Got this email from Dann in New York one time and thought you might find it interesting:

Mike, I’ve been watching your show for years now and I have to admit: I always thought it was a bit cheesy when you would regularly end a kill, in the heat of the moment, saying, “That’s why we do this,” or one of your tag lines of “hunt hard.”

But now let me commend you for what you have done for my hunting

I was always a whitetail guy who grew up hunting in New York with my dad and uncles. It eventually grew to dove, ducks, geese and most recently my first elk hunt.

My previous deer hunting experiences were great… but never involved a “Hunt Hard” attitude. It was always something I did with my family because it brought us together and that’s why we did this.

I got back from my first elk hunt in Steamboat Springs and the one thing I will take away from this hunt (even though I did not get to harvest an animal) is your motto of “Hunt Hard.” I hiked for miles day after day just for the chance to see one of the majestic creatures in their natural aspen forests.

I never knew what hunting really involved until I was pushed to my physical and mental limits day in and day out at high altitude and cold. It was then, getting rained on and shivering under some big pine tree, that I smiled and finally got the message.

I appreciate everything you do for this great sport and showing young guys like me that there is a lot more to enjoying this world than tourist traps, monuments and the whirlwind of daily life.

I now know why we do this. And I promise you every hunt will be hunted hard.– Dann

Dann: Thanks for the note. Hunters “do this” for a lot of different reasons, I’m just glad to be able to help you out in some small way. Keep hunting hard man.—M.H.