Hunting > Whitetails

Six Reasons Everyone Should Hunt

Safe, healthy, affordable—here are the top six reasons everyone should hunt.


It’s 5-something when the alarm goes off. I will myself out of bed despite the fact that it’s Saturday morning. “You only get so many days like this,” I mumble. Twenty minutes later, my boots are crunching across the frost as I make my way to the old Indian mound. I settle in and my heart rate slows as I sit in the pitch-black darkness, waiting for the world to wake up. I doze off for a few minutes and awake to the chorus of the woods as the sky turns gray, then pink. There is no blackberry, no TV, no conference calls, no routine, no voices—just birds and squirrels going about their business.

It’s close to 7 a.m. when I see gray shapes slip out of the tree line. The thrill that shoots up my spine wipes the November cold from my limbs. There’s something primal about the first sight of game. Alert and careful, the column of whitetail deer emerges for breakfast. A peek through the binoculars reveals they’re all does and yearlings, exactly what I’m looking for. I wait for them to calm down and start browsing on the edge between the forest and the field. Even from 200 yards away, the deer sense that something isn’t quite right. Every few seconds the lead doe’s head bolts upward with her eyes and ears locked on my location; her nostrils test the air but the wind is in my face. I dare not blink. When her head eases down in search of another acorn I make my move, raising the 7x57 up until I’m in a solid, seated position. I pull the stock tight to my shoulder and cheek, rest my triceps on my knees and dig my heels into the earth to anchor the whole package into a steady platform. I take a breath and exhale most of it as the crosshairs settle into a small orbit on her shoulder—it’s never as steady as it is in the movies. Even with the light kick of the Mauser, I lose sight of her in the recoil. The sound of the bullet’s impact echoes across the thick morning air and lets me know that it found its mark.

There’s a sense of elation as I approach her, but there’s no high-fiving or celebration. There’s just a quiet moment between hunter and quarry before my knife comes out and the real work begins. I live in a city and wear a suit to work, but this is where the food on my family’s table comes from. It’s as organic as it gets: no hormones, no feed, no fences, no styrofoam and cellophane under the flouorescent lights of the grocery store. This is hunting.

Here are six reasons why everyone should hunt:

1. It’s safe
According to data recently collected by the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), hunting with a gun is the third-safest sport when compared to 28 other popular sports, and has a lower injury rate than golf, volleyball and tackle football.

2. It’s healthy
Not only is venison free of man-made intervention, but obtaining it through hunting can be good exercise for the body and the mind. Hunting isn’t just about the kill—being afield helps us get reacquainted with the sights and sounds of the outdoors. It also allows us to step off the grid and escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life, which can be a refreshing change of pace for many.

3. It helps the planet
Hunting license fees and excise taxes on firearms and ammunition fund millions of acres of habitat preservation and improvement. Each year, sportsmen contribute $7.5 million per day toward conservation.

4. It’s good for the species
Habitat loss has eroded the natural range of animals while agriculture has increased food supplies—the result is game populations that must be managed. If they’re not hunted, they’ll die of starvation or disease. Like it or not, as we increase our land use, proper game management becomes more important than ever.

5. It saves money and helps the economy
Though you can spend thousands on gadgets and gear, putting game on the table can be done on a shoestring budget. Hunters are a generous lot—get a hunter to take you along and borrow what you can. Resident licenses and public land provide access at reasonable costs. Fifty or so pounds of meat will make for a lot family dinners.

And according to the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, hunting is responsible for 600,000 U.S jobs, $66 billion in economic activity and $10 billion in state and federal tax revenue. 

6. It's good for your family
There are few better ways to spend quality time with your children than to take them away from the computer or TV and show them where their food comes from. Revealing how important it is to be resourceful and self-sufficient is also one of the greatest life lessons you can teach them.

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41 Responses to Six Reasons Everyone Should Hunt

Jan F. wrote:
July 26, 2014

Teriffic article! Will definitely save this one to my archives for future re-reading!! Loved the comment that said if you teach your children to hhunt and fish, you won't have to 'hunt for them' or 'fish them out of trouble' later! :-).

mack wrote:
June 18, 2014

I don't see the satisfaction in killing a helpless animal. A deer has no chance against a hunter hidden in the shrubs with a high powered rifle. Even the odds a bit.

Dillon wrote:
April 22, 2014

ya deer will get over populated if u dont hunt. good article

someone wrote:
October 30, 2013


Jeff Pauly wrote:
October 18, 2013

I've been a Hunter Ed instructor for over 20 years. Once a kid or adult have taken the course they often come away with a new prespective about why we hunt. This article is a good one and so I will post it on my facebook.

Alex Stauff wrote:
October 05, 2013

Interesting article. As it so happens, I am a vegan (no meat, dairy, or eggs). I found this article because I want to be as unbiased as possible and look at all sides of an issue. That being said, this article does a nice job of covering a wide scope of reasons for hunting. In my opinion, though, the only reason that really stands is the last one. Hunting for food, as a necessary, last-resort measure, is something I would never deny anyone. Hunting for the 'fun' of it, though it was eloquently explained in the article, is something I could never condone. Same with the idea of hunting to spend time with family - try a hike without the killing, instead!

