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Quiz: Are You the Hunter You Think You Are?

Quiz: Are You the Hunter You Think You Are?

Hunting faces more challenges today than ever before. One of the best ways to meet these challenges is for all hunters to become the best ambassadors of our sport as possible. To do so, we must be able to articulate why hunting is important; not just to the conservation of the game we all love but to our culture as Americans.


As hunters, we have to set a good example to both our fellow hunters, as well as the non-hunting public, knowing that with the soaring popularity of social media comes a certain level of responsibility to show hunting in a positive light. We must also put our best foot forward by showing that hunting is not only conducted legally, under the law, but that there is a code of ethics we call fair chase that extends beyond the law.


Think you understand hunting ethics? Then take our quiz to find out whether you're the hunter you think you are. When you have finished taking the quiz you can scroll down to see full explanations for all the answers.












1. How can we be sure to protect a positive image of American sportsmen online?


A. Make sure your security settings are set so only the people you want to have access to your social-media accounts have access—Incorrect.

This is only part of what you should do.


B. Avoid images showing blood and tongue; bullet entry or exit wounds; arrows; standing or sitting on the animal; posing with your animal or birds as if they are a prop and you are the conquering hero; or hanging from the back of a truck or backhoe, etc. — Incorrect.

This is only part of what you should do.


C. Try to include images that tell the whole story of a memorable experience, not just the end result — Incorrect.

This is only part of what you should do.


D. All of the above — Correct.


2. How do you define the term "anti-hunter?"


A. An angry PETA type — Incorrect.

They might be a member of PETA or HSUS, and they might even be more interested in winning an argument than actually doing something for wildlife, but they are more likely than any to be leading the shift from what was once anti-hunting (objecting to the activity) to now anti-hunter (objecting to you personally).


B. A misinformed person — Incorrect.

We can't lay blame on low information people when it comes to hunting and conservation. If we're honest with ourselves, the hunting community has done a pretty poor job of telling our story; the history of conservation in North America; how sportsmen lead this effort and how hunting benefits game and non-game species, as well as the habitat and the very ecosystems we live in and cherish. People will not learn that hunting is an irreplaceable mechanism for conservation. We must teach them.


C. An activist — Incorrect.

They might behave as an activist or they might not. What they are is opposed to hunters and they most likely formed this option either from some bad personal experience, or misinformation circulated by an organized effort against hunters and hunting.


D. All of the above - Correct.


3. What is the best definition for the term "poacher?"


A. An "illegal hunter" — Incorrect.

People do make mistakes and knowingly or accidentally break the law. Calling this illegal hunting may be accurate, but it does all of hunting a disservice because this is how the anti-hunting groups try to blur the lines between legal hunting and poaching. Sportsmen know hunting is not poaching, and poachers are not hunters, which is why the majority of poaching convictions happen because hunters turn game-law violators in to the authorities and help funding anti-poaching law enforcement.


B. A "thief" — Correct.

Poachers are not hunters. They are thieves. Poachers act in complete disregard of the well being of wildlife populations by circumventing the laws and regulations that protect game species, and placing personal gain and profits above all else. Poachers act outside of the conservation measures established by science and our society. Arguably, they cause even greater harm by destroying public trust and tarnishing the reputation of law-abiding and conservation-minded hunters, most of whom feel a very personal responsibility toward the protection of wildlife and wilderness.


4. Who typically reports poachers to the authorities?


A. Hikers — Incorrect.

No doubt this happens, but others who use public lands aren't the ones who turn in poachers most often.


B. Homeowners — Incorrect.

Certainly a property owner might report a trespasser, which can mean a poacher, but game agencies report that it is hunters who most often call to report poachers.


C. Hunters — Correct.

Game agencies report that it is hunters who most often call to report poachers. As any game population is a shared resource, hunters are particularly bothered by those who steal. Part of this is also because hunters know the law and so can spot a poacher, but a bigger, deeper reason is that hunters care about what they hunt and so they know that a poacher negatively impacts the balance established by good game laws.


