WHY HUNT & FISH AT ALL ?

So After some of my blog posts, and if I’m to be completely honest with you, I’ve gotten exactly what I was expecting from all my non hunter and gatherer friends and family. Lol. Many non hunters have written to me personally asking me why I hunt? Or fish?

So in order to stop writing individually to each person I figured I’ll write about it here and just send the next person the link when they ask me.

I’m not saying what I am about to write is either right or wrong, it is simply my own opinion of why I hunt. Or fish

There are actually a complex number of reasons as to why I hunt, & fish.

First I’m going to talk about fishing! Fishing has been in my blood since my early years. My father used to take me to trout ponds as a young child because he himself liked the idea of fishing but lacked the knowledge of where to go or how to catch wild fish in natural habitat. Therefore I remember going on adventures outside of the city of Toronto where I was raised to try our luck at fish farms where the ponds are stocked full of trout. The funny thing was even after several attempts at getting these hand fed fish as a youngster I still had a hard time figuring out how to catch them and why they always seemed to go after my dads bait and not mine, lol

This drove me to try and figure out several different combinations of lures and baits until the inevitable happened, one day I eventually out fished my father. He had a look of absolute joy in his eyes and the next week he took me to A local sporting good store to get me a new rod and reel combo of my choice and we decided to try our luck on a new River bank (Canal RD, between Toronto and Barrie Ontario, a natural fish habitat to celebrate our new fishing gear, something we were both very unfamiliar with.

The water was dark and murky, I thought how can a fish even be in that kind of water? But just ahead of us a fisherman had a bucket of perch he caught, so Dad and I hunkered down along the bank of the river and gave it a good effort

Well the first outing I remember was a disaster, I can’t remember a single fish being caught. Dad thought because I didn’t catch anything that I would have probably been disappointed and not want to go again, and that the money he just spent on that fishing gear was probably going to be a waste.

Well, he was dead wrong about that. Failing to catch fish in that spot when I knew another fisherman was catching all kinds drove me mad. I began thinking up new ideas of how I was going to catch those fish in that dirty river, and I started begging my dad to go fishing every weekend he could. It wasn’t long before I was pulling perch, bass, and bullheads out of the river and pretty soon I was able to target the species I wanted. My dad was happy I found a passion until I wanted to bring them home as pets lol.

So that’s where my passion for fishing started. Well how did I get so passionate about it in the future?

Well my about me section explains mostly of my extensive experience as a commercial fisherman over the years and how fishing has been how I’ve lived a good many years of my life. I’ve been able to turn to the fishing industry both through the commercial side and to the sport sides of the industry to make a living.

I’ve fished commercially out of Scotland UK, Advocate Harbour NS, & Mabou Harbour Cape Breton in Canadian waters.

And on the Sport fishing end of things, I ran my own open water sport fishing Charter on the Bay Of Quinte, and was an Ice fishing guide on The Bay Of Quinte for 6 years, as well as guided for sport fish

at Slippery Winds Wilderness lodge (a fly-in fishing resort just a few hours North of Fort Frances in northern Ontario),

not to mention, on top of these experiences I did a social media experiment a few years back connecting anglers (in Person) across the country (Canada), showcasing different anglers, species, and areas. I did this with the support of The Canadian Fishing Network and anglers across the country in order to raise money for a charity called Feed My Starving Children. Here is a link to an interview I did in Timmins Ontario for this project

https://www.timminstoday.com/columns/fishing-the-north/fishing-the-north-crusading-for-starving-children-613835

Also a link to an interview with the legendary Gord Ellis in Thunder Bay Ontario about the project.

https://www.google.ca/amp/s/www.cbc.ca/amp/1.4111880

So in conclusion Fishing has been a huge influence in my life where I have been able to make fishing,

-a hobby,

– it’s been my recreation activity of choice for over 40 years,

-it’s been a passion,

-I have been able to feed myself and my family,

-it’s been something I’ve been able to teach to my older boys as they’ve grown up,

-and it’s an activity I look forward to introducing my youngest son too as soon as he’s old enough,

-not to mention I have made it my living for over half of my working career in the fishing industry.

So this is why Fishing has been, is, & will continue to be a huge part of my life and probably will continue to be for the rest of my life. (I hope)

That said fish management is also a huge part of being a great fisherman. Being conscious of good fishing practices is always something I try to pass on to others getting into the sport and don’t know any better. I have written about these practices in the past , but maybe it’s time to do another blog about it as I haven’t in recent years.

