hunter etiquette. Move through another hunter's setup, go around or back out


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hey guys hiked a old logging skid trail on sunday with my son. though for sure no one else would be around, you know how that goes. sure enough after about a mile in great looking country with several fresh tracks and scat i stopped for a moment to glass a dark creek bed. 200 yards away above the skid trail and creek i see something waving in the trees, at first i thought it was a deers hind end and tail. git it in the binos and another hunter is on stand watching the creek bed . my question is should we have continued down the road past him or should we have backed out the same way we came and hope we did not disturbed the area he was in ? what if we were being picked up at the other end of that road ? we did back out and went around the whole other side of the mountain, 2 extra hours but i felt we made the right choice. any thoughts on this ? hoover


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Other guy was there first. Good for you to back out. If you were on stand, you would want the same treatment.

You did right.


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I say, IT ALL DEPENDS. A lot of guys post how they have rightfully respected the fact that someone else is already hunting their favorite spot and so they move away; or, if they were wanting to get in further and past the first guy, they make a huge detour. I agree with that etiquette, but only to a point.

In the local D-Zone, a lot of guys set up way before first light, but they set up just a few hundred yards to a half mile from the end of road, or from a major campsite. Depending on terrain, and limited road choices, it is pretty near impossible to get beyond the close-by hunters without walking through the area they are hunting. In a case like that, I assume the other hunters are fully aware that they are hunting in a majorly high human traffic area, I wave to acknowledge that they are there (also for safety reasons), then I pass through and make sure I am far enough away from their position that I don't impact their hunt beyond my just passing through.

Also, in the local D zone here, you can't see the forest for the trees, unless you hike into the alpine elevations, which equals "wilderness area" here. So, depending on conditions, it is not expected that you have to go to much further away.

I see it a lot like fishing a stream or lake -- give the first guy all the space he needs, but when the crowd is so large that every spot is taken, the later guys have to drop their line in somewhere, and then the doubling up, tripling up, etc., dynamic occurs -- unavoidable in heavily used public access areas.

So I llive with it or go home, and I ain't going home.


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Back out, move a decent distance away and consider where the other hunter is when you make your set up. Sometimes the other hunter can drive a deer into your set up area even if it's a mile or so away. Additional hunter traffic, a change in wind direction and hunter mistakes (a glint from a scope/rifle barrel, a fidgety hunter on a stand, a shot that misses, etc.) can all work in your favor to push deer your way.


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This year in the zone I hunt I packed my sleeping back to the top of the mtn fAR away from anyone and before first light I had more then multiple groups of guys really loud and also really loud on walkytalkys wrecking my opening day stand that I had spent alot of time checking out before the season no body cared I was there nor changed there hunt. It sucked good for you for letting someone else have that area and changing your hunt and respecting that they were there first. For me.... I've just gotta remember That there's hundreds of hunters and my hunt will get crossed more then once and I should let it go...


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Good for you! thats what I do. worked in my favor before to. I had a hunt all picked out got to my spot and saw a hunter. I backed out and went around the moutain and changed my plan. ended up jumping two bucks and took a decent 3 point


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Move on or give them a wide birth i am sure there would be no complaints if you pushed a buck into his lap

Common Sense

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Public property means you can do whatever you want. Course a Bible reading feller might remember The Golden Rule.


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Its California....anyone who doesnt expect to see other hunters or have them in their spot needs to hunt backcountry. I usually sit there and see how close they can get to me before they see me. after they pass I move on....if I cross someones path I signal to where they want me to go or jump over to the next ridge/canyon. if they are close enough i coordinate with them and see if we can both hunt the area to both of our advantage or at lease set up a game plan for the area.


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I would back out and/or go WAY wide around them.

One time back in NY years ago I was sitting on the ground(full camo) against a tree in a swamp and I heard a guy walking toward me. All I heard was the crunching of his boots breaking the thin ice behind me. He had no clue I was there until he got within arms reach of me and I startled him with a soft "Hey". HAHA, he probably needed to change his britches after that. My hunt was a bust, but I still sat there incase he bumped some deer and they circled back around him.


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Im in favor of backing out and letting alotta space solve the problem. I would hope another hunter would do the same for me.


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I LOVE seeing other hunters when I'm out! Most people hunt WAY too loud and WAY to fast, I use every hunter I see as my own personal dog, LOL. Seriously though, I've done that successfully numerous times. I too will usually sit still and try NOT to be noticed. I had a guy walk right on top of me one time (uphill side of the bush I was sitting under) he stopped right there, looked around for a while, then fired off about 5 shots from his pistol, I assume to spook anything out of the canyon we were in? He waited all of 30 seconds and then tromped on down the ridge. about 5 mins later, a buck poked out from some cover to make it's way up the opposite ridge! That one tasted good!

Another time, I was set up on a rock outcropping overlooking a big valley. Saw a guy working down the valley, full orange (in Ca.) working WAY too fast... so I just sat and waited, sure enough, he popped up a buck way in front of him, that he never even saw, I took that one too. He walked up while I was gutting it, shaking his head mumbling something about how it should of been his. I just gave him "the look" and he went on his way.

Anyway, point is, public land, expect it, use it to your advantage though! If you see someone, if you can and it won't ruin your own hunt, sure move around them, sup to you.


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Opening day we posted up west side of a meadow, about 30 min later here comes a truck parked right next to ours and hiked exactly across form us, we had the good wind side, and made ourselves noticed, they assured us they saw us by using their rifle scopes to check us out. we just hiked higher up the canyon as we were worried about being 300 yards away in a possible deer crossfire. Being my first year deer hunting I dont have it all figured out but I do have common sense, if youre planning on shooting towards a certain way dont line yourself up with other hunters across (and slightly below) you. I could say backing out was the best option I wish the douche bags we encountered would have done the same......but I guess thats what I get for hunting d 14.

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