By Steve Wall
Why do you hunt? Hunting has been around as long as humans have! This tradition has stemmed from our necessity to provide food for our families. I started thinking about this question this past weekend while I was out turkey hunting. It was a tough weekend and the Toms were not very responsive. However, some of the other experiences I encountered on this hunt gave me the inspiration to share with you why I hunt and get you thinking about why you hunt!
When answering the question “Why do you hunt”, I need to start by saying, to me hunting is not always about the kill! Sure, a kill is the end goal, but the drive behind why I hunt is much more! For starters, a big reason why I hunt is the experience. Everything from the preparation to the processing of the animal. I truly enjoy learning about the animal I am trying to harvest and what it takes to be successful. Harvesting an animal is no easy task. We are entering their environment where they are familiar with their surroundings. I love watching and learning why an animal acts a particular way. I love learning from my past experiences to make myself a better hunter.
Another big reason that I hunt is for all of the unique sights and sounds we experience while in the woods. This may be something unique that the animal I am pursuing does or it could be seeing an animal that I don’t normally see. Last year, I pictured a black bear in the area where I deer hunt. Even though I had heard other people talk about bears in the area, I had never had any experiences with them myself. I had the pleasure of watching a fisher sneak past my treestand this past archery season. This spring I was able to watch a Tom turkey court and mount a hen out in the field, a sight I had never been able to experience before. My dad and I also spotted a hen sitting on her nest down in a ditch as we walked back to the truck for lunch. You never know what you will see or experience while out hunting!
Last and maybe the biggest reason I hunt is sharing these experiences with family and friends! I grew up following my dad into the woods on many adventures. From sitting with my dad before I was able to hunt myself to hunting spring turkeys with him to this day, to me these experiences are what it is all about. Memories like my dad calling in my first turkey and seeing him shaking more than I was as the turkey got closer! To now, as I have shared before, taking my children hunting and sharing the outdoors with them! I look forward to turkey hunting every spring because I know that it usually means a day or two of walking in the woods with my dad! While I will always cherish the hunts with my dad the most, I also have great memories of hunting small game with my friends growing up! From jumping on brush piles chasing rabbits, to searching the trees for squirrels! In more recent years, I have been able to share hunting adventures with new friends and my wife’s family. These are all experiences that truly make hunting what it is for me!
So as you are finishing reading this, think about “Why do you hunt.” What is it that keeps giving you that itch to get in the woods? I am sure that for many of you, like me, it is not all about the kill. I would love to hear from you about why you hunt and what keeps bringing you back! Send me an email or comment below! Let’s share our passion for the outdoors!