If you have been hunting for any amount of time, you know that finding a good hunting partner can be a real challenge. What about being a good hunting partner? Sometimes it’s easy to get wrapped up in what we want and forget what might be important to those around us.
Let’s take a look at some ways to ensure we are doing our part to make the hunt a quality experience.
Treat every weapon as if it were loaded.
- Keep your finger straight and off the trigger until you intend to fire.
- Never point your weapon at anything you don’t intend to shoot.
- Keep your weapon on safe until you intend to fire.
2. Use your hunting voice: Have you ever been to dinner with a friend that was so loud they were disturbing the entire restaurant? As annoying as that guy is, you are worse if you are loud in the woods. If you are interested in learning more about how well a whitetail can hear, check out this informative article from Outdoor Life—Below is an excerpt from that study;
3. Don’t be a know-it-all: Let’s be honest with ourselves for a moment – Our ego can sometimes get in the way of not only being a good hunting partner, but also a good friend. Even if you have more experience than your partner, that doesn’t mean they do not bring value to the situation. I like to live by the rule,
“To have a friend, you must first be a friend.”
Practice good listening skills, and be a team-player. Most of my successful hunts (with hunting partners) consisted of both people contributing something to the kill. Again, be a team-player.
4. Become an eagle-eye: Speaking of bringing value, nothing is worse than a partner that stares at their phone, or is ‘spaced-out’ as you are looking for a game. Likely you and your partner spend a lot of time, money, and energy to making this hunt a success—Pay attention!
5. Be prepared: While every point in this post could be expounded upon, this one could get really deep. In an effort to keep this short – Get your act together! If you are going out-of-state, make sure you know all the rules and regs and have all the gear that is needed. If you are supposed to be the caller on a hunt, make sure you have been practicing and your calls are conditioned. We could go on and on here, but a little pre-hunt preparation and research benefits all parties involved.
6. Under no circumstances is it ok to be unethical: I hate the fact this point has to be mentioned, but it does. Follow the rules and regulations of where you are hunting. Nothing is worse than being put in the situation of having to reprimand your hunting partner. If your hunting skills are so bad that you must break the law, take up golf and don’t put others at risk of compromising their hunting rights, or your friendship.
7. Good attitude: I’ll be honest in saying this is where I struggle the most. You don’t have to be negative just to have a toxic attitude. When I am hunting, I get in a zone. So deep into the zone, that my intensity can come across as having a bad attitude if things are not going my way in the woods. I start stressing, approaching game more aggressively, and deviating from my original plan, these actions can be counterproductive and hinder the hunt. On the flip side, if I settle down and just have a good time, success starts happening. Don’t be that partner—Stay positive, have fun and most of all be a good friend.