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The moon was rising over the dark distant hills and the chill of a late September evening was settling in as I stood overlooking a small valley and brook. we were camped out in this area, nearby a small lake and brook aand there was moose sign everywhere. I had called just once, a long wailing cow call and the big bull that had answered almost immediately was now walking through the four year old cut over...right to us. My buddy, who was standing out there with me whispered for me to get the rifle and shoot that bull. After all, we were in the middle of nowhere and you could hear well in the clear night air. "Shoot him, Ray," he urged. You don't know where he'll be come morning and moose season opens in just aa few hours anyway." Well, he did have some good arguments...I did have a license and opening of moose season was just hours away...and there were no guarantees we'd even seen another moose in the short three day season we have here in New Brunswick...but I smiled and simply said "No!" It all came down to hunter ethics.The season wasn't open and although we'd be the only ones who knew what we did...that still wouldn't make it right. To me, it's like someone "jacking" a deer, a big buck, and then getting the head mounted for the wall.Oh yes...people would see your big buck mounts and drool...and maybe praise you as a great hunter...but you'd know better...that's a lie... That is nothing to be proud of...granny Moses could have jacked it...no accomplishment there despite all the arguments you could offer as to why you do it! Hunter ethics means you hunt within the legal framework of season and time and accomplish or don't...within that framework.It means you don't "bend" the rules... sneak other guns into camp for moose season, or take your animal early...and you don't stay on a deer stand to use a flashlight to jack that late coming buck, you don't argue thaat you might as well kill that second deer because soemone else will, or you need it to feed the family and friends...It means that maybe no one else will know...but you will...and can you really be proud of that? Hunting Ethics kick in when you DON"T have an audience there in the woods with you. You do what's right...because it is right! What are your views on hunting ethics...and when you are all by yourself... do you practice"what you preach?"
 

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Amen Brother. We are in the woods for the sport, not just for the meat. If we were doing this for the meat, we would save a lot of time, effort, money & tradition and simply stop at the local butcher shop. Hunting is about corresponding with and respecting nature while harvesting a limited amount of her bounty. Grouse hunting isn't about filling the freezer, we all know we'd surely starve to death long before we could survive off of hunting these birds. It's about the smell of the woods, the sounds, the tradition, spending time away from the routine of our daily lives, testing our skills against the game we hunting. Cheating at this game dishonours us, as well as the game we hunt.
 

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What do hunting ethics mean to me? Means everything...

A prime example in 2008: Fortunate enough to draw my 2nd moose tag in NB, took my than 13yr old son along with my dad, bro and the rest of the posse (14 guys in all staying at camp for fun times).

2 minutes into the first morning, driving in to our hunting area, my son spots the face of a large cow in a 10 year old cut some 300 yards away. I know a lot of guys who would have jumped in the box of the truck and fired away. She never offered me a kill shot, I tried an approach and she spooked and that was the end of it. What tickled me most about this was the fact my son had spotted this moose with Xray eyes, he still recalls this incident to this day.....fond memories...

The rest of the day was uneventfull, so was Friday, that is until we were driving back to camp 8 minutes after legal shooting time out steps this big bull. I called him for 2-3 minutes in front of the truck in the headlights before sending him back into the ditch so he wouldn't get shot by poachers. My son and my buddy were sitting next to me in the truck, and neither one of them ever said ''shoot'' or even tought about it, we just had a grand time observing this magnificient animal.
Here's a pic I believe to be the same buck I took the following Sunday, going back to camp to retrieve some gear:



I still recall the comments and wide eyed looks I got when I told this story at the camp fire that nite. A few guys told me right there ''shishhh, I don't know if I could have refrained from shooting such a big bull, only one day left''

On the last Saturday, we were blessed with this 52'' inch bull coming in like a freight train to the call, my son witnessed the whole show, clean kill at 147 yards, last day magic, one of my hunting career's all time Highs for sure:



The next Sunday, I go back to camp to retrieve gear and at the kill site to pace the shot with my buddy. Driving back through the exact same area I had seen this 19pt bull Friday nite, out he comes in front of my truck again and I took that picture, as well as my buddy videotaping me approaching and displaying with this bull at 6 yards for the last 10 minutes of daylight. To this day, one of the most memorable calling and rattling session I've had with a big bull moose (I had 7 or 8 of those encounters).

What do hunting ethics mean to me and my family?.....absolutely everything...
 

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Hunting ethics are everything. Here is a story that stands out for me.

My dad is an avid deer hunter and I grew up following him around the CB highlands tracking deer. At some points in the 80s you were even allowed 2 deer a season the population was so high. Of course by the time I was old enough to deer hunt, the population had dropped dramatically and we literally spent whole days searching for a track. Also, you were only allowed to shoot a buck. One particular day, after several days without seeing a track, let alone a deer, we came over a small hill that overlooked a swamp not far from my house. There was a big healthy doe standing 90 yards away with no clue we were there. It would have been an easy drag to the house.

Dad says to me, "What are you going to do, son? Make up your mind." I raised the gun and thought about it, and it was really tempting since I had not shot my first deer yet, but ultimately I passed on the shot and let her walk away to make more little deer. Afterward Dad said, "Well, I am proud of you. I know for sure now that I have raised a hunter and not a killer".
 

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Afterward Dad said, "Well, I am proud of you. I know for sure now that I have raised a hunter and not a killer".
Well said Hunter '94, I can honestly say the same for the little fella in the pic above as well, although far from little anymore at 6' 1'' haha!

Lobsterman, X2.

Hunting, fishing and the outdoors is not just a sport for me, it's a way of life, a heritage and a rite of passage that teaches youngsters values such as honesty, integrity, respect and ethical behavior. The same values my mentors teached me and that I apply through every day life.

Hunters and fishermen don't mug little ol' ladies as the bumper sticker says....
 

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Many years ago
,when I took Hunter education course,Hunter ethics was a big part of it,and with the teaching of my dad I have come to respect animal and fellow hunters.Over the past few years during hunting season,I have found alot of my "fellow hunters" in the woods have little respect for me,the animals,and even the woods ,leaving their garbage everywhere.I know there is still alot of ethical hunters out there,but I feel as those numbers are dwindling.Beside moose hunting,and a little partridge,I hunt pretty much behind my house,because I am loosing my enjoyment out and about.As I stated before I don't need the meat and I could care less if I ever shoot a deer again,but it something special being out in the woods on a fall day,which nobody can take from me.


SL
 
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