All the short stories on this page have hunting or fishing as an important part of the plot. They’re divided into separate sections.
Hunting Short Stories
“The Road to Tinkhamtown” by Corey Ford
A hunter is making the long walk back to Tinkhamtown. It’s the first time he’s walked in a year. His legs have wasted away. He goes slowly. The doctor said he wouldn’t walk again, but he’s feeling stronger now. He hasn’t been to Tinkhamtown in ten years, but he remembers everything.
This is one of the most famous hunting short stories ever. It can be read in the preview of Classic Hunting Tales: Timeless Stories About the Great Outdoors.
“Settle Down” by Michael Waguespack
A boy in a treestand finally sees the buck he’s been waiting for. It’s been a long time; he was thinking about leaving. It’s a big 10 pointer about forty-five yards away. He tries to keep calm.
This story can be read in the preview of The Deer Hunting Book: Short Stories for Young Hunters.
“A Sunrise on the Veld” by Doris Lessing
A fifteen-year-old boy wakes up at 4:30 AM to go hunting. He’s excited and energetic, loving life and feeling he is in control of everything.
This is the sixth story in the preview of African Stories.
“The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber” by Ernest Hemingway
The Macomber’s are an American couple on an African safari. They have a guide, Wilson, a professional hunter, who will lead their outing. It is revealed that Francis had panicked in an earlier hunt when a wounded lion charged at him.
This is the first story in the preview of The Complete Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway.
“Esme” by Saki
In the countryside, a baroness and her friend go on a hunting trip. The dogs run ahead and surround a hyena. It’s very friendly to the two women. It also wants a snack.
This is the first story in the preview of The Chronicles of Clovis.
“Blue Book Value” S. A. Cosby
Trey is out hunting on land owned by the aunt of his friend, Randy. He winged a huge buck and is following the trail. This kill could carry his family through the winter, so he doesn’t want to lose it. He has an encounter with the wounded animal, and also finds something unexpected.
This story can be read in the preview of the anthology Collectibles. (70% into preview)
“The Damned Thing” by Ambrose Bierce
A group of men, including a coroner, are seated around a table with a dead man on it. They’re conducting an inquest into his death. They’re joined by a young man from the city. He’s a reporter who has investigated the man’s death and was with him when he died. He’s questioned about the day’s events. They were on a hunting and fishing trip.
This story can be read in the preview of 100 Great American Short Stories. (73% into preview)
Short Stories About Hunting, Cont’d
“The Jaguar Hunter” by Lucius Shepard
Esteban heads into town to visit Onofrio, an appliance dealer. Esteban enjoys the simple pleasures of the countryside, while his wife, Incarnación, enjoys other diversions. Without her husband’s knowledge, she bought a television set from Onofrio and now payment is due. Esteban might have to give up his cows, which would put them in a difficult position. Onofrio offers a solution—Esteban can pay the debt by killing the jaguar of Barrio Carolina.
This story can be read in the preview of The Year’s Best Science Fiction: Third Annual Collection. (30% in)
“Click!” by Lawrence Block
After some time out hunting, in a manner of speaking, Dandridge returns to the mountain lodge for a drink. He starts talking to another man seated at the bar. They drink and discuss hunting, focusing on a feeling of disillusionment with it—the thrill is gone. Dandridge has found an interesting work around for this problem.
This story can be read in the preview of Enough Rope. (81% in)
“Softly Spoke the Gabbleduck” by Neal Asher
Tameera, her brother Tholan, and his assistant Anders are accompanied by a guide on Myral hunting gabbleduck. The species isn’t native to the planet, but have been rumored to be there. Their trip is interrupted when Tameera kills a sheq, a native species. This puts them in danger, both from the sheq and the authorities.
This story can be read in the preview of The Gabble And Other Stories. (8% in)
“Race at Morning” by William Faulkner
A hunting party, including a twelve-year-old boy who narrates, sets out one morning after a deer.
“Mrs. Packletide’s Tiger” by Saki
Mrs. Packletide wants to shoot a tiger to outshine a rival. She plots to do it in an easy way, but something goes awry.
“A Sound of Thunder” by Ray Bradbury
In the future, a company offers guided hunting safaris into the past to kill dinosaurs. Extreme care is taken to ensure nothing happens that could alter the present.
Read “A Sound of Thunder” (PDF Pg. 3)
“The Bag” by Saki
Major Pallaby is the master of a hunting club. Foxes are scarce, so enthusiasm in the club is waning. When a young Russian man returns from his hunt his hostess tries to hide the bag’s contents from the Major.
Short Stories About Hunting, Cont’d
“Hunters in the Snow” by Tobias Wolff
Three friends go hunting together in Spokane. Two of the men, Frank and Kenny, are closer to each other than to the other man, Tub. Their hunting is uneventful until Kenny gets aggressive and starts shooting at some things.
“The Last Day in the Field” by Caroline Gordon
Aleck is aging and has a persistent pain in his leg. Despite these things, he still goes hunting with his friend, Joe, a young man. Although Aleck wants to be young, he doesn’t let his difficulties ruin his hunt.
“The Interlopers” by Saki
Two feuding family patriarchs encounter each other in the forest. An accident gives them some time to talk about their problems.
“The Grave” by Katherine Anne Porter
Miranda, nine-years-old, goes out hunting with her twelve-year-old brother, Paul. Before they start, they stop at some empty graves on the family’s land. They dig for a while, each of them uncovering an item to take with them. Then they set out in search of a rabbit or bird.
