Contributors to this thread:
Just watched a YouTube video created by (XXXX) outfitter a few years ago in which the client arrowed a bull at 10 yards. The only anomaly is that the bull was locked up in a fight with another bull. My question is would you have taken the shot, or would you consider it to be an unfair advantage? I've been trying to arrow a branched antler bull for 8 years, and I'm not saying it was wrong, but I wouldn't have done it that way. What say you.
I would've killed both if I had two tags.
I get your argument but I'd go ahead and shoot. He's just distracted by something else. I think we've all taken advantage of bucks chasing does, animals with their heads down feeding, animals running away from other hunters, etc.
What happened to the other bull?
"Locked up" as in antlers actually locked...maybe not. Just fighting with another bull...in a heartbeat.
Heck yea, no better distraction,then a fight.
Smarba, bad choice of words, I should have said engaged with.
Smarba, bad choice of words, I should have said engaged with.
Gotta be a pretty good and BRAVE hunter to stalk that close within two fighting bulls...
How is this any different than being distracted with drinking from a tank? Really? Would u shoot a bull while drinking?
With out a second thought, in a heart beat, with ouyt blinking! He would probably die on his feet, still fighting, and not even notice the shot!
Is this an actual ethics question? Our goal as bowhunters is to move in undetected and put an arrow in the kill zone. I would use any distraction to accomplish that. Better than shooting a deer over bait any day of the week, but I would probably do that as well!
EDIT... It would be even better if someone got it on camera!
I'd get video first, then shoot.
That’s an ideal situation to take advantage of. Can’t imagine why you’d think that’s unfair.
Would you shoot a bull that was distracted by a cow in heat. ?
Man, what ever your personal rules of engagement are follow em. For me, if I hear bulls fighting, raking a tree, wallowing...it’s go time. If it’s a legal advantage I’m taking it because most of the time I feel like their damn nose is an unfair advantage.
I arrow the biggest one in a heart beat.
I shot a big 6x at 6 yards while fighting with another bull. Everything about that episode was total fair chase and ethical.
I’d be the shooter in that video....and one of those bulls would be dead for sure if I was there. Is this for real? Is Pat looking for website traffic?? :)
I would shoot in a heartbeat. But then again I shot a buck off a doe one time. Didn’t even let him finish either.
If they weren't "locked up", like you initially stated, I'd shoot all day.
Where would you draw the line ethically?
How about a bull walks in on you and he’s blind on the side facing you....... do you wait for him to do a 360 degree turn?
Heck yes! Not a second's hesitation.
For me to be ok with it. I would have to scream Rabbit Ass very loud as I was drawing. Just to let them know I was around. Then I would be ok with it. Hunt
Hunt, I could've yelled "Rabbit Ass" and it wouldnt have mattered. I was standing there weaving side to side trying to get a good shot angle with the longbow. Two big herd bulls really going at it. The cows were watching me too. I had to back up a couple times. When they stopped for a breather I stepped to the side and shot the closest one.
Yes! With ZERO hesitation. Nothing unethical in that scenario.
Wait a minute ..... plenty of cows waiting to get the winner of that fight to pass on the best genes and now there’s a 50/50 chance you killed him, upsetting the natural order of things.
First time one presents a shot I’ll take that 50/50 chance that will be the one they would’ve been waiting for.
Thats one of my dream shots. No ethics violations for me! One of them is getting an arrow.
I’d love to shoot a Stud Whitetail while locked up with a doe.
If he was busy rubbing a tree would you wait?
Not a chance in either situation of waiting till he’s done
About 10yrs ago I snuck in on two Pronghorn fighting at 20-30yds, much like Lou I was back and forth at full draw trying to pick a spot...never happened as they took off like lightning when they separated. My buddy was behind me "videoing" the entire thing, but when we got back to the truck he said "guess what...I forgot to hit record". It was really something to see as one had the other's head in his "V" and was literally lifting him off the ground at times.
A few years later I shot one off the back of a doe...is that wrong lol?
