Bow hunting is an ancient sport, one which some would even consider calling an art form. Here we have collected a selection of bow hunting quotes for you, in the hope that they will inspire you, amuse you, and provoke some thought.
We have included quotes from famous bow hunters, such as the incomparable Fred Bear, as well as political figures, writers and conservationists.
50 Bow Hunting Quotes“Go afield with a good attitude, with respect for the wildlife you hunt and for the forests 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
The hunting pioneer Fred Bear explains to us the best ways to go about hunting in order to experience it fully.
“The more I practice, the luckier I become.”Byron Ferguson
Hunting celebrity Byron Ferguson with a bit of a sarcastic quote about luck versus skill in archery.
“Archery is like a journey, it begins with a love for shooting a bow and a passion for watching arrows fly.”Ron Laclair
Traditional archer Ron Laclair explains the joy of archery in a rather poetic quote.
“If an archer shoots just for fun he has all his skill. If he shoots for score his hands tremble and his breath is uneasy. If he shoots for a golden price he becomes mad and blind. His skill was not lessened, but the vision of the target changed him.”Old Chinese Poem
This poem tells us how ability and precision change, depending on the conditions and target.
“The history of the bow and arrow is the history of mankind.”Fred Bear
The legendary Fred Bear on the timelessness of bow hunting.
“If there is a sacred moment in the ethical pursuit of game, it is the moment you release the arrow or touch off the fatal shot.”Jim Posewitz
Author, hunter and conservationist Jim Posewitz on that special moment experienced while hunting.
“Without hunting there would be no conservation, without conservation there would be no wildlife.”Rob Keck
Here, the past CEO of the National Wild Turkey Federation, Rob Keck, explains the sustainable aspects of hunting.
“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
This quote from Fred Bear explains the importance of appreciating the journey of the hunt, as opposed to the final kill.
“A true hunter, is he who has a deep respect for the game, abides by all laws, and practices proper game management.”Muley Freak
The important things to remember when hunting, from hunting brand Muley Freak.
“You wanna totally escape stress? Get a bow and arrow and go sit in a tree. Cleanse your soul.”Ted Nugent
Singer-songwriter and hunting personality Ted Nugent explains his preferred method of stress release.
“The hunter that travels out into the woods is lost to the world, yet finds himself.”Author Unknown
This quote explains how hunting by oneself leads to self-discovery.
“All bowhunters are trophy hunters, for any game rightfully harvested with stick and string is a trophy to be proud of.”Fred Bear
Fred Bear again, explaining the value of the skill that is archery.
“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 an 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
Spanish philosopher Jose Ortega y Gasset explains the philosophy and benefits behind hunting.
“There is no greater honesty in life than hunting. We make our peace in the wilderness of this world. We understand balance and survival, and most importantly the sacrifice of life. True hunters are the greatest conservationists of all. I fear for the day the last hunters walk this earth, as the final guardians of the world will be gone.”Byron Pace
Hunter, conservationist and filmmaker Byron Pace tells us the importance of hunters for conservation reasons.
“A real hunter never returns empty handed. Spending time in the wilderness temporarily satisfies the soul, but leaves us longing for more.”Fred Bear
Hunting pioneer Fred Bear explains the joy of hunting in nature, even when no prey is caught.
“I love hunting. It’s a great sport. It keeps the population of any game animal at a healthy rate. It prevents starvation and overpopulation. Anyone who disagrees just doesn’t know the facts. It’s not cruel or mean if you follow the laws and regulations.”Author Unknown
This quote explains the benefits of hunting animals in the wild, and how these improve the sustainability of different species.
“Don’t hate what you don’t understand.”John Lennon
Although from a famous singer instead of a huntsman, this is an important quote in response to those who oppose hunting.
“He needed someone who would have a steady hand, and a keen eye. A person, who would be willing to trade long hours in the cold to provide for his family. They would have respect for the animals, the land and would teach youngsters the same. So God made a hunter.”Author Unknown
This anonymous quote is about the great qualities of a strong hunter, who would also pass these along through the generations.
“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 ways of fang and claw or exposure and starvation are a far crueler fate than I bestow.”Fred Bear
Fred Bear again, with a quote on the humanity of hunting and the importance of valuing an animal’s life.
“In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks”John Muir
Naturalist John Muir explains the joys and benefits of spending time out in nature.
“Take your kids hunting, instead of hunting for your kids.”Ted Nugent
Singer-songwriter and hunting personality Ted Nugent, with a tongue in cheek quote about passing down the hunting tradition through the family.
“I don’t think women are out to prove anything. This is not a competition of which sex can hunt better. I think women just enjoy hunting. It is that cut and dry”Michael Waddell
Huntsman Michael Waddell gives his opinion on females in hunting and the motivation behind their involvement.
“The more I see of deer, the more I admire them as mountaineers. They make their way into the heart of the roughest solitudes with smooth reserve of strength, through dense belts of brush and forest encumbered with fallen trees and boulder piles, across canyons, roaring streams, and snow-fields, ever showing forth beauty and courage.”John Muir
Philosopher and naturalist John Muir, with a quote about the strength and qualities of deer in the wild.
“Nothing clears a troubled mind like shooting a bow.”Fred Bear
The therapeutic benefits of archery, explained by Fred Bear.
“There is pleasure in the pathless woods; there is rapture on the lonely shore; there is society, where none intrudes, by the deep sea and music in its roar: I love not man the less, but nature more.”Lord Byron
The British nobleman and poet Lord Byron with an ode to his love and appreciation of nature, and the peacefulness it brings us.
“I do not hunt for the joy of killing but 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 Madison
American statesman and founding father John Madison explains his motivation behind hunting and his respect for wild animals.
