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Location: Utah
Joined: 02/24/2003
Posts: 596
Etiquette for claiming game?

This last year my hunting partner had his animal taken from him at gunpoint. Although the guy who raised the gun really felt like it was his. Not cause he killed it but because he shot at it first.

Which raises the question of what is proper etiquette? I'm not saying above and beyond but a third party looking in on a dispute.

As a sportsman if an elk ran over the hill wounded and I finished it I would probably let the guy who shot it first have it. But I don't think thats what I have to do. I think if you shoot and wound an animal but it runs off and hes not dead, hes not yours till hes on the ground. I mean a successful hunt is not wounding an animal. The hunt is about taking the animal. If someone else finishes it, especially if its in the next canyon, then they have a legit claim. Right?

This is not what happend to my partner but close. The guy who shot at the deer missed and on top of that he sat no more than 200 yds from us watching the exact same draw. We were there long before he arrived and we were in plain sight, but he just glanced over and plopped down. I couldn't believe it when I put the range finder on him and it said 198yds. A deer came out right in front of us but he shot at the deer first and missed. After he quit shooting becuase he ran out of shells my partner downed it. Normally we would never shoot at someone elses animal but he very deliberately moved in on our spot and he ran out of shells. He obviously was not a good shot. We got over to it and started cleaning it and the guy came over furious calling us unsportsmanlike. His friends showed up and he eventually raised his rifle and my partner deffered.

Anyway what are your thoughts? In your opinion, was he right? Where is the line in your minds?

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Location: Colorado
Joined: 02/27/2003
Posts: 394
Etiquette for claiming game?

I'd say the other guy was completely out of line.

First off, if you see another hunter in the same area you're in you move on--unless that's just not an option. Then, if there are other hunters in the area, you don't start shooting at an animal that comes out closer to them than it does to you. Finally, if you dump all your shells at the animal and it doesn't go down, and someone else drops it with his shot, I'd say it's his.

On the other hand, if I shoot at an animal and it doesn't drop in its tracks, that doesn't mean I missed. If the animal went over the hill and I found it and another hunter there who claimed he killed it I would probably say something like, "Let's open it up and see who hit it where, then we'll know who really killed it. If my shot took out its lungs or heart, then I'd say I killed it even though it went over the hill."

In reality, though, I'd probably offer to share the animal with the other hunter. Of course, I can see where this would be a problem if it was a serious trophy animal.

Finally, I would say that if the other hunter raised his gun in your direction while discussing the issue, he has just committed assault with a deadly weapon. Report the incident to the police and the game wardens!

cowgal's picture
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Location: Colorado
Joined: 03/10/2002
Posts: 1787
Etiquette for claiming game?

Not sure what the rules/laws are regarding situations like you described rather_be_huntin, however raising a gun to anyone is most definitely against the law. I agree with donmillion, a report should have been filed immediately. We don't need nuts like that running around.

bitmasher's picture
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Location: Colorado
Joined: 02/27/2002
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Etiquette for claiming game?

That is a good question and it sounds like a tense situation. It sounds like the guy was a jerk, so no matter what you had done, short of packing out of the draw would have pleased him. Sad that people have to act this way. I don't understand why the guy even wanted the deer if he didn't hit it?

I agree that a wounded animal does not necessarily confer ownership, but it may be hard to tell if the wounder is still pursuing the game. Perhaps he was looking for more rounds?

In the case of a wounded animal with no hunters in sight then I would consider it fair game. One could even argue that if you come across an animal wounded by another that you have an ethical obligation to put it down. Although I'm not sure what I would do if after approaching, I found that it was rotten (gang green).

About waving the gun at you. That sounds very serious, I might have tried to find their vehicle write down the plate numbers and sent in a report. Although you were both were probably rattled enough over the whole thing, I wouldn't blame you if you didn't.

I think the buck was legally your buddies and the other guy had no claim to it. The other guy didn't wound it and stopped shooting (presumably for a few minutes), to me that is fair game.

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Joined: 01/10/2003
Posts: 274
Etiquette for claiming game?