Locked up? Nope. Engaged? In a heartbeat.
If their antlers were "locked"....absolutely not. That`s not hunting to me. Not to mention the stress and adrenalin coursing through their body would render inferior meat.
So the guys that won’t shoot if they are locked up....you gonna walk away and let them die?
I shot a nice billy off the back of a nanny he'd mounted, broadside about 12 yards, thump....... she walked off.... he kept going several more seconds until he tipped over..... I don't think they were engaged though.....
from the reaction possibly married......
If they saw me coming and couldn't get away due to being locked up... probably not shooting.
But, if I think they will die because of being locked up... shooting.
If they were fighting and had no clue I was there... definitely shooting.
I'm not sure elk can "lock up" like a deer because of the antler configuration. Has anyone ever heard of that, or seen it after the fact?
Fighting, yes, I would take the shot. That same bull bedded down, with his head on the ground sleeping off the fight? Nope. I'd wake him up with a pine cone or something first, THEN shoot him.
I shot one that was sound asleep......is that ok ?? Did i need to wake him up first ?
One of my most memorable hunts ever was during a blustery cold day hunting deer with my dad. I was home from college for the weekend and I had been tracking a specific buck in the snow all morning. I kept repositioning my dad to try and get out ahead of this buck trying to get a shot at him, but he managed to elude us at every turn. It was cool to follow and sneak along on his track and trying to figure out what he was going to do next. Anyway, it was getting late in the day and the buck was heading towards a big piece of posted property. We agreed we would give it one final try, so I gave my dad some time to do a big loop, to get in position on an extended point at the end of an old beaver Meadow. After that point, there was about a 1/4 mile overgrown field to the next wooded area which was heavily posted. I began my sneak and soon realized the buck had gotten by my dad again and was heading toward the posted property. About halfway through that overgrown field was a couple of thorn apple trees and a small pine growing. Everything else was golden rod that had already been flattened by the snow. Anyway, I told myself to follow his tracks to that little oasis and if he is still heading toward the posted land, just let him go. So I was sneaking along on his track and about 10 yards from the small trees, I notice he is right there, curled up like a red fox sleeping.
To the OP’s point, I did take a second to ponder if I should throw a snowball at him to wake him up, to make it fair of course. I then realized I had very little time to hunt due to college, so I went ahead and shot him.
To this day I am very proud of that “stalk”, but I certainly did have a moment of hesitation
I once crawled 400 yards across a dew-wet field to get to shotgun range of two gobblers fighting with their necks entwined. When I got ready to shoot, I could t get them apart. And it’s illegal in Missouri to shoot more than one Tom a day
After clucking, yelling, waving hands, all to no avail, I stood up and walked in on them. When they disengaged to run finally, at about 4 yards, i popped one
That was a fun fun hunt. I’d do it again. They had every chance to see me and take off for about 400 yards
Midwest X 2.
Like was said above, if they were truly locked, how does not shooting them equate to more noble? Not wanting to argue one bit. But, commonsense demands a answer. They ain't whitetail deer. You aren't going to be able to trip them up and untangle them without getting killed yourself. Not saying it'd be something I'd boast about. And, I wouldn't relish doing it but, what are the options here that I'm missing?
Jaq, I have pictures somewhere of a guy that tried to separate two locked elk. He took a tine to the neck and almost died. I’ll see if I can find them tomorrow. Can a guy PM pictures?
“How about a bull walks in on you and he’s blind on the side facing you....... do you wait for him to do a 360 degree turn?”
Nope. But anywhere between 160 and 200, he’s Toast!
A buck or bull that was actually “locked” would not be strictly Fair Chase and would probably be ineligible for any of the Books because it would be unable to escape. IF you care about such things.
If they were just fighting... for me, it’d have to be a really special bull, simply because I’d expect (as someone mentioned) that the meat quality would be about as bad as it gets, being all jacked up on adrenaline and all...
