These 51 greatest hunting quotes of all time sum up the deeper feeling we hunters have pursuing our love of hunting. They include sayings from other great hunters, famous hunting authors, Presidents, African proverbs and even Bible verses about hunting.
As hunters we know the full range of emotions we experience every time we conduct a successful or unsuccessful hunt.
The excitement of planning the hunt, the natural beauty of being in the wilderness, the mental strength required to find and track your quarry, the adrenaline of taking aim to the joy, respect and thankfulness for the harvest.
I wish I could put into words the wisdom and emotions I have gained over many years hunting and fishing, to describe the feelings in the soul of a hunter. Alas my writing falls short in this exercise.
Listen to the words of the master hunters and woodsman such as Fred Bear, Theodore Roosevelt, Ernest Hemingway and Aldo Leopold.
So just for a moment forget the technology, put away the latest gadget and immerse yourself in the best hunting quotes of all time.
I hope you enjoy what I believe to be some of the best hunting quotes of all time. They speak to the hunter in my soul and I hope they speak to your inner hunter as well.
Fred Bear Hunting Quotes
“Nothing clears a troubled mind like shooting a bow.”– Fred Bear
“A hunt based only on the trophies taken falls far short of what the ultimate goal should be.”– Fred Bear
“Go afield with a good attitude, with respect for the wildlife you hunt and 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.”– Fred Bear
“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
“If you are not working to protect hunting, then you are working to destroy it.”– Fred Bear
“Life in the open is one of my finest rewards. I enjoy and become completely immersed in the high challenge and increased opportunity to become for a time, a part of nature. Deer hunting is a classical exercise in freedom. It is a return to fundamentals that I instinctively feel are basic and right.”– Fred Bear
“When a hunter is in a tree stand with high moral values and with the proper hunting ethics and richer for the experience, that hunter is 20 feet closer to God.”– Fred Bear
“The history of the bow and arrow is the history of mankind”– Fred Bear
“It is no coincidence that the American hunter is the most patriotic of all our citizens. Who cares more for this land’s beauties than he?”– Fred Bear
“I hunt deer because I love the entire process; the preparation, the excitement, and sustained suspense of trying to match my woods lore against the finely honed instincts of these creatures.”– Fred Bear
“If you consider an unsuccessful hunt to be a waste of time, then the true meaning of the chase eludes you all together.”– Fred Bear
“I hunt because I love the entire process: the preparations, the excitement, and sustained suspense of trying to match my woodslore against the finely honed instincts of these creatures.
On most days spent in the woods, I come home with an honestly earned feeling that something good has taken place. It makes no difference whether or not I got anything: it has to do with how the day was spent.”– Fred Bear
Ernest Hemingway Hunting Quotes
“You did not kill the fish only to keep alive and to sell for food, he thought. You killed for pride and because you are a fisherman. You loved him when he was alive and you loved him after. If you love him, it is not a sin to kill him. Or is it more?”– Ernest Hemingway
“I did not mind killing anything, any animal, if I killed it cleanly, they all had to die and my interference with the nightly and the seasonal killing that went on all the time was very minute and I had no guilty feeling at all. We ate the meat and kept the hides and horns.”– Ernest Hemingway
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Aldo Leopold Hunting Quotes
“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 that of onlookers. It is difficult to exaggerate the importance of this fact.”– Aldo Leopold
“We reached the old wolf in time to watch a fierce green fire dying in her eyes. I realized then, and have known ever since, that there was something new to me in those eyes – something known only to her and to the mountain.
