Why do you hunt?


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workingman
November 22, 2011, 01:52 PM
Howdy folks,
I am just curious if I am the only hunter here who does not care if they kill anything. I have been deer hunting for 12 years now. Still ain't killed one.
Seen some, had shots at some. Circumstanses just did not allow for me to take the shot. I am in my mid 40's now and really just don't want to kill a deer anymore. But tomorrow morning rest assured I will be in the woods.
I love the act of hunting. Getting my rifle sighted in. Developing a load. Imagining the shot and the kill. I love getting up earlly to get in woods. Walking trails I ain't walked on before. Sitting quietly in leaves waiting on the sun to rise and warm me up. Coming home tired from the trail. This is why I hunt.

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Hunterdad
November 22, 2011, 02:32 PM
I mainly hunt for the meat. I love harvesting my own game. The one thing that keeps me going back everytime is watching and hearing the woods/water come "alive" when the sun comes up.

Nimrod2
November 22, 2011, 02:33 PM
I dearly love to hunt and I dearly love to make a clean kill. No, it isn't all about the kill but that is the major part of it for me.
When I am about to make a shot, I can hear my heart beating and my pulse races. The blood rushes through my brain and I can hear it when the adrenaline spikes. I am hooked on the rush I get when a shot is imminent. It is my drug of choice. I have to fight to maintain calm control of myself and make a good shot.
Yeah, I love to watch the woods come alive at daybreak. I greatly enjoy teaching my grandsons how to identify birds on the wing. I love to observe the various animals interacting with predators/competitors and food types.
Still, all the various trappings and activities that surround hunting are sorta like getting a hug from your sister. It's all very nice and good but making the kill is what makes the hunting experience the ultimate outdoor experience- for me.

RevGeo
November 22, 2011, 03:00 PM
I suppose I started hunting because I was raised by a hunter. My dad was a career military officer and an expert rifleman - he placed third at Camp Perry shooting 600 yards with an '03 Springfield. I was surrounded by guns and reloading and hunting gear the whole time I was growing up.
I didn't grow up on a farm but I did grow up in the country and many of my friends were farmer's kids. I say plenty of hogs, cattle, sheep, goats, turkeys and chickens slaughtered for the pot. I also saw living plants killed or have parts of their bodies cut or ripped off and eaten. I guess I learned early that there can't be life without the death of other living things. That goes for me as well. After I'm dead other organisms will live on my remains. I believe it was Edward Abbey who said 'All my life the earth has sustained me. In return I owe the earth a body and the debt will be paid.' Or words to that effect...

I have always loved the outdoors. When I am hunting and fishing I feel myself to be an active participant in life on earth. I like the feeling of self-sufficiency that comes from gathering and raising my own food.
I have never understood the concept of differentiating between 'nature' and 'human nature'. How can anything that exists in the universe be anything other than natural? I find seperating mankind from the rest of nature to be a human conceit, I guess.
Now, I'm not going to start chanting or anything, but I find actively participating in nature to be the only reason for living. That and to reproduce, perhaps.
I truly believe that humans contain the gene or whatever to hunt, fish and to generally gather their own food from nature. Since agriculture is a relatively new activity in the human experience we obviously haven't lost our desire or impulse to gather food from nature.

Oh hell, I guess I hunt because I love everything about it.

Sav .250
November 22, 2011, 03:14 PM
Try hunting with a bow. Way more satisfaction. Plus, you still have the option of letting them(deer) walk....:)

Friendly, Don't Fire!
November 22, 2011, 03:31 PM
I think being a rifleman kind of puts hunting in our blood. Guns are primarily made to shoot and take out living things. I enjoy working up an accurate load, accurizing my guns then using them on anything from nuisance critters to deer or black bear which will be harvested for the meat. I enjoy being in the fresh outdoors, I enjoy seeing nature, I enjoy seeing the tiny critters in the forest chattering away at me!

