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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Forgive me if you feel I’m overstating a position, IMHO it’s very important. It’s just we frequently have very good stories of hunting tales and pictures of people with game which are pretty cool, but I felt a real life story of excellent hunting ethics would be of benefit as well since this subject isn’t normally posted:

Recently in California I was sitting in the hunter check station with the Refuge guys I work with and a hunter with his teenage son came in. The father told us he shot a bird over his limit. He was one short of filling his bag and a pair of mallards came in flying tightly together and he dropped them both with one shot.

The law enforcement officer was obligated to give him a $50 ticket (the lowest he could). In the background he could hear other hunters saying things like, “why did you tell them”, “you should of just hide it” and “why didn’t you throw the extra bird in the reeds?” The officer told the Dad if he contested the ticket he’d help him get it thrown out, but the Dad said no he’d pay it. He said, “I shouldn’t have shot at the pair being only one bird short of my limit.” I thought, WOW someone taking responsibly for their actions instead of blaming it on something else.

The officer and all of the Refuge staff including myself stood up and shook the man’s hand…we had nothing but respect for this guy despite all the head shakes going on around from the other “ethical” hunters.

Then I noticed something as they walked away. The teenager who hadn’t said a word the entire time had the greatest look of pride on his face as he looked at his Dad. I thought to myself what would any Father “paid” for that! I’m sure his Dad spoke ethics to his son all the time, but living it out before him was beyond any speech. Sure $50 is quite a fine for something completely unintentional, but it’s little compared to having integrity and being respected.

Ethics AREN’T relative!!!! Legal is legal and illegal is illegal – no matter how one wants to justify it. Really who do we respect more the guy who says, “Shoot, shovel and shut-up” or someone who actually takes responsibility for their actions?

I’m not talking about being “perfect” people. The Dad wasn’t perfect either but he wasn’t trying in anyway to justify his actions either.
 

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:applause: :applause: :applause:
 

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I knew a guy like that, and even got to hunt with him when I was a young man. He was the first person I ever saw that practiced catch-and-release (late 50's) and more than once watched him put his shotgun up when he had gotten his limit, even though the rest of us had not.

Brings back a pretty good memory or two - and reminds us how we should be. Wouldn't you just like to know that guy and maybe join him and his son for a hunt someday? I would.

:applause: :cheers: :applause:

Skein
 

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I totally agree with the father, :applause: :applause: (unless we are talking about wolves and cougars :wink: )

I know a cop that got a speeding ticket (40 in a 35), had his kid with him at the time. Officer writing the ticket figured out the guy getting the ticket was a cop also after the fact and said, why didnt you flash your badge before I got to far I would have let you go. :rolleyes: The dad said "what kind of ethics would that teach my kid".

You can talk about it all you want, but when you step up to the plate and take responsibility for yourself and your actions, you move up in my book.
 

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I'm sure the boy learned a very valuable lesson that day. Cool story.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks all it was a great experience. You’re right skein, who wouldn’t want this guy as a hunting partner? I truly admire this father and it was another reaffirming lesson for me as a father of young children to live out being a good role model. I was truly surprised at the number of hunters who scoffed at him??? – Like he was a fool and not a man of great integrity.

It was a great lesson for the teenager; you don’t have to be “perfect” in life just be responsible for your actions. You should have seen the look on his face despite the scoffing he was soooo proud of his Dad. :smash:

IMO the heritage of hunting, let alone in all aspects of life, relies on promoting what’s right and denying what’s wrong – this is our mutual responsibility to pass along. We should NEVER support, imply, or intentional practice breaking any game law. EVER!!! This does at times happen here. It is my hope it will become curbed, and the reason why I shared this story.

Hunting will continue for a long, long time in the U.S., but the length of time will be greatly determined by how well hunters conduct themselves. We don’t need to think we’re walking on eggshells; just be ethical in what we say and do. The majority of people even in Oregon really don’t care about hunting, they only care if we give them reason it.
 

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I know and have hunted with a few guys like that :applause: :applause: That's being a good example to his son and to his fellow hunters :cheers:

-jokester
 

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Wow that brings back memories. I learned that type of ethics from my father.
A quick story about what I learned.
I was hunting deer for the first time and I had a doe/antlerless tag. My dad and I went to the area I had the tag for, two days before the end of the general season but did not find a buck. The first day of the doe season we took off for our hike and about 9:00 am we came across three deer. My dad said the middle one is th bigest but let me chck before you shoot. He then told me to tke it. I shot and down it went. My dad was so proud of me. We walked over to the deer only to find it was a spike. My dad was devistated because he had told me to shoot. The ears covered the spikes and the deer never turned and looked at us and we were excited to get a deer and didn't take more time to look. I didn't know what to do but vomit. My dad looked at me and said we need to go find Sig, we knew the game warden, and tell him what happened. We went to town and found the Marshel and he told us to go gut it and he would send the warden up to our camp. We hiked back and gutted the deer and then wated for the warden. He hiked up with us and we drug it out. We sat in camp and the warden wrote me an $825 ticket and took the deer. He was more upset that he had to do that to me but he has a job to do. My dad was in tears. The warden let me keep my tag and incoraged me to go find another deer. I was done! Three weeks later we went back to go to court. We met eith the judge in his chambers and he could not stop talking about the fact that he has never had anyone in his chambers that was as willing to admit to a mistake. We ended up paying $25 only because the judge said he had to charge us for the paperwork.
As will that young hunter, I will never forget that incident. My dad is now gone and I tell that story to all that I hunt with.
I hope we can continue to pass on this type of ethics to all new hunters.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
What a fine tribute to a fine hunting partner. I’m sure he’s proud of ya! His character living out in his son, that’s quite a heritage. Thanks for the story. :applause: :applause:
 

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:applause: :applause: :applause:

That is great.. those are the things that last a lifetime. That kid will pass that on to his buddies as well. I know I have had to correct my hunting partners more than a few times but they all learn.
 
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