Ethical Hunting & Fair Chase
Mountain Pursuit members practice ethical hunting in the tradition and principle of of "Fair Chase." Fair Chase mandates that the game have a chance to detect the hunter, and if detected, elude him. Anything which unfairly tilts this balance in the hunter's favor, including technology, violates the principle of Fair Chase.
Ethical Hunting includes strictly adhering to wildlife laws, not overwhelming game with technology, and not damaging the environment or wild places in pursuit of game.
Ethical Hunting encompasses pursuit not only of game, but knowledge of animal’s biology, habitat, movement, fieldcraft and mountain fitness.
Ethical Hunting is rooted in respect: respect for the game, the law, other hunters, the environment and the hunting tradition.
To the Ethical Hunter, the kill is secondary to the quality of the chase, challenge of the game, and appreciation of the wild places where the hunt occurs. What matters isn’t the kill, but the experience of the hunt.
Opposition to Technology in Hunting Which Leads to An Easier Kill
The essence of "Fair Chase" is maintaining the balance between the predator and prey. Specifically, game animals should have a reasonable chance of avoiding detection and if detected, eluding the hunter. Technology which tips this balance in favor of the hunter is simply unethical.
To this end, Mountain Pursuit opposes:
- The use of Crossbows during archery season for hunters physically able to draw a 50-pound bow.
- The use of drones for scouting or hunting.
The use of radios or other communication devices to coordinate hunter movement toward game.
Constructing new or use of seasonally closed motorized trails during hunting season to access hunting areas or recovery downed game.
Any method of scouting or game reconnaissance which does not put the hunter directly in the field him or herself including:
- Game/trail cameras
- Contract scouting services solicited to find and keep track of a specific game animal over an extended period of time - outside of services normally provided by licensed/permitted guide or outfitter
- Artificial baiting of any kind to hunt bears.
- Use of electronic calls for predator hunting.
- Running down coyotes, fox, wolves or any predator or animal with a snowmobile, ATV/ORV or any vehicle.
To this end, Mountain Pursuit supports:
- Limiting all archery hunting shots to 50 yards or less. More HERE.
- Limiting all rifle/firearm hunting shots to 400 yards or less. More HERE.
- Hunting-related penalties for ORV road and trail violations during hunting season. More HERE.
- Ethical standards for coyote hunting. More HERE.
Subsistence Hunting means the hunter consumes what he/she kills. Subsistence hunting guarantees the game is not wasted and shows respect to the game and for the hunt.
Mountain Pursuit is not against trophy hunting - as long as it aligns with subsistence hunting.
This principle is simple: Hunt for food and take no more than you need.
Significant License Preference for Resident Hunters
Mountain Pursuit is a western-states organization and to this end advocates prioritized license allocation for resident hunters in Alaska, Oregon, Washington, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho and Montana.
Non-commercial, resident hunters should have stated, and significant priority for all big game tags over non-residents and commercial big game hunting outfitters.
While much of the big game hunting in the Western United States is conducted on federal US Forest Service and BLM land, the wildlife itself is owned and managed by the state, and state game and fish agencies manage license allocation.
Click HERE for our specific positions on hunting tag allocation.
Hunter Education & New Hunter Recruitment
Learning to hunt in the backcountry can have an intimidating learning curve. Traditionally, hunters have come from rural communities, and learned fieldcraft, wilderness travel, and hunting and fishing strategies and techniques from family members and friends. However, with the continuing urbanization of the United States, these rural ties to the land and hunting traditions are fading, and for sportsmen who grew up in urban areas, but still want to learn to hunt , it's difficult to know where to start. As a result, the overall numbers of hunters in the country is declining.
Mountain Pursuit aims to be a key educational resource for new and interested hunters who do not have family members or friends to learn from. This effort includes instructing state hunting safety courses, teaching backcountry travel, gear education and testing, wildlife biology and habits education, wildlife biology and habits education, hunting strategy / techniques and ethical hunting.
Strong, Healthy Wildlife Habitat and Populations
Strong, healthy wildlife populations enhance backcountry experiences for hunters. Healthy wildlife populations are not possible without large, undisturbed backcountry landscapes and drainages.
At heart, backcountry hunters are conservationists and to this end Mountain Pursuit is a steadfast and fearless advocate for wildlife, wildlands and wild places.
Protect the Hunt
Nation-wide, hunting is a dying tradition in the United States. Hunting's roots lie in rural areas and rural populations, and as the nation urbanizes, fewer young people are being introduced to hunting. Mountain Pursuit's efforts to Protect the Hunt include:
- forcefully advocating high ethical standards to keep hunting in a good light for the non-hunting population
- forcefully advocating for high, common-sense hunting industry social media standards. More HERE.
- forcefully advocating for subsistence hunting ... i.e. hunting for food
- grassroots hunter education to bring new hunters into the sport
- fighting for wildlife populations and habitat