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.
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.