Field & Stream Online Editors

Hunting to me is almost a religous experience.Harvesting a deer or bear is great, but I would hunt even if I knew I would never shoot another animal. It is part of who I am.

To watch the sunrise and hear the woods come to life on a crisp, autumn morning bowhunting in Michigan is indescribable. Hunting is good for the soul.

I enjoy the peace; I enjoy the time with my son; I enjoy the exercise and clean air; I enjoy trying to outwit the game on their turf; I enjoy the freedom.

I grew up in a hunting family in a rural environment, and I think the take and use of wild game and fish creates a more well rounded individual who has a deeper, closer feel for the natural world, which is a lacking concept in this day and age. Water and woods beat out steel and concrete any and every day of the week.

I grew up in the midwest, where I learned to hunt from my father. It was a good way to spend time together, and in the process, it was a good way to learn values and respect for the land and the creatures around us.

A day afield mentoring a young person can teach more about life than a year in a classroom.

The magic of a bugling bull in September. A whitetail chasing a doe during the rut. The size and power of a bear lumbering down a stream bed. The gobbling of a turkey in the pre-dawn hours. The cackling of long tailed rooster pheasant as it takes flight from under your feet.

I have a good friend from Hungary who I’ve been hunting with for the past seven years. He told me that hunting in his country was not for “common people” like him. After our first hunt he wrote his brother to tell him what he had done–it was a great privilege.

I have been a bird and animal watcher since childhood, and hunting seems to me to be a logical extension. Don’t get me wrong, the kill can be very exhilarating, but it can also be an anti-climax. I prefer eating wild game to any store-bought meat, and for that reason view the kill as a somewhat necessary conclusion.

Ever since I can remember, I’ve loved the woods and hunting. I am a paraplegic from polio for over 49 years and have never let that stop me.

Hunting finds a way to inspire our senses. Coffee never tastes as good as at 4 a.m. when you’re joking with family and friends and anticipating the day’s hunt.

I spend 50 hours a week in an office. I need the outdoors!

It’s a connection back to the woods, my food, my history. It’s the thrill of the chase, and the regret for the kill. I can look my food in the eye and not hide behind the styrofoam and plastic wrap of the grocery store.

Most of all I hunt because deer meat with potatos and carrots in a brown gravy is hard to beat.

I’ve hunted in New Jersey since I was 12. When a boy could walk down the street with a gun and no one would say a thing. It’s part of our heritage and my son and I will continue to carry it on.

I grew up in a hunting and fishing family. It was our primary recreation and a source of meat to stretch the family budget. Where other kids had football or basketball, I had a 20-gauge and waders. I came to find a peace and order there that can’t be found in civilization. I f they outlawed hunting tomorrow, I would still spend mornings up a treestand or in a blind.

Nature. Beauty. Air. Freedom.

I started to hunt as a child, and I love everything about the outdoors. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about our sport.

Merely buying wrapped steaks at the store teaches nothing. Knowing that a life was lost for the meat I need brings home the importance of survival and the truth of life and death. As a meat consumer, I am also an animal killer. I know what I am. I accept it. Hunting keeps me real.