Hunting Ethics: Take Your Territorial Pop-Up Blind and Go Home

By author of Turkey Blog with Steve Hickoff

Give another hunter out there a chance . . .

Occupied? Unoccupied? It's always hard to tell from the access road. The local farm is unposted, open to hunting, and people take advantage of it. Some take liberties. How?

They stake their pop-up blinds, often ancient classics, and leave them. In a sense, they stake their claim to the spot. Doing this prohibits others from hunting the big field. It's frustrating.

Now I realize brushing-in duck blinds on properties open to public access is a necessity.

I'm cool with blinds in general (especially for bowhunters), even if my turkey hunting style leans heavily toward run-and-gun.

This issue is also analogous to guys who hoist treestands and leave them . . .

Blinds are great hunting tools. Leaving them can be unethical. (Steve Hickoff photo)

It's bad behavior, all and all, and some laws of course work against this. To some it's perfectly fine to do this. Check your state regulations and those for the other places you might hunt.

Again, I'm not against using a blind. It's leaving the setup there for the entire October fall turkey season (as locals do around here), which coincides with archery deer opportunities. And into the next season when the whitetail gun deal fires up. No one else gets a chance.

I mentioned this issue to a southern turkey hunting bud recently, and he said one thing, without irony: "Somebody did that around here and the blind wouldn't be there the next day." Radical? Yes.

What's the more positive solution to all of this? Let us know in the comments section below.

> Go here for the Realtree Guide to Fall Turkey Hunting.

Steve Hickoff is Realtree's turkey hunting editor.