Hunting For God

Who is St. Hubert? Th patron St. of hunting, that's who.

The story of St. Hubert as told by Father John Sewell (An Episcopalian I think I could like) tells the story this way.
In the late 600s A.D., a "party boy" named Hubert had given himself to the vanities of life, and was obsessed with hunting. Once, he chose to pursue his sport on Good Friday, "a real no-no in that time," and received an unexpected wake-up call from above.

During his hunt that morning, a vision of the crucifix appeared to Hubert between the antlers of a great stag. Through the creature, God spoke to him and said, "Hubert, if you don't get your act together, you're going to hell."
Hubert got his act together and is now St. Hubert, patron saint of hunters.

Fr. Joe Classen has written extensively about hunting. Like this...
I’m well aware that some will be upset, and perhaps scandalized, by the notion of a priest who not only actively hunts and fishes, but who also passionately promotes it. I do get rather amusing hate-mail from time to time in which the usually anonymous author emphatically asks, “How can you, a man of God, kill his creatures?” My response is, ultimately, one word: food. While many Americans do their “hunting” at the grocery store, we in the outdoors community do it in the woods and on the waters.
And this.
In the “green” days of political correctness, environmental activism and animal rights, the American legacy of hunting is coming under more scrutiny than ever. There are many concerns in our culture for animal welfare, and a more “humane” way of living. The idea of armed, camouflage-clad individuals taking to the woods in search of their quarry is abhorred by those whose fantasy view of the natural world is based on the subjective, feel-good nonsense of Disney movies and the like.
Indeed, there is a tremendous amount of misinformation about hunting these days, about its purpose and value as well as the laughable stereotypes of those who hunt and fish. There is the incredibly mistaken notion that we hunters are crazed murderers who have a sick fascination with destroying life. Unfortunately, there are people who fit that description: They are called poachers, and they are criminals!

But for those of us who passionately love hunting and all things outdoors, absolutely
nothing could be further from the truth. Hunters are the first and truest environmentalists.

We are the greenest of the green.

Hunters are not mere spectators of creation, as other nature lovers are. Rather, we are active participants as we immerse ourselves completely into God’s creation and take a hands-on role in managing our natural, renewable resources, of which animals are a big part.
I found this prayer from Fr. Mitch Pacwa.
Lord God, You have put all things under man’s dominion. Guide us to take the animals that need to be culled for the preservation of their species and the rest of the ecosystem. Let me always respect the animals I have hunted. Never let me torment them, mock them, or made them objects of ridicule. When I take an animal’s life let me always maintain respect for the wonder of its existence and the importance of its meat to those who need it for sustenance.

As I prepare to take to the woods again this weekend; St. Hubert, pray for me.


  1. I love the answer Fr. Joe Classen gave to why he hunts - 'food'.

  2. What's with the camouflage? My ol' dad and his pals, all World War II veterans and farmers, always got their deer (for the pot, not for the ego), and wore the same clothes they worked in.

    -- Mack

  3. Leaders in the Episcopal church are heretics, blinded by pride

  4. Don't forget to imbibe Jaegermeister in honor of St. Hubert...

  5. 'Food' = Not hilarious... DELICIOUS!!! My grandfather has some of the best recipes for venison! I've only had venison from the deer that my grandfather and uncles have hunted (sadly my dad has yet to bring one home *sniff*) and it's incredible! The best turkey we ever had was the one brought home by one of my uncles. The meat is a million times better then what you buy in the store! All the hunters I know eat what they kill and it sustains not only them but their families (these are some big families!) So yes, FOOD!

    God bless all the hunters! St. Hubert, pray for them!

  6. Pat, nail that deer! I had two car-deer accidents in the last four years, and as far as I'm concerned, a dead deer is a good deer!

  7. Ah! Deer season - my dad's favorite holiday. It's about time, too. The deer are on the move. I've passed many dead ones on the side of the road in the past week!

    At our house today - Me: (as dad's getting his hunting gear ready for our rifle season in two weeks) Dad, what. is. that?!"
    Dad: "This? It's a 'Deer-View Mirror" so you can see behind you in your seat."
    Of COURSE! Why didn't I think of that?

    Our freezer is never lacking in deer meat. Dad's specialty: 'Bambi nuggets!'

    Good luck, Pat! Be safe!

    BTW: Catholic to the Max has a "St. Hubert Hunt Club" t-shirt:

  8. Juscot - we had one 3 yrs. ago. Frightful.
    Here's my solution We could reintroduce wolves and have them control the deer population.
    That's the way Sister Mother Nature does it - but if I were a deer I'd prefer a bullet. Ever seen film of wolves pulling down their prey in Yellowstone? How about being gnawed at while you're still alive?
    If not controlled, deer are prolific breeders and eat fruit trees/bushes and/or die of starvation. A bullet is a lot more humane than starving! Even Felix Salter (Bambi) was a fan of hunting!
    If the anti-hunt people haven't made the connection between the high price of blueberries, for example, they should. Starving deer do millions of dollars of damage to cherry and apple trees, too.
    Car and deer colllisions are reduced when the deer population is culled. If the pain and suffering of the human beings killed (and their families!) isn't a factor - even discounting the financial costs - when deer and cars collide, think of the deer.
    If they're not killed outright, they are run over a few times by motorists or go off to die. . Who knows how long it takes them to die and how they must suffer? Most animal lovers favor putting a suffering animal out of their misery. Not possible in this case, is it?
    Let's mention how much money states earn with hunting permits and how much of that goes to wildlife/habitat preservation.
    Finally, with the economy in the state it is, folks are depending on their gardens, fruit trees, and the game they hunt to feed themselves and their children. Hunters in many areas donate game to soup kitchens.
    Talk to people from rural areas who survived the Great Depression and they'll tell you how much they depended on what they hunted. Without that meat they'd have been hungry and malnourished.

  9. I was St. Hubert for All Saints Day.


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