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Wyoming bowhunter starts hunting ethics nonprofit


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Wyoming bowhunter Rob Shaul is taking hunting ethics into his own hands. Shaul, who hails from Jackson Hole, is starting a new nonprofit dubbed Mountain Pursuit that, he says, will help make big game hunting “more ethical,” the Jackson Hole News & Guide reports.

“One of the things that is disappointing to me as a hunter is that we have kind of relied on green groups to do the hard work for us,” said Shaul. “We need to take stronger stances.”

Shaul wants hunters to unite over fair chase hunting ethics and establish regulations that prohibit certain behavior, such as shooting at an elk that is more than 300 yards away or driving ATVs on closed roads and trails. He believes that “bear baiting should be banned in Wyoming” and that chasing coyotes with snowmobiles “is just stupid” and “should be criminalized,” according to the Jackson Hole News & Guide.

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“We want to represent the subsistence-based resident hunter,” said Shaul. “We just like to go out and get an elk or a deer, cut it up and eat it. There’s no one representing that guy right now, and we want to represent that guy.”

He wants to return the focus to traditional fair chase practices and hunting ethics that seem to be waylaid by current technological advances. He also thinks license allocations should be more resident-focused and, in fact, released a report critical of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department’s (WGFD) complementary license program. According to the Jackson Hole News & Guide, the report, which was the “public debut” of Shaul’s Mountain Pursuit, illustrated how the program’s primary purpose to fundraise for charitable organizations has essentially “become a fast pass for wealthy nonresident hunters to easily acquire hard-to-draw licenses.” The report recommends that WGFD stop the program immediately and auction off five antelope, 10 deer and 50 elk licenses to fund the WGFD’s general fund instead.

Shaul plans to do other reports like this in the future concerning other hunting programs and initiatives.

“We’re not going to be for everyone,” Shaul said of Mountain Pursuit. “If you’re a guy in Michigan and want to go hunting in Wyoming you’re probably not going to like us, because we’re going to cut you off the team.”


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Nektarios K. - posted 4 months ago on 01-24-2019 06:58:47 pm

See many, many problems with the two prominent aims mentioned in the article. These positions are divisive and not based in any real logic. Will not support.

Kevin G. - posted 4 months ago on 01-22-2019 08:12:03 pm
el paso tx

Hey Guys, I was unaware I was walking into a political storm here. I like to hunt for food and survival skills not sport. With that being said I will take an 80 yard bow shot because I am proficient at this range. I just do not like to rifle shoot long yards just to kill but will for food. Whatever else you guys are discussing is between you guys. Next time I will keep my mouth shut and push on down the road. Thank you and good night.

Charles B. - posted 4 months ago on 01-21-2019 12:08:29 pm
Elk River, MN

Rob S. you cross a line is in trying to turn your ethical preferences into law. As technology improves, so does hunter effective kill range. Sorry. If you're promoting social awareness of guys hunting within their abilities, I'd be proud of you. Threaten us with a law that tells us what our abilities are, and you're an enemy of the people. I'm not a fan of the extreme-range shows but I respect their right to do so. Urging the WSF to reconsider their sponsorship is cool.

As for tag allocation, you're views are purely selfish. These statistics can be spun to anyone's advantage-just like how you ignore WY's smaller resident population dynamics in comparison to other states and their respective quotas. As a WY resident, your tag draw opportunities are among the best. None of us want to crowded at our hunting spots or have a stalk blown by a dummy who doesn't know any better.

Exclude nonresidents to the best of your abilities and in the end, you can expect them to not also show up when you need them their help advocate for your public lands, hunting rights, etc. We'll be busy that day.

Kevin G. - posted 4 months ago on 01-20-2019 06:05:38 pm
el paso tx

Shaul I hear you. I bow and rifle hunt. I enjoy bow much more. I agree hunt for the meat and experience not trophies.
El Paso TX

KJ H. - posted 4 months ago on 01-19-2019 02:04:00 pm

Hey Rob, as I stated below I know you like to ask though questions. I just don’t think several groups with there own agenda are going to get things done to help sportsman in general.

Why not focus this non profit on doing something like the train-to-Hunt challenge that shows people their limitations in real world scenarios. (Archery/rifles/physical fitness) I don’t know, something positive that helps people get better and builds comrade among sportsmen. I feel you had a boatload of credibility and leadership capital in this community that could have been put to better use.
If you put someone through one of your range pt workouts and they go 10 for 10 on a 400 yard target are you really the one that should be telling them not to shoot over 300 yards?

