who do you hunt for--why do you hunt

Europe

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Todays thread in the Elk hunting section, as well as the bull running thread, Panda Bears continuing struggle with hunting and trapping regulations and my recent conversation with an Africa P.H. in regards to my granddaughters plains game hunt in Africa, promoted this thread.

also something Bambistew and Panda Bear said off the forum that really hit home, which I agreed with

I believe as a youngster my main reason was for the meat and to be alone in the woods. It definitely started out that way as a youngster in Arizona. As the years past I enjoyed the camaraderie and time with my family whether in a duck blind, on a river, hunting behind a dog, being in Africa on a hunt with family, one of my all time favorites was being dropped off via float plane in the interior of Alaska with family--hunting, fishing, camping--Talking. My daughter reminded me a once about the time we ( her and I, with out her father present lol ) talked about what all her girl friends were talking about--the coming of age senior prom, (without putting to fine a point on this )

I have had complaints that I bring to much fluff to a mans hunting forum. Maybe, but I can not believe that others here--male others--have not enjoyed hunting with their son or father as much or almost a much as as whatever they harvested on the hunt.

But I may be wrong, so tell us--why do you hunt---strictly for the meat, for the trophy, to post on social media ( and I admit I dont get social media, why does anyone care that I brushed my teeth this morning )--- time alone in the wilderness, time with family, the age old "gatherer" instincts, the challenge of the hunt---the hope you get something that you can put in social media ( is social media that additive ? --probably a different thread ) --------all the aforementioned -----plus ?? thanks guys
 

BrentD

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You NEVER bring too much "fluff". Not ever. Just to be clear about that.

The "why I hunt" question is always kicked around in forums and these threads always leave me unsatisfied. I don't think anyone's answers sound especially convincing or complete and that is most especially true of my own answers.

But to take one more swing at it, for sure the complete answer is multivariate - I like doing it with friends. I like being alone. I like the country. I like being out with my dog. I like the meat. I like the challenge of finding a particularly nice trophy (I usually spectacularly fail at this part), and I enjoy the connection with the history of the land I am on and the game through the old firearms and cartridges that I prefer.

But mostly, I do all of the above just to see if I can. One more time. Better than the last. Maybe the best of what's left up ahead.
 

dirtclod Az.

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Mostly the wilderness experience,being alone(Maybe Apprehensive) The sights the sounds.
Having a Bull Elk run right up to me panting in my face,almost wetting myself.The sight of
a new fawn with big eyes exploring it's new world.Az. a place to call home!
Hunting Rules! 😎
 

LopeHunter

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I like getting away from my office desk. Hunting allows that and I enjoy being outdoors as the air turns crisp. I could fly in live lobster and eat only aged beef steaks for less per pound than what my hunting provides for food. I have been on hunts with family perhaps 10 times in my last 80 hunts so usually not a family bonding event. I used to go solo most of the time and on public with hard to draw tags with limited hunting pressure. Was peaceful. I have decent woodsmanship skills having grown up on a farm and hiked through numerous woodlots. I have become more patient over the decades when things are not going well and is Day 3 or 4.

I still draw my tags but tend to now use a guide or hunt on private. I like having someone along to help pack the gear in and out of places vehicles are not allowed. I would hurt for 10 days after a pack out on my last few solo hunts for elk and deer. I dislike hearing ATVs and vehicles buzzing by as that is something I can hear every day from my work. I never enjoyed road hunts. Let me set foot each year a few times where perhaps the last person to step on that spot was long, long before my time. I keep a journal so when my hunting days end, which is sooner than later, I can watch the snow falling out the window and revisit that hunt from long ago. When I am gone, spread my ashes up on the mountains. The mountains always win in the end.
 

marshman

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I have hunted since the age of 13, liked it the first time and never looked back (thanks dad). For many years it was all about filling the tags, then being selective and filling the tags with bigger bucks and bulls. Then a wonderful thing happened, I had a 13 year old son chomping at the bit to go hunting. It is still about filling tags, if not a camera would do just fine, but now there is this whole new dimension to the equation; passing the hunting heritage to the next generation and the warm and fuzzy feelings i get watching my now 32 year old boy enjoy and excel in something I alone was able to mentor and teach him.
For me that is all the reason ever needed.
 

