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What Does Hunting Mean to You?

Thoughts on Hunting, by "Regular Folks"

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When it comes to hunting, you'll find folks from all walks of life out in the woods, pursuing game. Here's my question to all those hunters: Why do we do it?

I'd really like to read why you hunt. Your reason may be published here in this article, because that's the purpose of this article - to collect unique thoughts from many different hunters.

Simply drop by the Hunting/Shooting forum and tell us why you hunt. Then, check this article often to read new additions to it, and to see if yours was chosen.

Here's a quote from a friend, which is what got this whole thing started. The second-to-last sentence is what really struck me about it:

"Deer hunting is a test of patience. This is what I find so appealing about it. You're not tromping through the woods like a madman scaring the daylights out of every living creature within earshot. Instead, you're sitting quietly in a tree or behind a camouflaged blind watching and listening.

It could be hours or days of hours before you see anything. Even if you do see something, there's no guarantee that an opportunity will present itself for you to shoot at it. When that opportunity does arrive it is usually fleeting. So, you must cultivate a mastery of your emotions and instincts in order to capitalize on it. I can't speak for anyone but myself, but that is what I find so compelling about [hunting]."
- Rick

Craig says:

"I have a hard time putting into words (in a meaningful way) why I hunt. The quote above is a very good starting point. Hunting has caused me to experience just about every imaginable emotion at one time or another. To me, hunting is more real than most of the day-to-day stuff... computers, cells phones, TV and such are all well and good to a point, but none of them really means much to me at the end of the day.

Hunting, on the other hand, is as real as it gets - life and death, joy and sorrow, success and defeat and sometimes pain and suffering. I've witnessed the natural world in a way that a non-hunter cannot imagine and words cannot fully describe."

This is from another guy named Rick:

"I like the bounty but it takes a back seat to just being out there and seeing things differently than most people will. One of my favorite deer stands faces east over a 200 acre grass field. To sit there in the morning watching a beautiful sunrise and seeing deer grazing takes away a lot of the everyday pressures. I've had mornings while hunting when I've watched deer within easy range for the enjoyment - and then later asked myself why didn't I shoot and end the season early. Maybe I wanted a bigger buck, or just more time to hunt.

From Doug:

"When I'm hunting, I feel near to God. To be surrounded by His creation and looking at and for His creatures is a great blessing."

David said this:

"All the early cold morning sunrises, late afternoon sunsets, and cold morning frosts! Going to cut firewood, the smell of freshly cut firewood, the smell of rich pine starter wood, going to put up stands, looking for deer sign in the woods, slow ride on a 4-wheeler, walking through the woods. Listening to songbirds, woodpeckers, and the sound of an owl or hawk in the woods has a calming effect on one's mind. Squirrels barking, deer snorting, hogs squealing, a nice camp fire, a big breakfast with all the trimmings, and a good supper!

"All these things, and more, are why I hunt!"

Sure is hard to disagree with that!

From Terry:

"I hunt for the bounty of hunting. The word bounty has many facets, some easier and some more difficult to express. They include: High quality, low fat, heart-healthy meat; unique experiences, such as watching the woods come alive at dawn; the beauty of nature; the range of emotion a hunter goes through; friendships forged by hunting; communing with nature (or, as I like to call it, meditating and listening to God); the thrill of the hunt; outwitting a master of its environment.

"The hunt touches a primordial chord in all of us. Is it worth sitting in a tree with below-zero wind chills? Heck yes."

Another outlook:

"I enjoy eating the game I get. I also enjoy the trophy aspect of hunting. I've shot a lot more does than bucks, and the does usually taste better, but I sure do get pumped when I have the chance at a big ol' buck. Yes, I enjoy the kill part of hunting too and I will not apologize for that.

"I have had some of my life's greatest excitement and some of my deepest lows when hunting. Hunting is in my blood and I love doing it. God has placed this in me just as he has placed other desires in other peoples' hearts.

"I believe hunters have more respect and love for all animals than any anti-hunting zealot ever will.

"I am at peace when in the woods or field while hunting. I hunt because it is me!"

And another view:

"Hunting is my escape from everything. I love the solitude and quiet time.

"I grew up running the creeks and woods on our property, raising our own food. I am not a trophy hunter and don't much care for the trophy hanging on the wall; I would rather shoot a big doe to fill the freezer.

"To me, hunting your own food brings you an appreciation of your meal that you will never get from a grocery store or restaurant! Most people never think of where their food comes from or what it takes to put it on their plate, nor do they realize the conservation efforts that go into proper hunting.

"The main reason I hunt is that I truly enjoy hunting and really don't care if I get any game or not, I just love being in the field!"

Paywill says:

"I hunt for the lifestyle. That means being on your own, feeding yourself, and taking care of yourself. I've always dreamed of packing up my gear, going into the remote wilderness, and hunting and fishing to survive."

Scott said:

"Knowledge is power, and to truly know something you must practice it. Being able to bug out and live off he land is true knowledge.

"You see, some might call me a survivalist. I have the skills and tools that I need. My family will never starve.

"Also... nutritionally, animals are concentrators of vegetable nutrition. It would take vastly greater quantities of vegetation to provide the same nutrition you can get from meat. Native Americans have proven this."

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