This has been debated for too long and by too many people. Yet not everyone agrees whether hunting is a hobby or a sport. Hunters, by default, say that hunting is a sport, and those guys might even tell you that it even should be included in the Olympic Games.
However, folks who aren’t interested in discussing for hours on topics such as best scope for 300 Win Mag or recommended 300 blackout suppressors, folks who have never been hunting don’t look too kindly to think that hunting should be considered a sport.
So, before we start calling hunters “sportsmen”, let’s look at some facts.
According to Dictionary.com, sport is “an athletic activity requiring skill or physical prowess”. Then, the Oxford Dictionary defines sports as an activity that involves skill and physical exertion from an individual or a team that competes against another team or individual for entertainment.
Another important aspect that plays in the hands of those claiming that hunting is not a sport is how to organize a fair hunting competition? Will you send a bunch of hunters in the forest simultaneously, from the same spot, and tell them that whoever shots the first wild animal (rabbit, fox, etc.) gets to win?
Or perhaps whoever hunts more wins the day. What would be the point system? Do you get one point for each killed rabbit? So, there is a lot to consider here.
Then there are the judges to make sure that everyone plays by the rules. Will you send a judge with every competitor, or you let everyone roam the forest on their own. Do you rely on the hunter’s consciousness and are willing to play by the rules?
Then there is that little thing called insurance from accidents. Sending a bunch of armed men or women in the wild armed to their teeth is something that will make insurance agents think twice. If nothing at all, the insurance premiums will be off the charts.
All in all, too many unknowns, too many things can go wrong in a potential hunting competition. Therefore, you can’t call hunting a sport without being able to organize a competition.
On the other hand, hunting is more in line with a hobby. Based on the definition provided by Dictionary.com, a hobby is “an activity or interest pursued outside one’s regular occupation and engaged primarily for pleasure”. Oxford’s dictionary offers a similar definition -“an activity that you do for pleasure when you are not working”.
So yes, hunters do this outside of their professional occupation, and hunters primarily do this for pleasure. The average hunter spends a small fortune for a good rifle, good scope, ammo, good walking boots, clothes, and so on. That means outside of the pleasure they get in the process, or when they hunt something, they don’t get anything out of it.
In conclusion, hunting is not a sport, and hunters are not sportsmen. This might sound a bit disappointing for someone, but that’s based on logic, facts, and pragmatism. That leaves us with the answer – hunting is a hobby.