Hunting and fishing code...
General Topic
Contributors to this thread:
Grey Ghost 24-Dec-21
Thornton 24-Dec-21
[email protected] 24-Dec-21
LUNG$HOT 24-Dec-21
Jaquomo 24-Dec-21
hawkeye in PA 24-Dec-21
drycreek 24-Dec-21
wyobullshooter 24-Dec-21
Jaquomo 24-Dec-21
Zbone 24-Dec-21
Bowaddict 24-Dec-21
Fields 24-Dec-21
Ollie 24-Dec-21
Bowboy 24-Dec-21
MA-PAdeerslayer 24-Dec-21
MA-PAdeerslayer 24-Dec-21
sitO 24-Dec-21
Grunt-N-Gobble 24-Dec-21
KsRancher 24-Dec-21
bentstick54 24-Dec-21
Dale06 24-Dec-21
[email protected] 24-Dec-21
JohnMC 25-Dec-21
Dollar 25-Dec-21
cnelk 25-Dec-21
Bou'bound 25-Dec-21
Treeline 25-Dec-21
DanaC 25-Dec-21
newfi1946moose 25-Dec-21
kentuckbowhnter 25-Dec-21
DanaC 25-Dec-21
DRR324 25-Dec-21
Grey Ghost 25-Dec-21
Old School 25-Dec-21
Z Barebow 25-Dec-21
DanaC 25-Dec-21
Grey Ghost 25-Dec-21
redquebec 25-Dec-21
Bowbender 25-Dec-21
spike78 25-Dec-21
tobywon 25-Dec-21
Corax_latrans 25-Dec-21
wytex 25-Dec-21
Grey Ghost 25-Dec-21
320 bull 25-Dec-21
scentman 25-Dec-21
Grey Ghost 25-Dec-21
scentman 25-Dec-21
Rock 25-Dec-21
LINK 25-Dec-21
Hackbow 25-Dec-21
Jaquomo 25-Dec-21
smarba 25-Dec-21
Grey Ghost 25-Dec-21
Teeton 25-Dec-21
Rock 25-Dec-21
Scoot 25-Dec-21
Grey Ghost 25-Dec-21
APauls 25-Dec-21
goyt 26-Dec-21
JL 26-Dec-21
Timbrhuntr 26-Dec-21
[email protected] 26-Dec-21
Knifeman 26-Dec-21
Mark S 26-Dec-21
Pete-pec 26-Dec-21
Grey Ghost 26-Dec-21
grape 27-Dec-21
DanaC 27-Dec-21
Missouribreaks 27-Dec-21
DanaC 27-Dec-21
Grey Ghost 27-Dec-21
wytex 27-Dec-21
DRR324 27-Dec-21
Missouribreaks 27-Dec-21
Jaquomo 27-Dec-21
Grey Ghost 27-Dec-21
Jaquomo 27-Dec-21
Inshart 27-Dec-21
Grey Ghost 27-Dec-21
IdyllwildArcher 27-Dec-21
tradi-doerr 27-Dec-21
Grey Ghost 27-Dec-21
Grey Ghost 28-Dec-21
Missouribreaks 28-Dec-21
Grey Ghost 28-Dec-21
Grey Ghost 28-Dec-21
Missouribreaks 28-Dec-21
SBH 28-Dec-21
Brotsky 28-Dec-21
Grey Ghost 28-Dec-21
wytex 28-Dec-21
Corax_latrans 28-Dec-21
Missouribreaks 28-Dec-21
Brotsky 28-Dec-21
Grey Ghost 28-Dec-21
Supernaut 28-Dec-21
Missouribreaks 28-Dec-21
BigEight 28-Dec-21
wytex 28-Dec-21
tradi-doerr 28-Dec-21
EmbryOklahoma 28-Dec-21
bigswivle 29-Dec-21
Grey Ghost 29-Dec-21
[email protected] 29-Dec-21
jjs 29-Dec-21
Grey Ghost 29-Dec-21
Missouribreaks 29-Dec-21
Grey Ghost 29-Dec-21
From: Grey Ghost
24-Dec-21
I'm taking a young buddy pheasant hunting on Sunday. I plan to take him to a public access property that I found on my own, and has proven to be my go-to spot. He's a newly hired LEO and has a bunch of hunting buddies. I made him promise not to go back to the same spot unless I was with him. He hesitantly agreed.

Am I living in the past, or does a hunting and fishing code still exist?

Matt

From: Thornton
24-Dec-21
It does not exist. Every hunting buddy I've ever had, including a friend of 20 +years will hunt your spots. Guaranteed. That being said, mine have been respectful of my exclusive permissions and land I own.

24-Dec-21
Welcome to the "new world" Matt. Code still exist? Sometimes and depends on who you tell. "He hesitantly agreed". Call him up and tell him you have medical issue.

From: LUNG$HOT
24-Dec-21
Yep. You’ve come down with the dreaded Omicron and can no longer go hunting!

From: Jaquomo
24-Dec-21
The only question is how many will he take, and how many will they take.

A doctor friend once advised me, if you take a woman home from a party, you aren't just having sex with her, you're having sex with everyone she did, and everyone they did. Same with showing someone a hunting spot, only "sharing forward".

24-Dec-21
No Sir

From: drycreek
24-Dec-21
Got news for you Jaq, it doesn’t have to be a party, and it’s the same for her too.

