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Why I Hunt

The Pheasants Forever Coffee Creek BLOCK Management Area. Photo by Anthony Hauck / Pheasants Forever.

Why I hunt?

It’s like when your significant other asks Why do you love me? There are probably thousands, maybe millions of reasons why. But when asked, most of us have a hard time corralling the millions of thoughts in our brain, and they bottleneck at the mouth. A million reasons and you can’t name just one!

Love makes us crazy. And, sometimes, mute.

A couple years ago, Pheasants Forever’s Rick Young and I left one November evening headed west to hunt near Fort Benton, Montana. We were supposed to leave right after lunch, but Rick kept pushing back our ETD and we didn’t get on the road until 5:30PM.

Naturally, the intent was to make the 1,000 mile trip so we could get there and squeeze in a few hours of hunting the next day. But once we hit the road, we couldn’t stop. A couple Dairy Queen blizzards, five energy drinks, one fuel crisis, 1,000 miles and 16 hours later, we loaded our shotguns and headed out to hunt the Pheasants Forever Coffee Creek BLOCK Management (Montana’s public access program) Area well ahead of schedule for a full day of hunting.

Kin of crazy? Indeed, but you do crazy things when it’s something you love. Sliding my first Montana rooster into my vest was especially rewarding, an experience only intensified by dehydration and sleep deprivation-induced delirium.

Why I hunt? There are a million reasons…and I can’t seem to name just one.

Anthony’s Antics Afield is written by Anthony Hauck, Pheasants Forever’s Online Editor

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3 Responses to “Why I Hunt”

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  1. Joel Gargan says:

    I think for me it goes a lot deeper than just why I do it. I hunt because my Dad took me when I could barely walk. I hunt because going outside meant more than picking up a Wii controller with an outdoor background. I hunt because I was taught to respect guns and the animals you choose to kill with them because you owe that to the men and women who hunted before you and the ones who will do so after you. I hunt because I don’t think about work or whatever is bothering me that week, I can just “be” for awhile. I hunt because part of what I kill I give to the people who let me hunt on their land and to my neighbors who don’t hunt anymore and to my grandmother who loves to eat it. I hunt because I love to watch my Vizsla Ruby bound through the tall grass as she catches scent. I can’t describe the feeling of being in the same field for the 15th consecutive season, looking to the right and seeing my dad and then to the left and seeing your best friend. I no longer hunt because I enjoy seeing birds flush, country side, or birds bagged….I do it because after all this time its become a part of who I am, a definition of who I love to be.

  2. Good stuff, Joel, thanks for sharing. Hopefully, you’ll check out Bob St.Pierre’s blog entry as well – he touches on many of the same points.

  3. uguide says:

    Anthony, at the age of 47 I can safely say that the reason I hunt has changed every year ever since Pa gave me a side-by-side at the age of 16. Got into Ducks real heavy at first and then pheasants and deer. The reasons are way too numerous to go into here but probably the most resounding common reason is to experience what Adam might have experienced when talking with God in the Garden of Eden (Eatin’). When spending time in the field I find it very hard to deny the existence of The Creator. It is just a very natural thing for me.

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