Respectable hunters live by both a written and an unwritten code. Most of us acknowledge our responsibility to follow the formal and informal rules of etiquette. When it comes down to it, we can’t help but conclude that it’s all about respect – respecting the law, landowners, the land, as well as hunters alike. So, next time you go out for a hunting adventure, be sure to remember and follow the below hunting etiquettes.
Respect the Law
Legal and ethical responsibilities often overlap, and state and provincial hunting regulations exist for good reason. Designed to protect the resource, access, and the hunter, following game laws is very much part of our hunter etiquette. In our society, it is a social expectation that each of us follow the laws and regulations that are set in place to govern certain activities. Hunting is no exception.
Respect the Landowners
Many of our hunting activities take place on privately owned land. Whether we are granted access to those lands through a formal lease arrangement or by the simple good grace of the owner, every hunter has the responsibility to follow certain written and unwritten rules. Most of us have grown up learning the rules of etiquette from a responsible mentor so we have learned that our actions should be based on common sense and respect. Things like closing gates for example – many homeowners ask that gates be closed, but an unwritten rule of thumb is to leave the gates as you found them.
Hunter etiquette also dictates that we conduct our activities with as little intrusion as possible which mean minimizing your visible presences. Park your vehicle in the least intrusive manner as possible, slip into the woods quietly, conduct your hunt and then leave in the same manner. Remember, out of sight, out of mind.
Respect the Land
How we as hunters respect the land is a big one for us here at Triggers and Bows. One of the most annoying things is when we find trash at the base of a tree stand or at an abandoned camp site formerly occupied by hunters. Be respectful and bring a garbage bag with you and clean up after yourselves.
We understand that depending on the terrain we’re hunting, setting a stand often involves clearing shooting lanes by cutting tree limbs. That said, we have the responsibility to minimize the amount of cutting necessary to accomplish this task. Likewise, many hunters will fill as many tags as they are allowed by the law. However, be mindful that over-harvest can lead to irreversible problems.
Respect other Hunters
Hunter etiquette encompasses so many thing, but the most personal is how we relate to hunters alike. From where we place our stands to respecting the space of other hunters, firearms safety, and more, hunter etiquette dictates that we respect others.
We’ve probably all experienced other hunters interrupt our own hunt by either walking under our stand at a prime time, yelling or hollering in the woods while we’re trying to hunt, setting up their ground blind or tree stand too close to ours. Unless you have exclusive access, you have the responsibility to respect the space of those around you. Unwritten rules of hunter etiquette would dictate that the first party on site has first right to the area they are hunting.
We’re all Ambassadors
All hunters share a responsibility to act as ambassadors for our heritage activities. Unless we conduct our hunting activities in a respectable manner, the writing is on the wall. Given the direction social norms are headed, without discernment and a positive representation, hunters and hunting may well become a thing of the past.
In the end, hunter etiquette and acting responsibly both in the field and in our day-to-day interactions is what makes hunting an acceptable practice. Only by respecting the laws, landowners, the land and others can we continue to enjoy one of our favourite past times in the future.
If you need the gear that will allow you to hunt using proper etiquette be sure to stop by our hunting goods store located in Burford, Ontario and we will gear you up for the perfect shot!