Y’all need to get better friends, the guys on my lease won’t hunt each others stands even when given permission.

24-Dec-21
Anytime you take someone and show him or her a hunting or fishing spot and they agree not to divulge that spot, you’re taking a chance. It all boils down to that person’s character and integrity. Sometimes you get burned, sometimes you find a trusted life-long friend. I’ve experienced both.

From: Jaquomo
24-Dec-21
Drycreek, I signed up for the Virgin Renewal Policy back when I was a young pup, so they're always safe with me!

A VERY good friend asked me if I knew of an elk spot where he could take his 70 something father to try to kill one with a bow. The father was also a good friend. I showed them a serious honeyhole with gradual terrain, where elk crossed back and forth between two ranches. They both PROMISED they would keep it to themselves.

Two months later I drove over to that area during rifle season to see what was happening. Here was my (now former) friend in my camp with four business clients. It was ok, he said, because they were good guys and promised to not tell anyone...

From: Zbone
24-Dec-21
Nope, don't do it, been there done that and eventually it will not turn out well...

From: Bowaddict
24-Dec-21
I have a few that respect the “code” others I’m very very careful with my spots. Good public ground that produces is just so hard to find!!

From: Fields
24-Dec-21
mistake.....

From: Ollie
24-Dec-21
Dumb move unless you are okay with everyone and his brother hunting your “secret” place. You can either cancel or learn the hard way.

From: Bowboy
24-Dec-21
I agreed with all. I’d tell him you ate something bad the night before:)

24-Dec-21
Abort mission Matt. The Covid got ya. Bad idea. My brother and father don’t know some of my spots for these exact reasons….

24-Dec-21
Abort mission Matt. The Covid got ya. Bad idea. My brother and father don’t know some of my spots for these exact reasons….

From: sitO
24-Dec-21
Of course it exists, align yourselves with better characters

24-Dec-21
You already know you shouldn't be taking him there. If you do, his hunting buddies will now have a new spot.

From: KsRancher
24-Dec-21
I believe there is still a code. But it's with a very small amount of people. I have shared info on a place where I shot my elk this year. I was looking for some tips on how to hunt the area. Never met the man in my life. But I don't think he would tell people to go there. Wouldn't bother me if he went there hunting himself though. I will share info, just VERY selective who to

24-Dec-21
Some of the worst ones I’ve had experience with in the past have been LEO’s. Not all but many seem to have an “ entitled” mind set. My gut says if it’s a good spot, and he hesitantly agreed, he’ll be back before you know it.

From: Dale06
24-Dec-21
I’ve seen several guys burned and hunting spots ruined by what the OP is planning to do. Don’t do that!

24-Dec-21
I look at it like loaning a buddy a couple hundred bucks. I consider it gone. The correct expectations saves disappointment down the road.

I had a friend who, like me, hunted public in Nebraska pretty often. We exchanged stories for years without ever sharing our spot with each other. He had a group as did I so hunting together didn't really come up. Turns out we actually WERE hunting together the whole time just camping on different sides of the same area and never happened to run into each other.

We had a good laugh when "my" side was too muddy for a camper one year so we camped in an established campground and he pulled into the spot next to us. Neither of us had a "secret" spot all those years.

From: JohnMC
25-Dec-21
A public/walk-in pheasant spot in CO been used like a cheap whore by this point in the season. I would not worry much about it.

From: Dollar
25-Dec-21
And with today's tech he'll be there quicker and exactly to the same spot.Iphones with location on attached to every picture. I had a buddy send me his picture of an elk he shot and a small video clip.He would only say a general area of where he was hunting.But his pictures told exactly where he was.He about lost it when I informed him as he had sent it out to who knows how many "buddies". Human nature will not allow him to stay away from that spot.

From: cnelk
25-Dec-21
If you asked about in here, you already know what the answer is

From: Bou'bound
25-Dec-21
It’s not about a code it’s about if he thinks enough of you or not.

If hunting is more important to him than your relationship you’re screwed.

From: Treeline
25-Dec-21

Treeline's embedded Photo
Treeline's embedded Photo

From: DanaC
25-Dec-21
There aren't many people I'd trust with my 'second-best' spots. But if you want to take this guy hunting I'd start with my #2 or 3 spot, NOT my 'secret honey hole.'

If some 'younger' hunter wants to know where to hunt I'll cheerfully direct him to the steep spots I can't hardly climb any more, the easy walks I keep to myself ;-)

25-Dec-21
Learned long ago in the 1960s not to tell anyone about a hunting/fishing honey hole. Hunted the far up northern part of the 'Dacks for fifty years and had my adventures. Took one friend squirrel/duck one rainy day...he never told. Caught the caribou fever in 1986 and for twenty-five years never worried as I crossed many miles of the Ungava...then caught another Canadian disease...NL moose fever...My take would be that there is no longer anything of a code...keep what you have to yourself.

25-Dec-21
The best way to ruin a good hunting spot is to tell someone about it. If he reluctantly agreed to your request I would not take him. If you do you should just expect to see him and his buddies out there in the future.

From: DanaC
25-Dec-21
" Every time a hunter approaches me they ask if I see anything."

