Hunting and hockey are more similar than you might think.
Ice hockey and hunting may not seem to have a lot in common at first glance, besides running parallel with one another for the first part of the season. But a closer look reveals more parallels than you might think.
Hockey players and hunters can both be very superstitious. It’s just how we are. What hunter doesn’t have a favorite article of clothing or preferred arrow or stand that we always use for opening day? Hockey players are much the same. There is a whole laundry list of crazy superstitions for hockey out there.
In the NHL the winners of the Clarence S. Campbell Bowl or the Prince of Wales trophy often don’t touch the trophies because it is supposed to bring bad luck when going after the Stanley Cup in the next round.
Some hockey players, like the great one, Wayne Gretzky, have some bizarre rituals. Gretzky famously chugged a Diet Coke or two between periods. Some feel like they have to eat the same pre-game meal or have the same routine before every game. I’m sure most of you know at least one hunter or huntress who has a pre or post-hunt ritual that’s just as quirky.
Whether one is seeking a hockey championship or a big buck, letting the facial hair grow is important because, c’mon, we’ve got bigger prizes we need to focus on! Beards are an NHL tradition, and it’s not common for hunters to take this up for their seasons, too.
Plus, when it comes to hunting, the hunting beard helps keep you warm on those cold days. And they just look cool, end of story!
3. We thrive in the cold
Let the football players and their fans have their cozy, climate-controlled domes. Hockey players and hunters like the cold! There really aren’t enough outdoor games in the NHL. It’s really the way hockey was meant to be played. Even in a regular hockey arena, the temperatures are pretty chilly to accommodate the ice.
It’s ok, hunters are never cold at a hockey game, because they know how to prepare for it!
And when it comes to hunting, not much is better than a nice cold front to get the deer moving. Warm weather? That’s for the snow birds. Hunting and hockey are both best when it’s cold! And we wouldn’t have it any other way!
4. The grind of the season
Hunting and hockey are both hard things to be successful at. It takes a lot of time, hard work and dedication over the course of a long hunting season if one wants to be successful. It’s really no different in hockey, especially for NHL players. They have 82 regular season games, and their season can extend well into June depending on how they do in the playoffs.
And just as in hunting, generally, the team that wants it more and grinds harder for the win is the most successful in the end.
Hockey and hunting are both deep with tradition. In hunting it might be your annual hunting camp, eating good food and pulling pranks on friends and relatives. There are favorite rifles and hunting spots that are passed down and stand the test of time, like the greatest sports trophy ever, the Stanley Cup.
Deer camps are usually home to some pretty strange pre-hunt rituals, just like hockey is full of bizarre fan traditions (like Red Wings fans throwing an octopus on the ice).
Both hunting and hockey have a rich history of strange things that are done just because that’s the way it’s always been done. Even if it doesn’t make sense (looking at you, weird Detroit fans!).
So there you have it, hunting and hockey have more in common than you may have initially realized. Maybe that’s why I’ve taken more of a liking to hockey over other sports in recent years.
Before I go, let me just say; Let’s go Chicago Blackhawks!