The Cultural & Spiritual Values of Hunting

Hunting is not simple. It is the generator of our human condition, the crucible of intellect, and the fire of creativity. It is our mirror of the world, the image-maker of wild creation; it has defined how we see, literally and figuratively. -  "Hunting For Truth - Why Rationalizing The Ritual Must Fail" Shane Mahoney Read More

Why We Hunt?

"To Understand Why We Hunt, You Must Know It,"

(CLICK TO READ article by J. Jackson III published in Hunter's Horn)

" I suppose it is impossible to explain this to those who do not know it" Leopold 1946.

Life is a great adventure, and the worst of all fears is the fear of living. - Theodore Roosevelt

 


Hunting is how we fall in love with nature. The basic instinct links up with the spiritual, and the result is that we become married to nature. Among outdoor pursuits, hunting and fishing connect us most profoundly with animals and nature. As Robert Bly said in his best-selling book, Iron John, only hunting expands us sideways, "into the glory of oaks, mountains, glaciers, horses, lions, grasses, waterfalls, deer." - Randall L. Eaton, Ph.D. Read More

Hunting is an ancient human activity. As such it means experiencing an original way of life in unspoiled nature. Hunting can be the purest form of eco-tourism. - President Kai Uwe Denker, NAPHA's 40th Anniversary AGM, 2013, Read More

Alone far in the wilds and mountains I hunt, Wandering amazed at my own lightness and glee, In the late afternoon choosing a safe spot to pass the night, Kindling a fire and broiling the fresh-kill'd game, Falling asleep on the gather'd leaves with my dog and gun by my side. - Walt Whitman, Song of Myself

A world which a sacramental portion of food can be taken in an old way - hunting, fishing, and gathering - has as much to do with societal sanity as a day's work for a day's pay. Thomas McGuane, The Heart of the Game, 1997. 

"Hunting is our heritage, it is our poetry, it is our art,it is our pleasure. It is where many of our best friendships are made, it is our community. It is our whole way of life. - Barones Anne Mallalieu

As a minority, hunters are often asked, "Why do you hunt?" Once you learn of the power and beauty in the North American hunting heritage, you can simply answer, "Because it matters." - Jim Posewitz

To ride, shoot straight, and speak the truth - This was the Law of ancient Youth. Old times are past, old days done; but the Law runs true, O' little son!

The way to hunt is for as long as you live against as long as there is such and such an animal; just as the way to paint is as long as there is you and colors and canvas, and to write as long as you can live and there is pencil and paper or ink or any machine to do it with, or anything you care to write about, and you feel a fool, and you are a fool, to do it any other way. –Ernest Hemingway

If one were to present the sportsman with the death of the animal as a gift he would refuse it. What he is after is having to win it, to conquer the surly brute through his own effort and skill with all the extras that this carries with it: the immersion in the countryside, the healthfulness of the exercise, the distraction from his job. - Jose Ortega y Gasset, Meditations on Hunting.

“To my mind, hunting and fishing is the big lure that takes us into the great open spaces and teaches us to forget the mean and petty things of life.” Leon Leonwood Bean (1872-1967) FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT (1912-1967) of L.L.Bean. 

 

 

Hunting, like all human occupations, has its different levels, and how little of the real work of hunting is suggested in words like diversion, relaxation, entertainment. A good hunter's way of hunting is a hard job, which demands much from man: he must keep himself fit, face extreme fatigue, accept danger. It involves a complete code of ethics of the most distinguished design; the hunter who accepts the sporting code of ethics keeps his commandments in the greatest solitude, with no witness or audience other than the sharp peaks of the mountain, the roaming cloud, the stern oak, the trembling juniper, and the passing animal. In this way hunting resembles the monastic rule and the military order.

 

- Joes Orega Y Gasset, Meditations on Hunting, 1943

"The driving force [to hunt and conserve] is adventure as much as respect, protection and love for nature."

-Natasha Illum

~Campfires~

"I've always been mesmerized by campfires--they are calming, comforting, and of course warming-- and to me are inseparable from what I consider the "essence of the hunt."  

--William T. Hornaday 1905 written in the aftermath of a month-long bighorn sheep, goat and grizzly hunt in British Columbia's Elk River

"People may paint and photograph camps and campfires, until doomsday; but after all they are mostly tame and spiritless.  One might as well try to paint the perfume of orange blossoms, or the charm of a lovely woman's manner, for all are equally futile.  But those who have camped in the lap of Nature, far from the haunts of man, far beyond the last trail and the ultimate tin can, can realize without any pictures the composite sensations of awe, of triumph, and of rare satisfaction which filled our souls"

--William T. Hornaday.  "Camp-Fires in the Canadian Rockies."  

Houston Safari Club - Why We Hunt

Why We Fish

"It is with a rod and reel in my hand that I tend to count my blessings." - President George H.W. Bush

If David catches this fish he'll have something inside him for all his life and it will make everything else easier. - Ernest Hemingway, Islands in the Stream

 [M]y devotion to marlin of all species...(is because)...the opportunity they offer for a thorough reconsideration of my rank in the world. Less ardent than cold-blooded fish. Less audacious. Less free....the marlin - their striped flanks alight with a violet fluorescence, their pectoral fins spread as wide as wings.

 

- Peter Fong, Gray's Sporting Journal

Fishing is an inherently rewarding way of spending time and satisfying a boyish sense of wonder of the natural world we inherit. It is the other face of the sportsmen and women of the world. Fishing and hunting help us understand the other, and ourselves, and our delight in the natural world. Fishing, like hunting, deifies the catch, electrifies us and makes us more complete. - John J. Jackson, III

“It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve been fishing or how many times you’ve caught fish in different places, that feeling of getting tight with a fish on the other end never, ever gets old.”

— Jake Rogers, firefighter/paramedic for Park City, Utah

I find that the more I fish, the more connected I am to the value of the resource. The more I value the resource, the harder I work and volunteer to ensure its strength and health. - Patrick Murray, CCA National President

 

 

 

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