HuntingJudge

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I am writing a book for my kids to read about all of my hunting adventures, and had asked myself the same question many different times. That question evolves over time and over the many hours experienced in the woods. For me, this is the best description at this time in my hunting career... this is a little paragraph out of the book I am writing.... My alarm started singing to me at 4:30 this morning and the first thought in my head besides damn my bed is nice, is why do I do this??? I been thinking about that for an hour now and have come up with a couple things. Starry cold walks in, the smells, feelings of wildness or freedom, that first peak the sun give you as it comes over the mountains, challenging Mother Nature and taking the best she has for that day, friendships, the laughs, the possibility of the unexpected sight... It really is not about the kill or shooting the bigger deer, it's about taking life as it comes and being able to take memory away that will make you smile reminiscing ten years down the road.
 

MattK

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It's a decent question but I think everyone has their own reasons and truth be known, probably don't have that "one" reason. I know when I first started, I liked to shoot things...gophers, ducks, deer, etc. Basically if it was legal, I went for it. Then it was about killing things and bragging rights so i would no longer shoot the first thing I saw. I became more aware of antlers, age, body size, etc...anything that would make somewhat of a trophy (sometimes it was just the shot I made). The next stage I became more aware of the outdoors...trips became less about getting something as opposed to what I saw and being "one with nature". Seeing a different type of animal was just as exciting as getting the animal I was after. This was followed by being with other people, enjoying the experience but still wanting trophies for myself. This was quickly followed by the conservation portion of hunting. Learning more about the animal, more about efforts of past people, anything to help out the resource. Now I am flowing into a "see others excitement". I now find it more satisfying to watch others hunt and be there when my sons have their firsts in hunting. I now get more excited by seeing one of my boys or even my dad get an animal...that's much more rewarding for me than actually getting one myself.
 

MTelkHuntress

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I dont think I could accurately put into words why I hunt (might take a couple hours of time I do not have right now)...but it's a really interesting topic to think about. Definately meat is a very very important part of it. What keeps coming to mind though is the experience I had this weekend scouting. My dad and I went to check the cameras we had set up and on our way we suddenly heard cow elk. We stopped and through the trees a herd of 20 cows with a couple bulls started walking towards us. They wandered and grazed within 20 yards of us before walking away. It was so amazing just to observe them all naturally at such a close distance. We continued on our way and were stopped again. I heard what I can only describe as a stampeding sound (large animal hooves hitting the ground) and suddenly another herd of cows was running from the other direction within 50 yards of us with one cow coming within 15 yards. I've never been so close to so many elk before so it was just amazing to observe, even if we werent hunting. So yes hunting to me is about getting meat....but then there are all these other amazing moments you encounter. I guess that's just another aspect of hunting to look at.
 

ElkFever2

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But I may be wrong, so tell us--why do you hunt---strictly for the meat, for the trophy, to post on social media ( and I admit I dont get social media, why does anyone care that I brushed my teeth this morning )--- time alone in the wilderness, time with family, the age old "gatherer" instincts, the challenge of the hunt---the hope you get something that you can put in social media ( is social media that additive ? --probably a different thread )
I hunt for a lot of different reasons. Enjoy pitting my skills against animal survival instincts, roll the dice and get lucky, healthy meat, exercise, fresh air, relaxing, hard work = great reward, putting together a plan and having it work, doing what humans have done since forever ago, and other reasons.

In regards to posting on social media, no, that it not a reason to go hunting. I posted the 3 outdoor trips I have been on since I jointed HT. The reason I did so is it's fun to share a personal story with others who are interested in reading it, and who share the enjoyment of the pursuit. I enjoy reading about other people's hunts, especially the kind of hunting that is popular in this community. Posting a hunt is a kind of "thank you" to the dozens of people I've got advice from on this site. I could care less to show off how big or nice or trophy-like the animal is (with me, that's uncommon anyways). I'll post about taking a doe, and share the story because it was fun and meaningful to me, not because I gain some kind of ego boost from being a "better hunter" than someone else out there enjoying the outdoors.
 