Yesterday, I noticed movement at a tiny 2" diameter hole in the ground in the middle of my mowed path to the woods. I sat down with my cell phone video camera and waited a good 20 minutes for it to come out, I think it was a weasel, mink, or some other small, long animal. I had no urge to shoot it with my 500 Magnum pistol, but, instead was hoping for some neat video shots, real close of this little thing coming and going! I told my wife about it and that I had wished I would have had the GOOD digital camera with me that would have REALLY made an excellent video, so she left the camera for me today, to take down there and set on a small tripod and just let the video run for 2 Gigabytes and see what comes out of the hole! I can just set the camera up and leave it there for a couple of hours.

When friends and neighbors have a nuisance animal problem (skunks are our worst problem here, far more than anything else), they call me. I have no problem shooting an animal that is ruining fields (woodchucks), are living under my barn (skunks) or living in my neighbor's eaves and behind their vinyl siding (red squirrels and chipmunks). The way I look at it, if I shoot an animal and put it down in my woods, some hungry fox, coyote, fisher cat, etc, will come along and eat the thing. Perhaps a predator that is nearly starving to death will be fed enough to stay alive for a few more years!

allaroundhunter
November 22, 2011, 03:43 PM
I hunt for the friendships that are made, for my love of all things outdoors, and to do my part for conservation. I also couldn't care less whether I kill something or not, I just love every second that I'm out in the field or the blind.

Sheepdog1968
November 22, 2011, 04:15 PM
I enjoy getting outside and the focus it brings me into the here and now while out there. I also enjoy seeing the world as the sun rises such as the fog over a lake, etc. Also, I find there is some sort of connect I feel to our ancestors.

ScrapMetalSlug
November 22, 2011, 06:38 PM
I love being part of the food chain. Wild game is better than any meat available in stores IMHO. I love getting out in the woods, spending time in the wild. It is nice to be focused on something that has nothing to do with my job. A connection to the past.
Really a million reasons for me, and no reason not to. If I sleep in a morning and don't hunt, I am disappointed in myself the whole day. Surprisingly enough, my parents/aunts/uncles don't hunt. I have to go back to my grandparents to find some hunters, who are unfortunately no longer with us.

ZeroJunk
November 22, 2011, 07:11 PM
I'm with the OP. I just like to get out and enjoy. I hunted every day last week. Saw three bucks that would score from 120 to 140 , furthest about 150 yards, closest about 30 yards. But, I have several on the wall that size and in piles of antlers. I just don't care about shooting them anymore. Now if a 160 or better poked his head out I suspect I would shoot him, but that is not likely in this part of the world. Getting the shot is the big thing, making it doesn't amount to much to me.

waffentomas
November 22, 2011, 07:17 PM
I hunt for meat. Though I killed a nice big mulie last year, it was my first trophy class kill, and I really don't care how he scores. I've been fortunate to get drawn for cow tags most years, so that's been a plus. Our camp has a 'mayor'...we call him 'grumpy'. We agree to his terms when we enter camp. You kill a deer you get to take it home, but elk hunting is a different thing, and it takes a bunch of us to have a successful hunt. So elk meat is evenly distributed between the participants. You don't like it, don't come back. He's fair, and nobody has a problem with how he doles it out. When you tag out, you get to be camp (female canine). You cook, do dishes and clean up. Having a wolf tag kept me in the woods every day, even after the deer and elk tags were filled.

Since I hunt in Idaho, but live in Washington, I pay out of state fees, and so there is pressure to bring home meat. I hunt a lot harder than all the in-state guys, mainly because I am healthy (lots of knee, ankle and shoulder problems in camp) and come to camp in the best shape. I stay in shape all year long, and ramp it up a bit come late August to get ready for the - wake up at 5 am and get ready to hike up hill in the dark for two hours. I seriously HATE huffing and puffing up a mountain while my legs burn - so I train all year just so I don't have to deal with it.

It's a great group I hunt with and I look forward to it all year long. It's great fun, but a few years back I drew a bear tag, and that was the ONLY kill that year. As much as we love to hunt, it was tough dividing up a 300lb black bear. It doesn't go that far, so meat is the real reason.

