A specific subset of Ethics has to do with the manner in which the Hunt is conducted.
From its beginnings, the Pope and Young Club established, defined and maintains an ethical code of hunting referred to as FAIR CHASE. The concept of fair chase bowhunting is the very core of the Club’s belief system and one of our major advocacy focuses.
The fair chase philosophy reaches to the very foundations of the hunting spirit; it should be a dominant factor in the personal hunting ethic of every responsible individual; it is key to bowhunting’s future with deep roots in America’s hunting heritage.
Simply defined, fair chase is the ethical, sportsmanlike, and lawful pursuit of free-ranging wild game animals in a manner which does not give the hunter an improper or unfair advantage over the animal.
The Rules of Fair Chase
The term “Fair Chase” shall not include the taking of animals under the following conditions:
- Helpless in a trap, deep snow or water, or on ice.
- From any power vehicle or power boat.
- By “jacklighting” or shining at night.
- By the use of any tranquilizers or poisons.
- While inside escape-proof fenced enclosures.
- By the use of any power vehicle or power boats for herding or driving animals, including use of aircraft to land alongside or to communicate with or direct a hunter on the ground.
- By the use of electronic devices for attracting, locating or pursuing game or guiding the hunter to such game, or by the use of a bow or arrow to which any electronic device is attached with the exception of lighted nocks and recording devices that cast no light towards the target and do not aid in rangefinding, sighting or shooting the bow.
- Any other condition considered by the Board of Directors as unacceptable.
The fair chase concept does, however, extend beyond the hunt itself; it is an attitude and a way of life based in a deep-seated respect for wildlife, for the environment, and for other individuals who share the bounty of this vast continent’s natural resources.
The Pope and Young Club strictly adheres to North American Fair-Chase hunting under the North American Model of Wildlife conservation. Other countries, such as South Africa, do not operate under the same circumstances and have to act differently to maintain the health of their big game species. We recognize that hunting is essential to the sustainability of their game species, and we support efforts to bring bowhunting opportunities to countries where free-range animals may not exist. We also recognize how devastating it can be to big game species in foreign countries when citizens, thousands of miles away, demand other countries follow unattainable moral guidelines based on emotion and not sustainability.