So it would have to be worth eating a whole Elk’s worth of sub-premium venison.... with the mount on the wall at my mom’s place, 2,000 miles away because we don’t have a suitable space in the house. But ethically? I don’t think I have a problem with that.
As for 2 animals locked up... Probably 99% they’re both going to die from the stress of it. I know it’s a feel-good moment when someone gets video of couple bucks being freed from each other, but I really doubt they’d survive either way, and the dying would probably be no easier on them separated.
So that’s a can of worms. You’d like to think you could just put them both down, report it, and get a Thank-You for doing the right thing, but it seems like you’d have to have a REALLY honest face to get away with that one. Best course is probably to leave it in the hands of Nature, really. Sounds cold to some, but that’s what would have happened had you not come along, and there is really no need to intervene.
Dude that is literally my DREAM scenario. Been wishing for it to happen. Hopefully one day
GF, that bull I killed while battling was as good as any bull I've ever had. I remember him because my daughter packed out a bag of burger meat and said she felt like a "Meat Santa". She was very interested in eating that particular bull she helped recover.
JayZ, you can PM photos but no need. I believe you, just wasn't familiar with any real instances of a true "lockup". I've since found a couple on the Interweb. So it can happen.
Here ya go Jaquomo.
Yup, would shoot the bigger one if presented with the shot.
Jaquomo, I posted a new topic about a couple nice bulls that were locked up on private here where I live. I think you will find it to be a interesting and controversial read.
Just to clarify, I posted under "Ethics" because I wasn't sure what topic to use. I understand it was ethical and legal to shoot the bull in question. The question came to mind when I saw another video where someone in a non hunting situation filmed a bull fight and was nearly run over during the fight. My point was you could have sung the star spangled banner during the fight and the bulls would have been oblivious to your presence. In my opinion, that would rank right up there with shooting an elk with a rifle at 1000 yards. Legal, ethical, yes, all of the above, but I bow hunt to meet the animal as close to his terms as possible and beat his natural ability, sort of being as close to a fist fight as I can get. Glad to read others opinion though, good hunting.
Every time. No "rabbit ass" for me though... ;-)
cubdrvr, that's the guy. Those people are sorta family friends.
I still can't believe there are people who think it's unethical to shoot a locked up critter but ok to walk away and let it die a slow miserable death.
I'd shoot in a heartbeat! After I sprayed a shot of nosejammer of course.
I always thought the point of hunting was to use your brain, and knowledge of the animal to give you the advantage over their superior senses. Knowing that the animals will be distracted by the rut is one of the scenarios. Sometimes the animals and your timing make situations a little easier than others, no reason to pass up a shot.
Quite a goal you have wanting a 3 branched bull. Hope you get one. C
I wouldn’t have to think twice.
Scar Finga nailed-it, I think his scenario makes the shot the most ethical...chances are that thing would likely just keep fighting and die right there, no lost bull.
Agree with Scar Finga - that's all part of the fair chase. He has 5 senses, just because 1 is pre-occupied doesn't mean its not a fair chase
“GF, that bull I killed while battling was as good as any bull I've ever had. ”
In that case, I’d still have to wait long enough to count points and/or get a look the brows.
You’re a sample of One, but sometimes a bird in the hand....
My brother watched bucks for part of a morning and couldn't tell if they were locked.. Crashing and trashing all over the thick brush, swamp, cattails,reed grass etc. After a pause saw that they were not locked, still couldn't get a good look at them both. Had an opening for a shot and took it. Found out it was a little tight 8 pt. fighting a decent 11-12 point. Shot the small one...oophs.
That said if they were locked and you were party hunting...would you??
Once I shot a pronghorn buck fighting another, didn't feel bad about it (epic end to a tough hunt actually).
I recently shot a buck rubbing on a Bush. Didn't feel about that either.
I pulled a 600 yard belly crawl stalk on a nice 10 pointer stuck in a fence....greatest hunting achievement of my life. Actually did a lifesize mount with his leg tangled in the barbed wire.