The Unsportsmanlike Hunter

throwing yellow flagHow many times are we watching a football game and see a penalty for “unsportsmanlike conduct” or what they are calling a lot these day as “taunting”? We all get furious when we see someone from the opposing team dancing or acting like are the best ever after making a great play.  Dare I say that their actions offend us?  I guess, somewhat it does.

With this day and age of everyone being offending by everything, being PC (politically correct) is something we need to focus on.  But I think the term politically correct is also something that is overshadowing what we should all practice and that is common courtesy.  Common courtesy is something that is lacking a lot these days.  It can be something as simple as opening the door for others or as far as changing the way you do things because of how others might react to it.  In my opinion, as hunters, changing the way we do things because of the reaction of others will do nothing but help our cause.

jeep with deer on frontLet’s look at a couple examples.  Take this recent photo where someone in Texas was driving down the interstate with a deer hanging upside down for all to see (pictured to the left). I don’t know why someone would do this. Could have been that was the only way to get it home, maybe they were just so proud of the buck they wanted everyone to see it or maybe they were just trying to make a sick statement of some kind.  It really doesn’t matter what their intentions were, there was only one reaction that happened and only one reaction that was going to happen.  Of course it was disgust and outrage from all.  Hunters are disgusted because of the disrespect of the buck.  Anti-hunters are disgusted because of how this hunter is “taunting” them with their kill.  But the worst part is that the majority of people that see this driving down the road are neither anti or hunter.  They are just normal people with no opinion on hunting and actions like this do nothing but sway their opinion against hunters and truly just bothers some people.


Hauling deer on a hitch mounted rack.

We as hunters are in a battle that will not go away and for all the good that we do to help each other out, we are also the ones that do the most damage to ourselves.  Common courtesy to others is the #1 rule for everyone.  When you’re hunting on someone else’s property, you would hopefully never try to offend the property owner out of common courtesy.  Hopefully you would never say something to your grandma that offends her out of common courtesy. So why try to offend or disgust everyone that sees you hauling your dead and bloody deer down the road.

I know everyone is proud of their kill.  I am sure this hunter in the Jeep was very proud of that buck.  I would be to.  But getting that deer or any game home is a big statement.  Some hunters use that statement to show off their kill. They are proud and want all to see.  I know all about it.  I miss those days when you could sit up at the local tavern and watch trucks with piles of deer going down the road on opening weekend.  But those days are gone. Just think of 99% of the people that see your display and don’t care about hunting.  Those are the people that you may ask for a job someday or maybe those are the people that you may ask to hunt their property.  I am not worried about the anti-hunters out there.  They will make up any story they want to try and hurt us.  But think of the rest of the people out there.  They will be our biggest support during this long war.

The old days of strapping deer all over your car are over.  We need to protect ourselves and our heritage.  I am not saying to hide your game, I am only asking to be courteous of others.  Take those simple steps to not only protect your meat, but also protect your passion.  Cover up your game with a tarp if you have to haul it in the open.  If you throw your game in the bed of your truck, just close the tailgate.  There are many other ways to make yourself heard that will actually help us all.  Respect others and they will respect you.

Tell me what you think.  Leave a comment below.


  • Darren Charron (@Monart_) February 12, 2016 at 11:47 pm

    I think you nailed it right on the head “common courtesy” to others but, respect for the deer that is putting food on the table for our family’s and to take a moment to give thanks for the food that you receive and to the deer who gave his her life so that we can eat.

  • Rebecca Schwanke February 19, 2016 at 2:45 am

    People act according to how they are taught … Don’t ever pass up an opportunity to teach sportsmanship!

    • Matt Staser February 24, 2016 at 4:33 pm

      Teaching sportsmanship isn’t something one can do to a stranger at the gas station or driving down the road.

  • Mark Medley February 21, 2016 at 7:46 pm

    Thanks for a fine article and the pictures. You nailed it friend. CC (common courtesy) practiced by a lot of people might head off some need for PC. Keep it up!

