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June 24, 2009

Your Thoughts on "Cross-Tagging"

By Scott Bestul

Deer hunters in my region of Minnesota will soon be mailed a survey asking them to consider several changes to season structure and hunting rules. Among them is the subject of “cross-tagging.” Currently, firearms deer hunters are technically allowed to tag just one buck here, but once your either-sex tag is filled, you can continue hunting and kill another buck if someone else in your hunting party puts their tag on it.

Cross-tagging is a time-honored tradition in Minnesota. It is also, in my opinion, a tradition that needs to go away. If the state game regs say you are entitled to one buck, then that is your limit. You shoot a buck, then you are done buck hunting. If hunting for antlerless deer is still an option, then by all means go ahead and enjoy the woods. But shoot another buck? I don’t get it...the regs tell us we have a one-buck limit, so put some teeth in the reg by eliminating party hunting.

I have hunted other states where cross-tagging not only a frowned-upon practice, it was illegal. So I’m curious about your take on this? Is group bagging bucks forbidden by law in your state? And where legal, is the practice socially acceptable? Please weigh in here, as I’m anxious to get a broader take on this question.

Comments (55)

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from Big O wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

In Ark. you can take 4 deer(2 bucks/2does).
Don't really know where to stand on this, because part of me say's "If it's taged, it's legal", the other part says "Ethicaly you already shot 'your' buck so shoot your doe".
Sorry I could'nt help you out on this one.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from minigunner111 wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

I think it's fine but thats just me.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from jbird wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

I think it's something that's going to happen no matter what, so they just made it legal. Same thing's been going on illegally in my home state for decades.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from mitchw wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

Scott, as a fellow Minnesotan, I completely agree. The other time-honored traditions in Minnesota that could stand to go away are blasting the first buck you see, then when you find that ground-shrinkage happens, you search through your social network and find somebody you trust who puts their tag on your buck. Then you go shoot another one. Party hunting seems like a bad idea to me. If you want a good laugh sometime Scott, one of my buddies has a letter from Lou Cornicelli responding to his concerns about how the state manages their deer herd.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from MB915 wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

I see no problem with the party hunting rule. As long as someone is willing to give up their tag for you to use and the deer gets tagged there is nothing wrong. At the end of the season, if there was a group of 6 people, those six people in total are still not going to shoot more than 6 bucks. From a harvest stand point why does the state care if only 4 of the 6 hunters shot the deer. At the end of the day, there are still six tags that were used.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from Big C wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

Personally I think that any deer that you kill needs to have "your" tag on it. In my state "cross-tagging" is illegal and I hope that it stays that way.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from weswes088 wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

In NY this occurs for does. Management permits (anterless only) can be transferred from one hunter to another. So if one person in our party has a permit for the WMU, whoever shoots a doe just uses that permit. Personally, I don't have a problem with it at all, nor do I understand why it would be an issue. As long as the hunters involved, especially whoever has the permit or tag, agree to it, there really are no management implications because more deer are not being taken. Granted, one could argue that group hunting increases the probability of success, but I don't see that as significant.

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from Douglas wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

Where I live, the bucks have a hard go of it just to live past 2 years. Plus the ratio of bucks to does is way off. Cross tagging for bucks isn't legal, but lots of hunters do it, mainly for greed, using their wifes or other relatives tags. To the deteriment of all.
It is legal to sign over an unfilled antlerless tag here, which is fine by me.
I am in favor of antler minimums to let the bucks get a chance with only ONE buck per season per hunter.

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from Walt Smith wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

Meat in the freezer is meat in the freezer. I've never seen freezer bags with a line that says "shot by" marked on them.

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from jjas wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

I live in Indiana and "cross tagging" or "party hunting" is not allowed. One buck per season, liberal doe tags.

Is this really about the deer herd or trophy hunting?

If this is really about the health of the deer herd, and a one buck rule and liberal doe tags haven't solved the problem, then have a year when it's antlerless harvest only for that year.

Wouldn't that solve it?

Just wonderin.....

Jim

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from 2Poppa wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

I never knew cross-tagging was legal until this article.

We had a dishonest fellow Kentuckian tag out early in the season,then went back into the woods to doe hunt.(In Kentucky you're allowed an unlimited number of does as long as you tag them with your bonus doe tags.)