Had that happen several years ago, gun season, had a tiny little deer come by, let her pass. A while later some guy walks up, told him about it and off he went after her. Apparently he didn't know the lay of the land, because he was heading into a place you'd kill yourself trying to get a deer out of ;-)

From: DRR324
25-Dec-21
Tough situation, I’d want to take him hunting, but would avoid my #1 spot for sure. I’m sure you have more than one spot to poke around in Matt, take him to number 3 or 4 and see if he respects that in the future. Nothing in our public lands or fishing spots is sacred anymore. I’d show my son, brother or nephew my hunting spots but that’s the extent of my “circle of trust”.

From: Grey Ghost
25-Dec-21
Thanks guys,

I've known this kid his whole life. I taught him how to bow hunt. He killed his first animal (turkey) with his bow on my place. Backing out of our hunt tomorrow isn't an option.

I guess I was just surprised and disappointed when he hesitated to agree to the code. It's just a public pheasant hunting spot, so I'm not losing any sleep over it. I just hope he has enough respect for me to keep his word.

Matt

From: Old School
25-Dec-21
Matt - It depends on the person. I’m hesitant to take anyone to my public land spots because I don’t want to have to invest more time into finding a new spot once they ruin my current one. Yet there are some people I’d gladly take and wouldn’t mind the risk. Depends on who your friends are.

From: Z Barebow
25-Dec-21
Tough one. Even with my friends, I don’t like divulging unit #, much less spots in an area.

Figure out how to turn the experience into a life lesson. Maybe the experience can transcend a little brush busting!

Good luck and kill a bird or 2.

From: DanaC
25-Dec-21
Matt, wadr, it's not 'just a public pheasant hunting spot,', it's YOUR spot, one you invested time and boot leather finding/identifying/scouting.

From: Grey Ghost
25-Dec-21
I've hunted this spot 3 times so far this year. It's held plenty of birds each time, and my tracks are the only human tracks I've seen on it. I think it gets overlooked because the honey hole isn't obvious from the county road, or from satellite images.

I'm excited to show him a good time. It's my Christmas gift to him, and I think it will all work out as God intends.

Merry Christmas all

Matt

From: redquebec
25-Dec-21
The new "code" in our world is to do what should not be done, especially when it's effective and clever. "Wink, wink...I know a guy who said it's ok to break a rule."

I see it in business, evading and outwitting law, circumventing rules at work, politics, even church politics. If someone pulls the average american aside and says...

"Listen, I shouldn't tell you this, but if you do XYZ and lie about it by saying you did ABC, you'll land a windfall and even if people find out, there's nothing they can do about it and you'll prevail" Then consider it done.

I don't do that stuff because I have an over-inflated sense of ethics and I can't sleep if I know I did something wrong. My friends in business laugh at me and call me an idiot. "Steve, everyone else is doing it, what's your problem, don't you want to succeed?!?" How's this for being really sad...I actually have come to see my sense of ethics as a weakness and I kind of hate myself for not being a liar, cheat and a thief. Sad.

The outdoors is special place, a place of pure interface, where a man has to read nature, study ecology and apply woodsmanship skills, experience and intuition to succeed. It's quite different than the world of political interface with your fellow man. The experience, research, knowledge and effort that an outdoorsman puts into their craft is a personal spiritual practice. The commercialization of hunting and fishing has turned it into a commodity, a product to be obtained by whatever means are necessary. That has opened the door for the "new code" (the one I described above) to be applied at will.

Humans have always had a propensity for a sliding scale of ethics. I guard mine to the best of my abilities, I guard my honeyholes with the same tenacity.

You taught this young man to hunt, then I'm sure he has a good base of skills. Let his journey unfold in accordance to his ethics, perseverance and commitment to becoming an accomplished sportsman. You earned your stripes...

From: Bowbender
25-Dec-21
Good for you, Matt. I still believe that our good deeds and generosity towards others will find it's way back to us. Not so much karma, but a blessing from above.

Merry Christmas all!!

Tom

From: spike78
25-Dec-21
My advice take him to a different spot and he will be none the wiser. I took a friend of mine to a spot I gun hunt for deer during bow season and when gun season came he brought 2 friends with him.

From: tobywon
25-Dec-21
Blindfold him driving to the spot and first 100 yards in…lol…..if he still knows where the place is, at least he will know that you are serious. I’m joking….I think.

25-Dec-21
Man after my own heart. Red!

I guess it breaks down pretty much to whether you were raised by the Greatest Generation or a Boomer.

“ it's not 'just a public pheasant hunting spot,', it's YOUR spot, one you invested time and boot leather finding/identifying/scouting.”

Subtle distinction, Dana - it’s Matt’s INFORMATION, not his Property.

We used to have a good spot to find Elk on public. Then one of the neighbors took to leaving his teepee up there all season. Then, between small aircraft and satellite photos, people started to notice. At one point, there were 4-5 wall tents visible up there on Google Earth.

Now there’s a ranch 5 miles or so down-river with 300-400 Elk on it, and the loudest thing in “our” drainage in September is one of the many e-bikes which now zip right up a trail which used to be a demanding, hour-long grind of a hike to gain 1,000 feet.

But hey, E-bikes are LEGAL!!

From: wytex
25-Dec-21
I think you better blindfold him and drive him around in circles for a bit before hitting that spot. He will be back with friends I bet, judging by his hesitancy to honor your request.

