Group hunting etiquette? Unwritten rules?

Dakotazeb

Active member
I don't, and I never leave anything in the field Blowing one up means you pattern one with big shot, from close range.No edible meat.
So do you count that blown up bird in your limit of 3? This was your statement:
I try to shoot my 3, unless I blow one up
This would lead one to believe you shoot 3 PLUS the one you blew up.
 
Every group is different. Its best you figure out the etiquette ahead of time or you may find yourself in a bad way with the others quickly. With the guys I hunt with, if someones faster than you, then you better learn to shoot quicker.
 

jonnyB

New member
"Keeps shooting"....

If I don't wish you to shoot ( my birds) do you continue to shoot? Reconcile this before the hunt?
 

jonnyB

New member
Jake...this can become a contest as to who's fastest on the draw - gets back to my original post, if I'm slower than others at the mount, do other hunters acknowledge this or see how many they can shoot?
 

Goosemaster

New member
Jake...this can become a contest as to who's fastest on the draw - gets back to my original post, if I'm slower than others at the mount, do other hunters acknowledge this or see how many they can shoot?
Ok, I know my feeling on this.If I know there will be lots of roosters, I let the other guys bang away first. If I know there will only be a few birds, then everybody will be more aggressive, and so will I.Sometimes you hunt a section, that only has 7 roosters on the whole thing!You had better be in your game, or it's a skunk.
 

HS Strut

New member
To me this is fairly simple....if that guys dog is birdie or on point and he gets a nice close flush right in front of him? i'll let him shoot first. I may not shoot at all. But if that bird jumps up and surprises everyone say, 15-20 yards in front of him? I'll drop it right in his lane if I'm faster. The other part of this is, if MY dog flushes one close to me I BETTER be ready and get the first shot. If I don't it's my own fault. No crying because we will discuss this stuff at the truck.
 
we are a pretty competitive group of guys... when its just us friends. If we have somebody that doesnt get to hunt much we are always moving them into the best spot to shoot of the point and give them a good chance at a shot before we shoot.
 

marn

New member
We have probably all had days where it seems every bird flushes in front of you, and the next day every rooster is at the far end of the group. If the shot is clear and safe, I say take the shot. I have hunted with guys that never watch the dogs, so they are always slow on the draw because they are never ready for the flush.
 

Goosemaster

New member
We have probably all had days where it seems every bird flushes in front of you, and the next day every rooster is at the far end of the group. If the shot is clear and safe, I say take the shot. I have hunted with guys that never watch the dogs, so they are always slow on the draw because they are never ready for the flush.
Rught, being ready is really important! You should be at port arms when your dog gets birdie.
 

bobman

New member
When I’m hunting with friends I always let them shoot first and I back them up, if necessary.
I am very particular about how they shoot over my dogs and how they approach them on point, but I don’t care if I shoot any birds as long as my dogs get the opportunity to get a bird in their mouth
 

Chestle

New member
My group has been hunting together about 35 years, since we were all fast young guns.

The etiquette that has developed is this:

If we're in a situation where two or more guns are in range of a bird, it's whoever is fastest for the first bird. However, after that, anyone that already has a bird in the bag moves to back-up shooter status until everyone else has a bird. Back-up shooter meaning you let someone that doesn't have a bird have the FIRST shot. Miss that first shot and it's anyone's bird again. Generally, everyone gets some good opportunities and the birds still end up in the bag.

Also, when entering a field, the guy with the least birds in the bag gets to pick his lane, select the area or edge he wants to hunt. Second fewest, second pick and so on.

As far as team shooting, I think every state says that's illegal. You get your limit, I think you're supposed to quit shooting. That said, I don't know very many parties that don't team shoot until the bag is full. I may be wrong on both aspects of that.
 
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jonnyB

New member
Interesting post, Chestle - thanks.

Sounds like your group cares for the other guy and wants them to be successful. In a group, there's usually one person that doesn't have a dog, or hasn't been fortunate to have a rooster in range. I've had day's where I've seen nothing but hens and have few roosters in the bag and welcome a chance to shoot.

Hard for some people to put others first...
 

Chestle

New member
JohnnyB, well we are pretty much a band of brothers. At one time we all lived in the same area and had a lot of mutual activities. Basically deep lifetime friendships. We've all shot a lot of birds so that is a factor as well. We all have dogs, so we don't have that dogless man issue either.

