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Discussion Starter #1
I have never been in this situation but have always wondered what the right thing to do would be.

you have a tag for an animal and it is in season. you're hunting in an area that has a lot of hikers and campers but it is a legal hunting area. you have no intention of hunting near the other folks who are enjoying the outdoors but after a long discouraging hunt you happen across a group of non-hunters who are watching an animal that you happen to have a tag for. theyve been enjoying watching this moose/elk/deer/bear/goat for a while and you show up with tag and gun in hand. obviously you want to have a successful end to your long hunt but are you willing to hunker down and take the shot in front of all those people enjoying watching the wildlife? even without the likely possibility of it being filmed and shared all over the web where you will be villainized or maybe even start a local media storm? it would be totally legal and you would be filling the tag you paid for? it wouldn't be as satisfying of a kill since you basically shot an animal someone else spotted but you had already worked extremely hard without success and you were now finally faced with the opportunity to bring home a trophy or fill your freezer but have to do so with everyone looking on in horror. has anyone ever been in a situation like that? I know I've had other hunters pull up and shoot the deer I've spotted from their vehicle while I was getting out and loading my rifle, but in this situation no one else is there to hunt. Just thought of this and was wondering what the ethics might be in this situation. It would be a tough call. It would be really tough to pass up the opportunity while it was there. maybe you could sit and wait for crowds to thin or move to a different vantage and try to shoot it when it moves from view of the crowd, but for the sake of this hypothetical question let's say this is the only chance you'd have. maybe a stupid question and probably something that will never come up for most hunters. just wondering what others thought.
 

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If its what I want I think I'd wait until they left, then come back to the area and look for it. I don't want to cause hurt feelers.
 

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Not a big game hunter anymore,but in the day I would have passed.
 
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First, if a crowd is watching, likely you are on a road. Even if you wanted to, you would be in violation of the law should you shoot. I would join in with the crowd and enjoy the view. After they left, I might take a hike and see if I could find the animal, and make a safe shot.
 

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Depends on the person - some don't care what others think. If it were a matter of eating or not, answer would be easy. Non-hunter doesn't necessarily mean anti-hunter. Viewing it with them and seeing how a conversation goes, might just allow you to get the pulse of the situation and they may think its cool that you're hunting. They may leave and then you can do your thing.

Hypothetically anyway...
 

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reminds me of the mt dell moose incident up parleys canyon years ago. personally I would probably pass not worth the fight after words. and watching an animal die can be gut wrenching for some people.
 

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My friend had the Timp goat tag a few years back. He hiked up the back side and shot a nice goat. On the pack out he got accosted several times on the trail by the tofu-fairy-farts. He said he was amicable the first few times, but by the time he was getting to the bottom, his patience and 55 year old legs had run out. He told one group where to stick it. Not something he's proud of but crap happens.-----SS
 

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Sometimes though the "opposition" needs to hear the real world of what people think of them. They can't always go through life being catered to so their feelings aren't hurt.

That's part of the problem with how things are today. "They" don't have to get their feelings hurt but everyone else does.
 

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I would either wait for the crowd to move on or the animal and find it again.

Seeing an animal die for the first time can be hard for some people. My fiancé was a non- hunter, she saw me harvest a buck a couple years ago. It was a good shot and the buck went down quick but tried to get back up before expiring. It wasnt what she was expecting, Movies, TV and video games set the expectation that once shot, death is instant and relatively bloodless. Reality can be a little more violent. She still likes to go with me and wants to hunt though.

I would not want to make someone view it if it's not something they choose, especially children.

Just my thoughts and reasoning...
 

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I would pass to prevent the PR nightmare that would be sure to follow. Hunting is not about the kill anyways. If the hunting was tough and that was the only animal I had seen I would move areas. Anywhere that crowded does not suit me.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I think the biggest factor for me would be the cheapness of stumbling onto a group that had seen the animal first and just shooting it. If I were on a trail or ridge and spotted an animal but hikers showed up as I was getting ready to shoot, I would not think twice about shooting. I have never seen a lot of hikers or campers while hunting but I was thinking of a goat hunter I saw on Timp once. There were lots of hikers and lots of goats. This guy flew up the trail past everyone. He was hustling. I talked with him a minute before he took off up ahead. Didn't see him again but I was curious bout how it would all go down with the combination of goats and hikers and him having a oial tag.
 

