I talk to a boatload of Sportsmen about hunting and fishing. They are all excited to brag about their wins and losses. Cell phones pop out and suddenly a cloud of pictures verify the stories, almost.
Sadly, many hunters and fishermen exaggerate about the how and where of their harvest. After a few questions, the stories change and evidence of trespass, cheating, or some fracture in the truth surfaces. Oh, they tagged their elk but… I caught this huge walleye but… The “BUT” always points to a lack of Ethics.
Hunting and Fishing in Montana is getting harder. Landowners are closing their gates or leasing out to Outfitters. The average Joe or Jane has a tougher time gaining access. When the landowners are pressed, the same excuses are mentioned, Unethical and disrespectful Sportsmen.
Unethical Sportsmen is an oxymoron. If you are a true Sportsmen, you are not unethical. All of us have heard the stories. Even if we do our best to hunt and fish honestly and ethically, you can get into a sticky situation. It is getting harder to be a Sportsmen. The responsibility for knowing the laws and rules is on the shoulders of the Sportsmen. Interpretation is not.
Sportsmen must do their best to,
Follow fair chase principles No cheating
Develop your skills Become a better hunter and fisherman
Make a clean kill Aim small miss small. Keep your fish on ice and kill it immediately
Know your limits Follow the rules and harvest what is legally allowed.
Be Safe No critter or fish is worth dying over.
Show Respect Respect the animal, fish, landowners, other sportsmen, and environment
Set the example Someone had to show you the right path. Now it is your turn.
Hunt and Fish Right Montana preaches for us to “Take Pride in our Sportsmen’s Ethics for Montana, for yourself, and for the Future!”
For more Montana Grant, hook up at www.montanagrantfishing.com.