11/22/2014 12:12 EST | Updated 01/22/2015 05:59 EST

States tap into locavore movement to recruit hunters after decades of declining US numbers

MONTPELIER, Vt. - A decades-long national decline in the number of hunters has prompted states to tap into a new group of hunters — people who demand locally produced food, but don't know the first thing about getting a deer.

Numerous books and blogs on the topic have surfaced, and state wildlife departments are offering introductory deer hunting classes in urban areas to recruit newbies who want to bag their own wild, local meat.

A national survey published last year found the motivation for hunting meat has nearly doubled from 16 per cent in 2006 to 35 per cent in 2011.

Tovah Cerulli had been a vegetarian and vegan, but turned to hunting because he says there is a direct connection to his hunted meat that he can't get from store-bought food.