CSA 357
November 22, 2011, 07:25 PM
there are so many things to see while hunting, i have messed up a great hunt many time by pulling the trigger! after that its all work, but i do love deer meat and hope to get some for the frezzer very soon

gatesbox
November 22, 2011, 07:30 PM
I'm afraid to ask this question on the rimfire forum I participate with, but I have a hard time understanding squirrel hunting. Why hunt squirrel? I guess perhaps in some areas they are much more of a pest. But out west they seem like fairly pleasant rodents that don't do much. I would understand if they tasted like filet mignon, but I can't imagine that is the case, nor do I want to eat something that just ate my garbage...

I can understand most game, deer, me personally I love eating wild hog...

What is the allure in hunting squirrel....

workingman
November 22, 2011, 08:55 PM
Gatesbox
but I have a hard time understanding squirrel hunting

Lots of people around here eat squirrel. Myself, I don't like it so much. Used to eat when I was young because I killed. Acted like I liked it too. Not anymore. I am going to have to kill some around the house though. They are getting quiet pesty. I have been told if you get them in your house it can be a real problem.

cottswald
November 22, 2011, 09:09 PM
I have a hard time understanding squirrel hunting. Why hunt squirrel? I guess perhaps in some areas they are much more of a pest. But out west they seem like fairly pleasant rodents that don't do much. I would understand if they tasted like filet mignon, but I can't imagine that is the case, nor do I want to eat something that just ate my garbage...

What is the allure in hunting squirrel....
Eastern Tree Squirrels are in many respects quite different from certain ground squirrels species found out west. Perhaps one of the biggest differences is in thier diet. They feed on fruits, pine cones, tree sap, and lots of nuts (Walnut, Hickory, Beech, Oak) which they bury in the fall and uncover throughout the year. They will also feed on various seeds. Unlike many other critters, Eastern Tree Squirrels have no taste for human garbage (non, nada). Many folks including myself find squirrel meat quite excuisite! Here in Ohio we call it the "other dark meat". As with many types of wild game, it can depend a lot on how you fix it. I would not rule it out unless you have at least tried it.

As for hunting, squirrel behavior in the wild can be quite different from what you see in the city. Many squirrels (especially those born this year) have never seen a human, and will make themselves quite elusive to the human eye. The challenge of squirrel hunting can at times be quite humbling, and whether by shotgun or .22, I can think of few better ways to effectively hone your basic hunting skills. If all goes well and you're lucky enough to bag your limit, makes for a great morning outdoors!


Back to "Why do You Hunt". Here's one of my favorite quotes from “Rabbit Hunting: Stories and Techniques.”

“The joys of hunting lie in using my senses and wits in ways I’d never done before …and I’ve come to know with wonder that although I carry the gun or bow, I go human-clumsy into a world whose natural inhabitants are far sharper of eye, ear and nose than I.

My hunting days I hope will always include some time with friends, but that has long since become a secondary inducement. …One day I realized that I was sitting there in the woods with a gun on my lap, because it made me happy. It was something I wanted to do for myself alone, a pleasure and satisfaction that didn’t depend on companions. I was hunting because I loved the hunt itself, with no strings attached. Its own attraction was enough, the best reason of all for being and staying a hunter.”

Bobson
November 22, 2011, 09:44 PM
“Rabbit Hunting: Stories and Techniques.”
lol. I found that book at my small-town local library when I was in 8th grade, or so. I must have checked it out close to a dozen times between then and when I graduated high school and went off to basic training.

Even to this day, nearly 15 years later, I think back to that book every time I'm out walking, and a cottontail I didn't notice darts out from under some brush less than three feet away from me.

gatesbox
November 22, 2011, 09:55 PM
cottswald, thank you for the eloquent post....on all fronts, High Road indeed! An enlightening perspective...

Frozen North
November 22, 2011, 09:58 PM
I hunt for three main reasons...

1)It forces me to chill out and slow down. I need to be reminded how to do this from time to time. The pace of my day to day life can be ridiculous, and my summer fishing lends itself to my hyperactive ways. My friends call me captain A.D.H.D. when I take them out in the boat. They never seem to complain when we are landing fish though! Hunting forces me to shift down to creep, shut up, chill out, and just burn some time. This is very good for me.

2) Hunting season is huge bonding time for me and my three sons. Quality time can be hard to come by, we always make time to hunt.

