Tactics

Embrace the Wild: Why Try Backcountry Hunting

August 1, 2023

Connor Merritt

Connor Merritt

Nearly every hunter I’ve talked to has told me one of the biggest reasons they hunt is to reconnect with nature, away from the busyness and over crowdedness of modern society. This is understandable, as the requirements of everyday life can be a bit much—it can feel like everything you do is related to technology, there’s noise coming from every direction, and you are almost always looking at a screen of some kind. Mankind was meant to coexist and interact with nature, but it’s getting more and more difficult to do every year. Even if you live in a more rural area, technology is still invading the world. Of course, technology is great and serves a useful purpose in the betterment of mankind, but sometimes you just need to unplug and go to a place where you can be one with nature. A place where you can’t hear a single honking horn, or the bustle of a street corner, a place where the only light you see comes from the sun or the moon, and not some streetlights or computer screens. If you’re looking for a place like this, then you should go backcountry hunting. 

What is Backcountry Hunting?

This type of hunting involves venturing into remote, relatively untouched areas of nature, known as the backcountry, to pursue game animals. This style of hunting is different from your average trip due to the level of isolation and challenge that it involves. When you hunt in the backcountry, you’re going to be miles away from the nearest human settlement, on your own, and without the convenience of things like cell service.

Combined with the fact that the backcountry requires going on foot, this means that these hunts rank up with the most difficult available; however, that shouldn’t dissuade you from trying out a backcountry hunt. While it is true that they will test you to your core, they are also some of the most rewarding experiences out there, and every hunter who is capable should try it out. You’ll have a chance to reconnect with nature and overcome the greatest hunting challenge. 

Why Choose Backcountry Hunting?

Solitude and Serenity

The number one reason to go backcountry hunting is to escape from the noise and distractions in modern life while reconnecting with nature.  While hunting on your own land, or a friend’s land, has its advantages, it does mean that you’re often still within shouting distance of civilization. Even if that’s not the case, traditional hunting grounds can be overcrowded with far too much competition to be enjoyable.

Fortunately, none of these problems exist in the backcountry—there you can be the only human for miles, and there’ll be nothing but mother nature for 360 degrees in every direction. Being in the backcountry is a calming and meditative experience that takes you back to the time before the Earth was crowded and filled to the brim with technology, people and noise. 

Challenging Adventure

The backcountry is also great because it’s the best place for hunters to test their mettle and see what they are truly capable of. Hunting in the backcountry is extremely challenging, but that’s what makes success in the area so much more rewarding than your average hunt.

When you venture into the backcountry, you’re going up against rugged terrain, unpredictable weather, and the cleverest animals in nature, all with limited resources. To succeed in backcountry hunting, you need extensive preparation, a strong body and resilient mind—going on a backcountry hunt will help you learn more about yourself and teach you valuable life lessons. Triumphing here will prove just how good a hunter you are. 

Higher Quality Game

Along with a greater challenge comes a greater reward. The backcountry offers much higher quality game on average, and a greater variety of species to hunt. This is due to the remote nature of the locations, relatively free from the influence of humans. With less hunting pressure and fewer instances of human interference, game species can thrive, increasing both their populations and the quality of the animals. There’s nothing quite like hunting a Kodiak bear in the Alaskan wilderness, or a desert mule deer down in Arizona. If you’re a big game hunter, the joy of backcountry hunting is special. 

Conservation and Stewardship

In addition to everything else, hunting in the backcountry will instill a deep appreciation for the environment and encourage responsible hunting practices. The wonder of the wilds, far from the encroaching influence of modern society, will inspire you to contribute to conservation efforts like never before. The untamed part of the world is shrinking, and there’s no better time than the present to experience the backcountry — you can help preserve it for everyone else for many years to come.

Read part two of our backcountry hunting series, “Embrace the Wild” where you can learn about some of the best backcountry opportunities available in the United States. 

Related

More About Tactics

Tactics

Planning a Kodiak Bear Hunt: Everything You Need to Know

April 5, 2024 Connor Merritt

Tactics

How to Start Fly Fishing This Spring

April 3, 2024 iSportsman Staff

Tactics

Birch Tree Tapping at USAG Alaska

March 29, 2024 Connor Merritt

Tactics

Nevada Elk Hunting 101

March 25, 2024 Connor Merritt

View All