9 Ways to Maintain Your Hunting Traditions

The time to share your traditions is approaching

9 Ways to Maintain Your Hunting Traditions
9 Ways to Maintain Your Hunting Traditions
9 Ways to Maintain Your Hunting Traditions

From NSSF Blog

At this time of year, millions of Americans feel the tug to participate in what they consider the ultimate interaction with the natural world–hunting. For many hunters, it’s a time for sharing long-established traditions with family members and friends.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation, the trade association for the firearms, ammunition, hunting and target shooting industry, notes that hunting seasons will be open for small game, big game and bird hunting across the nation over the next several months. Those who are successful in their hunts will stock their freezers with nutritious, locally obtained meat. Many also will share their bounty with food pantries to provide meals to the less fortunate.

With the list below, NSSF offers a reminder of how to maintain your hunting traditions and, for newcomers and inactive hunters, how to establish or re-establish them this hunting season.


  • Go hunting! It’s sounds simple, but the activity itself, whether you successfully take game or not, is a senses-heightening, fulfilling experience.

  • Share your hunting experience with friends and family members–whether afield, in hunting camp or by introducing a newcomer to hunting at, for example, a gamebird preserve, or by being a mentored for an apprentice hunter. (Find a gamebird preserve at www.wingshootingusa.org and learn about Families Afield/mentored hunting at www.familiesafield.org.)

  • Share a game meal at your table. This is one of hunters’ oldest and most favorite traditions, made sumptuous because the harvest and hunt coincide at this time of year. Today many people are making an effort to use sustainable, locally acquired foods–something hunters have practiced for a long, long time.

  • Tell your hunting stories. Write them down. Take photographs and videos. Share your stories on social media or with an online photo album. Such records help keep your traditions alive.

  • Continue to use the ammunition of your choice–traditional (containing lead components) or alternatives that use steel, copper or other metals. Understand that some extreme groups want to ban traditional ammunition but that science does not support such a drastic measure. Also, remind fellow hunters that eating game taken with traditional ammunition does not pose a health risk, as confirmed by a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study. (Learn more here.)

  • Remind others that wildlife conservation is funded through the sale of hunting licenses and excise taxes paid on firearms and ammunition, a tax that hunters supported and Congress approved in 1937. Through the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act (also known as the Pittman-Robertson Act), $6.8 billion has been collected for conservation. Another good post-hunt conversation can be about the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation, one tenant of which is that wildlife is held in public trust for the citizenry. (learn more here.)

  • Use the firearm of your choice as long as it meets your state’s hunting regulations. These days more hunters, particularly younger hunters, are using modern sporting rifles–rifles based on the AR platform. If you prefer a wood-stocked, bolt-action rifle, that’s understandable, but NSSF encourages you to support the choice of firearm made by others. Modern sporting rifles may not look like “Old Betsy,” but after many hunting seasons, such firearms will carry the same meaning for someone as the “Old Betsy” that was passed on to you.

  • Set an example for ethical behavior. Before hunting, review your state’s hunting regulations; during your hunt, practice good sportsmanship. The public overwhelmingly supports hunting, but unsportsmanlike behavior by even a few hunters can tarnish the reputation of hunting in general.

  • Practice safety in the field, when traveling with firearms and when storing them at home. Practice the four firearm safety rules: Treat every gun as if it were loaded. Always keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction. Keep your finger off the trigger until ready to take your shot. Know your target and what lies beyond it.

You may have other traditions to honor. We hope so.


NSSF offers a number of resources for hunters, including www.wingshootingusa.org and video and literature titles covering firearm safety, hunter ethics and the hunter’s role in conservation that can be viewed at www.nssf.org/hunting and www.nssf.org/safety.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

13 Fishing Inception SZ

13 Fishing Inception SZ

Florida angling pro Jessie Mizell knows that the saltwater found in Sunshine State coastal fisheries can wreak havoc on even the best fishing gear. But with 13 Fishing's new feature laden Inception SZ saltwater baitcasting reel, tackling inshore and light tackle saltwater game fish just got a whole lot easier!

MLF Pro Tips: How to Fish a New Lake

MLF Pro Tips: How to Fish a New Lake

Major League Fishing pros Alton Jones, Jeff Sprague, Anthony Gagliardi and James Watson share their thoughts on how to approach fishing a new lake for bass.

MLF BPT angler and former Classic champ Casey Ashley has been with Costa del Mar sunglasses his whole career. At ICAST 2019, he shows OSG writer Lynn Burkhead some new products and talks how to pick the right lens color for the water.

New Optimum and Optimum TS Downriggers from Canon

New Optimum and Optimum TS Downriggers from Canon

From rugged reliability to smooth integration of cutting edge technology across several different platforms, OSG's Lynn Burkhead learns that there's much to like about the new Optimum and Optimum TS downriggers from Canon.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

Here are the 10 most common reel performance problems and how to fix them. Reels

10 Most Common Reel Performance Problems

Anietra Hamper

Here are the 10 most common reel performance problems and how to fix them.

While catfish are still catfish, the difference between day and night tactics and strategies can be profound, even when fishing the same lake or river. Catfish

How to Catch Catfish Day and Night

Terry Madewell - April 04, 2018

While catfish are still catfish, the difference between day and night tactics and strategies...

While wildly popular amongst anglers around the world, the IGFA World Record book shows the biggest pike come from Europe. Records

Top 10 Biggest Pike World Records of All Time

Jack Vitek - August 19, 2015

While wildly popular amongst anglers around the world, the IGFA World Record book shows the...

You can catch bluegill faster with these strategies. Panfish

Find and Fish Bluegill Beds Efficiently

Terry Madewell - May 22, 2019

You can catch bluegill faster with these strategies.

See More Trending Articles

More Stories

We Coyote hunters spend a lot of time ringing the dog's dinner bell when we call. But we are Stories

Call Our Complex Coyotes

Brad Fitzpatrick - July 13, 2017

We Coyote hunters spend a lot of time ringing the dog's dinner bell when we call. But we are

 Missouri hunter Tim Phillips is all smiles after using his late grandfather's worn Marlin 30.30 Stories

Grandpa's Gun Tags Giant Buck, Ends Multi-Year Quest

Lynn Burkhead - November 21, 2017

Missouri hunter Tim Phillips is all smiles after using his late grandfather's worn Marlin...

Once considered a denizen of the Western wilds, the coyote has learned to adapt to human Stories

Coyotes In Suburbia

Stephen D. Carpenteri - November 30, 2016

Once considered a denizen of the Western wilds, the coyote has learned to adapt to human

How a humble Virginia hunter bagged the biggest non-typical whitetail a bowhunter has ever seen. Whitetail

The Story Behind Brewster's World-Record Buck

Lynn Burkhead - October 17, 2019

How a humble Virginia hunter bagged the biggest non-typical whitetail a bowhunter has ever...

See More Stories

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.