Official Montana Hunting Safety Course Link to Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks

Hello, hunter! Montana's online hunting course has moved. Click here to go to the latest version of the Today's Hunter in Montana course—the official hunting safety course of Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks.

The following course material is for reference only. Please go to the new course to complete your Montana certification.

What are Ethics?

In addition to following the law, the responsible hunter develops and follows a personal code of ethics. Ethics are the rules for right and wrong, good and bad that societies and individuals develop. These rules help us to know how we should act in certain situations.

  • A person with good ethics is somebody who understands right and wrong, and chooses to do the right thing in any situation.
  • A person with good hunting ethics is one who will not do anything in the field he or she knows or feels is wrong, even if it is legal.

Fair Chase. Hunters are encouraged to develop their own ethic of fair chase. Fair chase means balancing the skills and equipment of the hunter with the abilities of the animal to escape. Responsible hunters do not take unfair advantage of game animals, even if it’s legal.

But how do we know what’s right and what’s wrong? All responsible hunters obey hunting laws but sometimes we find ourselves in a situation where the law doesn’t tell us what to do. Unfortunately, there is not a “list” of ethical rules to help. In these cases, you must decide for yourself based on your personal sense of what is right and wrong.

If you doubt your decision at any point, don’t do it!

Do we have enough information now to answer the question we started with—What makes a hunter responsible? Let’s list what we have learned. A responsible hunter:

  • Knows and obeys laws and regulations.
  • Views hunting as more than killing an animal.
  • Develops a personal code of ethics and sticks to it.
  • Takes full responsibility for his or her actions.
  • Respects people, the land, and wildlife.

ethics: Moral principles or values that distinguish between right and wrong; they are unwritten rules that society expects to be followed.

Turn In Poachers!

What can I do when I see someone breaking the law?

People who kill animals out of season, who hunt without a license, or who hunt after legal shooting hours are called poachers.

Please report any poachers or any suspicious hunting activity by calling:
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks’
toll free phone number 24 hours per day.


1-800-TIP-MONT or 1-800-847-6668

Montana Fish, Wildlife,
& Parks
White-tailed deer tracks
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Official hunting safety course for Montana hunters last modified: November 16, 2011
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