The Hupa Indians' diet primarily consisted of fish- and acorn-based foods. They also ate deer and small game, which they hunted or trapped, as well as nuts, berries, roots and greens gathered in the forests.
The Hupa relied heavily on salmon that they caught in the Trinity River in the spring and fall as the fish swam upriver. The Hupa caught an abundance of fish, which they then preserved by smoke-drying them in order to make them last all year. The fishermen used spears, nets and wooden fish traps, and they also fished for trout, eel and sturgeon. They also broiled the fish fresh.
Each autumn, the Hupa gathered acorns, another staple food. After they collected the acorns, they ground them into flour and cooked them into a thin mush. They also cooked the ground acorns in a basket while stirring them with a wooden paddle and then made them into bread.
They captured deer and elk by stalking or driving them into a river and then pursuing them by canoe. They sometimes used the help of trained dogs to pursue and capture the large game. They placed traps made of iris-fiber rope nooses along game trails to catch rabbits and squirrels. Small birds were also a part of the Hupa diet; they shot the birds with bows and arrows.