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Thread: Group hunting etiquette? Unwritten rules?

  1. #1
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    Default Group hunting etiquette? Unwritten rules?

    This subject will undoubtedly produce lots of differing views - that's OK...

    Situation:

    Three hunters walking a grass and weed swale about 60 yards wide. One hunter in the middle and the other two a reasonable distance apart.

    Bird gets up in front of the middle hunter, a ways out. Middle hunter is rather slow in mounting the gun and hunter on the right takes the shot. Not his bird? Or is it OK?

    Fair?

    What if the middle hunter shots and misses - is the bird fair game for all?

    When do we "back-up" another hunter? Always? Sometimes?

    Please weigh in...maybe there's some gray areas to every situation.

  2. #2
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    Bird gets up, you have a safe shot, shoot it. When hunting in a group I think of it as a team and if you got a shot you better take it, even if it means 2+ more people shooting at it at the same time. More than likely somebody is going to miss. If it were clearly "my shot" I hope somebody else that has a reasonable shot also takes it, just in case I miss. I hate feeling bad about letting one get away for our group, which then leads to some lowered shooting confidence for me that day...

  3. #3
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    What if one hunter is faster on the draw/mount, and subsequently is shooting before others can get a shot off? Still a party shoot? Still fair?

  4. #4
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    If the bird is clearly one persons bird initially, I will let them have first shot.. after that, its anybodies shot if clear. If said person is slow to the draw, Ill let it go, as Im usually shooting a smaller guage and open chokes, and I typically take shots that Im comfortable that Ill get good knock down power. Or, throw some lead at a crippled bird to try to help. Im alright with someone being faster to the draw than me, but it shouldnt happen every time. Im typically pretty quick to the draw, with a 20 guage shooting skeet/IC, as I have to be. Some folks need a little range for their full choke guns to develop their pattern. Weve all seen a quick draw full choke and the resulting worthless bird..

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonnyB View Post
    What if one hunter is faster on the draw/mount, and subsequently is shooting before others can get a shot off? Still a party shoot? Still fair?
    If one of them is that quick, then they are also probably accurate enough that they have the ability to wait a fraction of a second and let another maybe get a shot. But yes, it is probably still fair to take the shot. If you got a shot, take it. The hunting scenario plays a big difference too. Are you on public land or somewhere where getting even half of your groups limit in a full day will require near perfect shooting? Then take every shot. Are you on private that's loaded with birds or a game farm? Then maybe slow down and let some others have a shot every now and then.

  6. #6
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    [QUOTE=reddog;248114]Im alright with someone being faster to the draw than me, but it shouldnt happen every time.QUOTE]

    I agree, if they got it before me, good for them. I need to up my game then.

  7. #7
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    What if one person in the group shoots the limit (3) does that person continue to shooting? Or does he/she help others...guide?

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    Right, there are going to be varying thoughts on this. But by the way the question was asked, we're talking purely about positioning here - no other factors weighing into the decision. When you say, "Bird gets up in front of the middle hunter, a ways out," let's assume it to have flushed at about 25-30 yds & flying straight away or quartering away to some degree. It's fair game, especially if the middle guy is slow on the draw, because time is somewhat of the essence here. Now, it's very possible that if the bird is favoring one side, that the opposite guy could have a pretty long shot & might consider not taking it because a) it's too long, & b) it's not really his shot. But....w/ 3 guys & a bird in range (even long range), it's reasonable to assume the bird is going to get hit to some extent. Depending on cover & dog abilities, the more bb's the better. A recovered bird is better than a lost cripple, regardless of "whose shot it was". (remember my old "Deader is better" signature??) If a bird gets up closer & offers 1 guy a clearly better shot, most guys would let him have 1st crack at it. Safety first in all cases (duh).
    "Most pheasants in South Dakota don't react too well to #5s." -The Hunt for Red Rooster

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonnyB View Post
    What if one person in the group shoots the limit (3) does that person continue to shooting? Or does he/she help others...guide?
    I think it depends on your relationship and friendship level with your group and if you are "solo hunting as a group" or "party hunting". I run into this quite often because lots of times I am the only person in our group with a dog, the dog quarters closer to me than others, in turn I get more birds up in front of me. I guess in this situation for me it's always been party hunting and I have not stopped. Unfair advantage for me having the dog? Maybe, or maybe it could become an incentive for others to get dogs...

  10. #10
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    I agree with you, Brent, middle guy has first crack at the bird and maybe subsequent shots if missed by the middle hunter.

    And if the bird is totally missed by all that shoot...so what?

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