Eric Shi wrote:
June 17, 2013

It was a great article and it had great reasons.

Richy B. wrote:
May 15, 2013

this article was great, it's the first one that i have read that really states why people really hunt. Personally i started hunting at 5 years old, killed my first buck at 7 with a gun and 10 with a bow. but then at 15 i moved up to aberdeen where everytime i try to get a license some new law comes out. the way hunting is with the younger people now adays is sickening. they dont have any respect for the sport and i think ive come across 5 dead deer in the past 2 weeks that were just left there to die after being shot. the only things these youngins care about is the damn antlers. i think more young people should read this thing and rethink their hunting strategies. thank you

kasey1972 wrote:
March 17, 2012

The controlled pursuit as long as ego took the asylum and distich subconscious self down.

Rick K. wrote:
March 01, 2012

1 good reason why every one should not hunt--- it would take me years to get a license with todays drawings and that kind of competition for a license.

Stephen wrote:
December 27, 2011

If pushy comes to shovey, there are plenty of squirrels.....

Tonya wrote:
December 27, 2011

this comment is more for "bille" where we live (michigan) if you use a dog to track/run a deer you will be punished for poaching. If you have a dog with you, there better be a blood trail. and most people take better care of hunting dogs then they do their spouse. I have been hunting with my father since I was about 9 and there is no better experiance, our "hunted"animals here "know" if your listening to music or on the phone.its not that easy to hunt

Dennis wrote:
December 14, 2011

My Dad told my brothers and I that if you can hunt and fish you can always feed your family. He was referring to his youth and going through the Great Depression. My Dad told me many stories of how my uncles and him would fish, and hunt to put food on the table, and how they grew vegetables in the back yard guardian to reduce the cost of food. Today most people believe the grocery store will always be there with food. But I believe if our nation continues in the way it is going my hunting and fish will become a way to feed my family on a regular bases.

marty posey wrote:
December 14, 2011

Hunting is a way of life and a tradition. The 17 yr old with proper training should have been hunting by himself for several years. I am lucky my dad started me at about 6. Killed my first deer at 9. First bow deer at 14. Today at 56 my 4 year old son is totally drawn into the hunting and shooting scene. We are lucky to live in rural NM, can hunt in the yard if we want and have a private 500yd range for practice. NRA instructer working with YHEC kids, border patrol bortac team, and anybody else who wants to hunt, shoot or reload. God Bless America.

Ken Diaz wrote:
December 14, 2011

Right On!

Rich wrote:
December 14, 2011

I fully agree with this article. I only got out 1 day this season, but enjoyed that. I hunted a friend's lot and saw sign, but no deer. Just the day in the woods made it worthwhile. The thrill is not the kill, it's the experience.

David wrote:
December 14, 2011

That's 100[%] correct.. it doesn't get any better then that..

ronb wrote:
December 14, 2011

This is a great article. It sums it up nicely why we do what we do.

Billie wrote:
December 14, 2011

First let me say I enjoy eating deer meat. Now, I'mm not sure where you people are from, people here don't hunt like that anymore. They sit on the side of the road listening to their music, talking on cell phones while there dogs run wild. Even though they have tracking devices on these dogs I see anywhere from 1-6 dogs per year looking like it's one step from death. They just leave them to starve. To me this is not hunting. It's a glorified social hour held by a bunch of sadist. I believe in hunting, I just think it should be done fairly and with compassion. If we keep logging they way we are, soon we will not even need to leave the house. Maybe someone should reach out to the next generation about that.

Cynthia wrote:
December 14, 2011

My 17 year old son wants to go hunting alone on days no one else is available. I am against it for safety reasons. What do others think?

Dalton wrote:
December 13, 2011

I agree completly with the subject and im 14 years old and i hunt by my self id rather be out sitten in my tree stand or on the ground than getting fat on the couch hunting has saved my family alot of money me and my dad are big hunters and when i lived in alaska me and my dad killed a moose and it saved us a good six months worth of money and the meat that you kill and process your self is better for you it actually helps people with cholestrol becuase its not as fatty and dosent have a bunch of chemicals in it if i had to pick meat from the store or the meat that i shot and peocessed id pick what i killed

Eddie Scott wrote:
December 13, 2011

I agree 100[%]

Randy Rease wrote:
December 13, 2011

If you hunt and fish with your children, you're less likely to have to hunt for them or fish them out of trouble later!