Aaron J. - posted 4 months ago on 01-19-2019 01:43:40 pm

You're welcome.

Eric Hardester_10154334241172157
Eric H. - posted 4 months ago on 01-18-2019 11:39:26 am
Gilbert, AZ

Wild sheep foundation sponsoring extreme range shooting - yeah that seems off. I'd support them hoping off that bandwagon.

Limiting long range shooting through regulation - still a no go for me. I think limiting long range shots should be taught, not regulated. And besides, from reading Jack O'Connor's works, those Big Horn Sheep and Antelope can definitely see you half mile away.

Nonresident tags - there are less people in the whole state of Wyoming than in the east valley of Phoenix. Of course Wyoming is going to have a larger percentage of non resident tags.

Robert S. - posted 4 months ago on 01-18-2019 10:53:16 am

All - Thank you for the passionate comments and especially the criticism! I sincerely appreciate your willingness to give your two cents and certainly appreciate the nonresident hunter positions.

To get you even more fired up, Mountain Pursuit is urging the Wild Sheep Foundation to end its sponsorship of an extreme-range hunting TV Show:

Even more on ethics, Here is our position outlining maximum shooting range restrictions for both archery and firearms:

Concerning nonresident tags, here's a comparison of nonresident tag allocation between the western states. You'll see Wyoming, specifically, has the most liberal nonresident allocation in the West.

Fire away!

- Rob Shaul

Chet K. - posted 4 months ago on 01-17-2019 11:56:42 am

I think Shaul will learn that hard way that making "bright line" categorical generalizations regarding morality and legality of the distance in which a hunter engages his prey is unproductive at best. I read this article thinking it might be about an organization I could get behind based on the title. As a nonresident hunter interested in hunting in the state Wyoming I think it would be pretty dumb for me to support this organization. At least Shaul recognizes that fact.

Aaron J. - posted 4 months ago on 01-17-2019 09:58:31 am

I have a problem with elitist hunters who anoint themselves as the purest ethical thought leaders among us. You're most ethical based on what? Please tell us all your credentials, education, and philosophical system that makes your opinions superior to the rest of us. Okay, so you're not comfortable taking a shot over 300 hundred yards at an elk. I don't have a problem if you can't calculate bullet trajectory fast enough to accurately shoot that far. (It doesn't take any longer than calculating a 40 yard bow shot by the way.) I can. And a ton of other competent hunters can. I've killed numerous big game animals well past 500 hundred yards and every one of them has been a clean, fast kill. In fact, far more decisive than jumping game at 50 or 100 yards and shooting at running animals, or an animal that string jumps a bow at 20 yards. I've witnessed far more, as in exponentially more, blood trails gone cold from bow hunting than any long-range rifle kill shots. Ht em, tracked em, lost em. So maybe we ought to have a movement to ban guys like Shaul being able to bow hunt--see how that works when hunters turn on hunters.

As to the resident/non-resident issue, last time I checked the vast majority of western hunting takes place on FEDERAL lands. So let's not pretend here that all hunters alike (resident and non-resident) don't have a vested interest in the lands that the game we all want to hunt inhabit. If we're going to go down that road then let's think about dividing up game units and tags based on federal land (non-resident & resident equally), state lands (resident only), and private lands (private owners only).

I do agree that the cream of the crop tags should not be sold/auctioned through these "charitable" organizations. Let's be honest, these are guys that love to hunt premo units and have created cozy deals with state agencies through charitable fronts. This is appalling to the average guy that applies for years. However, what he is proposing sounds like the same system, except his proposed system favors him and his group of buddies.

I don't know this Shaul fellow, but he sure sounds like a massive ego to me.

KJ H. - posted 4 months ago on 01-16-2019 04:52:13 pm

Wow. I have enjoyed Mr. Shaul’s content in the past. Previously he’s has not been shy about asking tough questions and taking a strong stance. I think that is a great thing. To start a group that wants to exclude one group of hunters is a much different proposition. It is also perplexing that a man that designs some of the best backcountry hunting workouts would be so angry about finding more hunters in the backcountry. I appreciate everything Mr Shaul does for our military and first responders, but I think he is wrong on this one. I also think this is going to cost him some business. In the last several years I have hunted Colorado, New Mexico and Idaho. I wanted to try Wyoming this year and hopefully it will work out. I have given all these states a lot of money. I understand out-of-State hunters get under people’s skin, but they bring a lot of money into the fish and game agencies. Good luck to everybody on their applications.

