Are you an asshole hunter?
Etiquette is important in all aspects of life, and for sportsmen, it’s essential for safety, ethics, and the protection of hunting rights and privileges. The list below represents what NOT to do on the hunt—and how to gauge your behavior in the field.
You might be an asshole hunter if…
1. You never get off your lifted, camouflaged, mud-tired, gun-racked 800cc ATV. It’s fine for covering long distances on rutted logging roads, but hunting is about immersing oneself in the primeval predator-prey dynamic, not utilizing high-tech machinery. Dust off those long-neglected legs and lungs and connect with nature.
2. You cross private property without asking. Not knowing where you are is no excuse; learn how to prepare for your hunt and don’t jeopardize access for everyone.
3. You wear blood-soaked clothing to the bar (other than the Filler or the Barmuda Triangle) after dressing out a large herbivore. It may seem like a badge of honor among your bros, but the nice vegan lady at the table across from you just puked.
4. You leave gut piles near public trails or roads. Bury it, haul it into the woods, or take it with you and dispose of it properly. Not only are guts disgusting to come across, but they also attract predators, scavengers, and dogs.
5. You take a shot you can’t make. Unless you’re a trained sniper, a 600-yard kill is probably not within your ability, and that animal you just wounded could suffer for hours or worse. Get close or don’t shoot.
6. You brag endlessly about the exit wound and how “that deer’s chest cavity exploded!” Hunting is about more than killing, Mr. Manson. Put down the Red Bull and try to understand the concept.
7. You scare the bejeezus out of hikers, bikers, and other recreationists on public land. Meeting an armed person on the trail is intimidating; a smile and wave go a long way.
8. You let meat go to waste. Pack the entire animal out—quickly. And if you just can’t eat it all, give some to a friend or donate it to the food bank. Or buy a bigger freezer.
9. You deliberately abuse anti-hunters. Yes, many of them are ignorant and close-minded, and some are just plain dumb; but your hostility only reinforces their belief that hunters are cruel and barbaric. Be nice, be polite, be articulate—and they may reconsider their position.
10. You shoot road signs, fence posts, trees, or other inanimate objects. WTF, man? Your tax dollars pay for that stuff. We can only hope you exercise a little more self-control with the gun you were born with.