Top 10 Famous Quotes for Deer Hunters

March 16, 2017 | by Torin Miller

As deer hunters, we spend countless hours preparing for time spent afield. We consume ourselves with the newest technology, gear and gadgets, and there's nothing wrong with that. But, it can consume us to a point that we forget why we truly do what we do. We lose sight of the fact that it's not access to prime ground, a flagship bow or a successful hunt. Rather, there's a connective tissue that binds all of us as hunters, regardless of background, wealth or geography.

Luckily, some fine folks have given us reminders of the foundations of hunting and the outdoors that lure us all. I've gathered a list of the top 10 quotes every deer hunter should know. They come from some great hunters, naturalists and even the Good Book. Some names might appear more than once because they had a plethora of wisdom and knowledge on the topic. Here they are, in no particular order:

1.  We'll start with the oldest quote of the lot. Regardless of your religious beliefs, all deer hunters should be able to appreciate the primeval and lasting tradition of hunting and harvesting game.

"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

2.  This next quote, to my knowledge, does not appear in the written word, but rather originates from a popular deer hunting podcast. It's deep, but it couldn't be truer. Non-hunters will never understand the sacredness of what we do.

"When a human being willfully takes the life of a wild, sentient creature, they are then separated forever from those who have not." -Shane Mahoney

3.  Respect, admiration and value are incredibly important aspects of the hunt. This mid-western naturalist and excellent outdoor writer does a good job of reminding us of that fact.

“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.” -John Madson

4.  As sportsmen, the conservation of game and non-game animals rests primarily on our shoulders. We mustn't ever forget this. The man that reminds of us this was one of the best damn presidents and conservationists this country has ever seen.

"In a civilized and cultivated country, wild animals only continue to exist at all when preserved by sportsmen." -Theodore Roosevelt

5.  Ethics, ethics, ethics. This is one of the main principles that all hunters should share, but unfortunately, that's not always the case. It could be said that all true hunters share the common principle of ethics, and the remainder are just posers. 

"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." -Aldo Leopold

6. The next quote highlights two important aspects of hunting: it provides an excellent, varied education, and it's incredibly important to introduce the next generation to the sport and tradition.

"When some of my friends have asked me anxiously about their boys, whether they should let them hunt, I have answered yes--
 remembering that it was one of the best parts of my education-- make them hunters." 
-Henry David Thoreau

7.  Respect for one's quarry is paramount in the chase. Certainly, a successful harvest elicits feelings of sorrow and thanks. These feelings simply serve as reminders that the taking of a life is serious business. If you don't go through these emotions, you might be hunting for the wrong reasons.  

"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 far crueler fate than I bestow." -Fred Bear

8.  Deer hunters understand the grace and agility of their quarry, regardless of the habitat or terrain. This quote sums it up nicely.

"The more I see of deer, the more I admire them as mountaineers. They make their way into the heart of the roughest solitudes with smooth reserve of strength, through dense belts of brush and forest encumbered with fallen trees and boulder piles, across canons, roaring streams, and snow-fields, ever showing forth beauty and courage." -John Muir

9.  Surely, a hunt ending in a harvest is just one of the many goals deer hunters seek to achieve when heading afield. Nature, the experience and the solitude reveal to us so much more about life than non-hunters can even imagine.

"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

10. This last quote is especially important in today's society. Hunting is a sport of the minority, and those who do not participate have trouble comprehending. It's incredibly important for hunters to band together to protect our heritage. But, it's important that we as hunters keep each other in check. We need only protect those who participate ethically and legally. Those participating in any other manner are the ones working to destroy hunting.

"If you are not working to protect hunting, then you are working to destroy it." -Fred Bear