We've had the days in Kansas where we hunted sun up to sun down an got one bird in the group in a lean year. We've hunted SD in the fat years where everyone was limited by 11AM. So, everybody has seen it all and we can relax now in our dotage. ;)

It's always interesting. In that above example, there are days when the guy with the bird in the bag is still the one the birds flush in front of all the time. Others pick their lanes and the guy with the bird in the bag has the least likely terrain and still the birds get up right in front of him. We have a saying "he's wearing the pheasant in heat cologne and won't share it."

Some days are just your day, no matter what you do. Some days you can't buy a shot. That's pheasant hunting.

Still, our system works well for us. We definitely try to make sure everyone in the group gets some shooting. Same rules if new guys join up for a hunt or two; they get treated the same as the old heads.
 

westksbowhunter

Active member
This thread is why I do my hunting by myself or with my son only. I hunt to get away from people and to spend time with my dogs and son.
 

Goosemaster

New member
This thread is why I do my hunting by myself or with my son only. I hunt to get away from people and to spend time with my dogs and son.
I've never group hunted, like line up for a drive, and take a lane.I can see how that would work. In a big field of crp, in Dec. Snow.its hard for one guy to find birds in a huge crp field.My dad got too old, my son would rather read a book.My nephew likes to hunt, but lives in Wisconsin, which is a cruise, to montana. So the solitary Hunter continues on, out on the wind swept prairie of northern montana.
 

carptom1

New member
So just to clear this up a bit.... I was there last week when this happened. The individual also did it to me while we were two wide in a different draw. The first thing to ask myself is what is most important to me ? For me it is to watch my dog work and to have an enjoyable day. This individual does not have a good dog and seems very much focused on how many birds he shoots on a given day as compared to the rest of the group. I used to be like that also, then I matured a bit and found that does not matter as much. Some days you have chances and some days you don't. On this particular day I shot the first bird, and could of shot the second and third but did not due to them actually being more in line with the center hunter John. In addition the second bird was a low flyer and in my opinion was a bit low in relation to the dogs when shot. It comes down to common courtesy of your other hunters. As to the shooting more than your limit I have always operated on a 3 o'clock rule in SD. If one of us shoot a limit early we do not shoot again until after 3 to try and fill the group up, that seems to work fairly well.
 

jonnyB

New member
So just to clear this up a bit.... I was there last week when this happened. The individual also did it to me while we were two wide in a different draw. The first thing to ask myself is what is most important to me ? For me it is to watch my dog work and to have an enjoyable day. This individual does not have a good dog and seems very much focused on how many birds he shoots on a given day as compared to the rest of the group. I used to be like that also, then I matured a bit and found that does not matter as much. Some days you have chances and some days you don't. On this particular day I shot the first bird, and could of shot the second and third but did not due to them actually being more in line with the center hunter John. In addition the second bird was a low flyer and in my opinion was a bit low in relation to the dogs when shot. It comes down to common courtesy of your other hunters. As to the shooting more than your limit I have always operated on a 3 o'clock rule in SD. If one of us shoot a limit early we do not shoot again until after 3 to try and fill the group up, that seems to work fairly well.
Thanks for the input, Tom.
 

westksbowhunter

Active member
I've never group hunted, like line up for a drive, and take a lane.I can see how that would work. In a big field of crp, in Dec. Snow.its hard for one guy to find birds in a huge crp field.My dad got too old, my son would rather read a book.My nephew likes to hunt, but lives in Wisconsin, which is a cruise, to montana. So the solitary Hunter continues on, out on the wind swept prairie of northern montana.
My favorite type of cover is a large CRP field. The larger the better. Never could figure out why people think one guy can't hunt a huge field. I kill 50 plus roosters every year and most of that is in large CRP Fields. Some guys may not like to walk that much but I like to get in at least 10 miles on each day I hunt.
 

Uplandave

New member
Party hunting is not allowed in Iowa if I remember correctly.

I always quit if I have my three, just do the driving or whatever.
I’ve always been under the impression that party hunting was ok here in Iowa. I see that it is allowed for deer hunting. I figure as others have said, some days they flush in front of you and some days not so much. Dave
 
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