A good hunting quote evokes feelings. Same goes for fishing quotes. They stick with you and resurface while you’re sitting in a treestand on a chilled fall morning, when you’ve just made the perfect cast or when the woods fall quiet as you gently inhale and draw your bow. You think of it whenever you smell fresh gunpowder or fresh blood. It’s more than just words. It’s feelings and memories; a reason to take a pause form hectic, everyday life and reflect on what’s important.
With that in mind, here’s a list of some of the best.
1. “’The best thing about hunting and fishing,’ the Old Man said, ‘is that you don’t have to actually do it to enjoy it. You can go to bed every night thinking about how much fun you had twenty years ago, and it all comes back clear as moonlight.’” — Robert Ruark
2. “The only reason I ever played golf in the first place was so I could afford to hunt and fish.” — Sam Snead
3. “The old man used to say that the best part of hunting and fishing was the thinking about going and the talking about it after you got back.” — Robert Ruark, The Old Man and the Boy
4. “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, Horn of the Hunter
5. “Vegetarians are cool. All I eat are vegetarians — except for the occasional mountain lion steak.” — Ted Nugent
6. “I never knew a man that hunted quail that didn’t come out of it a little politer by comparison.” — Robert Ruark, Use Enough Gun
7. “Don’t tell fish stories where the people know you; but particularly, don’t tell them where they know the fish.” — Mark Twain
8. “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, Meat Eater: Adventures from the Life of an American Hunter
9. “When he was young, I told Dale Jr. that hunting and racing are a lot alike. Holding that steering wheel and holding that rifle both mean you better be responsible.” — Dale Earnhardt
10. “I have always tempered my killing with respect for the game pursued. I see the animal not only as a target, but as a living creature with more freedom than I will ever have. I take that life if I can, with regret as well as joy, and with the sure knowledge that nature’s way of fang and claw and starvation are a far crueler fate than I bestow.” – Fred Bear
11. “Fortunately, as it pertains to guns, my dad and uncle introduced me to guns the way it needs to be done: smart, slow and safe.”— Ted Nugent
12. “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.” – Henry David Thoreau
13. “But love of the wilderness is more than a hunger for what is always beyond reach; it is also an expression of loyalty to the earth which bore us and sustains us, the only home we shall ever know, the only paradise we ever need – if only we had eyes to see.” – Edward Abbey
14. “Put your trust in God, my boys, but mind to keep your powder dry.” – William Blacker
15. “A gun is like a woman, son — it’s all how you hold her.” – Rhett Atkins, from the song “Granddaddy’s Gun”
16. “You might as well learn that a man who catches fish or shoots game has got to make it fit to eat before he sleeps. Otherwise it’s all a waste and a sin to take it if you can’t use it.” — Robert Ruark
17. “Perhaps I should not have been a fisherman, he thought. But that was the thing that I was born for.” — Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea
18. “There are hunters and there are victims. By your discipline, you will decide if you are a hunter or a victim.” — General “Mad Dog” Mattis
19. “Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.” — Albert Einstein
20. “Now, therefore take, I pray thee, thy weapons, thy quiver and thy bow, and go out to the field, and take me some venison.” — Genesis 27:3, King James Bible
Did we leave off any of your favorite hunting quotes? Let us know in the comment section below, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Featured photo: Nick Trehearne Photography