Where do we draw the line on ethics?

Discussion in 'Bowhunting Talk' started by Shane0709, Dec 4, 2016.

  1. Shane0709

    Shane0709 Die Hard Bowhunter

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    I have hunted in a few different places around the country over the past few years, and I've noticed that every region has their own style of hunting. While going to different places, Ive heard all sorts of things that seem unsportsmanlike to me. Ive heard of people shooting deer at night. Ive seen people shoot deer out of a truck. Ive seen people shoot deer with silencers. Ive seen people shoot deer over large corn piles. Ive seen people shoot bedded deer, roosted turkeys etc. I know people who shoot after legal shooting light because they can "see well enough". Ive heard of people using the moonlight or snow to "silhouette shoot a deer". Ive heard of people bending the rules in every which way. Ive heard of some things that are logical, and others that I can't even fathom. For instance, people say a food plot is the equivalent of a bait pile. I disagree but that's because baiting is illegal here in Illinois.

    Anyway, all of these stories I have heard and witnessed (some even being buddies), make me cringe when I think of how people abuse the sport. For me, the only fun way to hunt is the legal way. If you do things the wrong way, it seems like it takes away the challenge. Everything I have heard of people doing has raised questions of ethical vs unethical in my mind. Some of what I consider unethical is even legal. As hunters, where do we draw the line. When does hunting become shooting to out-do your buddies. I don't get it. What good is a pat on the back if you go against what is right. Baiting is legal in some states, and illegal in others. If you were to travel to a state where is is legal, do you adapt and bait too? Is hunting like that even fun? I guess what I'm asking is do you just read the rule book and stick to it, or are there things that may be legal that just aren't right?
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2016
  2. Arkyinks

    Arkyinks Weekend Warrior

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    In the book "Beyond Fair Chase " Jim Posewitz defined an ethical hunter as :
    A person who knows and respects the animals hunted, follows the law, and behaves in a way that will satisfy what society expects of him or her as a hunter.
    Teaching Hunters Ed for 20 years I have fielded some pretty interesting questions. Because my GrandPa would not shoot a duck sitting on water I thought it was illegal. I was thirty years old before I found out it was not illegal, just GrandPa's ideal of Fair Chase. I still do not shoot ducks sitting on the water. It is what we teach the ones coming to the sport of hunting that will the Ethics of the future. Down South we run deer with dogs, out west they shoot bedded deer, some will even shoot a turkey with a high power rifle. All these are legal things but some folks do not like them.
    But let's take silencers... what would be the harm in making the woods quiet like bow hunters. The deer does not " jump the bang" any way. They are legal here, so lets just discuss this and see where we end up
     
  3. BB4tw

    BB4tw Die Hard Bowhunter

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    I find it odd that the ethics of hunting with a silencer is in question in the first place. I fail to see how they could provide any kind of unfair advantage over and above the fact that the shooter is using a firearm in the first place.

    About the other topics mentioned, I think ethics is sometimes hard to define, constantly changing and even harder to enforce. It's why there are some wide variances in laws from state to state. Bottom line is that education, tradition and honor make for ethical hunters. They can't be legislated into existence.
     
  4. bowhunt4abuck

    bowhunt4abuck Die Hard Bowhunter

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    This is a good topic. I have hunted over Illinois food plots and and in creek crossings my whole life. I have even done some of the things mentioned above in my younger days that I now regret. Habits I got from my step father that as I have grown as a hunter have come to realize are just plain wrong. I never thought I would hunt over bait. That was until my biological father offered to pay for a Manitoba black bear hunt, and of course I wouldn't pass and opportunity to go on a hunt with my father. I must say the encounters I had were fun and I managed to kill a great black bear with my bow over bait. But it definitely didn't feel the same and I know I would never go alone again. My friends and father and brother and a few friend have all talked about taking a trip up together and I would never pass on that experience, and I wouldn't trade the experience with my dad on that trip either. I guess I fall into just go by the laws crowd but I'd never hunt a non predator over a pile of bait I think.
     
  5. KjKlump

    KjKlump Weekend Warrior

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    The older I get, the less I care how others hunt.
    Just follow the rules for where your at. Don't like them? Get out and try to change them.
    I also fail to see why suppressors were mentioned.
     
  6. frantic29

    frantic29 Die Hard Bowhunter

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    Yeah I don't think a silencer is unethical as BB4tw said. Its a fine line to me but the difference between a food plot and a sustained bait pile is negligible. I do neither on a regular basis but mainly because I don't have the resources for a plot yet and I don't like feeding everything in the woods with a corn pile. I have hunted over plots and sustained bait piles in the past when hunting a farm I no longer hunt the results were very similar. Timed feeder? Certainly not ethical. I have hunted Over a timed feeder as well and deer were standing around waiting for it to go off.

    Bedded deer? Not sure how that is even remotely unethical. You've done the work to get in the bedroom one way or another and isn't the whole idea that the deer doesn't know you are there?They will generally bed in places they have the distinct advantage, it is very much on their terms. That could present a tough shot I guess but nothing most practiced hunters couldn't make. I don't see much difference between a bedded deer and feeding deer with its head buried.