Eric Hardester_10154334241172157
Eric H. - posted 4 months ago on 01-16-2019 12:17:29 pm
Gilbert, AZ

"We're not going to be for everyone" - yep, good idea, Shaul. Alienate other hunters instead of being a positive influence for all. Sounds like he just wants to hunt more, by himself, in silence.

Chris D. - posted 4 months ago on 01-16-2019 06:51:58 am
Cleveland, OH

So disappointing. I was intrigued by the title of the article, but it sounds like this guy just wants to box out other hunters. Not by working harder than the next guy, but by further reducing opportunity for others through lobbying.

Joey N. - posted 4 months ago on 01-15-2019 04:12:44 pm

Glad to see the consistency in thought among all those commenting. I have about a hundred thoughts I want to share about how this guy is a dipstick, but I don't even know where to start! The headline had me somewhat interested, but this dude is a self serving tool with a very narrow world view. What a pathetic disgrace to the community. I hope people reject his voice outright and shut down this narrative entirely. I believe this has no place in our community. I'm thrilled to see the passion and agreement in the comments on this article. Too bad this guy and this philosophy even exists in our circles.

Matthew R. - posted 4 months ago on 01-15-2019 02:41:15 pm

I'm honestly just shocked by this.. it's just nutty. So he's mad that after buying his $47 OTC trophy mule deer tag he had to share federal land with a group of hard-charging non-residents that waited 5+ years and paid more into WY wildlife in one hunt than he likely will in his lifetime of deer hunting WY?! I'm also taken back that he sells a backcountry big game hunting fitness program and then is offended when he sees guys in the backcountry.

"An experience Shaul had hunting in the fall of 2017 first sprung the idea of Mountain Pursuit. He was in the Wyoming Range — a popular area to pursue trophy mule deer — and was several miles from the nearest trailhead in a remote basin when he came upon eight nonresident bowhunters.“I was just taken aback by that,” Shaul said. “I started thinking about nonresident license allocation.” Hunting for an existing nonprofit organization that would effectively represent his interests, Shaul said he couldn’t find one."

Josh S. - posted 4 months ago on 01-15-2019 01:55:30 pm
S.E. Idaho

Matthew I was thinking about emailing them this link if someone hasn't done it already. I am a big Exo fan and I feel the same. I know they have had a relationship with him in the past but I can't see them supporting his platform against out of state hunters since those guys hunt out of state a fair bit.

Matthew R. - posted 4 months ago on 01-15-2019 01:14:13 pm

It pains me to see this guys name associated with Exo, Steve Speck and Mark Huelsing... hopefully this sentiment isn't shared with people who have previously promoted him.

John W. - posted 4 months ago on 01-15-2019 11:18:17 am


Erik S. - posted 4 months ago on 01-15-2019 08:43:11 am

@Chris P, he is a fifth generation WY resident. There are ignorant assholes outside of California, take you for example :)

Nick J. - posted 4 months ago on 01-15-2019 05:52:51 am

He got butt hurt because he had a tag and when he got to "his " spot there were dudes from Michigan there. Which means he didn't get the mattress off his back, didn't hike hard enough, in short did not care as much as the out of staters who beat his there. Sucks to be him.

So when Senator Lee tries to sell off all the public land, I guess when we call for help from out of state guys to help us fight, I assume we get the Michigan "hello"?

Christopher P. - posted 4 months ago on 01-14-2019 10:47:37 pm

Well he sounds like one of the hundreds of filthy rich out of state jerk offs that have moved to Jackson and think their opinion is gold.
Probably has a lot of Californian in him...

Justin S. - posted 4 months ago on 01-14-2019 06:55:07 pm
Rozet, WY

For trying to good; I can see almost nothing good about what he is trying to accomplish... I'm with others, I see this going nowhere.

AJAX M. - posted 4 months ago on 01-14-2019 06:29:30 pm
West Linn, OR

No chance this grows legs. If what was stated in the write up truly are the organizations ideals then this guy might be able to find about half a dozen other like minded individuals to join his club but outside that I agree with Eric and think this won’t go anywhere.