I was young then, and full of trigger-itch; I thought that because fewer wolves meant more deer, that no wolves would mean hunters’ paradise. But after seeing the green fire die, I sensed that neither the wolf nor the mountain agreed with such a view.”– Aldo Leopold
“I am glad I will not be young in a future without wilderness.”– Aldo Leopold
“There are some who can live without wild things and some who cannot.”– Aldo Leopold
“Ethical behavior is doing the right thing when no one else is watching- even when doing the wrong thing is legal.”– Aldo Leopold
“Only the mountain has lived long enough to listen objectively to the howl of the wolf.”– Aldo Leopold
“Like winds and sunsets, wild things were taken for granted until progress began to do away with them. Now we face the question whether a still higher ‘standard of living’ is worth its cost in things natural, wild and free. For us of the minority, the opportunity to see geese is more important than television.”– Aldo Leopold
“Nonconformity is the highest evolutionary attainment of social animals.”– Aldo Leopold
“Wilderness is a resource which can shrink but not grow… creation of new wilderness in the full sense of the word is impossible.”– Aldo Leopold
Theodore Roosevelt Hunting Quotes
“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.”– Theodore Roosevelt
“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 wildlife, 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.”– Theodore Roosevelt
“The chase is among the best of all national pastimes; it cultivates that vigorous manliness for the lack of which in a nation, as in an individual, the possession of no other qualities can possibly atone.”– Theodore Roosevelt
African and Other Hunting Proverbs
A hunter who has only one arrow does not shoot with careless aim.– African Proverb
A determined hunter is never frightened in the jungle.– African Proverb
Both the hunted and the hunter rely on God.– Kurdish Proverb
A hunter is not afraid of thorns.– Swahili Proverb
The hunter’s son knows how to hunt.–Kikuyu Proverb
Man is a hunter.– Sicilian Proverb
When the hunter returns and is holding mushrooms, don’t ask him about how his hunt went.– African Proverb
Bible Verses About Hunting
“Now then, get your equipment–your quiver and bow–and go out to the open country to hunt some wild game for me.”– Genesis 27:3
“Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. And as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything.”– Genesis 9:3
“And there came a voice to him; “Rise, Peter; kill and eat,”– Acts 10:13
“Does a lion roar in the forest when he has no prey? Does a young lion growl from his den unless he has captured something?”– Amos 3:4
“The boys grew up, and Esau became a skillful hunter, a man of the open country, while Jacob was content to stay at home among the tents. Isaac, who had a taste for wild game, loved Esau, but Rebekah loved Jacob.”–Genesis 25:27-28
Other Great Hunting Quotes
“There is a passion for hunting something deeply implanted in the human breast.”– Charles Dickens
“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
“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
“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.”– Robert Ruark
“If some animals are good at hunting and others are suitable for hunting, then the Gods must clearly smile on hunting.”– Aristotle
“A duck call in the hands of the unskilled is one of conservation’s greatest assets.”– Nash Buckingham
“Do not tell fish stories where the people know you; but particularly, don’t tell them where they know the fish.”– Mark Twain
“I don’t know what there is about buffalo that frightens me so. Lions and leopard and rhinos excite me but don’t frighten me. But that buff is so big and mean and ugly and hard to stop, and vindictive and cruel and surly and ornery.
He looks like he hates you personally. He looks like you owe him money. He looks like he is hunting you.”– Robert Ruark
“When I was young, I was a hunter, walking wooded hillsides with confident steps and a gun in my hand. I knew the blur of wings, the rocketing form, and the Great Moment that only hunters know, when all existence draws down to two points and a single line.
And the universe holds it breath. And what may be and what will be meet and become one – before the echo returns to its source.”– Pete Dunne
“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
“Hunting forces a person to endure, to master themselves, even to truly get to know the wild environment. Actually, along the way, hunting and fishing make you fall in love with the natural world. This is why hunters so often give back by contributing to conservation.”– Donald Trump, Jr.
“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.”– Jose Ortega y Gasset
“It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to, than I have ever known.”– Charles Dickens
I hope you enjoyed what I believe are the best hunting quotes of all time. Hunting is more than the chase and kills as any serious hunter will tell you.
Take some time to reflect on your favourite hunting quote and share them with your friends and family. You may also like to read some of my favorite hunting poems for further inspiration.