From: Grey Ghost
25-Dec-21

Grey Ghost's embedded Photo
Grey Ghost's embedded Photo
He is a great kid. My relationship with his father eroded several years ago for reasons I won't get into. Despite that, he and I have remained close. I feel we have a pseudo father and son relationship. I'm very proud of him for graduating from the police academy with flying colors.

I guess I could take all my hunting and fishing spots to the grave with me, but that seems a bit selfish to me. I'll have plenty of time to discuss the code with him tomorrow, and I think he'll respect my wishes.

Matt

From: 320 bull
25-Dec-21
Who would you rather see in the public spot you hunt? Your long time friend or some A hole that litters? Think about it, you are taking him there so you must want to share it with him. Why is it only ok if you are present? I am far from stingy with public land spots its public and you are probably not gonna have it to yourself anyway. The guys that don't reciprocate information are the ones a veer from. I have given up my elk honey holes to guys I have only met here and have had others do the same for me.

From: scentman
25-Dec-21
Matt, most times in life I go with my gut feeling, I rarely ask for opinions that effect my life... that way I have no one yo blame but scentman... go with your gut, I think you do know the answer to your own question I call it " going where the spirit leads me" scentman

From: Grey Ghost
25-Dec-21
Eric,

In all honesty, I never had a doubt about showing him my spot. It was just his slight pause before agreeing to the code that got me thinking about it, so I decided it might make an interesting topic, here.

For me, it all boils down to passing on the hunting tradition to loved ones, and I think the code is an important part of that. My young buddy has already figured out how hard it is to find good hunting spots, and I think he's smart enough to know they won't stay good if he doesn't abide by the code.

Matt

From: scentman
25-Dec-21
There is your answer... and I good one at that! See that weren't so hard;0)

From: Rock
25-Dec-21
This is something we all learn the hard way sooner or later, unless your extremely lucky.

I have lost or now share my spots with others that would have never found it had I not told that one person that I thought I could trust. It really is upsetting but at this point nothing can be done about it. Could tell many stories but it would not change anything.

From: LINK
25-Dec-21
Yep I’d tell him you’re taking him to the secret spot. Take him to the 3 hole and if he proves he can be trusted then show him the real deal. I still probably wouldn’t take him to #1. He might honor it at first but not over time. I have a brother and a friend I can trust, my other brother likes to run his mouth. He was griping the other day about us not telling him about half the deer we see. Just how it works. Lol

From: Hackbow
25-Dec-21
Kudos Matt for doing the right thing for the right reasons. I bet your friend will do the right thing as well. My Dad taught me "the code" and wasn't even much of a hunter until my brother and I dragged him into it. It just simply boils down to doing the right thing in every situation, pretty much like red alluded to above.

Lou has helped me and my hunting partner with a couple spots for elk and some great, general elk hunting information as well. The only ones we've shared those spots with were our wives if we didn't make it home on time. One of my great friends has found two incredible public land spots here in TX that he has shared with me. I never would have found them on my own and I will not go to either without him.

I think the secret to picking friends and hunting buddies that you can trust is to figure out if they are your friend because they respect you or because they can 'profit' in some way due to your relationship. Also, guys that salivate over score and inches more than the experience don't make the cut.

Merry Christmas folks!

25-Dec-21
Ive had it go both ways, unfortunately I’ve been burned and actually run out of my own honey hole by people that were shown by the guy I showed. But have also had guys keep their word.

You can probably guess who got booted from the group and who I’ll still hunt with.

As I’ve aged I’ve gotten very picky who I hunt with, no slob hunters.

I Hunt large and small game on my property but I still let people hunt here for years that have asked for permission.

Neighbors mainly. I used to let a couple older gentleman from the city rabbit hunt here every year

From: Jaquomo
25-Dec-21
I have shared hunting spots with a few Bowsiters, like Hackbow, Elkmtngear, trkyslyr, and a couple others, whom I had never met, only talked with via internet or phone. I got the sense they understood and could be trusted. They never screwed me. Likewise, I've been shown some great spots by Bowsiters who trusted me. The people who have betrayed me were longtime friends who weren't on the Bowsite. Not sure what that says....

From: smarba
25-Dec-21

smarba's embedded Photo
An oldie but goodie...
smarba's embedded Photo
An oldie but goodie...
Pretty much sums it up...

I also think one can't comprehend the need for secrecy unless one has been burned. The average new hunter has not a clue what it means to "lose" a good area due to loose lips, so they don't understand the repercussion of just telling one person. They don't realize the good area that was shared with them will no longer be a good area even for them in the future. It also boils down to one's character, which in this day and age is often severely lacking.

I go so far as to not only not say a word regarding location, but plan my parking, entrance and exit strategy to do everything I can to be inconspicuous to the extent feasible. Thanks to OnX and other easily accessible information, unfortunately "there are no more secrets" (which was an awesome article in Bowhunter Magazine by the late Dwight Schuh a few years ago.

From: Grey Ghost
25-Dec-21
"The commercialization of hunting and fishing has turned it into a commodity, a product to be obtained by whatever means are necessary. That has opened the door for the "new code" (the one I described above) to be applied at will."

^^^I thought this comment was worth repeating. Well said, Sir.

I've been railing on the "new code" for years. Unfortunately it's only gotten worse, and will ultimately cause the end of hunting, IMO. I'm glad to see a few guys here still play by the "old code".