Travis W. - posted 4 months ago on 01-14-2019 06:20:34 pm

Doesn't sound like a team I would want to be a part of. Seems pretty selfish to me and something that would only hurt the sport if states were to start taking this approach. I would feel sorry for the guys living in states with no public land and no chance to ever experience a public land hunt. I am guessing Shaul has no desire to ever hunt out of state himself...

Erik S. - posted 4 months ago on 01-14-2019 05:28:13 pm

I loved the title, we do need to a legit ethics debate main stream and implement some sort of education system but do not make anything illegal (other than the ATV issue on non motorized trails of course). But this guy lost his mind on everything else, I highly doubt this goes anywhere.

John W. - posted 4 months ago on 01-14-2019 04:49:45 pm

I wrote him an email and cancelled my business with him. He won’t get another dime from me. His response was polite and respectful, but he stood his ground that his aim is to limit nonresidents as much as he can and use his ethics to dictate your hunt. Unreal. I’m really interested to see how the rest of the hunting community responds... will he be on any more podcasts from guys I respect? I sure hope not. His stance is counter to basically everything we stand for in the western and backcountry hunting community.

Dillon H. - posted 4 months ago on 01-14-2019 03:38:00 pm
Douglas, Wyoming

What a clown.

Robert L. - posted 4 months ago on 01-14-2019 02:07:29 pm

Shaul's position is assinine. His imposition of his hunting ethics is laughable as well . I have hunted Colorado only as an Ohio resident since 1977. Wouldn't have Wyoming shoved up my ass if you paid me. Thought I would comment nontheless. It is folks like he who continue to divide and weaken the hunting community as a whole with selfish "ethical bullshit" , inferring that some of us need regulated by his moral standards as our must be lacking ? Quite honestly, a young Archer like him needs taken behind the woodshed by a middle aged Archer like me . Think about what you are actually say son before you comment any further. Bob from steubenville ohio

Vance W. - posted 4 months ago on 01-14-2019 01:20:57 pm
Anthem AZ

Rob Shaul, I have killed 5 Wyoming Antelope bucks and 8 Antelope Does and I'm coming back for more, maybe an Elk or a Mulie next time. ;-) With an evil rifle.

Vance W. - posted 4 months ago on 01-14-2019 01:18:12 pm
Anthem AZ

This fella just wants all you non-resident (AKA according to Rob Shaul) non-ethical hunters to stay out of his way to make sure he can get what he thinks is HIS hunting area and animals to kill and eat. I think its funny when people refer to traditional weapons or methods like they have some inherent moral value. Hello, McFly ... these "traditional" tools were the Long Range Magnum rifles of their time. A better term would be "Historical Weapons and hunting tools". If you think a native America from 400 years ago wouldn't have grabbed up a Gunwerks 7 LRM and G7 range finder to feed his family and have a little fun if he had them available your naïve at best and nuts at worst.

Like someone else said on here, hunting access and the right to take game on public lands within the established laws in every state belongs to everyone in the world much less every US citizen. If your from Brazil you can legally hunt in Wyoming.

Chris H. - posted 4 months ago on 01-14-2019 01:15:57 pm
Dallas, TX

There is absolutely nothing wrong with creating a non-profit organization with the mission of promoting fair chase and ethical hunting practices. But using that same non-profit to serve as a smoke screen in order to further your personal agenda of excluding non-resident hunters is incredibly sad, and not very clever.

According to a 2017 study conducted by the Wyoming Outfitters & Guides Association, it seems that non-resident big game hunters are responsible for generating 41% (over $123 million) of the total hunting-related revenue. Unless Mr. Shaul's organization is going to make up the difference, then I think the state of Wyoming will continue accepting non-resident hunting applications.

On a more personal note, why did he single out guys from Michigan? I'm from Michigan originally, and as a born and raised Michigander, I find that comment oddly specific and unnecessarily harsh.

Josh S. - posted 4 months ago on 01-14-2019 12:58:36 pm
S.E. Idaho

I've always felt this guy is the center of his own solar system. When I see he is a guest on any of the podcasts I listen to, I skip that episode. As Randy Newberg says, opinions are not ethics.

I have a hard time finding much unethical in a trained marksman with a high powered rifle shooting at an elk over 300 yards. He's made a blanket statement when this is situational and not purely ethical. I wonder if he'd limit bow hunting to shots under 40 yards?

