“In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous.”
But you don’t know if you don’t go. Hunting provides such an opportunity and fosters an appreciation of nature, wildlife and conservation.
A national study conducted in 2017 showed there is massive disconnection between Americans and the outdoors. The majority of 12,000 adults and children surveyed expressed an interest in spending time in nature yet it remains increasingly normal for them to spend little time outside.
Hunting offers an all-sensory experience that widens the eye and opens the mind to the natural world.
It affords the exploration of wild places. Spending time in the mountains, river bottoms, rolling hills and forests, hunting – like no other outdoor activity– offers a first-hand education that makes the hunter increasingly aware of both surroundings and his or her place in the natural world.
They experience the rising of the sun, forests coming to life, changing temperatures and weather patterns; the varying trees, shrubs and vegetation; water sources and the setting of the sun into the stillness of the night.
“Immerse yourself in the outdoor experience. It will cleanse your soul.”
– Fred Bear
A hunter in search of quarry often has up-close, life-changing experiences with wildlife that may include predator, prey or both together; big game, small mammals, birds, reptiles, aquatic wildlife and even insects.
Here is an example from one hunter’s perspective.
I was in the mountains on a steep finger ridge when a raghorn bull elk climbed directly toward me and stopped at about 20 yards. I dared not move. I swear I thought he could hear my heart pounding. After about two minutes, it finally lowered its head and calmly walked up right past me about 10 yards away. The entire herd about 60 strong then followed in single file…cows, calves, spikes and raghorn bulls. The last elk that passed by was the herd bull…not overly large in body but he carried an impressive 7-by-7 rack of antlers.
Such interactions allow hunters to feel what they are – a part of the natural world around them. They learn tendencies of wildlife – their appearance, behavior, habitat and the ecosystems in which they live.
“Conservation is a state of harmony between men and land.”
– Aldo Leopold
Hunting, whether harvesting game or not, provides a direct link to conservation.
It forms a bond between the hunter and the land, water and wildlife around them.
That connection prompts understanding, knowledge, responsibility and advocacy.
That appreciation of and dedication to conservation, wildlife and nature highlights the fact that Hunting Is Conservation.