  • retired2hunt March 4, 2016 at 1:28 am

    I whole-heartily agree that hanging a buck upside down on the front of a Jeep is not the way to transport my game animal however, I will buck the norm of those who have commented here. We as hunters have allowed hunting to become taboo and thought of as less than civilized… and now we have to watch to not hurt other people’s feelings and/or offending them so we can hope to be allowed to hunt on their private property. We are treated as the wrongdoers. We are even less understood and coddled than some interest groups that make up far less % of the total population of the USA. The necessity to be politically correct because I hunt and eat what I kill disgusts me. My wife recently read to me an article of food “additives” that are in our foods. That should disgust the 99% we have to be courteous to – but it doesn’t! Sportsmanship is critical but having to be politically correct is only because we as hunters failed to teach our heritage to our children and to ensure it remains as society norm plus our heritage generations from now. Those days of “…when you could sit up at the local tavern and watch trucks with piles of deer going down the road on opening weekend.” are only found in a few and fast dwindling areas. We as hunters failed. Instead of making the “tradition” of hunting a norm in today’s society we have allowed us to become even far less important. It is only a generation or two and hunting will be a couple of negatively worded paragraphs in the brain memory downloads that are received via cranial data ports by our great grandchildren. Good luck to you all in keeping our heritage alive as long as possible.

    • Matt Staser March 4, 2016 at 1:33 pm

      I don’t disagree with you. But as times change, as the world sees everything different, everyone must adapt. We live in a world where everyone is offended by something and all these people feel their voice is the most important voice out there. In my opinion, we can keep our hunting heritage and still be PC. We can show the world that hunters are not savages but we to can be civilized and respectful. Our ego has painted a bad image to the rest of the world. I just would like to see the image fixed.

  • retired2hunt March 4, 2016 at 11:07 pm

    And I agree with you there Matt in being civilized and respectful – and I too would like to see the image fixed. My easy solution though was to have my own private property where I can hunt legally in the peace of my own confines.

  • Arthur L. Brown Sr. March 10, 2016 at 7:15 am

    The animals we get here in Alaska either are to large to display like that (1600 lbs moose) or transported by other methods ( Caribou by air, so are in quarters and the head with antlers)
    But the general observation of respect to the animal, common courtesy to those around and the preservation of hard won FOOD, is to be commended!

  • Nick June 17, 2016 at 5:52 pm

    In the world that we live in today, it’s our job as outdoors people to portray the very finest and respectable image possible. There are many groups looking to take away our right and our heritage, and are just looking for another piece of ammo to throw in our faces. We as a group need to do our very best to protect hunting and fishing. Then there is the more important fact that we have taken the life of that deer, bear,elk, rabbit or even squirrel. We owe it to the animal to respect and honour their life given. Hunting is a lifestyle and one that needs to be cherished for us and the future of hunting.

  • Neil Anderson June 28, 2016 at 12:34 pm

    In Michigan it is still the norm to strap deer exposed onto vehicles. In fact they still do counts at the Mackinac bridge of how many deer go through from the U.P. traveling south on I75. No disrespect, just tradition that we are proud of.

  • David Micheal Tyler August 12, 2016 at 7:52 am

    I live in Michigan, and I’m a hunter & fisherman at heart born and raised that way proud of it. But I had a experience with a anti hunter, I hunt state land thats next to private , on an opening morning I had shot a nice buck which was chased off private by the owners dog, he was furious, calling me a murder & such language I won’t mention, later that yr. I learned about his house burning down and had no house ins. Big loss, I felt for the man, so I did the godly thing called in favors and through a wild game dinner to raise funds to help, it was a great fund raiser we made enough to get materials to rebuild his house, a lot of the community helped to do just that.. when the man was presented with his new home again he was in shock thanking everyone, and wanted to meet the person’s responsible, when the man saw me and found out we made it all possible from the game we had taken that yr. He was short for words for our local hunting community, he apologized for his actions in the woods, and now together we do local charities for hunger & homeless with love, kindness & respect for all. Simply by one action of kindness, which changed him as anti hunter, he now allows me to take challenged children hunting on his private land, amazing what gods love can do,


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