Hunting Ethics By Ricky Cooper


Ethics and code of conduct. Ethics are principles that directs a hunter’s behavior. The term hunting ethics refers to a code of conduct that hunters should follow. Ethics and the code varies from hunter to hunter. Not every hunter has the same code.

Hunter’s are a small group of the population of the world. Not everyone likes to hunt and that is their choice. Unethical hunters should not be excused. We see headlines about hunters on tv or read about cheating, spotlighting or killing out of season. When this happens the Anti-hunting community exploits this to their advantage.

Today’s hunter has no excuse to not know the rules. We have such advanced technology that you can take your cell phone and know within inches of where your standing and also what is in season.


You as a hunter should know what your doing, don’t just wing it or learn on the fly. We now have Facebook, Youtube   and Hunting forums that you can ask, search or tweet and learn many different avenues to learn how to properly harvest or field dress an animal. We owe it to the animal we are hunting to be

as efficient as possible in taking that game animal.

A hunter should know their equipment and the capabilities of that equipment. Know how far your bow or rifle will accurately shoot. Know where the best location to place that shot on the animal, so that you get the kill shot and reduce stress on the animal. I have been told that if a deer is only wounded and takes time to die that the meat is tainted. I don’t know if this is true, but I have heard that.

The Boone and Crocket Club defines long range shooting like this. Long range shooting is more hunter’s intent, than specific distance which a shot is taken.  If the intent is to simply test equipment or determine how far one can shoot to hit a live target and there is not any thought of risk engagement to the animal, then this is not hunting and should not be considered hunting.

When you have your prey in your sights, before you pull the trigger you should be 100% certain that when you fire your weapon, that you have made a kill shot. (my opinion)

Respecting Other Hunter’s and Property Owners

We have all been there. Your hunting Public property and Joe Hunter just walks right trough your stand site while your sitting in it. He looks and waves and keeps going. Ruining any chance you have of making a harvest. Just look at any hunting site on Facebook or a hunting Fourm and you will read the horror stories. I for one luckl’y don’t hunt much public land. I just have been lucky to get to hunt private land and don’t like crowds around with guns. It just seems unsafe to me. If your lucky enough to get a lease or private property to hunt, the last thing you should do is deface that property. I have seen more people kicked off property because they cut a tree or left trash all over the property. If you have hunting rights or a lease, then it’s your responsibility that when you use or leave that property it looks just like it did when you got there or better. Respect goes a long way. Remember this, property owners know each other. So the next time you ask for permission or attempt to lease a property and they ask for refrence’s. they may just call Mr. Property owner and ask what kind of a tenant you were or why you don’t hunt that property anymore.

Fair Chase, What, is it. To me fair chase is not baiting or doing anything that the law deems illegal. Sure, there are plenty of ways to harvest A animal, but is it legal? if it’s not legal it is also unethical to me. Treat the animal with the respect that it deserves.

Harvest Use.

How many pictures have you seen where someone has cut the head off a deer or left game just laying in the woods or on the side of the road after they have gotten what they want from it? It’s terrible, I recently spotted a deer on a back road in the ditch and they didn’t even take the back straps. What a waste. This is not ethical at all, in my opinion. Don’t waste meat, we got people who would love to have some fresh meat, and that’s coming from a boy who grew up on beans and taters.


Learn and follow the rules of Hunting safely and require the same for your Hunting partners.

Obey all regulations and conduct yourself in a ethical manner

Ask for permission from a landowner’s before entering their property.

Develop and be proficient with your hunting equipment and practice ethical shot placement.

Support your wildlife conservation efforts and get involved with any new rules and regulation advancements or changes.

Share with other hunter’s Skills Rules and Ethics. Keep hunting great and available to future generations.

Make full use of your harvest. If you don’t want it, then don’t shoot it. If you do you can always donate the meat.

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