The Hunter's Ethical Code
Hunting is usually a very private, and often solitary, activity. There are no stadiums filled with fans. There are no “teams” with logos and cheerleaders. There is no audience to applaud a good shot or boo a poor shot. Hunting is most often conducted in private or in small groups and out of sight of other people, yet hunting attracts the attention of many people with different points of view about hunting and about hunters.
Aldo Leopold, a leader in establishing professional wildlife management in the United States, wrote in his famous book A Sand County Almanac:
“A peculiar virtue in wildlife ethics is that the hunter ordinarily has no gallery to applaud or disapprove of his conduct. Whatever his acts, they are dictated by his own conscience, rather than a mob of onlookers. It is difficult to exaggerate the importance of this fact.”
The ethical code hunters use today has been developed by sportsmen over time. Most hunting organizations agree that responsible hunters do the following.
- Respect natural resources
- Respect other hunters
- Respect landowners
- Respect non-hunters