3) MEAT. Cheap, low fat, low cholesterol, non medicated MEAT.

Arkansas Paul
November 22, 2011, 11:06 PM
i have messed up a great hunt many time by pulling the trigger! after that its all work


That's the truth. Shooting them is easy. After that, it's a job. Especially since we don't take them to a processor. We do all our own butchering and I like it that way.
I do hunt mainly because I love venison, but the time spent in the woods, the comraderie around the campfire, the getting away from the real world, and things like that make it fun even if it's not successful. There's just nothing quiet like watching the sun rise when it's a crisp, cool morning and enjoying it without the noises of the city to screw everything up.

wankerjake
November 22, 2011, 11:23 PM
I have been deer hunting for 12 years now. Still ain't killed one... I am in my mid 40's now and really just don't want to kill a deer anymore.

I think you just don't know what you're missing. I love to get out. I go out several times a year just to hike and watch the deer and elk. But come hunting season, I aim to get one. I've come to rely on game meat pretty heavily, and I'm disappointed if I don;t get one. Sure, I still have a good time but I like to accomplish my goals too.

I LOVE being out in the woods. Whether I'm hunting or hiking or whatever, I'm having a good time when I'm out with the critters. BUT, when I have a rifle in my hands I do my best to put something down, and there's no better feeling than a successful hunt. The hunt is good no matter what, and beats workin' all day long. But if I don't get elbow deep in an elk or deer, then the hunt could have gone better.

That reminds me...I'm hitting elk camp Thanksgiving day. One more shift, and I'm a free man. 4 days playing guide on a bull elk hunt, then 7 days on my cow elk hunt. Turkey day can't get here fast enough.

TexasPatriot.308
November 22, 2011, 11:52 PM
I have been hunting for ovr 50 of my 57 years. aint killed a good deer in 14 years, got a couple good leases full of good bucks, kill evry hog I see and got plenty of em. I am lucky I also got 3 cattle pastures with hunting rights. some people dont have the chances I have so I consider myself lucky. I like the camp life, campfire etc. the coyotes at nite. it would have to be a helluva buck for me to pull the trigger as warm as it has been. I got wallhangers at home, really dont need another, but just might. I hope to take a cougar as I know I got em on my pastures. just like the outdoors, cold beer and good friends and just sometimes just being at camp alone for a few days.

cottswald
November 23, 2011, 06:45 PM
lol. I found that book at my small-town local library when I was in 8th grade, or so. I must have checked it out close to a dozen times between then and when I graduated high school and went off to basic training.

Even to this day, nearly 15 years later, I think back to that book every time I'm out walking, and a cottontail I didn't notice darts out from under some brush less than three feet away from me.
Also found it in a small town library a few years ago. Pages sorta crinkled like it had been used often, but not much recently (if ya know what I mean). Enjoyed it immensely. A great read for anyone.

MachIVshooter
November 23, 2011, 10:02 PM
Because I enjoy it.

Art Eatman
November 23, 2011, 10:31 PM
It just sorta came natural to me, back seventy years ago. Wasn't even something I really thought about. As the years went by and I did indeed give it some thought, it came to be the package of connecting to bygone generations as well as hunt-camp camaraderie and the satisfaction of providing my own meat myownself.

waterhill
November 23, 2011, 10:32 PM
I love watchin' birds and squirrells while waiting on my prize.I love nature.

westy39
November 23, 2011, 11:46 PM
I hunt for meat. I went out several times this year. Once with a good friend and co-worker we spent the day in the trees and speaking of our lives (we are retired Police Officers, who worked together). I spent another day alone enjoying the wind in my face and the sun at my back, thinking about the blessings the Lord has given me. The best day was spent with my daughters hunting/teaching and learning from each other. I went out another time and spent it tracking and stalking. The last time out I got to about 125 yards of a nice 4 point mule deer (in Montana we only count one side of a rack) and took my shot. It was an adventure to get him loaded into my pickup, he was a bit bigger than I thought, then to I am getting older... But I hunt for food, companionship, quality family time, and to escape the chaotic life we tend to create for ourselves. One could say I hunt to remember the blessings of being an AMERICAN. Just my 2 cents worth from Montana, the Big Sky Country.... To all hunters may you too experience some wonders this hunting season... Damn, where is my Wolf tag ?????
Westy39

303tom
November 23, 2011, 11:53 PM
I love to hunt & I love to eat...........

tazbigdog
November 24, 2011, 12:19 PM
Why do I hunt? For the sheer pleasure of spending quality time outdoors. Most time I go out, I don't kill anything, but sure enjoy the walk and nature.

