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Sunday, March 18, 2007

Hunting Ethics are both Personal and Public

Hunting ethics is a term which defines the true standards, conduct and moral judgement of a sportsman. Some say that people's hunting ethics are also a mirror image of the rest of their personal lives.

Ethics for the hunter can be broken down into personal and public ethics. The personal ethics of a sportsman deal with the way he treats his sport, the animals and other hunters. Though often distasteful, personal ethics do not usually entail illegal activity. On the other hand, public ethics deal with issues such as breaking game laws, trespassing on private property, poaching, etc.

Personal Ethics

Every ethical hunter should practice personal ethics as a way of showing respect for his fellow sportsmen and the animals. Instead of fighting over a particular hunting area, it is considered ethical to share the area or invite the other hunter to hunt it one day and then you hunt it the next day.

Personal disregard for another hunter's right to be in the woods should also be avoided, such as making noise to chase away game because someone beat you to your favorite spot, or putting on a drive where other hunters are stand hunting.

One of the most ethically irresponsible things a hunter can do is not follow up his shot. Always do everything possible to retrieve a wounded animal, including spending the entire day looking for it.

Public Ethics

Party hunting, shooting an animal for another hunter, poaching, or leaving a deer in the woods because it is "just" a doe or small buck are not only grossly unethical, but also illegal. If the sportsman is supposed to be in the deer woods to commune with nature and enjoy the animals we love so much, it is reasonable that an ethical hunter would not even consider some of the above mentioned ethical and legal violations.

Today, hunters are waging a battle against anti-hunters. We're also waging a more discouraging battle against adverse publicity from those few unethical sportsmen who's actions give the majority of ethical, law abiding hunters a black eye.

Ultimately, public opinion will decide whether hunting as we know it will continue. It is our duty to do everything possible to win this war. Sportsmanship

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