John Madson (1923-1995) was a naturalist, conservationist, journalist, and freelance outdoors writer. Madson published frequently in conservationists' and sportsmens' publications such as Audubon, Field and Stream, Guns and Ammo, Outdoor Life, and Sports Afield.
I do not hunt for the joy of killing but for the joy of living, and the inexpressible pleasure of mingling my life however briefly, with that of a wild creature that I respect, admire and value.
Aristotle (384-322 B.C.) was a Greek philosopher and polymath during the Classical period in Ancient Greece. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest intellectual figures of Western history.
If some animals are good at hunting and others are suitable for hunting, then the gods must clearly smile on hunting.
Archibald Rutledge (1883–1973) was an American poet and educator. He wrote more than 50 books, most often about his hunting and life experiences in South Carolina. His work was featured in Outdoor Life, Field and Stream, and many other magazines.
It has always seemed to me that any man is a better man for being a hunter. This sport confers a certain constant alertness, and develops a certain ruggedness of character…. Moreover, it allies us to the pioneer past. In a deep sense, this great land of ours was won for us by hunters.
Teddy Roosevelt was an American statesman, politician, conservationist, naturalist, historian, and writer who served as the 26th president of the United States. Roosevelt was most proud of his work in the conservation of natural resources and extending federal protection to land and wildlife.
In a civilized and cultivated country wild animals only continue to exist at all when preserved by sportsmen. the excellent people who protest against all hunting, and consider sportsmen as enemies of wild life, are ignorant of the fact that in reality the genuine sportsman is by all odds the most important factor in keeping the larger and more valuable wild creatures from total extermination.
Death by violence, death by cold, death by starvation, – these are the normal endings of the stately and beautiful creatures of the wilderness. The sentimentalists who prattle about the peaceful life of nature do not realize its utter mercilessness;…Life is hard and cruel for all the lower creatures, and for man also in what the sentimentalists call a “state of nature.”
Jose Ortega y Gasset
Jose Ortega y Gasset (1883–1955) was a prolific Spanish philosopher and essayist. His book Meditations on Hunting explores the many reasons we hunt, as well as the ethics of hunting.
One does not hunt in order to kill; on the contrary, one kills in order to have hunted… if one were to present the sportsman with the death of the animal as a gift he would refuse it. What he is after is having to win it, to conquer the surly brute through his own effort and skill with all the extras that this carries with it: the immersion in the countryside, the healthfulness of the exercise, the distraction from his job.
Fred Bear (1902–1988) was an American bow hunter, founder of Bear Archery, author, and television host. He is thought to be the pioneer of modern bow-hunting by many.
Go afield with a good attitude, with respect for the forest and fields in which you walk. Immerse yourself in the outdoor experience. It will cleanse your soul and make you a better person.
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.
A hunt based only on trophies taken falls far short of what the ultimate goal should be . . . time to commune with your inner soul as you share the outdoors with the birds, animals, and fish that live there.
Steven Rinella is an American outdoorsman, conservationist, writer, and television personality known for The Meat Eater series. He has played a massive role in introducing hunting and fishing to new audiences through his unique style of history, philosophy, education, and entertainment.
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.
A true hunter recognizes that experiences are the ultimate hunting trophies; he takes pride in walking the ancient and noble pathway that was laid down by his forebears; and even when he returns from a hunt cold, wet, and empty handed, he does so with a full heart.
Robert Ruark (1915–1965) was a best-selling American author, syndicated columnist, and big game hunter. He wrote Horn of the Hunter, produced Africa Adventure, one of the first African Safari documentaries, and wrote for Field and Stream.
Hunting is the noblest sport yet devised by the hand of man. There were mighty hunters in the Bible, and all the caves where the cave men lived are full of carvings of assorted game the head of the house drug home. If you hunt to eat, or hunt for sport for something fine, something that will make you proud, and make you remember every single detail of the day you found him and shot him, that is good too. But if there’s one thing I despise it’s a killer, some blood-crazy idiot that just goes around bam-bamming at everything he sees. A man who takes pleasure in death just for death’s sake is rotten somewhere inside, and you’ll find him doing things later on in life that’ll prove it.
John James Aububon
John James Audubon (1785–1851) was an American ornithologist, naturalist, and artist. His book The Birds of America, is considered one of the finest ornithological works ever completed. Audubon is credited for identifying 25 new species.
A true conservationist is a man who knows that the world is not given by his fathers, but borrowed from his children.
Aldo Leopold (1887–1948) was an American author, philosopher, naturalist, scientist, ecologist, forester, conservationist, and environmentalist. Leopold was influential in the development of modern environmental ethics and in the movement for wilderness conservation. He was also a founder of the science of wildlife management.
A peculiar virtue in wildlife ethics is that the hunter ordinarily has no gallery to applaud or disapprove of his conduct. Whatever his acts, they are dictated by his own conscience, rather than by a mob of onlookers. It is difficult to exaggerate the importance of this fact
We abuse land because we see it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect.