New group focuses on hunting ethics

A group of hunters led by a Jackson man are hoping to launch a new hunting group devoted to improving the ethics of hunters. They make some good points, but they’re already raising some eyebrows across the state.

Rob Shaul, a fifth-generation Wyoming resident and a lifetime hunter, has started a new hunting organization called Mountain Pursuit. Shaul told the Wyoming Business Report he had been searching for an existing organization that shared his ideals, but couldn’t find one. So he and several like-minded hunters decided to start a group of their own.

What makes Mountain Pursuit different from other organizations is its overarching goal of improving the ethics of hunters. Shaul said in the Business Report story that advances in technology and equipment make it too easy to skirt the “Fair Chase” principles of hunting. He noted that shots from farther than 300 yards with rifles or more than 50 yards with a bow have become more common, but that those longer shots are not ethical. Other behaviors he has witnessed go beyond ethics, and should be prosecuted legally – including drivers of all-terrain vehicles who travel on closed roads and trails during the hunting season.

In the article, he pointed out that the future of hunting is dependent on what other hunters – and more importantly nonhunters – perceive hunting to be. He hopes his new organization will help elevate the importance of hunting ethics among hunters, and cast a more acceptable light on hunting among the nonhunting public.

Shaul admits some of his views may not be well received by other hunters. For instance, he wants to see bear baiting banned.

I’d like to learn more about Mountain Pursuit, and I encourage all hunters to do the same. Even if you don’t agree with every one of the group’s stances, it’s encouraging to see hunters standing up for the sport and how they believe it should be conducted. Look them up. See what you think. And do some deep thinking of your own about the ethics of hunting.

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