Here is something I wrote and tells what it means to me.
It seems like only yesterday I started hunting, but it's been over 20 years.
When I started I didn't have anyone teach me what to do or how to do it. I just
learned on my own. I had started hunting during the "bad years" of my life;
Drinking, drugs, and not really caring what I did or who I hurt. Hunting started
to mean something to me slowly. More and more, the spirit of nature got to me.
The drugs eventually stopped and hunting became a larger part of my life. I
never felt the peace that I get when I'm in the woods, mountains, or plains.
Hunting has become a way of life. I learned to be a part of something more than
shooting a gun or a bow, more than just going out and killing a beautiful
animal. I gained more respect of the game I hunted and in return I was giving
the game the respect it deserves. Most non-hunters don't understand this and
some just don't want to. Ask someone why he/she hunts and you will get many
different answers. The only answer I can give is that hunting gives me peace,
and nowadays it gives me life. You may ask Why is that? Well, hunting saved
me...It saved me from going to jail and from death. By hunting and stopping the
drinking and drugs it added more life to me. I was born with a defective heart
valve. The thrill of the hunt is a thrill that no drug or booze can give me. I
have been saying Live to Hunt ... Hunt to Live for the past 10 years. Five
years before I had found out about my heart. Hunting keeps me alive and being
alive is what makes me hunt. Hunters give back more than they take out of
hunting. We as hunters give back to nature what others can only think of
giving. Why is it so hard for the so-called animal rights people to see how we
as hunters are the ones that help to take care of nature. They feel that
hunting is not humane? Well take them to a cattle ranch and then a slaughter
house and let then see humanity. Not that I'm downing the cattle ranchers or
the people that work in the slaughter houses. But look at it this way, a calf
is born a male, 99 percent of which is fixed, and becomes food for us and we’ll
also look to see how they are killed. Hunters have the power to bring back what
we have taken, like the buffalo, turkey, elk, and rocky mountain sheep to name a
few. I can see that these days everyone hunts in one way or another. We hunt
for work, a mate, a car, a house, a way of life. A way of life to live free,
happy and at peace with God and ourselves. For this is the life I hunt for and
I Live to Hunt and Hunt to Live
What does hunting and fishing mean to me? It's always hard to put into words. It's like trying to describe what it feels like to be in love! No matter how hard you try, the words just don't seem to do the feeling justice! How do you explain to someone who has never experienced it for themselves the excitement of being a part of nature instead of just watching it! How do you describe to someone the roller coaster ride of emotion you experience when hunting? From the excitement you feel when you first see your prey to the determination you feel to harvest the animal. The sadness you feel for the life you have just taken to the satisfaction you feel from completing your quest! The joy you feel when you show your family and friends the spoils of all your time and effort and the the feeling of pride you feel for putting food on the table that came from your own two hands and not the local supermarket! The respect you feel for all living things and how thankful you are to be a part of nature and it's plan! How do you put into words the feeling of being a part of nature's life cycle instead of watching it on the discovery channel? It's a feeling that can't be put into words. It can only be experienced!
On a different level hunting and fishing mean to me:
Quality time with family and friends.
They mean a peaceful day to clear my head in nature away from the very un-natural, stress filled world we work and live in every day!
They give me a natural high keeping me away from other ways of getting high! As a kid instead of getting in trouble with some of my friends I was looking under rocks for snakes and salamanders or dropping a line in the local fishing hole. Catching turtles and frogs was more fun then stealing bikes and running from cops! My life is so much better because of hunting and fishing and the respect for nature they have taught me. All nature not just the animals and plants I eat. Nature is better off too because of the respect we as hunters and anglers learn! We are natures care takers and she couldn't be in better hands! Lets just hope the anti's don't find a way to kill our way of life and kill nature along with it!
To me hunting and fishing define the person who I am.
I LIVE to hunt and fish.
Mostly all of my spare time is spent either waiting in anxious anticipation of and preparing for a hunting &/or fishing trip or actually participating in the hunt or act of fishing, clamming, and crabbing.
It's my passion in life!!!!
Friends and aquaintances have nicknamed me "Capt.", "Capt. Jon", and/or "Popeye" because of me always talking of fishing and clamming trips and techniques with my hunting/fishing/clamming partners, and for that matter anyone else who cares to join in the conversation at my local coffee shop, work, gin mill, American Legion, or anywhere else that the topic of converation may arise.
The nautical and hunting related tattoos that adorn my body (I designed most of them myself), as well as the common sighes of "ARRRRRRGH" of the pirate &/or the "ACK ACK ACK ACK ACK - SQIBIDDY DUP DUP DUH DUP DUH" phrase of Popeye that I've been known to mutter in general conversation have also led to these aliases/tags and visually express my love of the woods and sea.
Hunting, fishing, clamming, crabbing, being in the outdoors, the comaradarie with all of my hunting and fishing buddies;
Crabbing, fishing, and/or hunting with family members from ages 3 - 68 years old, sharing the thrill of a young child catching his/her first fish and/or crab, sharing Dad's excitement of catching a doormat fluke or monster weakfish (just like the ol' days);
Traveling to explore new hunting grounds or fishing holes with a friend or two;
Learning to fly fish this past summer, and catching a trout on my first cast, and many more thereafter;
Cooking my catch and exploring new recipes and methods of cooking it - then sharing my meals and concoctions with friends, family and loved ones;
Telling stories of close calls at sea, fantastic fishing trips, or about the big one that got away but that I'll be back to catch another day;
Telling stories of great hunts, strange things in nature or funny happenings on a hunting trip;
Passing on the traditions and teaching the younger children in my family and those of friends how to fish and hunt;
It's my relaxation, my excitement and my salvation.