    Which brings me to shot selection. I find many people don't know their limits with a bow and end up slinging arrows at 50+ yards. I shoot a lot and max out at 40 if everything is picture perfect. Then I see people slinging arrows at 60 on alert deer. That pisses me off but isn't illegal. If it is a friend I will have words with them if not I smile and nod and get away from them. Same thing probably happens with a rifle I just don't hear as much about that.

    Really all you can do is live within the laws and rules that are presented to us by either the state or landowners and try to hold other people accountable to do the same. Outside of that all you can do is let people hunt how they like and try not worry about it as hard as that is.

    As far as your final question I can't really answer because I have never been on an out of state hunt. If I was hunting myself I would probably follow the same rules and norms but check to make sure they are legal. If not adjust accordingly. I doubt I would introduce a new element that was illegal in my home state unless I was hunting with a group where that was the majority vote or with an outfitter of some type. Even then I may distance myself from it as much as possible. And yes there are legal things that just aren't right. What those things are though can vary quite a bit from person to person.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2016
  7. KjKlump

    KjKlump Weekend Warrior

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    Frantic29 brought up a good point on the hope and poke . I'd say that and not taking every effort to recover the animal as unethical. Because those can result in a waste of the animal.
    Like I said earlier, if it's legal I say go for it.
    I guess the last 2 years or so changed my thought process, because there's nothing to say that in 2 years I may use some of the earlier mentioned method.
    And that would make me a hypocritical D-bag, and nobody likes to hunt with a hypocritical D-bag.
     
  8. early in

    early in Grizzled Veteran

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    Very simple. A gun with a silencer makes little to no noise after discharge, not alerting game to your presence. Without one, every deer in the immediate area knows there's a problem in the area.
     
  9. Sota

    Sota Legendary Woodsman

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    Silencers are not like you see in the movies they suppress noise but are far from silent.
     
  10. Monster Raxx

    Monster Raxx Grizzled Veteran

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    But it is ok to shoot a bow with little noise, not alerting game to your presence. Without letting deer know there is a problem???
     
  11. tynimiller

    tynimiller Legendary Woodsman

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    Ethics boiled down to their bare bones is a personal thing, and like morals some have em and some don't sadly. First, obey the laws in the area or state you are hunting in...break em, IMO that is unethical...but doesn't matter because it's illegal so moot point as far as I'm concerned.

    Now abiding by the law doesn't make one ethical though IMO...many things come to mind for me personally, like running deer shots....head shots....taking a shot when legal but too dark for proper sight visibility.....shooting through brush and praying....

    ....to me all of these things fall into disrespecting the quarry you are pursuing, and I know I couldn't go to sleep at night or look a kid in the eye and justify my actions.

    Still to this day can remember not shooting what would have been my biggest buck to date just minutes prior to legal time, in a full moon, at 12 yards.....sucks, big time, but is what it is.
     
  12. Monster Raxx

    Monster Raxx Grizzled Veteran

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    By the way I am not for gun silencers and didnt know you could use them anywhere.
     
  13. tynimiller

    tynimiller Legendary Woodsman

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    Yeah Indiana from what I understand suppressors are 100% so long as someone has the stamp for them. I have a buddy that uses them religiously and one of his reasons is he hates hunting with hearing protection lol....still loud but cuts the top end out of it.
     
  14. early in

    early in Grizzled Veteran

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    Yes, they're legal.
     
  15. tynimiller

    tynimiller Legendary Woodsman

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    Some states allow suppressors though too. Granted I've never researched it to know exactly how many but I know some do.
     
  16. ruck139

    ruck139 Weekend Warrior

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    I'm in NY, baiting is illegal, night hunting is illegal, yet I found a treestand, on posted, no hunting parkland, with a pile of broken pumpkins 20 yards away, and a large LED floodlight with a foot activated switch, mounted to the stand. Guaranteed this same person will brag about the big bucks he shot, and everyone will pat him on the back and tell him what a great hunter he is. I guess it's true, rules are for suckers.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2016
  17. frantic29

    frantic29 Die Hard Bowhunter

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    Just because something is legal doesn't make it more ethical. I'm all about following the laws but don't think for a minute just because some things are illegal that that automatically makes it bad or unethical.
     
  18. KjKlump

    KjKlump Weekend Warrior

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    May I ask why you are against suppressors ?
     
  19. tynimiller

    tynimiller Legendary Woodsman

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    Oh my word if there is a way to hook a blow horn up to the foot switch that would be amazing!
     
  20. greatwhitehunter3

    greatwhitehunter3 Grizzled Veteran

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    Legal is legal as much as I hate quite a few things that are when it comes to hunting regulations. I'm not going to get pissed or belittle someone that doesn't share the same hunting ethics that I do if what they are doing isn't against the law. I've got bigger things to worry about than that.
     

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