I found your post “To and Fro” interesting and impressive and only have this to share…
When I lived in N. Wisconsin and Upper Michigan,(a rather sparsely populated area) there was a very avid and well supported hunting and fishing community – many of whom considered themselves subsistence hunters or close to it.
What happens when you get that many people wanting to hunt and “harvest” (I hate using that term in regards to animals) animals, the Department of Natural Resources finds it a good money making opportunity. They require you have a license – which you pay for – this is supposed to reduce the risk of over hunting.
But the DNR becomes habituated to this income and encourages even more hunting. They know that deer, bear and grouse (main “game” species) thrive in young forest so they use this as one of their many excuses to clear cut (on a 30 year rotation) the majority of the forests (which they also make a lot of money on). They clear cut, which promotes game species, which promotes more hunters, which promotes more money and around it goes. What ends up happening is that they are “farming” wildlife – just like we are now farming domestic animals. They are promoting game species at the expense of biodiversity and non game species. We now have a nearly mono culture/even aged forest throughout much of the northern Midwest.
Another thing happens when people get that invested into hunting – they kill predators – coyotes and wolves get shot to make more room for deer – just like farmers shoot coyote and wolves to make room for cattle.
Regarding wild plant food gathering, I’ve had the experience when I lived near N. Wisconsin that berry pickers developed “turf wars” in their best berry picking areas. People practically came to blows over the patches and I’ve even heard of vandalism to pickers vehicles etc. This also happens to prime hunting and fishing areas.
So this proves that we simply have WAY too many people now to go back to any kind of hunter/gatherer existence at this point. And, as you say in your post, since we obviously need to have agriculture to feed this many people the ONLY way to do that and be even close to sustainable is with veganic (plant only) methods.