5. Is hunting a sport?


A. Yes — Incorrect.

Hunting as a sport has a long history. It was referred to as the "sport of kings" in early European cultures because only royalty or wealthy landowners were allowed to hunt. Preceding this, games where held using horse, rider and chariot chasing boar and stag to simulate battle conditions during war to keep a soldier's skills with bow, arrow and lance sharp. The animals chased were called "game."


B. No — Incorrect.

Hunting being called a sport or associated with sports has opened hunters and hunting up to criticism, as in "killing for the sport of it." This has lead to other non-flattering terms such as ego or vanity hunting, now most commonly pair with the term trophy hunting in a derogatory sense to turn people away from all hunting.


In North America the terms "sport hunting" and "sportsmen" emerged at a time when a clear line was being drawn between those who killed for profit (commercial market hunters) and those who killed for personal reasons and had a code of conduct (sportsmen). The "sport" in sport hunting was meant to mean only a sporting approach to hunting. The label "sportsmen" used to stand for someone who was a admired and respected member of their community for their skills, commitments to wildlife, and the honor in which they hunted. Those opposed to hunting have perverted the term sport hunting and sportsmen into something negative, and this needs corrected.


C. All of the above - Correct.


6. What is the best definition of "fair chase"?


A. Hunted game has a fair chance of eluding us — Correct.

The literal meaning of "fair chase" is often confused because the word "fair" has many meanings and uses. For example, we go to the fair, there is a fair ball, fair weather, fair skin, fair chance, fair play, and the fairway in golf. When the word "fair" is paired with "chase," it implies hunting is fair or equal. It is not. "Fair" does, however, underscore that there are restrictions or limitations we place on the methods and means of hunting designed to prevent the defenses of game animals from being overwhelmed.


B. How we hunt puts us on equal terms with the game we hunt — Incorrect.

When the word "fair" is paired with "chase," it implies that hunting is fair or equal. It is not. Hunting is not a field sport like baseball or football where the participants agree to the rules of engagement beforehand. In hunting, the hunted has not agreed to anything, nor does it have an equal chance in most cases to kill the human hunter. For most species, escape is the only option. The hunter and the hunted both have their advantages, but a bear won't have a bow or gun and a man won't have the nose of a bear or his speed, strength.


7. Where do hunting ethics come from?


A. Game laws — Incorrect.

This is an important start, but it is only the start.


B. The expectations of a group to which we belong — Incorrect.

This is only one segment of what directs appropriate behavior.


C. Our own personal code of conduct — Incorrect.

When we appreciate and respect the game we hunt, ethical decisions come naturally. Real experiences, challenges and the "no guarantees" nature of hunting has a way of making us work for our reward. When we have to work to earn something we appreciate it more. Hunting does this. This is part of the answer, but not the whole answer.


D. All of the above — Correct.

Hunting ethically comes from the laws designed to protect the game and public safety, the teaching of our mentors and expectations of our peers, and our own personal sense of right and wrong held up against what each of us seek from our own hunting experiences. As Aldo Leopold once said, "Ethical behavior is doing the right thing when no one else is watching—even when doing the wrong thing is legal."


8. What is the best way to respond to someone on social media who attacks you simply because you hunt?


A. With gruesome facts, such as the number of deer-auto collisions, the fact that predators that become habituated to us become more dangerous…? — Incorrect.

These explanations can come later, but they are too jarring and detached from peoples' typical experience to sway many minds.


B. By explaining you eat what you kill — Incorrect.

This is an important fact, but on its own it is not a good enough reason, as you could also go to a supermarket.


C. By telling them there is blood on their hands, too; after all, every farmer and rancher has to protect his or her crops and livestock. If they didn't, they wouldn't be raising food for us, but only for over-populated wildlife — Incorrect.

Again, the basic idea that a farmer or rancher needs to protect his or her livelihood, just as a suburbanite might a garden or flowerbeds, is a truthful answer, but it is too confrontational to win most hearts and minds from the start.


D. The best play is not to play the game — Correct.

Someone who has it in their to attack another person online for their beliefs or what they enjoy doing is not going to listen to any honest and truthful answer. Nothing defuses the baiters like not taking the bait.


