Skip to main content

Hunting, Fishing Not So Different



By Amanda Nalley

Looking around the office, or even at my group of friends, it's easy to see that the number of those who fish greatly outweighs the number of those who hunt. The numbers prove it. Florida has more than 3.6 million anglers (freshwater and saltwater) and only 242,000 hunters (both numbers include residents and nonresidents age 16 and over).

One could ponder the discrepancy all day. Maybe buying a fishing pole is less expensive than purchasing a firearm (for the most part). Or maybe it is because you can catch a fish and put it back in the water to live another day. Then there is all the walking about in the woods with the ticks and the ankle-turning holes. But what I've most recently learned is, even while there are differences, there are also quite a few similarities.

I've been fishing all my life, and while I've always wanted to hunt, the opportunity never presented itself. That was until this October, when I was afforded the chance to attend the Conservation Leaders for Tomorrow workshop in Mansfield, Ga. At this weeklong event, I learned how to hunt, trap and fire a shotgun and, I feel, become a better-rounded Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) employee.

But the most important thing I learned is that, while hunting and fishing have their differences, the emotion is the same. The idea of hunting, just like fishing, often conveys imagery of a peaceful outdoor experience, of bonding with nature. Maybe, for you, it is spending quality time with a friend, be it a two-legged or four-legged one, out in the woods or on a dock. The joy and excitement of the moment when that game bird flew into view was the same as when I've felt a tug on the fishing line. And then there is the pride in being able to provide a meal for one's family. Reliving that experience via photos or stories is just as exciting when it is a prized sport fish or large bass as when it is a trophy buck.

Fish and game have other similarities as well. Both are active during the same times of day and are affected by the moon phase. You have your big game (deer, wild hog, tarpon, shark) and your small game (squirrels, rabbits, flounder, baitfish), and even your medium-sized and tasty game (turkey, red drum).

Gear varies as does expertise using that gear (shotguns, rifles, bow, fly fishing, spinning rods, cast nets). And with more than 160 wildlife management areas encompassing 5.8 million acres (one of the largest public-hunting systems in the country), 2,276 miles of tidal shoreline, 12,000 miles of fishable rivers, streams and canals and 7,700 lakes greater than 10 acres, the opportunities to recreate abound.

And as more youth turn to indoor activities such as social media and electronic games and more families spend less time outdoors, both activities are threatened with a potential decrease in participation. This is when it is more important than ever to expand your recreational horizons and introduce yourself, or others, to outdoor recreation. Without hunters and fishers, we lose a big chunk of Florida's most dedicated conservationists.

Get involved with your local Florida Youth Conservation Center (www.FYCCN.org) partner and help get kids interested in fishing and hunting in Florida. If you too are a lifetime fisher who has always wanted to go hunting, it is not too late to learn a new skill. The FWC offers several programs on hunting and fishing, including safety and education programs, youth and family hunting opportunities, kids' fishing clinics and more.

Florida Sportsman Member if_it_flies_it_dies recently got the chance to shoot his first buck. To read the full forum report, click here.




GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

Recent Videos

Kayak Fishing Fun Senior Editor Thomas Allen is joined by Old Town's Brand Evangelist Ryan Lilly to work some magic in b...
Videos

How to Buy and Rig a River Fishing Kayak

Kayak Fishing Fun Senior Editor Thomas Allen is joined by Old Town's Brand Evangelist Ryan Lilly to work some magic in b...
Videos

Power or Paddle? Bonafide PWR129

Kayak Fishing Fun Senior Editor Thomas Allen is joined by Old Town's Brand Evangelist Ryan Lilly to work some magic in b...
Videos

It's a Skiff, It's a Kayak: Bonafide SKF117

Kayak Fishing Fun Senior Editor Thomas Allen is joined by Old Town's Brand Evangelist Ryan Lilly to work some magic in b...
Videos

Hobie Mirage Lynx to the Next Level

Kayak Fishing Fun Senior Editor Thomas Allen is joined by Old Town's Brand Evangelist Ryan Lilly to work some magic in b...
Videos

Hobie Mirage iTrek 9 Ultralight Packed with Features

Kayak Fishing Fun Senior Editor Thomas Allen is joined by Old Town's Brand Evangelist Ryan Lilly to work some magic in b...
Videos

Extend Your Range in the Salt Marsh

Kayak Fishing Fun Senior Editor Thomas Allen is joined by Old Town's Brand Evangelist Ryan Lilly to work some magic in b...
Videos

Florida's Capital Fishing

Kayak Fishing Fun Senior Editor Thomas Allen is joined by Old Town's Brand Evangelist Ryan Lilly to work some magic in b...
Videos

Old Town Sportsman AutoPilot 120 FULLY RIGGED Fishing Machine

Kayak Fishing Fun Senior Editor Thomas Allen is joined by Old Town's Brand Evangelist Ryan Lilly to work some magic in b...
Videos

Mounting Forward-Facing Sonar on A Kayak: Mounts, Scanning Applications and More!

Kayak Fishing Fun Senior Editor Thomas Allen is joined by Old Town's Brand Evangelist Ryan Lilly to work some magic in b...
Videos

On The Water with Old Town: Bass Fishing at PRIVATE GEORGIA LAKE

Kayak Fishing Fun Senior Editor Thomas Allen is joined by Old Town's Brand Evangelist Ryan Lilly to work some magic in b...
Videos

DECKED-OUT Old Town Sportsman BigWater ePDL+ 132 Complete WALK-THROUGH

Kayak Fishing Fun Senior Editor Thomas Allen is joined by Old Town's Brand Evangelist Ryan Lilly to work some magic in b...
Videos

Dreambuild: Old Town ePDL Gets Rigged to the Hilt

Florida Sportsman Magazine Covers Print and Tablet Versions

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

Preview This Month's Issue

Buy Digital Single Issues

Magazine App Logo

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Florida Sportsman App

Other Magazines

See All Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Florida Sportsman stories delivered right to your inbox.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Florida Sportsman subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Enjoying What You're Reading?

Get a Full Year
of Guns & Ammo
& Digital Access.

Offer only for new subscribers.

Subscribe Now

Never Miss a Thing.

Get the Newsletter

Get the top Florida Sportsman stories delivered right to your inbox.

By signing up, I acknowledge that my email address is valid, and have read and accept the Terms of Use