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Old 06-25-2012, 08:52 PM
Status: "Rocktober...well that was fast. :-(" (set 18 days ago)
 
Location: Fredericksburg, VA
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As I prepare for my first season of hunting this fall, it occurs to me that I am likely to cross paths with other hunters if I am using public land. For those of you who are experienced, what is the appropriate etiquette when out in the field? What are the unwritten rules (I mean beyond the safety regulations, etc...) that hunters observe in the field? What are the courtesies that are expected to be extended to others?

I appreciate any advice you can give me.
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Old 06-26-2012, 06:29 AM
 
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The Golden Rule above all else.
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Old 06-26-2012, 06:42 AM
 
Location: S.W.PA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iknowftbll View Post
As I prepare for my first season of hunting this fall, it occurs to me that I am likely to cross paths with other hunters if I am using public land. For those of you who are experienced, what is the appropriate etiquette when out in the field? What are the unwritten rules (I mean beyond the safety regulations, etc...) that hunters observe in the field? What are the courtesies that are expected to be extended to others?

I appreciate any advice you can give me.
Good question as I don't think there is much discussion let alone consensus about this.
A couple of things that seem to make sense to me:
1. If you can see someone hunting a particular cover ahead of you- keep clear and go around.
2. If you are stand hunting and you spot someone in your range, give them a signal to let them know you are there, and that you see them. Wave or tip your hat etc.
3. If you approach someone, open the action of your gun, and always keep the barrels pointing away.
4. Don't ask to see whats in his/her bulging game vest or to handle his nice looking gun.
5. And most of all- don't criticize his dog!
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Old 06-26-2012, 07:25 AM
 
Location: North Beach, MD on the Chesapeake
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When waterfowl hunting don't try to call bird that are working another hunter's decoys.
Know your zones of fire.


Field hunting geese that's important, several groups of hunters can hunt the same large field if everyone pays attention. Geese are attracted to a field that will have several goups that look like they're feeding so some common sense goes a long way, you all can hunt that field and have better success than if one group sets up inn the dead center and keeps everyone else out.

The fields I hunt are separated by hedgerows, about 50 to 100 yards wide, and I've had guys in the adjoining field shoot at geese working my decoys in the field I'm in. That's impolite (and stupid, I can't help it if your decoys or calling sucks).
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Old 06-26-2012, 12:27 PM
 
Location: Visitation between Wal-Mart & Home Depot
8,309 posts, read 33,322,966 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by North Beach Person View Post
When waterfowl hunting don't try to call bird that are working another hunter's decoys.
Know your zones of fire.


Field hunting geese that's important, several groups of hunters can hunt the same large field if everyone pays attention. Geese are attracted to a field that will have several goups that look like they're feeding so some common sense goes a long way, you all can hunt that field and have better success than if one group sets up inn the dead center and keeps everyone else out.

The fields I hunt are separated by hedgerows, about 50 to 100 yards wide, and I've had guys in the adjoining field shoot at geese working my decoys in the field I'm in. That's impolite (and stupid, I can't help it if your decoys or calling sucks).
I'm on the fence about this... There are many subtle nuances and factors to consider. For example, are these guys sky blasting? Do they know what they are doing? Did they knowingly set up way too close to you? How are you defining "working decoys"?

If birds are making a lot of high passes over an offsetting party's spread and you can get them to flare off of their decoys and onto yours, I'm not sure that's a foul. Particularly if they can't do the same to birds that are working your decoys...
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Old 06-26-2012, 12:33 PM
 
Location: North Beach, MD on the Chesapeake
32,101 posts, read 39,155,933 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimboburnsy View Post
I'm on the fence about this... There are many subtle nuances and factors to consider. For example, are these guys sky blasting? Do they know what they are doing? Did they knowingly set up way too close to you? How are you defining "working decoys"?

If birds are making a lot of high passes over an offsetting party's spread and you can get them to flare off of their decoys and onto yours, I'm not sure that's a foul. Particularly if they can't do the same to birds that are working your decoys...
Zeroed in and the leads are cupping with gear down.

When we have birds circling the fields making up their minds, which I mentioned earlier, that's one thing.

