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How to Find (and Be) a Good Hunting Buddy

Hunting can be more fun with friends, so here are some hunting buddy pointers.

Although hunting is typically a solo sport, experienced hunters know the value of a good hunting buddy, even if their primary purpose is to hear all about that big buck that outsmarted you early in your morning hunt.

Even if you choose to always hunt alone, having someone with similar hobbies and interests around can be extremely beneficial for a number of reasons.

The biggest problem faced when searching for a dependable hunting partner is finding someone trustworthy and capable. It isn't hard to find someone to hunt with, but it is difficult to find a hunting buddy that stands out above the rest.

Of course, if you aren't the person searching for a hunting buddy but are the one being asked to become a hunting buddy, then you need to know the ins and outs of being a good hunting partner in order to measure up.

Hunting alone is fine but it's not a bad idea to have someone you can call if you need help or just don't want to hunt alone. By the same token, knowing how to be a good hunting partner is a great way to put yourself in a situation to hunt more, and maybe even hunt places you wouldn't normally be able to access.

Breaking the Rules

One of the first rules of finding or being a good hunting buddy is awareness of hunting club rules and state laws. Anyone who ignores rules isn't a good hunter or friend, so they'd naturally make bad hunting buddies.

The first characteristic of a good hunting buddy is the ability to understand and comply with hunting ethics and state laws. Hunting with a buddy should be about fun and relaxation, not trips to the courthouse to explain why your partner decided to break a law. That's a pretty quick way to ruin a hunting season.

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Be On Time 

Successful hunting has a lot to do with timing. A hunting buddy who shows up late after agreeing upon a meeting time is not a hunting partner you should keep around.

Good hunting partners understand the value of time. Don't assume you can ignore meeting times, because you may just assume yourself right out of a shot at a trophy.

Don't Hog

This tip is invaluable. One of the first rules of being a good hunting buddy is respecting hunting boundaries. If you're hunting with a partner, don't hog their area. Don't be the person who just has to get the first shot at the buck you're both chasing. Hogging is not only rude, it's dangerous. Hunting partners are there to support each other, not to sabotage or push over each other's hunting area.

Anyone who puts his own hunting goals over the safety and respect of his hunting partner isn't someone you will be able to count on for ethical or responsible hunting practices.

Ask for Help and Give It

There are some things a hunter cannot do alone. When the time comes to ask for help with a task like retrieving big game, having a good hunting buddy on hand is invaluable. These are the times when you find out if you have made the right choice in hunting partners.

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Menial tasks like retrieving and cleaning big game or planting and maintaining food plots can be hard physical work. Having an extra set of hands to accomplish these activities saves a ton of time and effort.

A hunting partner who is willing to jump in and help without a second's hesitation or pause is the best kind of hunting buddy. On the other hand, a hunting partner who disappears or simply fails to show up when the work begins is one better left out of your hunting life.

Be the Hunting Buddy You Would Want

The most important thing to remember in becoming a hunting buddy is to be the hunting partner you would want. The qualities you value in a hunting buddy are the qualities you should put forth if you are called on to hunt with a friend.

Hunting buddies who share the same principles, ethics, and priorities bring out the best in one another and add a whole new level of fun and enjoyment to a hunting season.

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How to Find (and Be) a Good Hunting Buddy