Hunting ethics have been in the spotlight for a long time and it is vital that all hunters have an understanding of what it means to be an ethical hunter when they are out hunting.
Ethics are a set of moral principles that guide a person’s behaviour. So, the term hunting ethics specifically refers to a code of conduct that hunters should abide by, and that they respect the game being hunted.
Being an ethical hunter will ensure that you get the most out of your hunting experience and secure the future of hunting.
Obey the law and rules
In the area that you are hunting in hunters must make sure that they are behaving in a manner that is in-line with the current rules and regulations. This guarantees that hunting is conducted in a safe, sustainable and responsible way.
Respect the game being hunted
As a responsible hunter, you owe it to the game you are hunting to use a weapon that will cause a clean and effective kill. Use a weapon that is appropriate for that size of animal. All hunters want their animal to not suffer or experience a lot of pain. Furthermore, the hunter needs to be proficient in the use of the weapon. The hunter needs to know where to place the shot to ensure a clean and effective kill. This will happen if a vital shot is taken. The vital area is the heart/lung zone and gives you the best chance for a clean kill.
Only take shots that are at a practical distance
As a hunter is it your responsibility to get as close as possible to the animal before shooting it. This goes hand in hand with fair chase and will ensure that the hunter can make a good shot. If the hunter is further away, many things are out of their control (the animal might move, or the wind can change the direction of the projectile). The hunter will then miss the animal, or even worse, can wound it.
Be respectful of others
This should be easy to understand. Be nice to others and treat them as you would want to be treated. Be well-mannered, considerate and kind to fellow hunters. Remember that the hunter’s behaviour has a direct impact on public opinion.
Practice fair chase
Practising fair chase is what makes an ethical hunter. Fair chase is the pursuit of an animal in such a way that they can still escape, so that the hunter does not have an unfair advantage.
Once the hunter has obtained their quarry it is encouraged that they minimise their waste of the animal. It is an unspoken rule that they not only take the trophy and leave the meat in the field, but rather use the meat. If the hunter doesn’t like the meat, they can still take it and sell it to the local butcher.
Future of hunting
The future of hunting rests on the hunter’s shoulders and on how they conduct themselves. It depends on how they handle their weapons and respect the area that was used for hunting. Keep in mind, the public and anti-hunters judge all hunters by the irresponsible behaviour of a few.
We hope that all hunters can be great ambassadors for this pastime and ensure that ethical hunting takes place wherever they are.