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do amish hunt

Do the Amish Hunt?

Love it or hate it, hunting has always been a big part of American as well as European culture. Whether for food or sport, hunting is still popular today. As an American cultural group, descended from European settlers, their Amish ancestors, too, were well-versed in the art of hunting game.

But what are the modern Amish people’s views on hunting? Do the Amish hunt, and if so, is it for sport or necessity? How does hunting tie in with their well-known pacifist beliefs? We answer all these questions and more, as we look into Amish hunting beliefs and practices. 

What this article covers:

Amish Hunting 

Let’s dive right in and answer the question on everyone’s minds. Do the Amish hunt? Yes, Amish people hunt. Hunting is a very big part of the Amish lifestyle in some communities. This may surprise you if you thought all the Amish do is farm the land, raise barns, and go to church. 

Amish leisure activities can differ from one settlement to the next. The main thing is that they aren’t forbidden from secular activities. So, do the Amish celebrate birthdays? Do they play games and sports? Yes, they enjoy all of these, although birthday celebrations are more subdued than in the rest of America. 

do the amish hunt

Do Amish dance? And can they listen to rock music? No. These are seen as possible temptations to venture further into a life that ultimately conflicts with their morals and values. They can lead to pride and vanity, as well as a doorway to other secular activities. 

This determination to avoid things of vanity is why they wear plain clothes and abstain from fashion trends. Can the Amish use mirrors? Sure they can if used as the functional items they’re meant to be. 

But unlike the Amish and music, hunting is not nearly as controversial. It’s viewed as a way to commune with nature, as well as provide for their families. This is an important distinction. Most Amish don’t see hunting as a sport, but rather as a survival skill.

Can the Amish Hunt Year-Round?

Amish can hunt year-round, and they can hunt whatever animal they prefer, save for protected animals. The decision about whether or not to hunt, what to hunt, and when, is mostly left up to the individual. 

This depends on their particular community’s stance toward hunting. Many are in favor of it, and others tolerate it but aren’t specifically pro-or anti-hunting However, some groups aren’t in favor of hunting when it’s not necessary for survival.

do amish people hunt

Do the Amish Hunt on Sunday?

Do Amish work on weekends? Church attendance and religious worship are major aspects of Amish life. Every second Sunday, Amish people attend religious services that are quite lengthy, more so than most modern church services. The in-between Sundays are reserved as rest days.

On these ‘off’ Sundays, Amish people are free to enjoy Amish games and hobbies and visit loved ones and neighbors. Amish communities are very social, and there’s a strong community spirit.  These ‘rest Sundays’ are also dedicated to family togetherness. 

Sundays are set aside for leisure, and that means work is put on hold. This only governs labor that’s undertaken for profit. Any labor that is centered around leisure pursuits, or that is necessary for food preparation, is allowed. 

Do the Amish Need a Hunting License?

Because of their religious beliefs, and their tendency to rely on more traditional hunting methods, Amish don’t need hunting licenses. They aren’t roaming the countryside killing animals for sport. Most don’t even use modern hunting weapons. 

Hunting is a way of living off the land. And it’s no secret that the Amish are proponents of self-sufficiency. They’ve relied on their skills since arriving in America when they settled in the Pennsylvania countryside in the 1700s.

amish hunting

Amish people are experts at self-sufficiency and ‘living-off-the-grid”, to coin a popular homesteaders’ term. They build their own homes, make their clothes and furniture, and even grow their food. 

Amish Baskets- The Ultimate Symbol of Amish Ingenuity and Self-Sufficiency

The Amish also practice centuries-old woodworking and weaving crafts. They put these skills to use both in their homes and to earn an income. These skills are handed down from one generation to the next and have thus continued in Amish communities for centuries. 

One of these is the hand-weaving of Amish Baskets, beautiful wicker creations that can be used throughout the home. Amish baskets are authentic cultural icons, and can now be yours to treasure, too. 

If your family or friends enjoy hunting as much as the Amish do, they’ll surely appreciate some tasty homemade treats to take along on their trips. And we have the perfect baskets for you to pack them in. A wooden picnic basket or a pie carrier with a handle is ideal for transporting delicious home bakes.

do amish need hunting license

They also make wonderful gifts for any US holiday or special occasion. Amish wicker baskets make food gifting and 4th of July picnics a delight. Order yours today and they’ll bring joy for many years to come. These are identical to what the Amish people use to transport packed lunches on their hunting trips.

Why is there such a Desire for Self-Sufficiency? 

The Amish are known as humble and plain people. The reasons behind this are rooted in their deep faith in God and the scriptures. They believe that God’s plan is for His people to live humbly, and work the land for their livelihood. 

They also believe that they are meant to abstain from modern conveniences that would take their focus off God. Amish people are primarily engaged in farming, agriculture, and animal husbandry. They don’t use modern mechanization to facilitate these activities, relying on traditional hand tools and the sweat of their brows.

can amish hunt year round

In the same vein as growing their crops, hunting is seen as taking what God has provided for them to eat. Hunting is often spoken of in the Bible and is never discouraged when used as a means of feeding one’s family. 

Do the Amish Hunt Deer?

Yes, Amish sometimes hunt deer, as well as other wild game. Depending on which animal is more prevalent in their stretch of countryside, that’s what they’ll hunt. They may travel long distances on hunting trips, though. 

Fathers and sons, or brothers and friends, will often hunt together. It’s also not uncommon for wives to accompany their husbands, or daughters to accompany their fathers. It’s a matter of personal preference, but Amish women can and do hunt. 

Hunting is therefore seen as a family activity or community event. It can increase awareness of the natural world and family bonding.

do amish hunt on sundays

Do All Amish Have the Same Views on Hunting? 

Just as in non-Amish communities, some people don’t enjoy hunting. While most Amish are not opposed to it in practice, some feel that it’s unnecessary to hunt. Family life plays almost as important a role in Amish communities as religious devotion.

You may have noticed that your Amish neighbors tend to have very large families. They see children as a gift from God and a blessing to the community. Do Amish adopt if they can’t have children of their own? There’s no rule against it, and it allows children orphaned in the community to be raised by loving parents.

Do the Amish Hunt with a Gun? 

Many Amish don’t own or use guns for any reason. They certainly wouldn’t dream of using them for self-defense. Amish people are committed pacifists. They abhor anything that represents violence. They don’t engage in military service, nor do they support holidays celebrating the military. 

The men don’t even wear mustaches and wear button-up coats because of their association with old military uniform fashions. So it’s not likely you’ll find firearms in an Amish household, except for hunting rifles.

do amish hunt deer

Aren’t Hunting Rifles in Conflict with their Pacifist Ways?

Guns used specifically for hunting are acceptable, as long as these are not used for any form of violence or threat of violence against a human being. That said, the subject of hunting with guns is approached differently in different communities. 

Some Amish prefer to use more traditional weapons, such as bows and arrows. Once again, this is a matter of personal preference. Amish people, both men, and women, may and do hunt. But they are not required to do so, nor are their hunting methods subject to scrutiny.


Whatever your personal views on hunting, it can’t be denied that it has always played a major role in the American way of life. And as it turns out, in the Amish way of life, too. 

Hunting is familiar to these American descendants of European settlers. It’s a way to connect with the land. And it’s a way to provide food for their families. Just like their ancestors would’ve done centuries ago. 

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