The people of the Whittlesey culture hunted, fished, farmed, and collected wild plant foods like other Late Prehistoric groups in Ohio. Bows and arrows were their primary hunting weapons. It is likely that they also used traps and snares such as those recorded by Champlain among the historic Huron Indians. Whether the Whittlesey people fished at night with the aid of torches, like the 19th century Memoninee, is not known.
Due to the "lake effect," the Lake Erie region had a slightly milder climate than the rest of Ohio. This may have made farming more practical for the Whittlesey culture. However, beginning about A.D. 1500, the more severe winters and shorter growing seasons of the "Little Ice Age" may have reduced the yields of Whittlesey crops.