One of the best things about hunting and fishing is the sense of freedom that comes along with striking out into nature. Out in the bush or out on the water, we are free to do as we please and enjoy all that the natural world has to offer. That freedom feels wonderful but it does not entitle us to ruin that for other outdoorsmen and women who have come to recreate as well. While fish and game agencies have letter of the law rules with regard to outdoor recreation, there are also a few in-house unwritten rules that we must hold ourselves accountable for as sportsmen and women who travel off the beaten path.
First Come First Serve
That old saying “the early bird gets the worm” is one that must be respected. If you get to your favorite hunting or fishing spot and someone else has beat you to it, they have earned their little piece of heaven for the day. Don’t ruin it for them by walking in on them. This is particularly the case when it comes to hunting, as you can botch someone else’s hunt by showing up and disturbing the hunting grounds that they’ve taken the time to position themselves in. Take the high road. This is enough room in the great outdoors for everyone.
Don’t Be Trashy
There is no point in trashing the very natural world that we come out to enjoy. While it should go without saying, pick up after yourself. Not only is this relevant in terms of candy wrappers, food containers and soda pop cans, but also with regard to your expendable equipment and its packaging. Don’t leave your spent can of nightcrawlers on the side of your favorite fishing hole. Don’t tear the top off your handwarmer package and toss it on the trail behind you. If your reel knots up and into a rat’s nest, don’t leave the cut line on the dock. The list goes on, but you get the point.
Don’t Fish On Top of Another Angler
Some situation require shoulder to shoulder fishing. But for the most part, respect an angler’s right to fish in peace. Don’t come in and fish on top of a fellow fisherman. Not only is it rude, but it often defeats the purpose of catching fish, as disturbing a fishing hole with more bait or lures in the water can skunk the territory. It’s a great way to get your line all tangled with someone else’s, and it sure doesn’t win you any friends. Just don’t do it.
Hunters and anglers are in the outdoors to enjoy it but they are also there for a reason. That reason being the acquisition of fish and game. If you are out recreating otherwise, be conscious of the fact that hunters and anglers are doing their thing. If you are boating, don’t run your boat over the fishing spot that someone is angling from on the bank. If you are headed out for a day of shooting in the woods, be aware of what game unit you are in and whether or not it is hunting season, so as not to spook animals.