Great discussion on ethics HT podcast #98

mikemulligan32

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Hoping this doesn't turn into a big b****ing match but what are your thoughts on drawing blood and notching a tag. personally if I'm able to confirm that the animal is not going to die (obviously death from an infection is always a possibility but could also occur from an antler wound) I wouldn't notch my tag if it's legal to keep hunting. If I gut shoot an animal with an arrow it's a death sentence and if I'm unable to recover it then my tag is notched. The first bull elk I hit with my bow, I hit low in the brisket lost the blood trail & after 3 days found him pushing cows like nothing was wrong. Obviously I would have liked to take that animal if possible for more reasons than one. I hunted/blood trailed for the remainder of the week that I had to hunt Thursday through Sunday and had to go back to work. I did my absolute best trying to track that animal and confirmed he was still alive on Sunday. I ended up killing a different bull elk with my rifle a couple weeks later and I don't worry about it. Of course I feel bad that I caused that animal pain, I truthfully feel that I'm more conscientious than most when it comes to the overall well-being of the animals we pursue. All this being said, I spoke with a guy about antelope hunting this archery season who decided because they shoot indoor competitively (but couldn't get broadheads to tune at 20yards) they can shoot an antelope at120 yards (gut shot but recovered).

Another guy I spoke with took 4 shots at an antelope missing every single time as it ran further away.

- " 65, 92 , 114 , and 120. Wind was crazy too. Hunted a ranch but it was nice to get a bunch of stalks in right away ".
The above is a copy and pasted text from our conversation when I asked why he had to shoot four times. ... This guy I wiuld consider a friend of mine and the super nice dude but I know for a fact there's no way I could ever hunt with the guy if he's willing to take that shot and I usually shoot everyday at a hundred yards in the summer and passed on a couple different shots around that 65/70 Mark with wind this year.

Anyway. really hope this doesn't turn into a shitshow and I'm sorry Randy if it does go ahead and lock it I just thought it was an interesting discussion and what we can do to help minimize animal loss and Future
 

MTGomer

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I think actually notching a tag should be given more thought of whether it’s a good idea. Possibly illegal in some states. Cutting out a tag indicates you have a harvested animal to attach it to. You have no animal to present, why is your tag notched and where did the animal go?

Simply deciding not to hunt anymore to fill that tag would be the thing to do, if a person decided that’s the ethical thing for them to do.
 

OhHeyThereBen

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I agree with Gomer. Unless you have meat in the freezer, don't notch your tag. But not hunting is the ethical choice to me. Saying "I notched my tag" is the cool terminology, but is most likely not legal.
 

Mallardsx2

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I know a guy who gut shot 3 bulls in one season in Colorado with his bow....Never found a single one.

He said if Colorado wanted to charge him over 600$ for a license then he was going to keep hunting until his tag was filled.

Sad. I know. But I know its true that he did it.

Dont quote me on this but im 99% certain in Alaska, if you draw blood. Your tag is filled.
 

wllm1313

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Dont quote me on this but im 99% certain in Alaska, if you draw blood. Your tag is filled.
No just black bears and elk in specific units:

"Animals disturbed while hunting do not count against your bag limit; however, a person who has wounded game should make every reasonable effort to retrieve and salvage that game. However, bears wounded in Units 1-5, 8 and elk wounded in Unit 8 do count as your bag limit."
 
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neffa3

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Simply deciding not to hunt anymore to fill that tag would be the thing to do, if a person decided that’s the ethical thing for them to do.
I did that very thing this year. I'm almost certain my bull died, but I could not find it. I didn't notch it, I just didn't hunt anymore. I did call ID F&G and ask how they wanted to report it. They said to report as if I didn't shoot it since I didn't find it.
 

Randy11

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Dont quote me on this but im 99% certain in Alaska, if you draw blood. Your tag is filled.
You are correct, and I like that rule a lot.

In the past I have wounded animals and elected to no longer hunt that season. I never have actually physically notched a tag for an animal I didn't recover. Personally, if I'm not 100% sure the wounded animal made it, I'd have a really hard time continuing to hunt with that tag.

I agree with Gomer, that notching a tag without having recovered an animal is legal grey area at best. I've seen hunters do this on TV in the past, and to me it seems more for show than anything else. It's almost saying that you don't have the self control to stop hunting on your own, and that you can only stop if you no longer have a legal tag in your pocket.

