Fun is defined as “a source of pleasure, amusing and enjoyable”. Hunting is a Blood Sport, that is hardly defined as fun. Hunting is defined as “the process to pursue and kill. To chase, seek, search, for sport or food.”
There is Fun in Hunting, but the killing part is No Fun. Hunters pride themselves on making an ethical and respectful harvest. “One shot, one kill.” Humans are Hunters and Gatherers. At one time, Hunters literally bought home the Bacon and shared it with the community. Today we have domesticated meats on the hoof, wing, or foot.
Hunting has evolved. Most hunting is no longer about subsistence. It is a choice in how we choose to gather food. Wild Game is not a cheaper way to gather food. The expense to get the gear, weapons, licenses, equipment, and other needs adds up fast. That Wild game meat packet could cost well over $30 a pound, according to several studies.
Sportsmen take no pride in killing. Their legal, ethical, tagged harvest results in food for the community, family, and friends. Modern hunters often donate their meat to Soup Kitchens or other sources. We have all known hunters that did not like to eat their harvest.
Many hunters take pride in filling tags and mounting trophies. Often, mounts are more like memorials and special memories than Bragging Rights. Taxidermy is a way to create outdoor art and celebrate the beauty, and diversity of wildlife.
As Hunters age, many find it harder to harvest the critters. It does not get easier as our skills and experience improve. It is the comradery, outdoors, and adventure that are the most Fun.
I think that the reason fishing has seen a huge increase in popularity, is because of Catch and Release. It would be great to pull the trigger on a deer and tag it without killing it. After the shot, maybe we could earn a coupon for a box of groceries. Sadly, Hunting is not about Catch and Release.
Hunting is an important management tool. Legal and controlled harvests protect wild game populations and their health. Thanks to Hunters, we still have vast areas of public wildlands, watersheds, and healthy wild game populations.
For me, Hunting is great FUN! The fellowship, adventure, annual pilgrimage into the wild, food, learned skills, experiences, processing, and the planning and preparation for hunting are all great Fun!
My least favorite “Fun” part of hunting is the kill. Many modern hunters feel the same. We enjoy the meat, and gifts that the harvest supplies but… After a kill, Hunters often give thanks through prayer. We take no pride in the kill. We do take pride in utilizing the resource, making an ethical kill, and enjoying the nutrition that the meat will provide.
The fact is that Humans are Carnivores. We eat meat. Our canine teeth, front forward eyes, and skills make us hunters. Not all of us choose to insulate ourselves from the food chain. We understand the reality of where our meat comes from. Hunters take ownership of what we are and pride in how we ethically pursue our sport.