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I shot a deer a couple of years ago that ran down the mountain and right to a paved road where several people were watching. I followed after the deer and made my way to the road. The deer was laying about 20 yards off the road where I dispatched it with another shot. I warned people ahead of time what I was doing and gave them a chance to leave if they chose to do so, nobody left. After the deer was dispatched they were bringing their kids to the deer to get photos ,and there were no negative comments or attitudes. Under other circumstances I would not shoot an animal that others were viewing for pleasure.
 

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That's an awfully long, detailed, and specific 'hypothetical.' That's what I think!

Honestly, I can't even imagine being in this situation. I don't know if I've ever seen a group of 'non-hunters' while big game hunting, let alone a big group just out watching animals. As specific as you describe it, I'd pass. But again, I can't imagine rolling up on a big group of non-hunters checking out an animal I have a tag for unless like was said before, if you're just driving down the road. And no, I wouldn't just drive up, jump out, and shoot something in front of a bunch of other people.
 

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Pick any canyon along the Wasatch Front and this is a very likely scenario. I've had mountain bikers come flying down ridge trails that sane people don't hike during the deer hunt. Hikers and sight seers wandering around oblivious that there was a hunting season happening. These didn't happen next to a paved road. Some were more than 3 miles from the end of the road. Others as I was returning to my truck from a long stroll through the woods. Not everyone has the time, or physical ability to hike miles to a secluded honey hole. Sometimes we can only find an afternoon to sneak into a hidden canyon close to home. These have been some of my most successful hunts. Sneaking into a hidden place not far off of the beaten track can give you a shot (pun intended) at some really nice animals that "real hunters" never get a chance to see. I like to hunt them year round with the Nikon.
And to answer your hypothetical question, no, I wouldn't shoot with an audience. Unless they told me to. Which they have. And I did.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Yeah. I could've just asked if any would shoot an animal in front of non hunters but would've had to bounce around all kinds of different combinations of qualifiers and circumstances. Could be on a road, trail, ridge ect. "Group" could be two people standing off the edge of trail. Was trying to be specific so as to focus situation on the one decision of whether or not you sacrifice your last chance of filling your tag after giving your all on a long hunt. Was trying to focus the situation on a definitive "shoot now or tag soup" scenario but not many plausible situations where that is at stake for the sake of non hunters. Seems like everyone agrees on not to shoot. Some respectful folk on this page. I couldn't just show up n shoot. Maybe if I hadnt seen any subarus parked at the trailhead that morning I might engage the onlookers in friendly chit chat.
Overall I don't see many nonhunters when I'm out. I don't have 4x4 though, so I have to hike my butt off to get away from crowds and sometimes due to time constraints it's Do.
 

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Yeah. I could've just asked if any would shoot an animal in front of non hunters but would've had to bounce around all kinds of different combinations of qualifiers and circumstances. Could be on a road, trail, ridge ect. "Group" could be two people standing off the edge of trail. Was trying to be specific so as to focus situation on the one decision of whether or not you sacrifice your last chance of filling your tag after giving your all on a long hunt. Was trying to focus the situation on a definitive "shoot now or tag soup" scenario but not many plausible situations where that is at stake for the sake of non hunters. Seems like everyone agrees on not to shoot. Some respectful folk on this page. I couldn't just show up n shoot. Maybe if I hadnt seen any subarus parked at the trailhead that morning I might engage the onlookers in friendly chit chat.
Overall I don't see many nonhunters when I'm out. I don't have 4x4 though, so I have to hike my butt off to get away from crowds and sometimes due to time constraints it's Do.
What's wrong with having a Subaru?
 
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