Last week I was hunting deer in Idaho. I shot a buck at last light. I looked for a couple hours without finding it that night. I was 75% sure the deer was dead and I'd find it, and I thought about notching my tag that night, but didn't. The next morning I went back out and recovered the deer, I notched the tag with the latter date. If I had notched the tag with the earlier date, then I'd have been in the weird position of walking around the woods with a rifle looking to put my already notched tag on a deer. I don't like that, and I'm not sure if a warden would either.
 
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aws1963

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...If I had notched the tag with the earlier date, then I'd have been in the weird position of walking around the woods with a rifle looking to put my already notched tag on a deer. I don't like that, and I'm not sure if a warden would either.
This^

At least here in CA, I don't think you would get the benefit of the doubt. Just have some self control.
 

406LIFE

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Referring the the ethics, if I have wounded an animal, it counts towards my limit, be it an elk or ducks.

Last year I mortally wounded a bear and was not able to retrieve it. In my mind, my bear season was over.
 

Carnage2011

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I think each situation is different. I lost a buck in Nevada a few years ago and felt like the shot was lethal so I chose to end my season. However, I believe there are times when an animal is shot in areas that aren’t lethal and therefore I have no problem with someone continuing to hunt. I watched my wife shoot a bull this bow season and I’m still not quite sure what happened, but her penetration was 2” and the bull continued to chase cows as if nothing happened. I found him again 4 days later and he was still running cows and had no signs of wear and tear so we decided that she should continue hunting.
 

mikemulligan32

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To all commenting on "notching the tag" that is more figurative terminology. Like many have said I'm not going to physically notch my tag, I'll just not hunt any longer.
 

Straight Arrow

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To all commenting on "notching the tag" that is more figurative terminology. Like many have said I'm not going to physically notch my tag, I'll just not hunt any longer.
I agree and further point out that in the case of deciding to no longer hunt since you feel you filled your quota, whether or not you retrieve the animal, notching the tag is merely symbolic. Why not just toss it into the campfire ... 'same difference. Notching, burning, destroying, discarding ... who cares but you? Displaying a notched tag and subsequently touting your "good" ethics is self-centered, in contradiction to the attitude that it is "for the wildlife."
 

Addicting

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For me it’s a personal decision based off the circumstances and the Tag. I’ve killed a lot of deer in my home state that had been wounded in prior seasons. Some of them would of not made it thru the winter others were completely healed and you didn’t know until you processed it. This year I wounded a buck, I shot low and there was only white hair where I shot him. We trailed him for a quarter mile and he bedded on the opposite side of a swamp on the neighbors. We backed out and got permission and went back in the morning to retrieve him. That night he bedded near a pack of coyotes on a old kill. Early in the morning they found him and ran him down to another neighbors. I figured if he lived thru the night and out ran the coyotes he would be fine. So I am continuing to hunt that same are with hopes of seeing him again. I will wait until the end of season but I have a low income family that has asked for a deer if we got one. As season winds down, if I can find him to kill him, I will. However, on the last few days, I will still try and assist that family with thier request for a deer.
 

Bigjay73

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If I hit an animal and don't recover it, I will continue to hunt, but only for the animal I originally hit. Drawn blood is the end of the season for me, but I wasn't like that when younger, so I'm not going to judge others who continue to hunt.
 

blb078

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I guess I'm in the minority here. If the regulations and laws say I can continue to hunt I'm gonna keep hunting. I'm going to try everything I can to find the animal first though. Now if I run across the animal I shot at then of course I'm going to go after it, but if I don't run across it and something else comes within range I'm going to take the shot if the laws say it's legal. Most game and fish have things like this, along with road kill, etc like this factored into their numbers anyway. If this makes me an unethical person, then I guess I'm unethical. Or just more honest and up front about things. Either way I'm still hunting if I'm allowed to.
 

MLaird

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Referring the the ethics, if I have wounded an animal, it counts towards my limit, be it an elk or ducks.
I'm the same. I wounded a rag horn bull a couple of years ago first thing in the morning. It got over a hill and on to private before I could shoot it again. I got permission from the landowner and he and I both looked for the next 8 hours and didn't find it, there was no snow and no blood that we could find. At the end of the day I drove home, put the gun in the safe and ripped up my tag. And I felt terrible for the next two weeks :(
 
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