Matt

From: Teeton
25-Dec-21
Didn't read everyone's posts. But I live by it. In all my years I never went back to any of the places I was took to. I did learn longs ago about folks going places I took them to. One was where I had 3 farms right next to each other, I knew one of the owners pretty good. Next I found out that guy was hunting on one of them. He said he ran into the farmer at the hardware store he worked at, and he invited him to come hunt,, RIGHT!! Thing he left out was that he went and asked the other two farmer, they said no and the one I knew well told me he came asking.

The other was when I took a friend hunting on another farm. This was one of my favorite places to hunt. I always told that friend about the places I liked to hunt and about the game I was seeing. Next thing you know him, his 2 brothers and there kids were hunting this farm. Needless to say I never hunted that farm again.

Now I'm very careful who I take. Now I only take anyone to places I control or own.

Theres a hunt I enjoyed that I got invited to go on. . It is public (federal) lands. Always wanted to go do it again, its probably 40k acres and I could of just went hunting on the other side, but just didn't feel comfortable doing so. I got asked by someone else once to go there and want to go. I knew we wouldn't of hunted the same spot as the other time. But a scheduling conflict didn't allow.

Was thinking of finding a guy to hunt with me in the neighboring state, its public land, for whitetail. But I'd be giving up 30 years of time finding these spots. So?????

From: Rock
25-Dec-21
I have always told others that the best thing could do to keep me away from places they were hunting was to tell me where they were as I would not go there if I knew someone that was hunting there.

Asked one friend years ago about an Arizona Javalina hunt he had been on and he was very hesitant to tell me much of anything about it or where he hunted. He told me he could not tell me as it was so and so's spot, I laughed and told him that in reality it was my spot and that I knew so and so told him and did not care as I would have also told him about it. Was pretty refreshing to hear him try to keep the details from me and I told him so.

From: Scoot
25-Dec-21
A good buddy helped us last year when my #1 and #2 spots fried in huge fires. I reluctantly asked for his help in an effort to get my son a crack at a bull on his first elk hunt. I will NEVER go back to "his spot" without talking to him first. Even then I'm sure I'll never go back there without him with me.

From: Grey Ghost
25-Dec-21
Scoot,

Like you, my usual elk hunting spots were closed due to fires. I mentioned it, here, and had 2 members PM me with suggestions. I scouted both areas, and ended up hunting one of them. Unfortunately, there were far more hunters than elk, so I'll never go back. Nevertheless, I'm still grateful to them for sharing a few spots with me.

Some of you probably remember Pig Doc. I haven't seen him post in a long time. Hope all is well. Anyway, he moved from Minnesota to a beautiful house near my condo in Winter Park. Knowing that I hunt in that area, he reached out to me inquiring about areas for his sons to elk hunt. I told him about a spot that requires too long of a hike to interest me any more, but is well-suited for a couple of young hunters. They didn't kill anything, but apparently they had a great hunt with numerous close encounters. Now, they can consider my spot their spot. That makes me feel good.

Matt

From: APauls
25-Dec-21
Sounds like you’ve made up your mind which is good.

Playing devils advocate, maybe the pause because he was actually thinking through the ramifications and severity of giving his word to something other than just blindly agreeing. Maybe he understands what a promise means and doesn’t promise without a bit of extra thought. Maybe he’s never heard of the code before and needed a moment to digest it, did and realized it made sense. :)

From: goyt
26-Dec-21
Aldo Leopold wrote in the "Sand County Almanac" that he did not like the idea of hunting magazines writing about hunting areas. He said that that was a good way to destroy an area that was special to someone. Hopefully by hard work we will be able to find our own spots that are special to us, and those spots will persist for us until we can only dream about going there. Plus, that we will be able to share those spots with people who will share their experiences there with us. Unfortunately, everything changes with time and we end up with memories of what we use do. All we can do is delay the inevitable. Even hunting private land has changed. If you do not have food plots or bait heavily someone else attracting deer off of your property and it is not the same.

When I was young, we scouted a flat piece of timber company land that was somewhat of a swamp and found a remote area that had some drier land coming together. It was a chore getting in there. The first gun season I hunted there I shot a nice buck and there was snow on the ground. For the rest of the season hunters followed my drag trail into the area and before the trail disappeared someone took a spray can of paint and marked it. After that a number of hunters used that trail for years to navigate into the area and setup hunting spots. I had to find a new spot to rifle hunt although no one seemed to want to take the effort to bow hunt in there for years. Finally the paper company sold the land and my dad talked me out of buying some of it but that is a different story.

From: JL
26-Dec-21
I'll share hunting and fishing spots with close family and friends with the caveat they do not take their buds there.....so far, so good.

A few years ago I showed some other folks (my bro's friends) a MT antelope spot I had as I was trying to be helpful. This past year I was planning on hunting it on the opener until they told me they are going to hunt it and gave me a funny slack eye look when I mentioned my plans. Normally I wouldn't care but the funny looks didn't set right with me. Anywho.... I suppose that's why you have other spots. It worked out for me as my first back-up spot was good to me on the opener. They ended up getting skunked the whole trip as other hunters walked past them and blew out that area they hunted every day. However a teachable moment for me....in the future I'll be more careful who I share my spot info with that I did all the homework on. This year some new spots I located were real good to the bro and I and have already been marked as classified "Top Secret". Plenty of animals and no other hunters seen for the 3 - 4 days we/I hunted it. I told him do not disclose those spots to his buds even if they ask. I even told him don't tell his wife because she might blab to the wives of these other guys.

