit
Urban Design After the Age of Oil: Notes from Day 1
GM Puts the Brakes on $370 Million Chevy Volt Engine Factory ...
Time to Move to Detroit?
Demolition by Neglect: Use It or Lose It
Is America's Suburban Dream Collapsing?
The Move to Detroit for the $100 House