A few quotes from some who have said it far better than I .............. Deep in the guts of most men is buried the involuntary response to the hunter’s horn, a prickle of the nape hairs, an acceleration of the pulse, an atavistic memory of his fathers, who killed first with stone, and then with club, and then with spear, and then with bow, and then with gun, and finally with formulae. — Robert Ruark Already I was beginning to fall into the African way of thinking: That if you properly respect what you are after, and shoot it cleanly and on the animal’s terrain, if you imprison in your mind all the wonder of the day from sky to smell to breeze to flowers—then you have not merely killed an animal. You have lent immortality to a beast you have killed because you loved him and wanted him forever so that you could always recapture the day. — Robert Ruark Maybe stalking the woods is as vital to the human condition as playing music or putting words to paper. Maybe hunting has as much of a claim on our civilized selves as anything else. After all, the earliest forms of representational art reflect hunters and prey. While the arts were making us spiritually viable, hunting did the heavy lifting of not only keeping us alive, but inspiring us. To abhor hunting is to hate the place from which you came, which is akin to hating yourself in some distant, abstract way.” ― Steven Rinella I breathe because my body needs oxygen. I eat because my body must have energy. I hunt because I am a hunter. These are simple things which I accept, and perhaps no explanation is possible. - Charles Dickey When one is hunting, the air has another, more exquisite feel as it glides over the skin or enters the lungs, the rocks require a more expressive physiognomy, and the vegetation is loaded with meaning. But all this is due to the fact that the hunter, while he advances or waits crouching, feels tied to the earth through an animal he pursues, whether the animal is in view, hidden or absent. - Jose Ortega y Gasset There was a part of me, of us, back there on a hill in Tanganyika, in a swamp in Tanganyika, in a tent and on a river and by a mountain in Tanganyika. There was a part of me out there that would stay out there until I came back to ransom that part of me. It would never live in a city again, that part of me, nor be content, the other part, to be in a city. There are no tiny-gleaming campfires in a city. - Robert Ruark No one, but he who has partaken thereof, can understand the keen delight of hunting in lonely lands. For him is the joy of the horse well ridden and the rifle well held; for him the long days of toil and hardship, resolutely endured, and crowned at the end with triumph. In after years there shall come forever to his mind the memory of endless prairies shimmering in the bright sun, of vast snow-clad wastes lying desolate under gray skies; of the melancholy marshes; of the rush of mighty rivers; of the breath of evergreen forest in summer; of the crooning of ice-armored pines at the touch of the winds of winter; of cataracts roaring between hoary mountain masses; of all the innumerable sights and sounds of the wilderness; of its immensity and mystery; and of the silences that brood in its still depths. - Theodore Roosevelt And then perhaps Hemingway may have said it best in his clear direct prose - There is much mystic nonsense written about hunting but it is something that is much older than religion. Some are hunters and some are not. By hunting we do something the vast majority of our "enlightened" fellow travelers do not. We understand what it means to have someone else drive a spike into a steer's head - to have a faceless factory mechanically shuck a hen - because we have taken that responsibility on our own shoulders. We also have found ways entertain ourselves and enrich our souls without needing to pay for bloody Hollywood mayhem. Most importantly, we go to sleep at night knowing we made a real contribution to sustaining the wild places and the creatures who inhabit them. And in the late years of our failing sight and health, we will we will rummage through the fading photos, the artifacts of our travels, and yes, the trophies on the wall and again be in those special places. In our memories, we will be as we were then, with old friends, that favorite pointer or retriever, and just ahead the dark curls of a kudu, the rush of a rising covey, or soft mutter of setting mallards. What lonely sad beings those are who will never remember such things.