A friend of mine in GA sent this link to me today. Pretty good article and pretty much hits the nails as why I hunt. http://www.nodakoutdoors.com/valleyoutdoors1.php Why Do I_Hunt? I never try to convince anyone the great hunter or even the lesser hunter for that matter. Fortunately, in this day and age, what fills the deep freeze is not the sole measure of hunting prowess. There really are no good or bad hunters, except for those who purposely break the law. Everyone else is just a hunter who has his or her own personal set of values for measuring success. My zeal for the outdoors is satisfied well before the time comes to set the hook or pull the trigger. I milk each second of every outdoor experience. My standards for satisfaction are similar to some, but much different than others. Everyone who spends time outdoors shares a common bond, but each individual fulfills their own appetite for nature differently. Since archery deer season remains open, and late-season pheasant hunting extends into January, hunting is not over for the year. But as the holiday season progresses, I find myself looking back over the fall, and asking the annual question: Did I hunt enough? The quick answer is who does? But I still find satisfaction every step of the way, even if it's a step that startles a squirrel that startles me as it races off to the nearest tree, crunching leaves in its wake. From the aroma of fresh-brewing coffee wafting down the hall at oh' dark thirty, to the spectacular prairie sunsets, the only aspect I don't relish about the outdoors is the thought that the day is over. Sometimes even that's not so bad, as I have fond memories of listening to football games on the radio, on the return trip home from a day in the field. Its all about enjoying the outdoors in a way that suits you, assuming, of course, that you stay within legal and ethical boundaries. Steele County, North Dakota outdoor writer Galen Geer puts it this way. Hunters struggle to pin?point their reasons for enjoying the outdoors, when there is no reason to wonder, Geer says. The simple fact that it makes you feel good is all that is needed. And so I have learned to make the outdoors my own little personal haven, enjoying the opportunities and not worrying about shooting the biggest buck, or even a deer for that matter. My most memorable outdoors experiences have little to do with looking through the scope and squeezing the trigger. Some took place 25 years ago in the middle of dads pasture, on a work weekend of hoeing and weeding a new tree claim. With the first morning sun rays leaking into the tent through an assortment of pin holes and rips, I remember the surround-sound of crickets, pheasants and geese seemingly right outside our tent. Some of us enjoyed it so much; we planted three more tree claims over the next 15 years. Working the trees, and taking my turn at planting various food and habitat plots generate an internal satisfaction equal to harvesting natures bounty. In fact the last couple years Ive spent as much time improving the land for wildlife, as I have hunting the pheasants, grouse, deer and ducks that live off the land in central North Dakota. The topic of how much time do you spend outdoors is a common late fall conversation topic at gas stations, sporting goods stores and small town cafés. Ive never heard anybody respond, You know Doug, I hunted way too much this fall. It just doesnt happen. What each person strives for is time outdoors that fills their definition of a quality experience. How thats defined, only you decide. My life is pretty hectic right now, but whose isnt? Even so, I found enough time to enjoy the outdoors, enough to make me want to do more and more. And thats what makes me happy.