Here’s an interesting story from Canada on McGilldaily.com about a novel new hunter-recruitment campaign aimed at college-age hipsters.
_”Hunting as an activity has seen its day,” said Georges Dupras. “It’s good news it isn’t growing.” Dupras is the Montreal-based director of the Animal Alliance of Canada, a non-profit organization based in Toronto that focuses on achieving long-term animal and environmental protection. We have already been talking for several minutes, and he doesn’t sound too concerned about a recent PR campaign launched by Quebec hunting groups to attract students to the sport that used to occupy one of the highest pedestals in the province’s sports pantheon. “They’re trying to recruit hunters because their numbers are falling,” said Dupras.
Genevieve Clavet, public relations officer for the Federation quebecoise des chasseurs et pecheurs (FEDECP) based in Saint-Augustin-de-Desmaures, near Quebec City, painted a much more optimistic picture of the sport’s status in the province. “Hunting is doing really good. [Quebec] is the only province with an increase in the number of people taking [hunting] classes,” said Clavet. With the average age of Quebec hunters hovering around fifty years, however, Clavet does acknowledge that hunting in the province will face a decline in coming years.
__”With the baby boomers growing older, there’s going to be a decline,” said Clavet. “We’re planning ahead.” In what Clavet describes as a “long-term project,” FEDECP has launched a new advertising campaign targeted at 25 to 54 year-olds, with ads littered across Montreal attempting to rekindle an interest in hunting among the urbanite youth. The campaign – described by the Globe and Mail as portraying the “hunter as hipster” – has featured billboards around college and university campuses in Montreal, including a billboard in the Shatner basement men’s bathroom._
_FEDECP’s campaign, which is running until February, is organized by Zoom Media – described on its website as “Canada’s leading targeted lifestyle media.” According to their website, Zoom Media “offers advertisers innovative out-of-home media solutions and reaches distinct target audiences in specific environments.” Thus far it has provided services for organizations such as New Balance, Pfizer Canada, and the Dairy Farmers of Ontario, targeting niche groups as vaguely defined as “Generation X” and “Tween & Teens.”
Now at first glance this campaign seems destined for spectacular failure. Sensitive, Emo-listening, ironic urban hipsters would seem to be the antithesis of the typical hunting demographic, but think about it; what could possibly be more anti-establishment (at least among the college and young urban professional set) than to skip slam poetry open-mic night down at the coffeehouse because you have to get up early the next morning to go kill your own food? In the doctrinaire world of Young Urbania, that’s not just anti-establishment, that’s downright subversive.
Also, hunting, fishing, foraging and gathering dovetails fits very nicely with the increasingly popular locavore, slow food, conscientious omnivore movement. I think it could work. Parsed to its elements, hunting is a universal human experience. It belongs to all of us to all of us, both the country-listening, truck-driving, conservative rural types as well as the latte-sipping, college radio-listening urbanites. They just may need a little help getting in touch with it, that’s all.
But what do you think? Good idea or waste of time?