Skyshot
November 24, 2011, 12:23 PM
Howdy folks,
I am just curious if I am the only hunter here who does not care if they kill anything. I have been deer hunting for 12 years now. Still ain't killed one.
Seen some, had shots at some. Circumstanses just did not allow for me to take the shot. I am in my mid 40's now and really just don't want to kill a deer anymore. But tomorrow morning rest assured I will be in the woods.
I love the act of hunting. Getting my rifle sighted in. Developing a load. Imagining the shot and the kill. I love getting up earlly to get in woods. Walking trails I ain't walked on before. Sitting quietly in leaves waiting on the sun to rise and warm me up. Coming home tired from the trail. This is why I hunt.
It's all about the primal instinct that's embedded in all of us. Why does a well fed house cat start hunting when its let out side? And don't you feel sorry or those who try to suppress that instinct.

ridgerunner1965
November 24, 2011, 10:54 PM
its ocurred to me that i hunt because im kinda dumb.i love venison backstrap, round steaks, jerky and a dozen dishes i can make with deer burger. i really dont know any other way to get the ingredients.

ritepath
November 25, 2011, 10:24 PM
I hunt to take my son hunting...kind of passing the torch I suppose. Up until last year I hadn't hunted in a long time. I enjoy the time spent in the field with my son. He took a button buck this evening with his new 7mm08 and just watching him was more fun than any deer I've taken.

tahunua001
November 26, 2011, 10:56 AM
I hunt because to tell you the truth...I prefer the taste of game to domestic. I grew up on it..living on the reservation we were good friends with a native american family that hunted all year round. every time we got low on meat all we had to do was ask and within a few days we'd have a deer or antelope delivered to our garage for butchering... good times. I love the outdoors and any excuse that I can find to lose myself from family, work, town, life... that is why I hunt

Ankeny
November 27, 2011, 10:46 AM
I hunt because it is a way of life. Hard concept for a lot of folks.

ronnie412
November 27, 2011, 10:50 AM
shot 1st deer at 287yd wow i was impressed useing hornady 117 gr bullet

plateshooter
November 27, 2011, 11:04 AM
I hunt for meat and the adventure of getting it. Trophy antlers etc mean nothing to me.
These days, I take one hog a year and that feeds us until the next pork chop run.

buck460XVR
November 27, 2011, 11:59 AM
My reasons for hunting have changed greatly over the years. When I first started hunting it was because of tradition and because it was the only thing to do in rural America in the 60s. Anything that was legal was shot and ate if it was edible. As I grew older, it became more of a passion and more for horn/size/quantity than quality of the hunt. It became a competition between family, friends and peers for the largest and the most. As I grew older, I started to realize how blessed I was to be able to hunt and how fortunate I was to have the opportunities to hunt such beautiful areas. The kills became less important and the quality of the hunt and the family and friends I shared it with became the priority. Nowadays I hunt deer with handguns and let the kids shoot the birds over my dog as I watch. Years ago it was worth it to spend half a day draggin' out a deer from a mile in. In my younger years, it was worth the hours cleanin' birds/game/fish after a hard days hunt. Now I thank the Lord for another day in the field and prefer to just to watch 'em and let 'em go.

CoRoMo
November 29, 2011, 12:09 PM
I hunt for the meat and the sport of it. If I don't kill one (or several), I hate the fact that I failed to provide it for my household. Big antlers make me grin widely.

sixgunner455
November 29, 2011, 03:32 PM
As someone else said, because it makes me happy.

mljdeckard
November 29, 2011, 04:06 PM
A few reasons come to mind.