So in conclusion to my original question of why do I fish? The answer is this.

It is nostalgic, an activity I’ve been doing since I was a small boy and it brings back great memories with my father.

It is a source I have used in my life to make a living.

It is an enjoyable time spent on or around the water, which is the place I love to be.

It’s a primal human instinct that I love to take part of.

It’s a time I can be alone at times and I can organize my own thought

And it’s a great food source. There’s pride in being able to catch a meal and being able to feed yourself , friends and family. Not to mention so many different tastes of so many different species and they all taste delicious.

Ok Now for Hunting and why It is important to me.

If you ask 5 or 100 different hunters why they hunt? You will get 5 to 100 different answers. Every hunter has their own reasons to be hunting weather it be for

Food

camaraderie

Thrill of the hunt

Being one with the wild

Whatever the reasons are and there are thousands of them, here are my reasons.

For this part of the blog I will start off by saying, 1st I have taken about a 6 year hiatus from the spot til now. I have decided to take up hunting for the 2022 season using my favorited style using a crossbow.

Now I’m not actually all that great when it comes to the hunt lol. I have been successful sure. But truth be told I have a lot to learn still when it comes to hunting.

Terrible photo but This is my first turkey with a bow

Hunting has been much more of a hobby for me than fishing, fishing has been more of a way of life.

There are many reasons I myself have gotten into the sport of hunting.

1st I love the outdoors and spending time alone in the woods or out in nature.

2nd, Hunting has been a huge challenge. It has been a way of life for humans for centuries and goes as far back to the beginning of the human race. Infact every species on the planet hunts in one way or another. I feel with the introduction of grocery stores, hunting has, or is becoming a lost skill. Sure there are still plenty of hunters around the country and world for that matter but the reality is that in North America, hunting is more for sport than for necessity as it was back before the availability of abundant foods sold in grocery stores.

Hunting gives me a sense of primal skills that are learned over years of trial and error and not taught in our public, private or school districts nation wide. However hunting is a skill that is taught, I have learned from several people over the years but no one has taught me more than a good buddy of mine by the name of AJ.

AJ is an accomplished hunter and trapper, he has taught me gear maintenance, tactics, harvest techniques and I have even learned how to properly skin and clean an array of different animals thanks to him.

Again it’s almost a lost art and skill that takes natural human instinct. Sure you hear that so many more people are getting back into the sport but many of those people are just looking for something else to do because the Pandemic has put a halt on many favorited activities because of reduced occupancy to many facilities the past couple years, (in my opinion) I feel like we will se a decline in hunters once the pandemic comes to an end.

This is not an activity that is as easy as many non hunters think it is. I’ve heard from non hunters expressing to me how surprised they are when the learned I spent a week in the bush and came out empty handed when they hand fed a deer on a path, while on a walk through a city park. They always say next time I should follow them, they’ll show me where the deer are lol. I’m not even getting into that argument lol.

In order to hunt ethically, there are a set of rules and regulations set out by our governments in order to protect wildlife.

Because hunting for me is not a means or need of survival, following these rules and regulations are very important for me so that wildlife management is top of my priority.

Now it would certainly be a different story if I was stranded or lost in the middle of a remote area and hunting became a means of survival, “don’t laugh at the thought!”, I have been in those situations in my life before, it does happen. & my thoughts on wildlife management drastically change in these situations. When I was in this situation when I was in my late teens taking a canoe trip from Whitehorse YK, to Circle Alaska along the YK River,

I had no hunting skills what so ever, in-fact I screamed like a little school girl when I was trying to hunt grouse with a slingshot and a grouse I was about to shoot turned at me and started flapping it’s wings , hissing at me while it charged and ran directly for me, I thought I was a goner for sure ha ha ha.

But seriously, if my kids ever do a trip like that in their lives or if I do something like it again, I’m happy I’ve spent years learning how to harvest animals in the wild. I’m also happy to have at least a small skill set I’m able to pass onto my 3 son’s should they ever need to do the same. Although I should probably just send them all to the AJ school of the wild. Lol.

AJ

So again in conclusion to why I hunt?

I hunt because it gives me a sense of basic human instinct, the meat I get (if any) puts food on our table, it allows me to get out in the outdoors and let’s me be alone with my thoughts and helps me organize my life, it’s a great stress reliever for me, and to be honest, I just simply enjoy it.

There are other benefits of hunting which I could talk about such as animal management but I think that’s for another blog.

I hope you enjoyed my blog and pictures, feel free to post any comments below. I’d love to read your thought.

Cheers

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