Hunting is difficult, dangerous and requires a lot of skill, but for many men it’s also part of their identity. The challenge to acquire food becomes more than just feeding yourself; hunting provides a sense of connection with nature that can be lost in modern society.

Hunting is a way of life that has been passed down from generation to generation. It is important for men to understand the benefits of hunting and how it can help them in their day-to-day lives. Read more in detail here: introduction to hunting.

Note from the editor: This is a guest post by Eric Voris. 

Hunting was a frequent part of many families’ lives only a few decades ago. Whether a guy was a die-hard outdoorsman or not, he had a strong affinity for hunting. It was a family event, and he could count on him and the other males in his family — father, grandparents, uncles, and so on — heading to the woods in quest of deer every autumn to enjoy both sustenance and fellowship. This would have been a common event throughout the year only to supply food for one’s family a few generations ago.

In today’s world, we can see that hunting is on the decrease. With the abundance of food shops and vast agricultural operations supplying steady truckloads of meat to our communities on a regular basis, it is scarcely perceived as required. Men’s companionship and rites of passage hunting afforded by the demise of intimate links between extended and multi-generational family lines have also vanished from the common experience. Many males don’t hunt because they were never exposed to the sport – it just never occurred to them.

I would suggest, however, that any guy who is not ethically averse to eating meat should try hunting. Being a hunter was formerly seen to be a prerequisite for being a man, since the duty metaphorically and physically corresponded with each of the classic manly imperatives: guard, provide, and breed. Hunting was seen as a creative act that resembled combat, sport, and sex, and it demanded and developed all of the male qualities — physical strength, tool mastery, discipline, resolve, initiative, and so on. Hunting is no longer a required part of masculinity, but it remains beneficial to men on a fundamental level, since it continues to develop those age-old male attributes and links a man to that ancient ethos in three spirit-enhancing ways:

1. Hunting brings you closer to your food.

How do you feel when you stand at your grill, beverage in hand, grilling the steaks you just bought at the supermarket? When you’re eating steak, it’s always a wonderful day. And, if you got them during one of those “Hurry, these are going to go bad!” mega-sales, you’re probably feeling pretty good about your wise investment. But what about the plot? Do you think about where that cow came from, what his life was like, or — as gruesome as it may seem — how he died when you realize that there was once a cow encircling the air-space around that steak? To be honest, I’d never done it until I started hunting.

I am overcome with joy and pride when I am standing at a grill grilling a select cut from an animal I harvested myself. I relive the whole hunt that lead to that animal’s capture. I think about how hard he had me work for it, and I’m thankful to that animal and the fact that my family gets meat tonight because of him. There’s a connection between ourselves and the food we eat that I’ve never felt before. While eating fresh vegetables from your garden has a comparable impact, it is nowhere like as strong as gardening.

 

When you have visitors around and are cooking up some wild game, it also provides for wonderful discussion. Not only are they intrigued about this exotic meat that they’ve probably never had before, but reliving the narrative with your visitors (maybe missing some of the gorier elements) enables them to share this bond with the dish they’re about to consume.

Finally, there is nothing more organic than a wild animal that has spent its whole existence consuming organic materials that grows organically in its environment, with no physical interaction with humans until the day you met. At $49/pound, even the most gourmet, free-range, grass-fed, zero-antibiotic, massaged-to-sleep-every-night cut of beef isn’t as organic as an elk you dragged out of the woods yourself. If you’ve ever seen one of the many terrifying documentaries about mass-farming operations and been concerned about the horrors that could be lurking in your meat, hunting solves those issues by providing a freezer full of clean protein.

When you prepare your own meal, everything about the eating experience is enhanced.

2. The Pursuit of Itself Is Extremely Satisfying

Hunting is difficult… period! It’s possible that you’ve been led to believe that hunters are maniacal rednecks who have overwhelming advantages over the game they prey upon, allowing them to easily kill whatever animals they want, thanks to carefully selected kill shots, viral videos of guys engaging in some pretty unethical “hunting” behavior, or even the movie Bambi. They drive a large rusted truck into the woods, pull over to the shoulder, shoot anything that moves, toss it in the pickup, and hurry into town to show off the corpses that have piled up in the truck bed. That ugly notion is illegal in the majority of circumstances, immoral in the extreme, and simply not how 99 percent of hunters go about pursuing their prey.

Early mornings, lengthy excursions over frequently harsh terrain, hours spent staring through binoculars, continually attempting to outwit an animal’s acute senses, slipping into shooting range unnoticed, and executing a good, ethical shot to terminate the animal fast are all part of real hunting (which requires countless hours of practice in the off-season). And if you succeed in getting past all of that, the real labor starts. Now you have to field-dress the animal, quarter it into manageable pack-loads, and carry it out of the woods – frequently on your own shoulders for kilometers back to your pickup. Hunting isn’t for the faint of heart!

