Although the Iroquois grew much of their food, they were also hunters and gatherers. Women and children gathered wild nuts, fruits and vegetables, mushrooms, and eggs laid by birds and turtles.
They gathered sunflowers to use to make sunflower oil, which they used to fry food. They also used sunflower oil to treat wounds and as a body lotion to protect their skin from hot or cold weather.
Maple Syrup: The Iroquois learned to tap maple trees to harvest maple syrup. The Iroquois had a quite a sweet tooth. They loved maple sugar in many foods. They made a special treat of heated nuts rolled in maple sugar.
Wild Game: The men usually left in the fall for the annual hunt. They used bow and arrows to kill black bear, elk, deer, rabbit, and wolves. They trapped wild turkey, ducks and other birds. They hunted turtles for their food and shells. No part of the animal was wasted.
They did not eat raw food. They cooked everything they captured. Whatever the men brought back from the hunt was shared by the whole village.
Fish: Spring was fishing season. The men used huge nets to catch fish. When the brought the catch back, everyone in the village pitched in the help dry the fish over fires. Much of the catch would be dried and then stored.
If the store of food was getting low, the men would go out at night with torches. The light attracted fish into their nets. Everyone in the village got busy drying and storing dried fish.