It is not my normal style to write an article fueled by a bit of negativity, but as a representative of suburban hunting culture, as an urban hunter I feel it only right that I say something in response to an ‘Outdoor Life’ online article entitled ‘Why I’ll Never be an Urban Hunter’.

I can only help by starting this by saying this vague, and in my opinion, negligent article, magnifies how the industry finds itself more caught up with the unrealistic full-time hunter mentality and leaves the everyday American part-time hunter in the dust. I find it particularly frustrating that if you Google search ‘Urban deer hunting’ it is the first article to pop up (dating back in October, 2013, note now it is the Urban Deer Complex in #1), and as a result it has most likely not only discouraged people from becoming urban and suburban hunters but also fueled anti-hunting propaganda.

As I said earlier the article is just that- vague. Clearly based on the reckless notion that one casual hunt can represent a bold statement with a major hunting outlet like ‘Outdoor Life’. In my response to ‘Why I’ll Never be an Urban Hunter’, I will give you ‘Why I’m An Urban Hunter’.

Life is unpredictable, built upon a vast and ongoing mess of random events that we hope to control for maybe some dream or goal. As most of you reading this article can relate, things do not always go as planned in life and sometimes we wake up and wonder “how did I get here” or “when did my dreams become an impossibility”.

If things had gone as planned, I would not be hunting the outskirts of Boston, Massachusetts. My childhood was littered with the dreams of hunting the Dark Continent Africa and the vast wilderness of Alaska. At 32, I can say that those are dreams have become the far-fetched imagination of boy. As one to not dwell on negativity and more apt to rely on the words of wisdom, I quote Teddy Roosevelt, “Do what you can, with what your have, where you are”.

That is the opening quote to my book The Urban Deer Complex, and sums up why urban hunting has become such an importance in my life. I am bound by the realities of a full-time job that hold me to the financial district of Boston, Massachusetts. Despite what many may think, the nightclub scene is not my “thing”. This job was incidental, and I am grateful for the stability it brings my family.

Everyday my heart is sick with the need for trees, birds, and anything Mother Nature. (I am not looking for sympathy). Do to the demands of my job I find myself only being able to escape about one week a year, where I travel north to the camps of my youth. That escape taste so sweet against the clustered lifestyle and fast paced hustle that dominates my weeks, days, and hours.

I still have 51 more weeks to maintain my sanity and I thank the urban deer phenomenon that so many of us have been blessed with to fuel that as an urban hunter. If you find yourself just off those “backyards” with “a guy mowing the lawn” and you are unable to see the beauty around you, then you are fundamentally doing something wrong.

There is a certain beauty and comfort in knowing that Mother Nature is banging at our backdoor’s reminding us that she in fact cannot be simply paved over or bulldozed away. She will adapt, continue to fight back, and I am sure some day reclaim her grounds. In fact, that natural world is very real just a few yards off all those backyards where order is hung in the inevitable circle of life and death.

You can find nature everywhere- she even pops up through the cracks of city streets. Although I wish I could find myself further from the suburbs of North America, I am happy in my urban hunter sanctuary. I am grateful to witness how Whitetail deer have so cleverly adapted to a changing landscape in the backyards of their greatest predator and humbled to be a part of that circle of life. I hope as I get older to make some of my childhood dreams a reality, but for now, I feel lucky to have been born into the suburban deer phenomenon.

That is why I am an urban hunter. Keep finding the adventure in our backyards.

About The Author A.J. DeRosa

A.J. DeRosa is an American film maker and outdoor writer. He is considered a pioneer in the modern era of hunting. From the amazon best selling deer hunting book ‘The Urban Deer Complex‘ to his critically acclaimed film series 'Project Upland'. He continues to push the boundaries in outdoor media, including niche market regions and unique cultures to the mass market.

comments (2)

  • I have never known anything but suburban/urban hunting. It’s was 13 years into my bowhunting life that I even contemplated hunting the big woods where I hiked previously. Life was too busy, money too hard to come by and time being to precious while raising a young family to ever contemplate the time and resources to hunt the big woods. Last year was the first time truly venturing out in the big woods albeit with a gun in hand. I am a bow hunter through and through.

  • First off let me say, urban hunting has been the lions share of my hunting career. I’ve always enjoyed the “freedom” that comes with it. Now a lot of guys would say… Freedom????? What freedom, are you kidding me? Well, I don’t need an entire pre season to scout a 25 acre piece. Most times it can b done just by pay in attention while on my way to work. N speaking of work, yea, I manage to do that while still sliding in A.M. and P.M. hunts, being as I don’t drive 400 miles to my hunting camp. I haven’t even scratched the surface on the QUALITY of animals that I’m accustom to seeing!!!!! Not just the deer but fox, coyote, hawks,coons,groundhog…. You get it. I’m privileged to be in an area were 140,150 inch bucks are seen, if not taken pretty frequently. So, before anyone goes passing judgment, at least take what I’m saying for fact. Don’t get me wrong.,. This isn’t an invite, I’m perfectly content with ya sticking to your “big woods”! Hehehe. signed , JERSEYS FINEST

comments (2)

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>