WON Landing Page March 2022

#HuntingwithJR: Etiquette in the Field

I always had a car full of kids my children’s ages, teaching them how to fish and shoot. They had to learn properly. I wanted them to have etiquette afield, and we started in the dove fields. They had wooden pump guns and I’d make sure one was on the right and one on the left in the dove field. By the time I shot, they were eager to say, “You missed it, Mom!” I wouldn’t have if I hadn’t had to be a referee to see where my children were. From that, it started a great competition with my kids. It was like we had an abacus there to see who the better shot was.


#HuntingwithJR is sponsored by Remington

Today, when I mentor new inexperienced huntresses or other youth in the field and/or blind, I explain etiquette is important and being respectful of others is key to being successful harvesting game.  It takes only one to ruin the hunt.

Etiquette in the field is compared to being a house guest.  You are only there for a short time. Manners make a difference … even paying guests are not invited back if they cross the line or commit an infraction.

Whether it’s in a duck blind or on a deer stand, you need to observe and follow the behavior of your guide and of your host.


Did You Know? 

Hand signals are used in the blind and/or field while walking as quietly as possible. Animals have a keen sense of hearing of movement on the ground. Alligators can feel movement five miles away.

TIP:  When bird hunting in fields with multiple hunters, be respectful. Pick up your spent shells and trash. Always know when it’s your turn to shoot. If a bird is closer to the opposite end of the line of hunters, do not shoot over or crisscross a shot of another hunter.

Did You Know?  

When walking a line during a bird hunt – such as pheasant, quail, chucker, guinea fowl, etc., stay within your line and walk at a pace set by the group. You don’t want to be called a “field hog.”

TIP:  Always be cognizant of where you are pointing the muzzle. Gun muzzles should always be pointed up when walking fields, especially with working dogs in front of the line.

Do you have any etiquette tips to add?

  • About Judy Rhodes

    Judy Rhodes, the Voice of Women in the Outdoors is an outdoor visionary and mentor to women and youth in the outdoors. Judy, Founder of DIVA ... Women Outdoors Worldwide is the largest women's ONLY outdoor organization. DIVA WOW is a non-profit 501(c)3 unique all volunteer sisterhood dedicated to encouraging women to discover their outdoor passion.


The Conversation

  • Anne Kania says: February 21, 2017 at 3:48 pm

    Nice article! A lot of people chat incessantly when hunting pheasants, as a time to catch up and be sociable. Meanwhile, the birds are flying off into the distance. But it can work the other way, too. They can decide to hold tight. Standing and chatting can make the birds so nervous they decide to fly….

    My contribution to the etiquette discussion would be to never give a command to or criticize anyone’s dog or dog work! There’s a lot more – the line between etiquette and safety is a very fine one and usually the two are intricately linked.


    • Michelle Cerino says: February 21, 2017 at 6:58 pm

      Anne, Thank you for your response. I just read an article that also said how unprofessional it is to give someone else’s dog commands. Thank you for adding that to Judy’s tips.

  • Stacey says: February 21, 2017 at 2:04 pm

    We always sit and load our guns together. We discuss what we’ve loaded and how many shells. We tell each other when the safety is on or off. We also handle each other’s guns so we know how they fire (auto, over/under, etc.). We also tell each other if we are setting a gun down or picking it up and if the action is open and that the safety is on. We have a lot of conversation when gunning. It’s so easy to make a mistake, and it’s so hard to take it back.

  • Emma Mason says: February 16, 2017 at 9:02 am

    THANK YOU for this! It can be so frustrating to hunt with someone without that etiquette! I think it’s key to have clear communication. I have often seen where everyone is TOO polite which results in the shot not being taken, and the opportunity is missed!