Yamaha Outdoors Tips — Why Eat Wild Game?

A day in the field provides not only fresh air and some exhilarating exercise, but some delectable, all-natural table fare as well. (Photo by Bob Humphrey)

By Bob Humphrey

Many of the Web Tips we offer on this site deal with different ways of procuring wild game.  A few even address what to do with it once you’ve reduced your prey to possession.  But did you ever think about why so many folks participate in the hunting sports?  There are many reasons, but one of the most basic is to put food on the table.  And as it turns out, there are some pretty solid benefits to gracing your table with food from the field.


Wild game is the only true, all-natural food.  It contains no additives or preservatives, colors or flavorings, and far less fat (especially saturated fat) than domesticated animals; and unlike even the healthiest of healthy from the nature food stores, this meat grew up in the wild, not in captivity.  Perhaps best of all, it was procured by your own hands.

Still not convinced?  Hunting is a great source of exercise.  It not only burns calories, but helps keep you fit. 

Depending on the method and time spent afield, you can literally burn off thousands of calories in a day’s hunt.  And whether you’re hiking the western mountains or ATVing to your shooting house, there is still more physical activity involved than driving to the grocery store.  There’s also all that fresh, clean air you’ll be breathing.


The money you spend on licenses and permits goes to support state wildlife conservation programs that benefit not just game, but all sorts of wild birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians.  Furthermore, hunters often join conservation organizations like Ducks Unlimited and the National Wild Turkey Federation, who spend millions every year on wetlands and wildlife conservation.

Ecologically, eating wild game is much more sound because you are harvesting a renewable natural resource.  As long as you are responsible about not overharvesting, undeveloped land can continue to produce game, as well as provide habitat for a host of non-game species, indefinitely.

Cut down the trees, clear the land and plant soybeans, and that land may produce a crop for a few years.  In the process however, you have displaced virtually all the natural inhabitants and created an artificial environment that is of limited value to wildlife. 


Let’s face it, most folks enjoy the act of procuring game more than consuming it.  If hunting weren’t fun, we wouldn’t do it.  But that fun comes from more than just the hunt itself.  It involves being out of doors - for many, it’s their only excuse to get outside.  The experience is enhanced when it is spent with friends and family.  The camaraderie of a hunting or fishing trip is often reward enough.  It’s a great way to introduce kids to the outdoors and to create memories that will last a lifetime.