It’s a question I’m asked fairly often, especially when the topic of the great outdoors, hunting, or firearms comes up in casual conversation with recent acquaintances.

The idea that someone might enjoy going out in extreme weather conditions (heat, rain, snow, wind, etc.) in the pursuit of wild game, with absolutely no guarantee of how said pursuit will turn out, baffles most sane people.

Think about it, during waterfowl season, some of the best hunts are on the windiest and ugliest days, so when everyone else is ready to batten down the hatches, waterfowl hunters are packing their gear up to head out. I get why the concept, or idea, is so foreign to most, especially those who weren’t raised in a hunting family, but one thing is for certain, once you expose someone who’s never hunted to the lifestyle, most of the time they’re hooked for life.

There’s often a huge misconception about the hunting and outdoor lifestyle, especially from the uninitiated. I’ve had countless conversations where the main focus from my non-hunting friends and acquaintances is on what I like to call “The Kill” question. Yeah, I’ve even developed a term for it, or even more commonly the, “What did you catch” question. Now, you can’t knock or fault the uninitiated for what they don’t know, but in their minds, they think hunting is all about “The Kill”, like were some bloodthirsty killers that are only satisfied when we bag a deer, elk, or goose. For me at least, that couldn’t be further from the truth.

For me, hunting is about SO much more than just the pursuit. Mostly, it’s about the intangible aspects of hunting. It’s about the camaraderie that develops between hunting companions. Those shared bonds that are developed in the field over years of sharing similar, if not the same, experiences. It’s about the scenery; the sunrises, the sunsets, the changing landscapes. It’s about being able to see, and experience, Mother Nature in all of her glory, and sometimes her ferocity. It’s about spending time with your friends and family without having to say a word, knowing that everyone is content being right there in the moment.

Hunting gives me a sense of serenity, it offers me peace and solitude, and hope for better days. More than anything, hunting gives me purpose, beyond the daily grind and civic responsibilities, hunting fuels my passions for self-betterment, that burning feeling deep in our core that speaks to us only when we’re in the field. It’s a high that you can’t replicate, and it’s present no matter if you’re bringing home a cooler full of meat, or if you’re crossing the threshold empty-handed.

That’s why I hunt. How about you? Tell me why you hunt in the comments below.