9. Is hunting a right or a privilege?


A. A right — Incorrect.

In most states hunting is still, legally speaking, a privilege.


B. A privilege — Incorrect

In some states it is now legally a "right." Whether it is a right or a privilege where you live, we should all keep in mind that public perceptions in respect to hunting and hunters will continue to play a critical role in our future. If we—and our traditions—are viewed in a positive light, we can expect approval from others. Just as importantly, when someone is asked to vote for or against hunting or trapping, we should have already put our best foot forward.


C. It depends — Correct.

Fourteen states have passed amendments to their constitutions making it a right for their citizens to hunt, fish and trap. It seems unnecessary that it would come to legislative action to protect these age-old outdoor traditions, but it has. Even the voters in a rural, hunting, fishing and trapping state like Montana are considering taking this same action because the game has changed.


More people are making it known that they don't like other people using, killing or managing wildlife. These beliefs have been making their way onto state voter ballot initiatives to ban activities such as trapping on public land, the use of bait and dogs in bear and cougar hunting or the outright ban of the hunting of these and other species altogether.


10. Is it okay to display a dead deer where others can see it?


A. Yes — Incorrect.

Some argue that hunters shouldn't be ashamed of being hunters and therefore shouldn't hide their kills. This is a poor way of looking at a public-relations issue all hunters should be responsible for improving. Good taste, manners and respect for the sensibilities of others matters to any activity that is in the public eye.


B. No — Correct.

Hanging a deer where others can see it or transporting a gutted deer on a car's top is not a dose of reality for non-hunters, it is an example of rude conduct propagating a stereotype that hunters are outdated, uncaring outcasts from society—the image anti-hunters want us to be projecting.


11. Can a trophy photo (a "kill shot") tell the story of a hunt or even why we hunt to non-hunters?


A. Yes — Incorrect.

Someone who doesn't hunt is likely unaware of all the scouting, practice at the range, appreciation for the traditions of hunting, and the experience and the memories that come with the harvest of a wild game animal. From just a field photo they are more likely to believe that a hunter makes a kill every time out and that the hunted are helpless, and easy to kill, or worse, that the hunted needs their care and understanding, not the hunter. 


B. No — Correct.

Our hunting experiences and our images used to be contained to our magazines, photo albums, camps, conventions and gatherings. Now they are on television and posted everywhere with no story and no context. Those of us who care about hunting can no longer afford to dismiss the fact that some of the images we share and post on social media that are intended for hunters are, at a minimum, having a negative impact on the broader public's image of hunting. Blaming the Internet for the incomplete story and the inherent poor image of hunters and hunting is like blaming a fork for your expanding waistline.


12. For hunters, what really constitutes a "trophy?"


A. A very large game animal — Incorrect.

Labeling only the largest of the game we take a trophy dismisses the fact that all game has a value to someone, and can therefore be a trophy.


B. Any game animal — Correct.

If a hunter has worked hard, adhered to the law, obeyed the rules of fair chase, practiced his craft so he or she can kill cleanly and, after taking an animal, showed respect for the game animal, then it is a trophy to that hunter.


13. Should all hunters stick together?


A. It depends — Correct.

It's been a popular belief that since hunters are in the minority, and hunting has been increasingly criticized and attacked, that all hunters should stick together as a united front. This dismisses the fact that there are those among our ranks who are helping to project a bad image for all hunters by the choices they are making.


B. No — Incorrect.

There is no question that as a small segment of society, hunters should stick together. There is enough outside pressures and criticism on hunting for sportsmen to be divided among ourselves. Hunters have a long history of sticking together, but that doesn't mean there isn't room for differences within our camp. But it also doesn't mean that bad behavior should get a free pass, or talking about our ethics only divides hunters.


14. Can something that is legal also be unethical?


A. Yes — Correct.

There is no law against shooting at an elk at 1,000 yards, but many would agree, regardless of equipment, training and conditions, that taking such a shot crosses a line from hunting to shooting. It's an unwritten rule that game animals are not merely live targets to boost our marksmanship creds.


B. No — Incorrect.

If something is illegal it could never be considered ethical.

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