Hollywood doesn't have a lot of outdoorsy types. But Chris Pratt, one of film's biggest stars right now, proudly prefers hunting and fishing to the typical champagne and caviar dreams.
Pratt's family has a strong hunting tradition, and growing up he enjoyed shooting, squirrel hunting and collecting items from nature. When he moved to Utah in his 20s to work on the show "Everwood," Pratt became obsessed with big-game hunting in the state. Utah is still his favorite place to hunt, and he favors a private spot there every year for deer and elk season.
To hear Pratt speak of hunting reveals his genuine love for the sport. On elk hunting, he pines on the smell of their musk and their bugling. He's talked at length about the gear and firearms he uses for hunting, noting a preference for American-made products and the knife given to him by his wife. He fantasizes about a dream trophy room, complete with a fireplace, big-screen TV and comfy couches.
While Hollywood is often indifferent or even hostile towards hunting and fishing, Pratt says he's actually found a lot of interest in outdoor sports among his fellow entertainers, and thinks he's even changed a lot of minds on the subject. Nevertheless, his hunting has raised some eyebrows in the entertainment industry. Pratt's charismatic tales of squirrel hunting and amateur taxidermy while a guest on the Conan show in 2011 seemed to shock the host and gained a lot of attention online. His candid hunting stories were one of the earlier signs of the likable everyman personality that has made Pratt so popular.
After scoring a notable role in the 2011 film Moneyball, Pratt took a more serious approach when discussing hunting as a guest on Kevin Pollack's Chat Show. Confronted on the one emotion he gets out of hunting and fishing, Pratt gives several insightful and eloquent responses. He described the passion for fishing as the zen-like state when anticipation finally outweighs boredom, as well as the experience of early-morning hunting. "You're a voyeur to the world waking up, the wilderness waking up around you," Pratt says. "The sun comes up, the last stars in the sky go away, and the whole world comes to life. Most of the time you don't get anything. It's not about the kill, it's about the journey of being there, and the work."
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As his fame grows, Pratt seems to view hunting as a grounding return to reality, and loves how his longtime hunting and fishing buddies treat him the same as always. "One of my favorite parts of hunting is getting away from it all," he says. "These days there's a lot more to get away from. That's probably why I cherish it so much."
As Chris Pratt's star shines brighter and his schedule undoubtedly grows busier, one can hope he still finds time to escape the lights of Hollywood for the great outdoors. His passion is not only great for himself, but for spreading a positive message about an often-misunderstood American tradition.
Would you want Pratt for a hunting or fishing partner? What other famous real-life hunters or fishermen do you know? Let us know in the comments!