This project was born out of a sense of frustration, that hunters in the UK are so often misunderstood and misrepresented. Hunting is not a 'hobby', nor is it 'killing for fun'. It is a way of life, with its own set of beliefs and ethics rooted deep in human nature and tracing its origins back to the dawn of mankind.

It is worth clarifying here that we are talking about hunting in its broadest sense, of catching and killing wild animals and birds (usually for food), and not the narrow definition of hunting foxes with packs of hounds.

I hope that through these pages we can begin to define what makes an 'Ethical Hunter', help to promote the highest standards of ethics among hunters in the UK, and perhaps explain to non-hunters something of what Ethical Hunting is all about.

This is not a membership organisation. Nor is it a scheme of testing or certification. We will not be issuing certificates to say that Mr or Ms X is an Ethical Hunter.

This is a forum for discussion about hunting ethics and related topics. We hope to develop and agree a written code of ethics that we can all subscribe to, at which point anyone who chooses may declare their support, pledge to uphold the code, etc.

After that, who knows? It's a work in progress. If the idea interests and excites you, then please join in the discussion and help us define what 'Ethical Hunting' means to us.


Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Hunters in their own words

That woodcock debate sparked off some discussion of hunting ethics on the Sporting Shooter forums. And I was pleased to see some readers explaining their own ethical code in their own words. These are down-to-earth country people, rather than professional word-manglers like myself, and their comments are all the stronger for it.

Here's 'Ian':

To me ethical shooting means eating what i shoot, or shooting other species that are harmful to the local biodiversity of the area , i eat all that i shoot and never shoot more than i need with one exception wood pigeons i eat and freeze what i can the rest goes into the food chain via the game dealer as to waste them to me would be unethical. shoot fox at times when theres too many and rabbits all year round to keep the numdber managable, i shoot alone and just being in the countryside in places others never see is a big plus i don't brag about bag sizes i never think of big bags even pigeons when i have have good days it's about crop protection and my ability too help the local farmers keep them under control. you can check all my posts on this forum and you will see i never once tell of big bags. i like to think myself a bit of a conservationist only shooting when the need arrises either for food or for the good of the other species of wildlife.others might have a differenet way of seeing the ethics of shooting for me this is what it means.

...and 'Verminater':

I'm not sure what you mean but as Ian states i too shoot pigeons rabbits crows fox as pest control and crop protection and if shooting game that's because it will be in season and it is good too eat and if i have shot it i then now were this has come from but like Ian don't ever brag about large bag's i will only shoot a large bag of pigeons if they are doing that much damage and will go shooting as much as i can but will only shoot what i need or want like shooting or ferreting rabbits i will do a hole warren if the farmer wants them thinned right out and i eat them i have two large freezers that are used so is nothing waisted game shooting is different most of the game we shoot is reared to be shot and 90% goes into the food chain and the rest eating by those who take part in the shooting as for the woodcock this is different in different parts of the country most of us only see them inn the winter as most of only come here too over winter here and you have too give them respect for that. The little bird has flown thousands of miles and should not be massacred when we have hard frost's or when you first start too see them especially near the east coast they are a mythical bird that will carry it's young between it legs too get away from danger so i think that deserves a lot of respect.

Respect to those guys, too.


  1. Good to catch up the other day James.
    Keep up the good work with this blog, those were potent words indeed. i look forward to hearing more from your readers.

  2. Hate to see pics like these, there is nothing funny about killing animals.
    I hunt for food, or I hunt ferral preditors. The same goes for trapping, and I make my own traps.
    I do not agree with culling, unless these animals are in danger of starving to death or dieing of desease. Not because they are eating crops or pasture. Native animals come before ferral stock. People tend to forget that humans are also animals.
    Le Loup.