There is a lot we can learn from those who came before us, and few things can boil down the essence of their wisdom as much as a good quote. That is why we’ve decided to collect 12 of our favorite hunting quotes—whether spoken, written, or just attributed—that all sportsmen should know.

A good quote can stay with you for a long time, and if it’s good enough, you might even share it.

1. Sam Snead

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“The only reason I ever played golf in the first place was so I could afford to hunt and fish.”

2. John Madson

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“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.”

3. Fred Bear

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“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.”

4. John James Audubon

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“Hunting, fishing, drawing, and music occupied my every moment. Cares I knew not, and cared naught about them.”

5. Jose Ortega y Gasset

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“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.”

6. Theodore Roosevelt

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“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.”

7. Archibald Rutledge

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“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.”

8. John Madison

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“Through almost all of human existence, huntable land and huntable wildlife have preceded the hunter. They caused the hunter. But in the future this must be reversed. It is the hunter who must cause huntable land and wildlife, and a world worth being young in.”

9. Aristotle

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“If some animals are good at hunting and others are suitable for hunting, then the gods must clearly smile on hunting.”

10. Saxton Pope

Image from Derek Gavey on the Flickr Creative Commons.
Image from Derek Gavey on the Flickr Creative Commons.

“The real archer when he goes afield enters a land of subtle delight. The dew glistens on the leaves, the thrush sings in the bush, the soft wind blows, and all nature welcomes him as she has the hunter since the world began. With the bow in his hand, his arrows softly rustling in the quiver, a horn at his back, and a hound at his heels, what more can a man want in life?”

11. Aldo Leopold

Aldo Leopold (left) and Olaus Muire.
Aldo Leopold (left) and Olaus Muire.

“There are some who can live without wild things and some who cannot.”

12. Johnny Carson

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“If God didn’t want men to hunt, he wouldn’t have given him plaid shirts.”

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