“My First Kill” by Art Coelho
A twelve-year-old boy has a new .22 automatic rifle. He is going on his first hunt. His father has impressed on him the value of using his bullets wisely, and killing something good enough for the dinner table.
“Yermolai and the Miller’s Wife” by Ivan Turgenev
The narrator and Yermolai go out hunting. They seek shelter at a miller’s home, and Yermolai seems to know the miller’s wife.
“Rust” by Guy de Maupassant
Hector is in his fifties and has loved hunting all his life. He regularly visits his neighbors, the Courvilles, telling them stories of his quarry. When he gets sick, his routine is interrupted, prompting the Courvilles to come up with a way of improving his life.
Short Stories About Hunting, Cont’d
“Doe Season” by David Michael Kaplan
Andy, a nine-year-old girl, goes out early with her family one morning on a hunting trip. Andy has a way with animals—they’re drawn to her. Her father’s friend Charlie doesn’t understand why she’s with them.
“Pelt” by Carol Emshwiller
A hunter and his dog are on the frozen planet Jaxa. The dog senses they are being watched, but she doesn’t know how to signal this to her master. The hunter is looking for trophies to add to his collection, and furs to sell.
“The Leopard” by Ruskin Bond
The narrator sees a leopard in a ravine. The ravine’s wildlife are used to him walking through. There are some hunters looking for the leopard.
“Bait (a Star Wars story)” by Alan Dean Foster
Grummgar is in the jungles of Ithor getting a trophy for a client. As he approaches the glade where he plans to wait for his quarry, he finds it occupied. A small human female is relaxing there. He realizes he can use her to his advantage.
“A Dreadful Night” by Edwin L. Arnold
The narrator recounts an episode from five years ago when he was hunting in Colorado. He left his camp alone in the afternoon. He wounded a buck and pursued it into untouched wilderness. When he caught up with it, he found himself on the brink of a slippery slope above a cavernous mouth in the ground.
Read “A Dreadful Night”
“The Calm” by Raymond Carver
A man is getting a haircut. The barber asks one of his regulars, Charles, if he got his deer. Charles says he did and he didn’t. He tells the story of him, his grandfather and his son out hunting.
“The Most Dangerous Game” by Richard Connell
Raisnsford is on a ship headed for the Amazon. He’s a big-game hunter. While on the afterdeck smoking his pipe, he hears the sound of gunshots in the distance. When he investigates, an accident puts him in a dangerous situation.
Fishing Short Stories
“Widow Voyage” by Philip Wylie
Crunch and his companion admire a sea boat, the Evangeline IV. In fact, it doesn’t deserve the praise, as it needs a lot of work. They plan on fixing it up. It needs a new engine, which is an expense they can’t afford. Money they owe will be due in two months. The general opinion is that they didn’t make a good purchase.
This story can be read in the preview of Crunch & Des: Classic Stories of Saltwater Fishing.
“Now I Lay Me” by Ernest Hemingway
Nick Adams lies awake through the nights, feeling if he closes his eyes in the dark, his soul will leave his body. He passes the time by imagining his old fishing spots in great detail. Sometimes he fishes four or five streams in a night and makes up new ones. When he can’t fish, he prays for all the people he’s ever known. Other nights, he tries to remember everything that’s ever happened to him, before the war and back to childhood. He shares the room with another man. (Summary)
“The Outcast” by Rick Bragg
The narrator’s little brother bought an unusual, ill-tempered goat he called Ramrod, that was very large. His plan was to procure nanny goats and breed a whole herd of them. One time when he went fishing, he accidentally hooked Ramrod with his line.
This story can be read in the preview of Where I Come From: Stories from the Deep South.
“Nobody Said Anything” by Raymond Carver
A married couple argue one morning before work. One of their sons, Roger, fakes being sick so he can stay home by himself. He ends up being bored. He looks through his parents room, trying to get some insight into romantic matters. He decides to set out for Birch Creek to do some fishing.
This story can be read in the preview of Where I’m Calling From: Selected Stories.
“Opening Day” by Jack Gilchrist
On a chilly spring morning, a fisherman in chest-high waders makes his way steadily upstream through shallow water. He scrutinizes the environment, eventually finding a large boulder. He’s been here twice before. He hooked a large, beautiful rainbow trout but, in his inexperience, lost it both times. He’s determined to catch it today.
Over half of this story can be read in the preview of Fishing’s Best Short Stories.
“The Song of the Angler” by A. J. McClane
The narrator tries to answer the often-asked question of why he enjoys fishing. The popular explanations fall short. He talks about how compelling the music of angling is. He talks about some exceptional anglers he knew, and the rewards of fishing.
Most of this story can be read in the preview of The Greatest Fishing Stories Ever Told.
“Big Two-Hearted River” by Ernest Hemingway
Nick Adams is back in Seney after experiencing something that has damaged him psychologically. He finds the outside soothing. He spends time at a river, fishing and camping out.
This story, and much more, is in Hemingway on Fishing.
“The Fishing Hole” by Guy de Maupassant
Leopold is called before the Court of Assizes on the charge of causing a death. Also present are his wife and the principal witnesses. Leopold claims it was a misfortune, and that he was the victim. Every Sunday, he and his wife go fishing. There’s a spot that everyone knows is his. On Saturday evening, Leopold had a bottle of weak white wine, which he says started everything.
Read “The Fishing Hole”
I’ll keep adding short stories about hunting and fishing as I find more.