Hunters walk through the woods while scouting for turkey in Winterport in April 2019. Credit: John Holyoke / BDN

Story by Daniel Bell of Glenburn. Bell is a lifelong hunter who is a USA Archery Instructor Trainer. The poultry farmer enjoys hunting, fishing and exploring all our beautiful state has to offer while sharing it with family and friends.

Some people ask us why we hunt.

For some, it may be carrying on a tradition handed down over multiple generations.

For others, it’s a lifestyle of hunting and gathering wild foods. There is something to be said for eating wild, free range, pure, organic proteins.

Some who are caught up in day-to-day urban life may hunt to regain that connection to nature that has been lost to generations.

No matter the reasons, hunters are our neighbors, our first responders, bank tellers and grocery clerks, even clergy and our political leaders.

Hunters are made up of a diverse population and the thing that connects us all is our love and passion for the outdoors, our desire to hunt safely and humanely, and to provide healthy, lean food for our family.

So many ask, “Why hunt, when you can get all the food you need at the grocery store?”

Well, that food comes from somewhere. Someone else has to raise, slaughter, process, package and ship that food to the grocery for purchase.

As hunters, we take responsibility for every step in that process, knowing that we are providing the most pure, unadulterated foods possible for our families.

I was introduced to hunting at a young age by my father, Gary Jewell, who came from a long line of hunters.

I immediately fell in love with the whole process, waking up early in the morning and attending the traditional hunters breakfast. There, the old-timers would share their stories, telling some of us kids where their favorite spots were so we could be successful in a harvest ourselves.

This is the same way I have taught my own granddaughter some 45 years later. I used the shared knowledge and mentorship that I experienced as a very young hunter to teach my own children and granddaughter to carry on and keep our outdoor heritage alive and thriving for the future generations.

The reasons why we hunt are as vast as the diverse backgrounds of hunters themselves. The love of nature and the outdoors, harvesting the purest foods possible, the shared experience with family and friends, and the brotherhood and sisterhood that bind us together are just some of those reasons.