Safety, and not a filled tag, should be the priority
I stood in amazement as I observed the positions that several hunters had taken while standing for a drive on the last day of the rifle deer season.
From my vantage point in a field above a narrow wooded ravine, one hunter stood directly below me and three others stood along the dirt road where the woods end. The drivers were coming through the draw head on to the three hunters who stood in wait.
If deer were pushed out and they made it by the first hunter in the woods, the three posted on the dirt road would be shooting directly at the first hunter posted in the woods. And they knew it, as everyone was in plain sight of each other.
But that wasn't all.
If any deer broke to the left of the hunter in the woods, the three hunters behind him would be shooting right in my direction. I quickly left the area. Sure I wanted to get a deer that day, but it wasn't worth risking my life.
It never is.
The scene was one of several that I witnessed over the last few years where some hunters, in their desire to shoot a deer, either throw safety to the side or don't even think about it in the first place.
I've seen hunters shoot in the direction of houses and I watched one guy shoot across a road while a vehicle was approaching.
As hunters, there are two principles by which we are obligated to abide by: ethics and safety.
To me, hunting in an ethical manner means not anything but a perfect, humane shot. No matter how skilled I think I am with my .270, I won't shoot at running deer in the woods nor will I shoot at a deer several hundred yards away.
As for safety, that should be obvious to everyone.
Perhaps the scariest thing about the deer drive I witnessed on the last day was one of the individuals standing on the dirt road was a junior hunter, who was with his father.
It was a horrible example to set for a child, one that I hope doesn't stick.