My brother had a small 2x2 taken at gun point that he shot and no one else had shot. He shot from across a draw and dropped it in his tracks so was dead. My brother had to drop off around some rock out croppings and around a shale slide so took him a little biit to get there and when he did there where 3 guys gutting it. My brother told them he shot it and the guy turned to him with his rifle and said I shot it. My brother said ok and left. He shot a 3x3 the next day.
I also have a friend who his mom drew a cow elk tag and they went up and where driving up a road and they stopped to glass and heard shotting from down in a canyon below them. A cow and a calf came running up toward them and the cow fell over dead. my friend went over to it and she was hit 2 times. He waited for the hunters to get there for about 30 minutes and he decided to gut it for them so she wouldnt go to waste as it was warm out. He had her gutted and him and his mom waited for 3 hours and no one showed. So he took off looking for the hunters and never found them so his mom taggged it.
but yes there are some crazy hunters out there. I shot my first buck 2001 and it ran and another guy got a arrow in it to. He shot from 10' and went threw one back leg and when it finally fell over we had seen where he was hit. I cut its throat as my shot was 40 yds and when the string hit he went back to dig in to run and changed where his heart was. But he was spraying blood on every step. the other guy said he hit it in the femerally artery in the back leg. But there wasn't a drop of blood on his back leg. but my nrother finally detered the guy from throwing a big temper tantrum. there was 3 of them and me and my brother. Was wild. His 2 friends looked at the hits and told him they wouldnt get involved and said nothing. So I think that is what stopped him. Because they wouldnt say anything about it.
It is a wild world out there over the taking of game.
My advice is as I do now is get away from everyone and hunt in remote areas.

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Location: centennial, co
Joined: 03/24/2003
Posts: 59
Etiquette for claiming game?

The way I learned was that whoever delivered the fatal shot is the one that claims the animal. I know this is hard to determine sometimes, but talking to the person and trying to figure it out is the solution, not pointing guns.

I can't say what I would do if somebody pointed a gun at me. I look at one of the first rules of gun safety: Don't point your gun at anything you don't intend to shoot/destroy. What's that tell me if somebody is going to point a gun at me? That tells me this person intends to shoot me and I'm going to ensure that doesn't happen. How I'm going to do that, I don't know and I hopefully will never have to know. In all honesty, I'd probably let that person have the animal. If they're demented enough to point a gun at me over a hunk of meat, they need it more than I. I'll still have my tag, I'll go get another.

Just my two cents.

Kupe

Location: Utah
Joined: 02/24/2003
Posts: 596
Etiquette for claiming game?

We did try to report them but they were on 4-wheelers and got out of there before we tracked down someone. We filed a complaint but to my knowledge they still don't know who they are. We did try to reason with them but they would only swear and accuse. Only a fool tries to debate with a fool.

Its not pleasant having a gun pointed in your direction. No deer is worth it. And its not dying that scared me. I wasn't prepared to kill someone else over a deer, thats what went through my head anyway at the time.

I shot a deer later that day but I felt so bad for my buddy I gave it to him. However I didn't end up filling my tag but its alright cause I got 2 elk last year. A cow and a 4X4 bull. Plenty of meat in the freezer.

Location: Colorado
Joined: 03/27/2003
Posts: 17
Etiquette for claiming game?

I know what that is like when I've gone turkey hunting here in Colorado. I was sitting down in plain sight, calling in a Tom, another hunter walked a few yards directly in front of me, and nodded to me when I waved at him to let him know I was there. He proceeded to walk towards the gobbling Tom, set a Turkey decoy down, and set up a few yards from it right in front of me. I couldn't believe it. I wasn't about to call in a bird for him to shoot(he didn't do any calling), and stopped calling. I stopped calling, got up and started walking around by his decoy. He got up and left. I've had stuff like that happen alot. Some areas I normally hunt I avoid because of inconsiderate hunters. I say this guy doesn't have a right to hunt period. Pointing a big game rifle at someone is grounds for alot of things like getting shot or at least his butt kicked. But you did the right thing by backing off, someone could have gotten hurt or killed. You should have reported him or still can if you have any info on him. Guys like that need to be taken out of the woods.

[ This Message was edited by: HuntorDieHunting on 2003-04-16 11:59 ]

bitmasher's picture
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Location: Colorado
Joined: 02/27/2002
Posts: 2973
Etiquette for claiming game?

Shouldn't have waved at the guy HuntorDieHunting, probably thought you were welcoming him over. Plus you did say you were calling in turkeys right? Wink

Only a fool tries to debate with a fool.

That is a good quote RatherBe. Even though it was your buddys deer fair and square, he did the right thing. Filling a tag is important, but not important enough to go to prison and/or get a bullet in the back.

[ This Message was edited by: bitmasher on 2003-04-16 22:19 ]

Location: Colorado
Joined: 03/27/2003
Posts: 17
Etiquette for claiming game?

Waved at the guy to make sure he knew I was there and wouldn't shoot in my direction. After all I was fully camoflauged. I have had people walk within a few feet of me and not know I was standing there.

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Location: Colorado
Joined: 02/27/2003
Posts: 394
Etiquette for claiming game?

I think when he sat down and setup his decoy I would have gotten up and hollered real loud, "Okay, you hunt here, I'm going to move on!"

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