Hunting is a tradition going through multiple generations in my family. I feel that there is a lack of passion growing about hunting, because fewer people are in traditional 9-5 jobs than when my grandfather took my dad out. It requires more effort to make time and use the money and resources and get out. I owe it to the tradition to make sure I continue it.

I also think that part of the effort to ban guns is to demonize hunting. To make outsiders think that we are all loud, Bud Light drinking buffoons who have no regard for any life. If they convince the public at large that hunters do more harm than good, they will be that much closer to restrictions.

It's good to have a reason to get out and do something. My dad had the deer hunt, firewood gathering, and fishing as the primary reasons to get out. For me, it is more hunting coyotes, geocaching, and camping. I am trying to make my activities options that are available year-round. I don't feel as passionate about the deer hunt as my dad did, he lived and died for the fall to be able to hunt. But I'm still trying to make time to do it.

Davek1977
December 1, 2011, 06:28 AM
I hunt, because, at this point, i don't know how NOT to, if that makes any sense at all (but I think, to a true hunter, it will). I grew up hunting....from ten yrs old on, its been one of my biggest passions. While I enjoy small game hunting, varmint hunting, and upland game, deer hunting is something I enjoy more than anything other. I took a 24 in. wide 5x5 mulie on my first morning ever deer hunting at age 12, and thats all it took...I was hooked for life, no amount of rehab would ever "fix" me!!! Just before the season opener this year, I was inspired to try to put the emotions I feel that time of year on paper, and this is what i came up with....



Up before dawn
I stumble out of bed and yawn
But I've been awake all night stewing
well before the coffee was brewing

For today is THE day
the one I wait for all year
For today is the day,
I finally get to hunt some deer

Better than my birthday and Christmas
All rolled into one
A fall morning so beautiful
A morning spent with special people
and of course, my gun

Plans are made before the sun slowly rises
but are quickly abandoned
as the hunt is full of surprises
Even before we leave the house
deer are moving, north, west east and south

Bucks and does
mulies and whitetails
pursuing them is all today entails

AS the gear is loaded and the tanks are filled
we reminiscence about the deer we've killed
about big racks and following tracks
We talk about the deer on the wall
and about the big one that escaped just last fall


As the morning becomes crisp and bright
the world has never felt just so right
shots in the distance
maybe someone's tag is filled
With a trophy, I hope someone is thrilled

I ponder life as I patiently wait
while I hope for “my” buck to test his fate
A movement in the brush
My heartbeat begins to rush

Suddenly.... he appears
A majestic beast
with antlers stretching far beyond his ears
I aim my rifle, and slowly squeeze......

Boom!
And the silence is broken
as I approach, not a word is spoken

After twenty two seasons
the excitement and the sadness is still there
As I admire my trophy
in the cool fall air

As the work begins and I start field dressing
I can't help, but feel hunting is my blessing
So many emotions, all wrapped into one
I can't believe another season is already done

These are the days I live for
I hope they never go away
For I always hope to see
another opening day

^ THAT is why I hunt.....nature, friends, family, challenges and rewards

gilgsn
December 1, 2011, 10:58 AM
I am not a hunter. My Grandfather was. He used to take me with him when I was a child. I loved to be out in the fields, but for a 10yo, it was a lot of walking! When I reached 16, I got my hunting license. Never liked the shotgun.. There wasn't much money to buy shells for practice.. I missed everything I shot at. At 16, I didn't have much patience..
Today, I am thinking of hunting again (45yo). Because I consider hunting a skill every man should have. I would not kill an animal for the sport, only to eat it. I want to learn how to hunt, field dress the animal and preserve the meat.. It's not about hunting only.. Of course, just being out there is the main purpose..

Sako Shooter
December 1, 2011, 11:21 AM
My grandfather was a "great depression" hunter when the meat was necessary to feed the family. He was hard core to say the least. I was raised by hunters and have been doing it for over 40 years. I remember going hunting before school when I was a teenager. It's in my blood and once it is in you it is difficult, if not impossible, to get out.

There is actually a school district in Louisiana where the day before squirrel season is a holiday. It's just that way in the South.

horsemen61
December 1, 2011, 05:50 PM
I hunt because I like to eat what I kill not some horomome induced animal

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