Are all Hunters Brothers and Sisters?

There is no question that as a small segment of society, hunters should stick together. There is enough outside pressures and criticism on hunting for hunters to be divided among ourselves. Hunters have a long history of sticking together, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for differences within our camp. But it also doesn’t mean that bad behavior should get a free pass.

Traditions and customs in hunting are important. This includes local traditions and how people choose to hunt, be it with gun or bow; rifle or shotgun, recurve or compound; ground blind or treestand; still-hunting or calling, and even with dogs or over bait where legal. In most instances, the majority of hunters understand and accept these differences. The real rub with sticking together comes from poor choices and bad behavior. No one likes to be the cop policing the behavior of others, but one of the things that has made hunting a special, time-honored tradition and socially acceptable is hunters policing themselves.

How we conduct ourselves individually reflects either positively or negatively on all hunters as a group, and hunting in general. People make mistakes, which is why our society is forgiving. And we’re keen on second chances as long as the governing body and the participants in any activity are seen proactively trying to correct mistakes. It may not be written anywhere on your hunting license, but you have a responsibility to ensure hunting is both safe and done in a respectful and ethical manner. Sometimes this means calling out those things you believe to be either unsafe or not in the spirit of the hunt. Claiming that “anything goes” as long as it is legal is not always the right call.

Yes, hunters should all be in the same boat and stick together, but if someone is shooting holes in that boat, sooner or later we’re all going to get wet.

 

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