There's one bunch of guys that once in a while hunt near me who do non-stop calling, they'll have one bird coming in which all 5 of them will blast at while the guy two fields over will lose the flock working him. The area's flat so the "couldn't see that" excuse doesn't work.
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Old 06-26-2012, 12:41 PM
 
Location: Where the mountains touch the sky
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Depending on what you are hunting for, for big game at least, following the "Rule of First Blood" will save a lot of cussing and pulled hair. It is an archery hunter's term, but it holds for rifle/pistol/black powder hunting as well.

The rule of first blood is if you hit an animal that leaves a blood trail you are tracking, and the wound is likely mortal, if that animal runs into someone else who kills it, the animal should still be yours as you were working to get it into your possession and had hit the animal.

However, if the wound from your shot was only a minor wound that would not have killed the animal, then it is the other guys. It isn't hard to tell the kill shot from the older wound usually.

North of Yellowstone before the wolves, there used to be a lot of elk, and elk hunters. The old joke was that all you needed to get your animal was your tag and a set of tennis shoes to outrun everybody else when the animal went down.
This kind of behavior did exist before the wolves destroyed the elk herds. In fact my Brother in law's brother once shot 4 elk before he was able to claim one back in the 1990's, but there were a lot of altercations and fist fights over this kind of thing, especially over big bulls. Being a butthead can lead to dangerous situations when everybody is armed.

If there are questions or problems, bring in a game warden as a 3rd party to settle the dispute. Don't let your temper get the best of you.

Being contientious and safe are two of the main things needed to be a good hunter.

Good Luck
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Old 06-26-2012, 12:43 PM
 
Location: Columbia, California
6,662 posts, read 25,329,136 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iknowftbll View Post
As I prepare for my first season of hunting this fall, it occurs to me that I am likely to cross paths with other hunters if I am using public land. For those of you who are experienced, what is the appropriate etiquette when out in the field? What are the unwritten rules (I mean beyond the safety regulations, etc...) that hunters observe in the field? What are the courtesies that are expected to be extended to others?

I appreciate any advice you can give me.
I take it your state does not require a hunters safety course before purchasing a hunting license?
If you contact some gun clubs I am sure they can direct you to one. The NRA has a good class.
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Old 06-26-2012, 01:09 PM
 
Location: Visitation between Wal-Mart & Home Depot
8,309 posts, read 33,322,966 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by North Beach Person View Post
Zeroed in and the leads are cupping with gear down.

When we have birds circling the fields making up their minds, which I mentioned earlier, that's one thing.

There's one bunch of guys that once in a while hunt near me who do non-stop calling, they'll have one bird coming in which all 5 of them will blast at while the guy two fields over will lose the flock working him. The area's flat so the "couldn't see that" excuse doesn't work.
Okay, I have your angle now.
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Old 06-26-2012, 02:18 PM
 
3,252 posts, read 6,059,372 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iknowftbll View Post
As I prepare for my first season of hunting this fall, it occurs to me that I am likely to cross paths with other hunters if I am using public land. For those of you who are experienced, what is the appropriate etiquette when out in the field? What are the unwritten rules (I mean beyond the safety regulations, etc...) that hunters observe in the field? What are the courtesies that are expected to be extended to others?

I appreciate any advice you can give me.
Not to digress too badly (I must have Aspergers):
IIRC (this was years ago), in NH you could hunt on private land, if it was not properly posted. So I put up the proper signs, (properly labeled and spaced), and they did it anyway. This was on 41 acres.
So to expand on the question of 'proper etiquette', and not to hijack this thread, in any way, an addition to behaviors of approaching other hunters in the woods, should also be behaviors on posted private land. I have had to ask more than a few to leave....

I don't hunt, nor ever will, but when out in the woods I both wear the red/orange vest, and have a CCW to keep a S&W 4506 concealed. If I see hunters and I have a rifle on me, I open the action, and put a ball-point pen sticking out of the action.

I have found hunters to be both friendly and amicable. Clearly if they have lined up a shot, or are attracting or have spotted prey, you don't walk up say in a loud voice "Hey! How are are doing?" Just common sense.
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