“Vegetarian is an old Indian word for bad hunter.”Author Unknown
A tongue in cheek quote, poking fun at those lacking in the skill and ability to source their own meat.
“The very remoteness kindles the imagination of the adventurous hunter. From the top of any mountain, the challenge extends far and wide, until the mountains meet the sky.”Fred Bear
Famous hunter Fred Bear explains the fascination of hunting in wide open natural spaces, and the feelings that this can invoke in a hunter.
“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?”Saxton Pope
Outdoorsman, teacher, doctor and author Saxton Pope on the positive experiences that can be had whilst hunting in nature.
“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”John Madison
John Madison, a founding father and US statesman, explains the modern importance of conservation and sustainable practices while hunting.
“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”Archibald Rutledge
The poet and educator Archibald Rutledge with a quote on how hunting improves the skills and abilities of a man and develops his character as well.
“Ethical behaviour is doing the right thing when no one else is watching, even when doing the wrong thing is legal.”Aldo Leopold
Conservationist Aldo Leopold on the importance of maintaining ethical behavior when hunting, even if there is no one watching you to police it.
“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
The bow hunting pioneer Fred Bear tells us the reason why hunters are so proud and respectful of the areas where they hunt.
“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 former American President and writer Theodore Roosevelt explains the importance of hunting, why it is necessary for conservation purposes, and how it can help prevent the loss of certain species.
“Hunting, fishing, drawing, and music occupied my every moment. Cares I knew not, and cared naught about them.”John James Audubon
This quote from woodsman John James Audubon tells us of his passions in life, and how they made him forget all his worries in the world.
“The only reason I ever played golf in the first place was so I could afford to hunt and fish.”Sam Snead
Sam Snead was a professional golfer, and here he shows us where his true priorities lie.
“Cause you can’t starve us out and you can’t make us runHank Williams Jr.
‘Cause we’re them old boys raised on shotgun
And we say “grace” and we say “Ma’am”
And if you ain’t into that we don’t give a damn.”
This is an excerpt from Hank’s song, titled “A Country Boy Can Survive.”
“To sit in a tree and watch the coming of dawn is a strange thing. As soon as you can see the ground with any detail it seems that you’re twice as high as you thought you were. Tree stumps go through brief periods when they look like people. The root wads of overturned trees look like bears. You can’t tell whether the trail you’re sitting along passes through a large meadow you should have noticed earlier or just a slight opening in the trees that you wouldn’t have noticed earlier. But as the light comes up enough to make out the individual leaves on the ground, you realize that you’re only as high as you thought you were. The stumps go back to being stumps, the root wads back to root wads. The trail begins to look like how you remembered it.”Steven Rinella
Outdoorsman Steve Rinella with a lengthy and descriptive quote on the sights you will experience when out in nature over a long period of time.
“There’s more fun in hunting with the handicap of a bow, than there is in the hunting with a sureness of a gun.”Fred Bear
Pioneering hunter Fred Bear explains the benefits of bow hunting and the skill level required for the sport.
“A true hunter recognizes that experiences are the ultimate hunting trophies; he takes pride in walking the ancient and noble pathway that was laid down by his forebears; and even when he returns from a hunt cold, wet, and empty handed, he does so with a full heart.”Steven Rinella
Hunter Steve Rinella again, on the importance of valuing the experience and history of hunting as a sport, rather than the potential prey you may come home with.
“Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wilderness is a necessity.”John Muir
Naturalist John Muir gives us a quote discussing the importance of spending time outdoors in nature, especially when we have been exposed to the stresses of modern life for too long.
“All the sounds of this valley run together into one great echo, a song that is sung by all the spirits of this valley. Only a hunter hears it.”Chaim Potok
Chaim Potok, the American Rabbi and author, with a poetic quote on the combination of sounds that a hunter hears while out in nature.
“Wilderness to the people of America is a spiritual necessity, an antidote to the high pressure of modern life, a means of regaining serenity and equilibrium.”Sigurd F. Olson
The writer and conservationist Sigurd F Olson explains the importance of spending time in the wilderness to alleviate the strains and pressures of modern life.
“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 by a mob of onlookers. It is difficult to exaggerate the importance of this fact.”Aldo Leopold
A man considered to be the founder of US wildlife ecology, Aldo Leopold explains the importance of hunters remaining ethical in their practice, even when they are alone.
“You have to relax when you’re shooting an arrow. You can’t be tense. And that just helps, in your day-to-day life.”Stephen Amell
The Canadian actor Stephen Amell on the need to be relaxed during hunting and life in general, as this has great benefits.
“Archery does not get difficult or hard to understand until the arrow misses.”Milan E Elott
The author of ‘Why We Miss’, explains to us one of the problems with archery. It seems so simple until it goes wrong.
“Aim at a high mark and you will hit it. No, not the first time, not the second time and maybe not the third. But keep on aiming and keep on shooting for only practice will make you perfect. Finally, you will hit the bull’s eye of success.”Annie Oakley
A literal yet inspirational quote from Annie Oakley, the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame Honoree 1984.
“We abuse land because we see it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect.”Aldo Leopold
Ecologist Aldo Leopold with a quote on how vital it is that we see land and nature as a community that deserves respect, not a commodity that should be abused.
“A bad day hunting still beats a good day working.”Author Unknown
This quote shows us the benefits and enjoyment of hunting, even when it doesn’t quite go to plan.
“Vegetarians are cool. All I eat are vegetarians–except for the occasional mountain lion steak.”Ted Nugent
We finish with a tongue in cheek quote from singer-songwriter and hunting personality Ted Nugent.
We hope you have enjoyed this selection of hunting quotes that we have compiled. They have come from a range of huntsmen, both past and present, along with a few literary and historical figures. These quotes are here to amuse and inspire you on your hunting journey.