From: Timbrhuntr
26-Dec-21
I hunted with a young guy in Kansas that had an outfitting company on the side. He basically had permission on land and then sold you a trespass fee to hunt . This was for turkey. Eventually his other business took off and he sold the outfitting business. He still allowed to come hunt in the spring. I travel (or used to precovid) a lot in the spring and over the years have gained access to some very good ground out west. On one trip he asked if he could go with me to Nebraska as he really wanted to kill a Merriam's turkey. I wasn't sure because once I let him in he could easily just go back without me. I decided that since I had known him and he seemed an upstanding young man I would take the chance. Well I ended up taking him to several good spots. Then covid hit and I could not cross the border to hunt. He asked about going to my spots with me and I explained about covid restrictions and that I couldn't go . I told him to just go and use the spots. Well he refused saying they were my spots and he didn't feel comfortable hunting them without me being able to. He has waited for 2 years to go back to these spots he could easily have just hunted without me ! Point is I could have easily just told him no but I felt that I should at least give him the benefit of the doubt knowing his character and I am glad that I did. There are still some fine young people out there and sometimes you just have to give them a chance and some credit to make the correct choices .

26-Dec-21
I hate drama. Life has a way of dumping it on you even when you go out of your way to minimize it. I especially hate drama when it comes to hunting. If I share a good spot I never worry about whether someone will start using it or share with others. Life is short, I suggest sharing good spots with good people and enjoying every bit of it including getting a pic a couple years later of them and someone else enjoying it.

Life also has a way of rewarding good deeds. Sometimes not right away and in some way that seems totally unrelated to something nice you did but over time it tends to come back to you.

From: Knifeman
26-Dec-21
There is with me. Also I have real friends that live by the code. I have learned there is a big difference in true friends and acquaintances. The latter I would never give any spots to.

From: Mark S
26-Dec-21
Good for you Matt. I've had it happen. We all probably have. One of my good buddies always tells me about spots he's found or going to check out. I think he does it on purpose because he knows I won't betray him. I told him I don't want to know in case I find on my own. Lol. But never went to any of his spots as I wouldn't like someone doing to me. But does reveal the character of people - good or bad.

From: Pete-pec
26-Dec-21
"He hesitantly agreed" I would have sensed his hesitancy, and taken him elsewhere. Unfortunately, being secretive is the safer option, and that is shameful. I've seen how this plays out too often, to feel good about sharing with people that are not part of my inner circle.

From: Grey Ghost
26-Dec-21
Well, it all worked out as God intended. My young buddy cancelled late last night, with a less than convincing excuse, but I’m giving him the benefit of doubt.

Ironically, one of the reasons I stopped hanging out with his father was because he was unreliable. I could never count on him to show up as planned. I hope this isn’t a like Father like son case.

Either way, my young buddy has lost his privileges to my honey hole. I’ll take him to less productive spots, if he wants to go.

Im a bit disappointed, but I’m not worried about the “code” any more. I had a great day hunting solo.

Matt

From: grape
27-Dec-21
You may have gotten lucky!!

From: DanaC
27-Dec-21
I can't help wonder if your young friend's hesitancy comes from knowing his LEO buddies all too well - maybe he suspects that they'd be pressuring him to betray your confidence and he's stuck between conflicting loyalties? Anyway, glad it worked out well enough. Hope your holiday season is a great one.

27-Dec-21
There is no code, it is fictitious.

From: DanaC
27-Dec-21
A lot of things we believe in and live by could be labeled 'fictitious' but they still serve us.

From: Grey Ghost
27-Dec-21
Dana, I think there may be some truth to what you say. When I initially invited him, he mentioned he had 3 other buddies lined up to go with us. When I told him that wasn't going to happen, and that I expected him to honor the code, he was put in an awkward position of explaining to his buddies why they couldn't go. Instead, he decided to come up with an excuse to cancel, and save face with his buddies.

It's all good. I still love the kid, and I will continue to foster his love for hunting, if he wants me to. I'm just not going to be the guy who shows him all his best spots to share with his hunting friends.

Matt

From: wytex
27-Dec-21
Missouribreaks that attitude won't get you much help with out of state hunts.

From: DRR324
27-Dec-21
Matt, Glad the day worked out for you, any day in nature is a good one! You nailed it with not allowing him to bring buddies, thus his hesitancy to reply and honor the code. Tough choice for him, a day off to hunt with buddies- he should have asked if you were open to take the group elsewhere. Glad he called first instead of just not showing up, he's on the right track.... hopefully!

27-Dec-21
I did not say that is a positive, I believe the reality is hunting secretes are rarely kept. There is no code for all to abide by, it is only wishful thinking.

From: Jaquomo
27-Dec-21
Once I was hunting a spot where two CO game wardens, from a different part of the state, were also hunting, one with bow and one with ML. They came to my camp and we had a nice chat. They asked where I was hunting, and said since they were newcomers they would hunt elsewhere because I had been there for a week. So I told them. They agreed to hunt a different ridge behind our camps and not come anywhere near me.

