What makes a hunter responsible?
The answer to this question is not simple. Is a responsible hunter someone who is a good shot? Is it someone who knows where to find wildlife? Is it someone who teaches others to hunt responsibly? Perhaps the responsible hunter is someone who follows laws and regulations.
These are all essential qualities of a responsible hunter, but other things are important as well. A responsible hunter is a person who:
- Cares for wildlife and demonstrates this by respecting hunting seasons, by not abusing the land when out in the field, and by reporting poachers.
- Ensures the safety of people by wearing hunter orange, respecting shooting hours and always clearly and definitely identifying the target before aiming a firearm or squeezing the trigger.
- Provides and protects opportunities for all people to enjoy wildlife by supporting conservation efforts and by respecting others’ rights and interests.
- Takes full responsibility for his or her actions by admitting and taking steps to correct mistakes, taking the initiative to learn all applicable rules and regulations, and by allowing his or her actions to be judged by others and accepting either reward or punishment.
- Knows and practices conservation by supporting efforts to protect animals, habitat, and animal populations. In other words, as hunters we don't just take from the land, we give something back.
As you can see, there is more to being a responsible hunter than just behaving well in the field, mastering outdoor skills, achieving good marksmanship, or practicing safety. Being a responsible hunter means being a responsible citizen.