Yet, the hardship of hunting an animal is precisely what makes it so wonderful for a man’s heart. Hunting for a few days is like taking a crash lesson in tenacity and resolve. You develop greatly as a human being when you startle an animal, miss a shot, struggle merely to identify where your prey is placed, persuade yourself to walk up and over just one more mountain crest, frighten another animal, and overall endure failure after failure. Whether you leave the woods with an animal or just an unused tag in your pocket, merely gritting your teeth and forcing yourself to keep going will make you stronger psychologically, emotionally, and physically. It’s this fight that makes the spoils of a successful hunt so fulfilling.

 

The tenacity and determination exhibited during hunting will benefit a guy in all aspects of his life. You’ll be a more patient parent, a more conscientious employee, a more self-assured entrepreneur… whatever your profession, hunting will help you improve. Many of the obstacles of everyday life become less daunting when you can pick yourself up and move on after days of continual failure in the field. And if you succeed in harvesting an animal after all of this, the increase in confidence you’ll feel is unrivaled. 

3. Catharsis is a benefit of hunting.

Without getting too philosophical, I’ve discovered that during a hunt, something deep inside me occurs. Men are still hardwired with a more “primal” side that we don’t know what to deal with, despite our contemporary conveniences and politeness. We still have that part of ourselves that was responsible for safeguarding our families or tribes not so long ago, for physically responding to a lethal danger, and even for providing food via hunting. Unfortunately, such primordial guy has little utility in the conventional “American Dream” lifestyle. We may attempt to reach it by pouring over our job, lifting weights, or participating in sports, which are all fine. Despite having tried every other method to engage that inner guy, hunting has shown to be the most beneficial.

When I go hunting, I can almost sense my position in the food chain, my function in the vast ecosystem that is the world. I feel as if the part of me that has been twiddling his thumbs all year as I sit at my work, drive in traffic, and mow my yard is finally letting go. If I may be so bold as to say it, I feel most like myself when I’m out in the woods hunting an animal. I am so certain of this that I plan gaps in my annual schedule for hunting at strategic intervals. I can tell when I’ve gone too long without a hunting expedition because I start to feel restless, less involved in my daily life, and if I go too long, I start to feel melancholy. Despite this, I feel restored and invigorated after a brief weekend search, ready to return to the rush and bustle of my more civilized, suburban existence.

I’ve spoken with a number of other guys who recognize this struggle in their own nature, so I know I’m not alone. There are numerous others who feel as if something is missing, a part of themselves that refuses to settle down and be pleased with the “regular” existence they’ve worked so hard to create. This discontent, I feel, is what pushes men down more disastrous pathways, such as midlife crises, quitting their families apparently out of nowhere, and a slew of other clichés that plague the contemporary male.

 

If a person is at the end of his rope and thinking about making a huge life shift to scratch an itch he can’t quite name, he should try spending a week in the woods pursuing an animal. He could be on his way to finding the answers he seeks. Now, I’m not claiming that the sheer act of hunting is what he’s losing out on. What I mean is that a week spent in nature, with lots of time to be alone with his thoughts and the chance to tap into a part of himself he doesn’t even realize exists, may be a profoundly beneficial step toward completeness.

So, what exactly are you waiting for?

If you’ve made it this far and find everything I’ve mentioned above to be true, it’s time to start hunting. There are a plethora of resources available in your area to help you through the process, and if money isn’t a problem, there is almost likely a guide or outfitter who would be pleased to assist you. Hunting equipment may be costly, but a guy can go on his first basic adventure with a few borrowed items and garage-sale discoveries and still have a successful hunt. Give it a go, see how it goes, and I’m sure you’ll be mentally planning next year’s hunt while you stand at your grill grilling a steak with a backstory.

If you’ve made it this far and find everything I’ve mentioned above to be true, it’s time to start hunting. There are a plethora of resources available in your area to help you through the process, and if money isn’t a problem, there is almost likely a guide or outfitter who would be pleased to assist you. Hunting equipment may be costly, but a guy can go on his first basic adventure with a few borrowed items and garage-sale discoveries and still have a successful hunt. Give it a go, see how it goes, and I’m sure you’ll be mentally planning next year’s hunt while you stand at your grill grilling a steak with a backstory.

Eric Voris is a parent, spouse, and avid outdoorsman. He feels that hunting is one of the best things a man can do for his spirit, and he operates the Late to the Game Outdoors website, which is dedicated to helping men become better men via hunting and the outdoors. On his website, Instagram, and YouTube channel, he has additional materials to help you go outside.

 

 

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Hunting is a great way for people to get fresh meat and enjoy the outdoors. Not only that, but hunting can also be a hobby for some people. There are many reasons why it’s food for a man’s soul. Reference: hunting basics for beginners.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits for hunting?

A: Hunting is the act of searching for and killing animals or monsters with a weapon. Some benefits that hunters may receive are increased combat experience, skill points, money drops from slain monsters loot table, upgrades to their equipment such as armor and weapons, etc.

Why Is hunting good for food?

A: Hunting is a method of getting food that requires skill and patience.

What are benefits of deer hunting?

A: Hunting deer benefits include providing meat for the table.

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