Driving ATV's on closed roads or out of season is not a question of ethics, it is ILLEGAL. Chasing any wild animal down with any motorized vehicle is not fair chase and is illegal in many states.

“We want to represent the subsistence-based resident hunter,” Oh really Shaul? Is that why you use a bow and not a rifle. You are choosing a weapon that reduces opportunity compared to a rifle and has a great potential for wound loss. A true subsistence hunter is more concerned about ethical opportunity than sport. If you want both why not take a rife with open sights and stalk to within 30 yards? If he is really worried about subsistence, which he clearly isn't, he'd be shooting does and cows with a rifle and not chasing bulls and bucks with a bow. Which I do not have a problem with for the record, but he is saying one thing and doing another. BHA and TRCP do a pretty damn fine job representing ethical hunters without managing to single out and alienate people based on their geographic location. Wyoming has so much resident opportunity to start with I don't get where he is coming from.

Reducing non-resident opportunity is idiotic, financial suicide and VERY unethical.

"He wants to return the focus to traditional fair chase practices and hunting ethics that seem to be waylaid by current technological advances." Where do you start with this and where do you end? Who decided what is traditional? I bet Rob says it's however he hunts and none of his gadgets are unethical. What a coincidence!

Is traditional First Nations with altatls and boomerangs and clubs? Or is it flint lock rifles and recurve bows? Multi-pin bow sights and rifle scopes? Binoculars and spotting scopes are a pretty nice advantage for humans too. Tree stands, Google Earth, OnX maps, driving a truck to the trail head, headlamps for hiking in pre-dawn.

Wyoming residents, I am sorry this guy is one of yours, and I don't hold it against your great state. Just keep him out of Idaho!

john f. - posted 5 months ago on 01-14-2019 12:41:31 pm

What a pot of crap this d-bag is peddling.

Why even promote his bullshit narrative ?

matthew a. - posted 5 months ago on 01-14-2019 12:22:04 pm
Tampa, FL

WY natives should "Insulate" this gentlemen's narrative. I feel confident most Outfitters there don't share his "Ethic`s Police" ideology, nor do they or the State of WY desire to terminate Non Resident revenue garnered from license sales.

Personally, I think he`s a clown shoe...

Adam H. - posted 5 months ago on 01-14-2019 12:13:43 pm

So in a time when the number of hunters is declining across the country this guy wants to cut off nearly everyone in the entire country out of a western hunt experience in Wyoming. What a smuck. I’m assuming he’d like the rest of the western states to follow. How will that help insure we have the numbers necessary to vote to maintain our hunting rights? Does this guy have any idea how much money gets contributed to the RMEF from eastern states? Finally, If you do t like baiting don’t do it and leave the rest of us alone. May he fail badly and in embarrassment

Harrison C. - posted 5 months ago on 01-14-2019 10:34:12 am
Jackson, Wyoming

I am embarrassed to be from the same town and this guy. His goals are completely off base and absurd.

Charles B. - posted 5 months ago on 01-14-2019 10:05:42 am
Elk River, MN

Guy sounds like a real treat; hopefully nobody takes him seriously.

Nick C. - posted 5 months ago on 01-14-2019 09:48:40 am
Denver, Colorado

I appreciate the mission, but infighting (and decreased revenue) weakens us

Max C. - posted 5 months ago on 01-14-2019 09:37:58 am
Seattle, WA

As a fan and prior subscriber of Shaul's training regimens, this anti-NR stance is very disappointing.

Public land ownership is agnostic of state residency, and Shaul should realize that funding to support WY land and wildlife comes from every corner of the country.

Nathan F. - posted 5 months ago on 01-14-2019 09:17:46 am
Midland, TX

“We’re not going to be for everyone,” Shaul said of Mountain Pursuit. “If you’re a guy in Michigan and want to go hunting in Wyoming you’re probably not going to like us, because we’re going to cut you off the team.”

Because non-resident hunting is un-ethical...

Coming out of Wyoming is about right, NR already cannot hunt in designated wilderness. Go ahead and just cut us out entirely. Hope he enjoys having resident tag fees triple to make up for the loss of revenue from NR tags (the current 16% of the tags for NR make up almost 70% of the WGFD's revenue from tag sales).