5 Things Your Neighboring Deer Hunters Hate

By author of Brow Tines and Backstrap

Don’t Do These Five Things. Seriously.

I’m the type of hunter who enjoys many different methods of hunting. And I understand that people hunt for different reasons. That’s why I’d never criticize someone for shooting a young buck, using alternative hunting methods, or for doing anything differently than what I prefer or am used to. As long as it’s legal and ethical, I’m cool with it.

But there are five things that I am not okay with. And neither are millions of other hunters. Here are those five things.

Trespassing

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1 | Trespassing

No one likes a trespasser. Plain and simple. Always stay on the land you have permission to be on. Don’t cross that line. If you find yourself wanting to hunt the neighbor’s property, go ask for permission. If they give you the green light, that’s great. If they don’t, have some restraint. Either be happy with what you have or find another location to gain permission.

There are other times where you might find yourself needing to cross a property line, though. One such example is if/when wounded game travels across said borders. In cases such as this, always ask the neighbor for permission to blood-trail wounded game onto their property. I’ve often found it helpful to exchange permissions for such events in case it happens to someone hunting on the neighbor’s land. At the end of the day, we’re all hunters just looking to have a good hunt. Help each other out.

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Photo credit: Brad Herndon

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Disrespecting the Resource

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2 | Disrespecting the Resource

It sickens me when I see people use and abuse wildlife — in this case, the white-tailed deer. That’s one reason why I’m so openly against high-fenced hunting operations. But that’s another discussion for another time. But as for wild whitetails, always treat them with respect. Follow laws and ethics. Hunters owe that much to the animals we pursue.

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Photo credit: Heartland Bowhunter

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Disrespecting the Land

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3 | Disrespecting the Land

This is just as important as showing respect for the resource. Hunters who disrespect the land by destroying habitat, littering and causing other harm to the environment is no hunter at all in my mind. As conservationists — and that’s what true hunters are — we must leave the land better than it was when we found it. Period.

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Photo credit: Brad Herndon

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Disregarding Other Hunters

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4 | Disregarding Other Hunters

Respect is the recurring theme here. But we’ll continue on with it. Have respect for fellow hunters. Treat them as you would yourself. Don’t do anything malicious to harm someone else’s hunting. Instead, work with neighbors to elevate everyone’s outdoor experiences and successes. It’s the only way.

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Photo credit: Brad Herndon

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Failing to Manage the Herd

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5 | Failing to Manage the Herd

Just as we should always leave the land better off than when we found it, we also should always leave the resource better off than when we found it. That obviously encompasses many things. But the short of it is that we have to make harvest decisions based on what the herd needs at the time. Sometimes that means killing a lot of does. Other times that means not killing any does. Some years it could even mean not killing a deer (buck or doe) at all. Whatever the case, always make management decisions that benefit the white-tailed deer.

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Photo credit: Heartland Bowhunter

Editor's Note: This was originally published on September 22, 2017.

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