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43 Hunting and Fishing Terms, and Their (Tongue-in-Cheek) Meanings

You thought that you knew your hunting and fishing terms, but you were wrong.

Whether you have a fishing rod in your hands, big game hunting, slinging flies, or sharing in an upland hunt, you need to know what your hunting and fishing terms are. Sometimes the English language can fool us into believing that a slang term is actually the real phrase, and vice versa.

We're declaring it an open season to jump on your hunting buddies and let them know that what they are saying really means something else. Maybe you're in the bar discussing game birds or bag limits, or maybe you're talking with your tree hugging cousin who wonders why you're hunting with an "assault rifle."

Face it, a lot of us have been using these hunting and fishing terms wrong all this time and didn't know it. Here's where the rubber meets the road and you can find out what you've been missing.

Keep these in mind when your know-it-all friend starts talking in the blind.

Snort: The sound you make when your buddy swears it was a 10-point that he missed.

Wheeze: The sound you make dragging a deer through the woods.


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Grunt: The sound you make when you see that gun you've been wanting is discontinued.

Rabbit-in-distress: When you step on your wife's ankle biting dog's tail.

Crankbait: That expensive bass boat with all the bells and whistles.

Buzzbait: Those ice cold brewskis in the cooler.

hunting and fishing terms


Buck-in-rut lure: That new tight dress your girl is wearing.

Honker: That jerk at the boat launch that's totally impatient.

High-ball: Whisky or rum?

Swamp donkey: What you call your buddy when his new 4x4 gets stuck.

Tree rat: That dude sitting in your stand.

Smokepole: That stick of salami/pepperoni you put in your backpack.

Kicker: When the kid finds out he can't go fishing with you.

Kentucky windage: When you aim a little right or left of where you're trying to walk after too much bourbon at deer camp.

Robin Hood: That dude pitching the timber that can't miss.

Burn a hole in the yellow: Peeing in the snow.

Glassing: The reason why a dude wears dark sunglasses to the beach with his girl or wife.

Bluebill: What your buddy gets when he falls in the water in January.

Chuckle: What you do before, during, and after your buddy falls in that cold water.

Boar: That dude that can't stop talking about his skill.

Deep diver: That guy that can't stop telling fishing lies.

Brow tines: That buddy that always wears his shades on his forehead.

Bull: What you're thinking when your buddy tells his fishing stories.

Call-shy: When you can't get up the nerve to call that gal you met at the boat show.

Cape: What your buddy thinks he wears when he scores a nice buck.

Gobbler: What your buddy turns into over that first fresh venison steak of the year.

Confidence decoy: Your pal who's the wingman tonight.

Cow: What your wingman is helping you to avoid.

Pointer: That dude your friend brought along that wants to try every spot he sees.

Furbearer: What you didn't know about that guy until he took his shirt off at camp.

Shaker: Your buddy when he sees a buck.

Greenhead: What your buddy gets when your buck is bigger.

Gutshot: That feeling you get when the neighbor scores the buck you've been hunting all year.

Inside spread: The distance between you and the other guy working a shoreline.

Jump shoot: When you come up too fast to another angler working a spot.

Limb saver: When your friend helps you drag your deer.

Locator call: When you have to call from the driveway to wake your buddy up early because he stayed out too late.

Pass shoot: What that one buddy seems to do every time you kick a deer by him.

Quiver: Every time that same guy sees a deer.

Shed: What your wallet does every time you go into the hunting/fishing store.

Trapline: That aisle in the outdoor store where everything is marked 50% off.

Shock gobble: What your wife does when you get home from the hunting/fishing store.

Butt out tool: What you say to that friend who wants to know where you caught that bucket of crappie.

There's a method to our madness when it comes to the outdoor phrases that we use every day. The big fish that got away is usually just a couple of words from the real definition and you didn't even know it. Now you have the ammunition to block out that one loud guy in your group and make sure that when the trap closes, it's just his mouth you're talking about!

You may even be able to get around the game warden with some of this wily jargon, but don't bet on it. The next time that you're on a fishing trip or out with the long bow remind your buddy that sometimes a diving duck is really just that thing you do when the guy in the front of the boat casts without looking behind him!

You'll be better off for it.

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