There are only two seasons of the year that I recognize - HUNTING & FISHING!!!!!.
When I first started fishing it was with my dad. But I think I got into more as I grew up and fished on my own. I started hunting when I was 14 because I thought it was cool to kill something and guns were neat. I have since grew out of that and realize it is much more. When I grew up it was the only thing I was good at. Everyone one in high school did sports but I wasn't good at them. So I hunted and fished (more fishing then hunting at that time). When I got mu license I was more free. I took my love for the outdoors and taught myself how to hunt and perfect the little fishing I did. Now my days aren't about getting limits, but letting my dad who doesn't get much time off of work get the bird or deer and the little kid fishing next to me reel in that "monster" stocked trout. It is about the outdoors and not having to work. It seems like the worries of the world are left behind.
I honestly dont know why I started hunting. Perhaps it was because I saw my uncle doing it, or perhaps it was something thats just "in me".
I cant explain what draws me to the woods day after day and year after year, its just a part of me. Like my heart pumps blood, some other part of me sends me off in search of food, and challenge.
The hunt is whats important to me, I never measure my enjoyment by game taken or arrows loosed. No, to me the joy comes from being part of the REAL WORLD. Knowing and respecting the animals I hunt, enduring the same conditions they endure day in and day out.
Knowing that our forefathers relied upon these very same methods to collect food for their families, and knowing full well that one of my ancestors may have stood in this very spot, patiently waiting for the sustenance God should provide for him and his family.
I hunt for the challenge of outsmarting creatures with such great senses. From the deer, who can wind you from a mile away. To the turkey, who will spot you batting an eye-lash. The bear, who not only can wind you, but if given the opportunity, can hunt you back.
As I understand these animals better each day, they become easier to hunt. However, my respect for them grows with this understanding. I shoot less and less game because of this growing respect. Waiting for only the most perfect shot, and the most seasoned game. I dont need to take home an animal like my forefathers did, but when I am fortunate enough to harvest an animal, my family feasts on the meat, just like the days of old.
No matter what your reason for hunting, we have to embrace each other as a bretheren of men and women who share a love of the outdoors. Sharing with each other the rich stories and knowledge we gain through the years. Standing up, side by side, for what we believe in. Policing our ranks, so that no one abuses the gifts God gave us. Allowing no one to tarnish this proud way of life we lead. Finally, we should introduce our way to anyone willing to listen,planting the seed of a future outdoorsmen or women.
The outdoors are in all of us. We as humans were hunter/gatherers in away we still are. looking back over the years we can never leave the outdoors it is a part of us all. I know I really not like working inside all the time, but with the job I have now I work nights so it isn't that bad. After my heart surgery I was outside as much as I can be. I feel more alive outdoors and to feel alive is way better then just being alive. Life is short we all know this, there are people dieing young everyday. Some of these people never really get to be outside. No not talking about the people on death row, I mean the Kids on there death beds. I feel foe them the most.
Outside of my wife and kids, archery and bowhunting pretty much defines whi I am. Over the years I've learned from my dad and taken from other hunters a list of why hunting is so important to me....
1. To be outdoors, I enjoy the outdoors and although bowhunting for 25 years, it never seems I spend enough time
enjoying nature....the smell of the woods, the dew ,the sunrise and
sunset, the sound of the wind and the sounds from all kind of animals.
2. To feel the peace within while sitting on stand and waiting.
3. To escape the pressures of life
4. To appreciate life, by being able to watch some of the other creatures that share this planet with us.
5. To test my skills and ability to attempt to "outwit" the wild game on
their own terms, in their own environment
6 To measure and test my ability to be able to survive in the outdoors.
7. To test my skills and abilities in hunting with bow and arrow.
8. To observe the interconnection of plants, animals, weather and
geographical conditions firsthand, and be able to see firsthand how they
can impact each other, and us.
9. To enjoy time with my brother and perhaps one day tutor a young
hunter in ways of improving his methods, and being able to share
experiences and advice.
10. To keep my skills sharp, and hopefully improve them, so that I may
teach my son as he grows older.
11. To provide meat for the table, at least some variety from beef,
pork, and poultry.
12. To remind me of all the good memories of being in the field with my Dad.
everything about the outdoors is a thrill and hunting is the ultimate thrill. there is nothing else in this world that captures so many emotions than a day of hunting and the best part is, done correctly it can be enjoyed for generations and generations to come.
Growing up in our house was different, Dad worked all the time. Fishing and hunting was the passion that he had. He was pres. of a now defunct hunting club, and during the summer when he got time he went fishing, salt or fresh. Summertime, we stayed at campgrounds while dad worked. I always loved being outside. Sunday mornings when I was little, I still remember Mom sending my little brother and me out to get wild blueberries for pancakes. Fishing and hunting is the Peace and serenity that keeps me laid back and Happy!