Nutrioso

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Europe, first, don’t listen to critics on social media. As sure as death and taxes, there will be no end of folks eager to tear down others on public forums. Your posts are thought provoking and enjoyable. Keep them coming.

As to your question, for me Sitting Bull had it right in the famous quote ascribed to him about hunting mice when the buffalo are gone: it is about freedom. Even with the rules and regulations and constraints on modern hunting, when I am out there glassing wide open country, watching sunrise in the duck marsh, or following my dog in an endless field, I have an incredible sense of freedom. I suspect that comes from reconnecting, if only for a few hours or days, to processes of the natural world from which we come. Part of it is leaving the obligations of civilization behind, but it is more than an escape from. It is an escape to the process of life that made us who we are. If elk and hawks and geese can have such thoughts and feelings, I imagine I feel when hunting the way the feel living their wild and natural lives. Once you have that feeling, it is pretty darned hard not to chase it.

That is one reason public lands are so critical—they are the place we can experience that most basic sense of freedom.
 
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noharleyyet

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One of the most honest forms of fellowship I've experienced..whether it be between friends, family, or chance meetings with other like minded hunters....and, of course, between you and whatever Deity you choose to believe.
 

sharpshooter97

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I hunt for a few reasons and those have changed over the years. I’d like to add that I also fish,trap, and darkhouse spearfish in the winter so I spend a lot of time outdoors. Thanks to my dad,grandpa, and uncles who passed on their skills to me, I grew up doing all these things for as long as I can remember. A big part of it has always been meat.

When I was a teenager I liked to do those things on my own as it made me feel independent, now I hunt for three reasons.
1. I like knowing where my food comes from, and living where I do I literally hunt right around home so my expenses are not much at all. I eat wild game and fish year round.
2. Time with family and close friends. I’m only 22 but the years I’ve spent away from home really made me miss the good ol days, and now every chance I get to hunt with either my dad,brother or my best friend from highschool I do it. It’s time I otherwise may not spend with them and as we all know that time is much too short. So I make the memories while I can.
3. To pass on the tradition, hunting,trapping, and fishing is a way of life for me. It’s a part of being free and independent, and I want to continue to pass that on and hopefully one day teach my kids to hunt,fish,trap,and grow their food. I do believe there may be tough times coming in the future and if so then at least I know I can provide.
 

Panda Bear

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We hunt for food and income from the animals by products. It is and always has been our "way of life".

Speaking only for myself, whenever I visit a city, I can not wait to get back to mountains.

Social media, as some here know, April, Guy, David, Dan, Pat, I will never have another social media account or post a picture anywhere. My family was threatened, I was threatened, an effort to get me fired from my job, ( Pat can also relate to this one ), even my dogs were targeted. And most of it came from the States and England. regardless no more social media for me

MtElkhuntress. Very very nice story. I really enjoyed it. I was telling Brent yesterday that we were out doing summer work as we have 20 plus hours of sun right now. But sometimes the Arctic Wolves will come right up to you, sniff you and walk away. Having a quick lunch watching a couple of young bears playing within 50 yards of you-----Nature, at its best. Mrelkhuntress, I know how you felt and it is a great feeling.

Hunting judge . my grandfather did that . It was more of a "how To" but I love it. I think April is doing that for her granddaughter. Good for you. They will appreciate it

I enjoyed reading everyone's reply as I am, with a couple others, always looking for good dialog for our young people and your replies are all from the heart
 

Duck-Slayer

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great state of Idaho....
My reasons for hunting are always evolving with my age, also depends on the time of year/game I’m hunting and whom I’m hunting that game with. There is no definitive definition too that question. For the most part it’s about family time and filling our freezer, kids like to shoot stuff, wife and I are 100% in on our harvest and processing of our meat! I also really enjoy hunting with certain friends. Bow hunting is my stress relief and alone time especially elk hunting in the backcountry with my goats! Love that. I enjoy taking my wife and daughter out probably the most, seeing the glow in there face and the sense of accomplishment from both of them is one of the greatest feelings ever for me as a dad! I am always planning or out doing something outdoors related. Easiest way to explain it is that “it is a way of life” for my family and I.
Matt
 

