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The 4 R's of ethical hunters

1. Respect for self

  • Prepare and plan before going on a hunt.
  • Learn all you can about the game you are hunting.
  • Know and understand why bag limits are set, and adhere to the daily bag limits. Know and respect the legal seasons of the game animals you’re hunting.
  • Carry your hunting license and required game tags with you at all times when hunting.
  • Practice marksmanship long before the hunting season to ensure the clean, swift harvest of game animals.
  • Follow all the safe firearm handling rules. 
  • Do not drink alcohol or do drugs when handling firearms or hunting.
  • Understand that the enjoyment of the hunt is more important than the quantity of game harvested.

2. Respect for others

  • Always ask for permission to hunt before the hunting season begins.
  • Get to know the landowner long before the hunting season starts.
  • Obey a landowner's wishes on where to hunt and take care of the land as if it were your own. Leave any gates and fences as you found them, unless directed otherwise by the landowner.
  • Offer the landowner a part of the game harvested.
  • Help the landowner with chores from fixing fences to wood cutting.
  • Do not intentionally interfere with another hunter's hunt.
  • Teach others about hunting and share your knowledge of the sport.
  • Do not use foul language or crude behavior.
  • Avoid openly displaying harvested game animals where they might offend a non-hunter.
  • Dispose of the entrails of game animals in a way that is mindful of the general public.

Note: Most state laws require that all people hunting on fenced, under cultivation, or posted and un-posted property, must have written permission from the land owner in their possession. 

3. Responsibility for actions

  • Do not turn your head on game violations; report any violation to the appropriate authorities.
  • Work and cooperate with law enforcement officials.
  • Understand that your actions reflect directly on how others view you as a hunter as well as the sport of hunting in general. Be a good ambassador for the sport.
  • Admit when you have done something wrong.
  • Understand that you can and will be held accountable for your actions.
  • Ensure harvested game animals are properly field dressed so no meat is wasted.
  • Pass up a shot if it is unsafe or if the shot will not produce a clean and swift harvest of the game animal.

4. Respect for resource

  • Only take fair shots. Know the distance to your target.
  • No shooting game in hard times, such as an animal stuck in snow or crossing water.
  • Make humane shots only. No shooting game when accompanied by their young; young animals will starve without their parents.
  • Obey local laws, and don't over hunt.

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