ChefBear58 wrote:
December 13, 2011

Hunting makes me feel like I am getting to connect with my Grandfather, who passed-on about 15yrs ago, and my Father who suffers from "gulf war syndrome" that acts like Alzhiemers, My Uncle wo took me on my first hunting excursion, and a few of my friends that gave their lives during an ambush in Iraq... I get to connect with them again, while I am out crunching through the morning frost. Not only that, but it gives me a chance to commune with my maker, there is no place I have found where I feel closer to God, than on a cold, frosty morning hunt, being amazed at this incredible natural world he created FOR MAN. I don't know a single hunter who is "Athiest", and I have even seen a few change their veiws after a couple hunting trips. It gives me a chance to spend some time with my biological-brother when he can get away from work, and helps me forget about the tourturous rehabilitation I have been enduring for several years now. I am a Chef (hense the name), I have cooked for many different restaurants, I have cooked for many important people here in Virginia, and I have cooked for those I am honored to have the chance to cook for through community outreach programs. I have dished-up some of the fanciest food you will ever see... But my favorite cooking experience is preparing freshly harvested VA White-tail, that I stalked, dispatched, gutted, skinned, and butchered myself; I LOVE being able to serve my family/friends fresh game, which I know hasn't been tainted by some company not following it's safety procedures! There is nothing better than sharing the "fruits" of a sucessful hunt with people you care about. Not to mention the fact that the skills employed to harvest said game can be vital for keeping my family fed and protected in the future! HAPPY HUNTIN' FOLKS! AND SHARE IT WITH THOSE YOU LOVE, THE MEMORIES MADE IN THE FIELD ARE ONES THAT WILL STICK WITH YOU LONG, LONG AFTER THE HUNT IS OVER!!!

Hubert Bent wrote:
December 13, 2011

Hunted all my life and looking forward to teaching my Children to hunt.I like a bow my self but Guns are great and take a little less skill then a bow.

Hopper wrote:
December 13, 2011

Hunting is great for your mind your energy your family it's great and fishing too luv to take the grandkids fishing too !

Richard Carlile wrote:
December 13, 2011

I got attacked on FB week or so ago because posted a pic of a bobcat taken off a lease in TX that is also a working goat farm. Need to remind public that when predators get too crowded they will eat the family dog, cat, or like has happened, bicycle rider!!!

pete wrote:
December 13, 2011

sorry i don't believe in shooting does (my personal opinion) and as no chemicals???????? where do you think these animals eat other than polluted lands with chemicals and such????? just saying. the rest is true,no bad feelings and good luck.

Ken wrote:
December 13, 2011

Excellent article and several good comments that express my feelings as well.Especially those of Grant and Greg. Thanks for the read. I have hunted most of my life, except when deployed with the Navy. Merry Christmas to all.

Jamie Thompson wrote:
December 13, 2011

I'm saving it, no doubt!

Steve K. wrote:
December 13, 2011

The essence of what it's like to cross the primal threshold, and lose yourself for a brief time in the natural world. You may leave the woods empty handed, but you'll never leave empty hearted.

Zezinho da Rocinha wrote:
December 13, 2011

as long as the meat is used for food, I agree with hunting..but to hunt just to kill and put a deer head on the wall, I dont like this..

Misty wrote:
December 13, 2011

I love this article! Straight to the point~! Hunting and fishing are important for children to learn because one day they may have to hunt their food.

Steve wrote:
December 13, 2011

I do not want to be bothered hunting again, but I appreciate the reduction of car destroying wildlife by others. Thanks.

Patti Worthen wrote:
December 13, 2011

My Grandaddy taught brother & I to be survivor to live off the land and respect the earth.USMC taught Mike to be a man.Courage taught me who I am. Everyone hunt teach your children well.Great article NRA <3 the hunt and the harvest ~~~

Tom wrote:
December 13, 2011

Best way to spend time with family.Thanks for the great article

RyDaddy wrote:
December 13, 2011

This one will definitely be locked away in my permanent "save" files.

Steve wrote:
December 13, 2011

This article should be in the Wall Street Journal or some other large circulation non-hunting publication. More people should have the opportunity to read this message.

Grant wrote:
December 12, 2011

Couldn't agree more. Good write-up for all the right reasons. I am a farmer by profession & live in a low population area. I still enjoy getting to the back out of the way places & sitting in a deer stand watching the world of the wild around me & blending into nature. I so often see Quail feeding, Hawks & Crows searching for food as well as Squirrels playing in the trees & Coyotes hunting for Mice. Love taking the Grandkids out & sharing nature w/ them. Grandsons were successful in their Deer hunts this year also.Great article.

George wrote:
December 09, 2011

The author of this article really "gets" the hunting experience. Thanks for a great read.

greg wrote:
December 08, 2011

I couldn't agree more. My family is involved in all types of athletics and they all offer great family time and learning experiences. Hunting is unique in the attachment to nature, the quiet time and the life skills gained from patience, preparation and pitting yourself against the unknown. One night my wife and I were on our atv riding out of the deep woods on a swampy road. It was int he 20's and you could see evry star in the sky. As we plowed through the water covered road, she leaned over my shoulder and whispered into my ear...What do people who don't hunt do for fun?