Mtnhuntr

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It's a decent question but I think everyone has their own reasons and truth be known, probably don't have that "one" reason. I know when I first started, I liked to shoot things...gophers, ducks, deer, etc. Basically if it was legal, I went for it. Then it was about killing things and bragging rights so i would no longer shoot the first thing I saw. I became more aware of antlers, age, body size, etc...anything that would make somewhat of a trophy (sometimes it was just the shot I made). The next stage I became more aware of the outdoors...trips became less about getting something as opposed to what I saw and being "one with nature". Seeing a different type of animal was just as exciting as getting the animal I was after. This was followed by being with other people, enjoying the experience but still wanting trophies for myself. This was quickly followed by the conservation portion of hunting. Learning more about the animal, more about efforts of past people, anything to help out the resource. Now I am flowing into a "see others excitement". I now find it more satisfying to watch others hunt and be there when my sons have their firsts in hunting. I now get more excited by seeing one of my boys or even my dad get an animal...that's much more rewarding for me than actually getting one myself.
I have experienced the same thing, although not necessarily in the same order. The "why" is constantly evolving, and I hope that never changes.
 

onpoint

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I don't think I had a choice. I think it was innate.
From memories of my earliest thoughts to the end of my work day a couple minutes ago - life has been hunting and fishing and all that goes with it.
Although I don't know what the next progression is, or if there'll be one - I have gone through all the phases listed by Matt K - including a long career devoted to it. I'm in the appreciation phase currently.
I spend lots of time involved in the philosphy of this stuff (mostly in my own head - and with other like philosophers).
But today - if I get real pragmatic - the answer is pretty much because I like it (plain old fact) and I can (freedom), the latter being something that cannot be over stated .
I'm gonna' teach a bunch of kids about fish, fishing, habitat, etc. - on Thursday. Hope some of those just HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY to experience something like we talk about on here................
 
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JohnCushman

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I have a lot to put into words and sort out my thoughts to answer this...but Europe...screw what anyone has to say about 'fluff' or anything else that could possibly be construed as negative. Your experiences and posts are always something I look forward to and get jealous of sometimes. You keep doing what you do!!
 

Hunting Wife

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I have had complaints that I bring to much fluff to a mans hunting forum.
I had to check, because I didn’t recall Hunt Talk for Men being the title of this forum. Unless Big Fin rebrands this place as such, screw ‘em. Keep doin’ what you’re doin’. I always enjoy your posts.

I personally like the practice in self sufficiency hunting provides. I can find, kill, bring home, process, and cook my own food. From hoof to plate. That’s a satisfying thing.

I like the challenge of having to figure things out, make a plan, adjust the plan, fail, and repeat until I can make it work. Training in perseverance that has been handy in many aspects of life, not just hunting.

Plus being out in the natural world is the most replenishing, renewing thing I know of. No matter how much time you spend out there, you can always find something you haven’t seen before. And places with no roads or cell service are just good for the soul.

I’m not big on social media, because I value my privacy and because the internet is full of weirdos. I post a few things here and there, but mostly I do what I do just for me.
 

Hilljackoutlaw

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Who do I hunt for? Selfish answer is ME. Hunting is so much of my life idk what I'd do without it.
Why do I hunt? Such a simple question but complex because there is no single reason for it for most people on here I would assume. Like matt i have gone thru phases, but a couple of constants are taking a family member, friend, or acquaintance on a hunt and seeing the pure unfiltered joy and moon eyes on their faces when they see or harvest an animal. Rather they are old, young, novice, or experienced nothing beats that feeling to me. My top 5 hunting memories in my life dont even involve me harvesting an animal. Also being alone with ones thoughts while going solo is tough to beat. You can be alone with your thoughts in the man cave sitting in your recliner, but it does not compare to being in Gods great wilds alone with your thoughts. I have solved many of the world's problems while hunting I have just not had time to put the plans into action because I'm to busy in the off season Escouting and planning the next hunt.

Thanks @Big Fin for the series of videos on how to better Escout. My wife loves how I can talk at dinner about a september of 2021 hunt in july of 2019. It really puts her in the mood...🤣
 
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