That night I was waiting for the thermal to settle before moving in on a bugling bull and his herd. All of a sudden the herd blew up and thundered over the ridge. A few minutes later both WCOs came trudging up out of the draw, smoking cigarettes. I got in their faces and ripped them about honesty, ethics, and trust, especially from LEOs. One muttered something about getting "turned around". They went back to their camp, packed up, and left.

In my brief two years as a LEO I learned that sometimes law enforcement folks consider themselves above the "code" , or at least entitled to bend it if it benefits them. No different than many regular folks, except I believe they should hold themselves to a higher standard of behavior.

From: Grey Ghost
27-Dec-21
I couldn't agree more, Lou.

I lost access to privately landlocked BLM land that my Father hunted for 52 years, and I hunted for 25 years, when a buddy, who I had invited, decided to chase and kill a bull on a portion of the BLM that was off-limits according to the rules of the rancher who allowed us access. I didn't like the fact that the rancher was dictating where we could hunt on the BLM, either, but I always abided because without his access we wouldn't have been able to hunt any of it. In hindsight, I lost access to some of the best elk hunting Colorado has to offer all because I chose the wrong friend to invite. It's one of my biggest regrets and a hard lesson learned.

It's really a shame what hunting has evolved into. To me, hunting someone else's honey hole without their permission is similar to cheating with their wife. Unfortunately, good hunting spots have become such a commodity that some hunters are willing to sacrifice long term friendships over them. That's sad.

Matt

From: Jaquomo
27-Dec-21
Easier to find a new wife than a truly great hunting spot...

From: Inshart
27-Dec-21
Matt, an absolute YES - I've been given a few spots (fishing and hunting) by friends and asked not to return unless they were with me,,,, there is absolutely no way I would betray another hunters spots. (fishing as well). If someone screws me over on a spot I've given them --- they are NOT a friend!!!!!!!!

I have shared a couple fairly good hunting locations with a couple Bowsiters that I've never met and have complete confidence that they will stick by their word that they will never betray the area.

That being said, I shared a spot with a Bowsiter (that I fully trusted, by what and how he portrayed himself on here) and was burned. It had taken me 2 years to draw the tag and when I met a guy at "my" honey hole and during our conversation, I asked if he was familiar with a bow hunting site called Bowsite.com. Long story short he was a long timer on here and mentioned the name of the "trusted" Bowsiter. Since then I'll share a spot, (MUCH MORE CAREFULLY) just not "my" honey hole.

From: Grey Ghost
27-Dec-21
For those who think a "code" doesn't exist and is "fictitious", does that mean you don't respect and abide by the "code" either? I hope not.

Matt

27-Dec-21
I only give out Will Towle's hunting spots.

From: tradi-doerr
27-Dec-21
Matt, Over the years I have had a few situations such as yours, and in all instances the ones who didn't hold to the code were the one's who were reluctant in agreeing to keeping it a secrete spot, or I invited them and they in turn invited others without first talking to me. I now only hunt with family and a couple of close friends. Loose lips sink ships is my code these days, and I now only hunt in NOTELLEM County.

From: Grey Ghost
27-Dec-21
“Notellem” county…. That’s funny chit. :-)

Matt

28-Dec-21
Matt,

Great thread. Appreciate what everyone has written.

Like others said, I think it comes down to the character of the individual. I mainly hunt my own land, and very careful who I share it with any longer. Some guys just will not follow the property rules and are all out for themselves. They don’t get invited back , and the biggest violator was a BiL.

Glad it worked out for you. Your friend might have thought it was wrong for him to go hunting without his buddies that it kind of sounds like he might have made a premature commitment to. A youthful mistake, it might work out better for your relationship in the future. He learned I bet to contain his enthusiasm.

From: Grey Ghost
28-Dec-21
Frank,

I was a bit surprised by the number of comments that claimed the "code" does not exist. I asked whether those guys respect the code themselves, or not, but so far none of them have responded. Obviously there's a lot of guys who have been burned.

It's such a dichotomy. I'm at a point in my hunting career where mentoring a younger hunter is more satisfying than hunting myself. How do we pass along the hunting tradition to a new generation, if we keep the best hunting spots and experiences to ourselves out of fear that we will lose them? To me, teaching a young hunter the "code" should be the first step in his hunting education.

Matt

28-Dec-21
I have never been in a position to make promises, I hunt on my own. I have never met a hunter I "positively" knew I could trust. Therefore, there is no code in my life, and no concerns of one either.

From: Grey Ghost
28-Dec-21
That's a shame to me, Jimmy. It says to me that you have no desire to pass on the hunting tradition. You're in it for yourself only. I see that attitude becoming more prevalent every day, and it doesn't bode well for the future of hunting, IMO.

Matt

28-Dec-21
Matt,

I took a father and young son hunting on my property this year. It was their first time. The boy passed on a young 6 point saying it was too small.

That is the “code” I think we need to be more concerned about.

For me, as I near retirement and having fought the good fight for 40 plus years, I find hunting solo exactly what my spirit needs. I have helped enough, I am comfortable being a little selfish. Probably what MB meant.

From: Grey Ghost
28-Dec-21
Frank,

So, the boy who passed on the 6-pt was already addicted to horn porn. Damn. I assumed he learned that from his father.

The first young bow hunter I allowed to hunt on my property shot a dinky 1.5 year old 3x3, his first big game kill ever. He couldn't have been more excited and grateful, and I was too. He's been my only regular hunting partner for 15 years, since then.

