Outline of Basic Montana Hunting Ethics We Should All Follow
By rowdyrob

Posted: October 29, 2015

Below is an outline sent to us by one of our friends to raise awareness and make us pause and remember that we as hunters are receiving more and more public scrutiny.  The thrill of the hunt can also result in some decisions we wish to take back.

That being said, read this outline, show respect to hunters, landowner and the general public, and enjoy this hunting season!


  • In Montana landowner permission is required to hunt any and all private property
    • Ask early, that means a few days before the hunt not the day of your hunt, in particular not early in the morning the day of your hunt
  • Make sure you understand what you have permission to hunt and how, i.e.:
    • What species and sex
    • Access, which roads are open which are not
    • What are the rules of retrieval, i.e. use of vehicles
    • OHV use, is it allowed or not
    • The number in your party, don’t stretch the number once you have permission for a given number
    • Learn property boundaries
  • Thank the landowner for the privilege/opportunity
    • Keep in mind, it is a privilege and a significant one as 42% of the elk, 62% of the mule deer and 67% of the whitetailed deer in Montana appear on private land


  • Cover game when traveling through town
  • Check your clothing and hands for blood, grime that sort of thing before entering public places such as restaurants.


  • A reminder to think about some things before the adrenaline of the hunt kicks in:
    • Don’t spoil a special season with a bad decision
    • The old saying “elk can make good people go bad” applies
  • Large concentrations of visible/accessible elk and large numbers of hunters are resulting more and more in some less than desirable results and negative public reaction.
    • We need your help this fall.
    • Think about whether you want to be a part of that kind of a situation
    • If you decide to be, select and stay with one animal
  • Likewise, if you get into a large group of elk alone pick out one and stay with it
  • Decide up front what distance you are comfortable shooting and don’t stretch the limits
  • Be aware of property boundaries and changes in land ownership
  • Careful of shots in the fading light, i.e. late in the day near the end of shooting hours, you need to have enough light to be able to recover the animal


  • fwp.mt.gov go to Hunting and then Hunt Planner:
    • Excellent information on access opportunities, regulations, harvest statistics, etc.
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