Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Code Of The West

Alright, you are gearing up for the big game season and you've got some green horns or flat landers in your party. Not the experienced, tried and true hunting partner you've had for the past many years. Which means ultimately there are going to be some bugs that need working out. What I am referring to is the split. So someone in your party harvests an animal and there was no discussion before hand about splitting up the meat . This can either break friendships or create long lasting ones. It is a serious topic which needs to be addressed before leaving home.

Imagine, you just worked your a-- off helping to pack out a big Elk that your friend shot. This was on the next to last day of the season and everyone is celebrating up until the conversation turns to sharing the spoils. Soon you realize that you won't be getting your share. Instead of making a big deal about it you keep your mouth shut and remember to never hunt with that person again. You are more than a bit peeved and rightly so.

Anymore if I hunt with someone new I make a point of discussing it thoroughly. If you are all out there for the same reason and put forth an effort than it ought to be split fair and square. With my friends we call it the code of the west. My hunting partner John and I are about fairness and reciprocating. We make sure if we hunt with a newby that we are all in agreement about sharing of the meat. That way there are no surprises or hurt feelings and everyone has a good time.

Just curious to hear how the rest of you big game hunters and huntresses address this or don't before you head out. Have you had some hurt feelings or folks you won't hunt with anymore or both? What are your codes of the west ?

Women's Hunting Journal Integrity For The Hunt

6 comments:

Blessed said...

Yep, we have a similar code - if everyone is hunting and someone doesn't get a deer but they do help haul it out of the woods and cut it up they do get something out of it. Not an even split, but we're talking about deer here - not bigger game like elk.

Lately for fishing trips and other things that we can't do as close to home we've been sharing gas costs...

the main thing we've had to deal with lately are people who won't help you track a deer you shot - because they want to go home for a few hours before the afternoon hunt - that creates some bad feelings!

Tom Sorenson said...

We don't split equal, but we split, for sure. A few years ago, I was hunting elk and my cousin was along (he didn't have a tag, he just likes to hunt, so he came along to help) and I happened to get lucky and an elk ran into my bullet. He helped me quarter the thing and we packed out a nice 5 x 5 in one load - no easy task for two people, but we were not wanting to turn it into a two trip ordeal. Luckily it was all downhill - about a mile and half, so it wasn't too bad. I game him an entire quarter which was more than he was expecting - we never discuss it before hand, but it's just an unwritten rule - shoot, even if it's just a few steaks...anything. I'm not going to get all bent out of shape, though, if someone doesn't share with me...I find it enjoyable to just be out in the woods, and if the other person doesn't want to share the meat, then that's fine. Of course I hope they would share, but I've had a few times when I hunted with someone and they didn't share the meat - I still hunt with them, I just know what to expect, now!

Terry Scoville said...

Yea Tom, I think we get into trouble when things are left unspoken and assumed that we'll get a portion. Only for the sting of reality when nothing comes our way. I am with you, I would rather know I am getting nothing and have the choice to hunt with that person instead of me assuming that I will get a share.

bushman said...

I mostly hunt alone.

Maybee I'm a loner...

Maybe I'm just a greedy bugger!

Live to Hunt.... said...

There is definitely the same sentiment here. I wrote about this a few months ago and it seems to be mostly universal among folks I hunt with. Mostly, that is...

The Downeast Duck Hunter said...

I have been fortunate to draw Maine moose permits in 2000, 2003, and 2007. One each of those hunts we split the quarry evenly amongst all of those who attended. Usually for a moose hunt, we have around 5 to 7 crew and patrol the woods of Northern Maine. In addition, we also split the costs of processing the moose as well. For the 2007 moose, we had around 90 pounds of moose steaks, sausage, ribs, etc. for about $100 each. Vacuum sealed, labeled, and frozen. But you are right, these things must be predetermined especially when a big game hunt costs so much, time off work, and investment put forth. I'm sure the adage, "the fun ends after the trigger is pulled" works the same way out west as well as on the east side!!!

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