Hunting Ethics

BY SEAN ‘BLUE’ GRAY

As I begin to close the door on another hunting season, I’ve concluded that some hunters may have forgotten a few of the essential hunting ethics that all of us were taught when we received our hunting license.

Ethics are a set of moral principles that guide a person’s behaviour. So, the term hunting ethics specifically refers to a code of conduct that all hunters should abide by.

Since the beginning of the big game season, I have bumped into fellow hunters, friends and family members who have had some disturbing stories in terms of hunting ethics. I would like to remind all hunters of a few very important principals that we should all remember before we get out into the outdoors.

1. Obey The Law

First and foremost, we need to be sure that we are always compliant with current hunting rules and regulations. Hunting out of season, using another person’s property without permission, and exceeding limits are all examples of behavior that are illegal and unethical.

2. Shoot At a Reasonable Range

With increased technology, many hunters feel that long range shots are ethical, but remember that we as hunters should get as close to our target as possible before shooting. I am not going to discuss what distance is a long range, but be sure you have a good clear shot. Shorter distance leaves a margin for error.

3. Respect Others

This is just common sense. Do not use other hunters stands, and do not set up in another group’s area — this is becoming a real problem. Do not litter and always be courteous to anyone you encounter. If you make a kill, you should discreetly transport it to your home out of respect for non-hunters and the animal.

4. Practice Fair Chase Principles

Fair chase is the pursuit of an animal in such a way that does not give the hunter an unfair advantage. Author Jim Posewitz describes fair chase as the balance between the hunter and the hunted. It is a balance that allows hunters to occasionally succeed while animals generally avoid being taken.

5. Fully Use the Animal

Firstly, it is imperative that you as a hunter make every effort to find an animal that you may have wounded. Once you find the animal, you should harvest all edible portions of meat. Any portions of the animal you may use what you generally discard.

All in all, we as hunters must hunt sustainably to ensure that future generations have the great opportunities we have. With increased technology, more hunters, and better equipment to access more areas, we must remember that ethical hunting will ensure that we can enjoy what we love to do!