What is "The Deer Hunter's Prayer?"


"The Deer Hunter's Prayer" is a poem by Dale Sunderlin. It has three stanzas and is sometimes shared among hunters on Internet forums. Its full text is available on the website of the author's nonprofit organization, Camp Camo.

The first stanza of "The Deer Hunter's Prayer" asks God to send a deer by the hunter and to allow the hunter to have straight aim. In the second stanza, the hunter requests a quick kill to spare the deer unnecessary pain. The third stanza expresses a wish for the deer's soul to go to heaven.

Dale Sunderlin, the poem's author, is active in the shooting sports community. As of 2014, his resume includes experience as a certified firearms and archery instructor and as a freelance sports writer whose column about hunting, "Outdoors Insider," appears in The Star Beacon of Ashtabula, Ohio. Following the suicide of his daughter, Dale and his wife, Janie, founded a hunting camp, Camp Camo, to help other young people better deal with the stresses of life.

"The Deer Hunter's Prayer" is just one of many prayers a hunter may pray. Some, like Sunderlin's poem, are formally written and available for recitation, while others are spontaneous and composed on the spot, as in "Thanks, Lord, for letting me get that deer!"

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