Matt

28-Dec-21
Why do others complain if the code is broken, they still passed on the hunting tradition? Is a code necessary when I mentor others on my own private lands and farms? I think trespassing laws cover that. Some of you must live in a narrow world to believe a code is required to pass on a tradition.

From: SBH
28-Dec-21
I love guys passing on small 6 pts. Should really try to make that a thing!

From: Brotsky
28-Dec-21

Brotsky's embedded Photo
Brotsky's embedded Photo
I'll tell you guys all my public land pheasant spots. It's the knowledge of how and when to hunt them and my dog that you won't have. Good luck ;)

28-Dec-21
SBH,

No, we shouldn’t. Besides rookies not learning much the public does not support trophy hunting. Talk about a way not to pass on a great tradition…

From: Grey Ghost
28-Dec-21
Brotsky,

I'll accept your offer. Can I bring a few buddies with their own good hunting dogs? ;-)

Nice work on limiting out, btw. I love prairie chickens.

Matt

From: wytex
28-Dec-21
Mb the code is giving your word and keeping it. If you're not a man of your word then what are you?

28-Dec-21
“ The boy passed on a young 6 point saying it was too small.”

Too small for his “standards”, or had you not made it perfectly clear that there are no minimums on your place?

Just curious whether it might’ve been an abundance of self-restraint?? Which would be a wonderful thing to see, IMO. Putting good manners over his own desires….

Not that I disagree that priorities have changed in an unhelpful way in the past 30 years or so. Outdoor mags used to have articles about playing the wind and reading/using terrain; now it’s all about what technology to use and how to control animal movements and how to siphon a public resource off of surrounding properties for private management & consumption…

28-Dec-21
Both him and his father were told to shoot what made them happy but I encouraged him to shoot the first deer he had the opportunity for. I had them purchase 2 tags so he could shoot the first thing presenting itself and keep the second tag for a nicer one.

They watched numerous shows on TV in preparation, that’s where the seed was planted.

28-Dec-21
wytex, I do not hunt other peoples places, no reason to give my word to live by the code, whatever that is. I do not trespass either.

From: Brotsky
28-Dec-21
Come on over Matt! Always happy to have buddies to pheasant hunt with in the late season after everything else closes up. Best time of year to go too IMO.

From: Grey Ghost
28-Dec-21
Jimmy,

So, you only hunt the species that inhabit your own property? Doesn't that get a little boring? I love hunting my own place, too, but I couldn't imagine limiting myself to only it.

Matt

From: Supernaut
28-Dec-21
The only way to keep a secret is to not tell anyone.

28-Dec-21
Yes sir, that is correct.

From: BigEight
28-Dec-21
Found a fishing hole that always produces. Showed my buddy and we told nobody for at least five years now. Talked to his wife the other day and found out he took "Dave" to the very spot. Who the hell is Dave? I guess 5 years was a good run.

From: wytex
28-Dec-21
Mb the point I was making is that when you give your word you should abide by it, that is the "code" I was speaking of. If you don't abide by your word then you my be labeled a liar, and I am not talking about you specifically by any means.

From: tradi-doerr
28-Dec-21
Matt, So.... to answer your question for my own conduct, yes I have a code of honoring someones special/secret spot, I have hunted or fished these spots if told I can go alone, but have never taken anyone outside of myself and the person who showed it to me, and in a couple cases I don't hunt/fish these spots unless I've been invited to tag along again. As mentioned above, we try to judge ones character, but sometimes their character doesn't always show their true intentions, I have come to call this the Chameleon effect.

28-Dec-21
I’ve only went back to one spot that someone took me to. That someone was with me. If I entertained going back with others, I’d talk with that someone. That’s how I live.

From: bigswivle
29-Dec-21
I’ve got a couple buddy’s that took me a few years ago to there elk honey hole in Colorado, I will not go back without them, even tho they wouldn’t care.

From: Grey Ghost
29-Dec-21
I'm happy to hear that the "code" still exists with the majority of hunters, here.

Thanks for your comments, gentlemen.

Matt

29-Dec-21
Matt: Several years ago my brother had enough vacation time that he took off one day midweek all through pheasant season. He went to an area that contained a lot of good habitat but we had never hunted. By stopping and visiting with landowners he acquired a lot of private land to hunt. I have gone with him on numerous hunts over the years but these are his spots. I could certainly gain permission on some of these spots as I have met the landowners when with my brother, but I will never do so as long he still hunts them.

From: jjs
29-Dec-21
Personal experience, there is no code with hunting even with long time friends. Once you open that box it will never be the same. The temptation is too great once taken in to the honey hole, their good friends will eventually be there and then their other friends will also. Been there and payed for it for being generous, just the nature of the beast.

From: Grey Ghost
29-Dec-21
Jon,

Would you hunt someone else's secret honey hole without their approval? If not, then the "code" still exists.

Matt

29-Dec-21
Many hunters do not even abide by trespassing laws, let alone some non binding code.

From: Grey Ghost
29-Dec-21
Jimmy, I don't understand your point. Some hunters poach animals too, but that doesn't mean all hunters do.

My question to you is, do you think a "code" should exist for hunters who are willing to share their secret honey hole with others? The fact that you only hunt your property, and don't share it with anyone is irrelevant. That's certainly your choice, but I'm glad not all hunters are that selfish.

Matt

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