Historical Figures Who Hunted and Fished

By FarWide September 13, 2020

Tribes like bragging rights. And as members of the outdoors tribe, we have plenty to boast about when it comes to our ranks. Here’s a list of famous historical figures who hunted and fished, in no particular order, and without prejudice of nationality. And we admit: it’s only a partial list, because throughout history, hunting and fishing was both a principal way to put food on the table, and in some places being a hunter was the privilege of an elite few. Thankfully, that’s no longer the case, as the number of great places to hunt and fish detailed on FarWide shows. And while our list contains some people you’d expect to see, there are a few surprises, too. And please, add to the list by using the comment section to tell us about historical hunters who aren’t on the list.

Teddy Roosevelt hunted and fished all across the American west.

Theodore Roosevelt: If you’ve ever enjoyed a place like Yellowstone, thank TR, the driving force behind the founding of the national park system. As concerned with habitat preservation as he was avid about hunting, Roosevelt roamed all over the American west, particularly the Dakotas. He also undertook one of the largest African safaris ever recorded, and hunted and fished in the Amazon basin.

Hemingway’s writing was informed by his time as a fisherman.

Ernest Hemingway: No list like this would be complete with Papa, who’s best work, arguably, is about fishing (“Big Two-Hearted River,” The Old Man and the Sea. Hemingway drew on his own extensive experience in the north woods of Michigan, the savannahs of Africa and the ocean around the Florida Keys and Cuba to draw rich pictures of the outdoors and our experiences in them. How rich? Hemingway won the Nobel Prize in literature in 1954 for his work.

Churchill rallied his countrymen against the Nazis, but was also an avid hunter.
Churchill rallied his countrymen against the Nazis, but was also an avid hunter.

Winston Churchill: Most of us remember Churchill for standing up to Hitler and rallying his nation, turning its darkest hour into its finest. But Churchill loved hunting, and spent significant time in East Africa and along the Nile, hunting big game as he went.

Aldo Leopold: Considered by many to be the father of the conservation movement, Leopold was hired by the government to trim populations of bear, mountain lions and wolves in New Mexico. It was this experience that forged in him the lessons of both population management as well as habitat preservation. Leopold was also an avid bird hunter, especially grouse.

George HW Bush: The first President Bush liked fishing so much that most of the time he spent vacationing at the family home in Maine during his term in office was on the water, angling for blues. One of the hallmarks of Bush’s retirement was nabbing a huge tarpon.

Davy Crockett: As anyone who was alive in the United States in the 1950s can tell you, Davy Crockett is said to have “killed him a bear when he was only three.” A renowned Appalachian hunter, Indian fighter and marksman, Crockett claimed to have killed more than 100 bears in a single year, which must have been before tag limits were imposed.

William “Buffalo Bill” Cody: Cody may be best remembered as a showman and expert trick shot maker, but one of his many jobs—including Pony Express rider—before becoming a star of western shows was as a buffalo hunter to provide meat for railroad construction crews. Cody also received the Congressional Medal of Honor for leading a charge against a Sioux war party when he served as a cavalry scout.

Jim Bridger: Famous enough to have a national forest named after him, Bridger was a legendarily strong hunter and trapper and is reputed to be the first white person to see the Great Salt Lake. Bridger also explored the Yellowstone area during hunts.

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