Many people have hobbies and passions that they like to pursue in their spare time, like deer hunting. In fact, more than 83% of all hunters live in prime whitetail areas of the eastern two-thirds of the country. And about 83% of the hunters reside in the whitetail areas of the country. This means there are more than 12.6 million hunters pursuing their passion.

While deer hunting is a passion enjoyed by a lot of people nowadays, many people’s initial reaction might be horror and disdain at the thought of shooting these beautiful creatures. But the truth is that most deer hunters kill the animals for food, population control and safety factors. And the important aspects of their hunting are focused on the ethics attached to the sport.

Four important skill areas to focus on in the sport are as follows.

1. Using a Single Shot in Hunting: It is extremely important that you practice with your weapon of choice before going hunting. The goal is to take a single shot at the deer when hunting. Unless you do so, there is a greater chance of injuring the animal and putting it through unnecessary pain. In order to carry out the sport of deer hunting in a humane manner, you need to take a shot that you are confident of, having practiced well beforehand at a range or private area with non-living targets to gain expertise.

2. Using the Right Weapon: The kind of weapon you use and the distance at which you are at in relation to the animal makes a difference to the quality and accuracy of your shot. Therefore, you must position yourself strategically in order to take a clear shot so that the animal is killed instantly, ensuring minimum pain.

While amateur hunters tend to be clumsy in their aims and erratic in their shots, proper training and practice can help hunters reach their mark. Random shots must be avoided due to the danger of hurting another person in the area or animal, or not making a clear shot, causing suffering to the targeted deer.

3. Respect for Fellow Hunters: This is a vital aspect of hunting of any form. If you are in a group with other hunters then you must have a tight pact between yourselves in order to understand each others’ moves and move accordingly. If there is a loose link among a group of hunters, then the chances of accidental injuries to other hunters in the group, as well as random shots and poor hunting activities, are great.

4. Make Sure That You Are Allowed To Hunt: Many forests and national parks, and private property where animals live, have “no trespassing” as well as “no hunting” signs up to keep hunters away. You must respect these signs and only hunt in areas where the activity is allowed. While this may sound like common sense and not worth mentioning, it’s notable that there have been cases where hunters have defied such warning signs and gone ahead to shoot at animals in such restricted areas anyway. Some of these hunters have ended up injured while some have even died because the owner shot at them to keep them away from the premises.

Photo: M. Glasgow

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