As he went back in, he saw a world record class whitetail and shot it using someone else's tag. The Conservation Officers for that county caught wind of it and was investigating it.

Also after reading in "ANSWERS",libertyfirst quoted a Game Warden,a friend of his, that made the comment ...
"I've found in my business that all hunters are simply creatures of opportunity".

I can see where a comment of that nature may apply to cross-tagging,and abuse of our hunting privileges.

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from ENO wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

I am from Minnesota and I feel cross tagging blurs the line for many hunters between what is legal and illegal. I have party hunted and have tagged deer for others in my party and vise versa. Per the State Regulations a party is "any group of two or more licensed deer hunters who are afield at the same time, hunting together." There are a lot of ways that can be interpretted and if you clarify it, like Wisconsin has, it gets even more confusing. It opens the door for misuse and abuse. I think the simpler the better when it comes to regulations. Shoot the deer your licensed for. If a bigger buck walks by enjoy the view.

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from Koldkut wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

As long as there is no group shooting and the animals are tagged before a hunter kills another deer, I don't have a problem with it, but you won't find me passing the buck......that I shoot.

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from Del in KS wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

No party hunting in KS I like it that way. Just wish they would implement QDM antler restrictions like MO did.

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from ishawooa wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

In Wyoming they will bust you axx if you cross-tag or "party hunt" as the old guys used to call it although that last name now refers to a different and legal activity in the regs. The rules of this state allow for you to shoot and tag only your animal and no one else's. I feel that is appropriate and actually would never allow someone else to fill my tag.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

For the region of Minnesota, if cross tagging is legal, why bother to have tags!

I wonder what story they use to say how some other fella shot the deer.

Some big game hunter, right

You shoot it; you tag it, if you want to donate it to someone or especially a nonprofit organization, good for you!

A bunch of trigger happy ecological freeloaders I say!

And they have the audacity to call that hunting yet alone call themselves sportsman

NOT!

Its obvious these so called sportsmen

just get their kicks just killing something!

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Elmer Fudd wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

Jbird and others are right, this goes on anyway. There's a certain argument that says it's best not to makes laws that can't be enforced.

Seems to me, though, there would be a certain degree of "encouragement" that would come with legality. I'd say the biologists would have to think there was an overpopulation in an area to flat out encourage it.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from idahooutdoors wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

I would think it would depend on game populations and traditions, Illegal hear in Idaho....One thing that always aggravates me though is people not from an area telling the locals what they should and should not do.....the local hunters and game departments are always in the best position to decide on matters like these....living in a state like Idaho with such a large amount of public ground we are constantly victim to outside "do gooders" forcing things down our throats that sound good in theory, but in the real world usually cause more problems than they solve, or fix problems that don't exist other than in the crazed minds of some enviro group or an Al Gore and Michael Moore Movie....

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from ingebrigtsen wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

What is it about the point system for antlers anyway?? why do people measure theire sucsesses in life by numbers etc.?? I feel good if i get meat for my freezer and make clean kills.. weather it had antlers or not is not a consern for me anyway.. the hunting experience is what im after, not something to decorate the walls of my hunting lodge.. Im against this forced micromanagement of us hunters and what prey we r "allowed" to hunt by people that dosnt know much about it anyway.. Im perfectly able to choose what deer to let go and what to get.. dang it, dang it all to heck!!!

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from awilson98 wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

i am a minnesota hunter, have deer hunted for over 15 years. i have party hunted nearly every year. for most of the people i have hunted with, it's all about puttin meat in the freezer. we hunt for food. if my buddy needs a deer n i get 1 early u can bett your city slicker butt i'll let him take my deer n tag it. in most cases, whatever deer we get are split up among everyone in the group. we party hunt around here. if you don't like it stay in the city and leave the deer for us!

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from libertyfirst wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

When you tag out -you're tagged out! Get your deer and be happy with other hunting opportunities. In Maine you would lose your license for this activity and I believe that this is the way that it should be. You should shoot your deer, your friend should shoot his deer and your mother should shoot her deer.

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from steve182 wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

Where i hunt, cross-tagging is somewhat common. My hunting buddies and i do not use this practice but have seen others do it. I'm not sure on the legality, but i'm quite sure it's unethical, and it skews the numbers too.

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from ranger2 wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

It sounds like a regional thing. I have always hunted in the west, almost entirely in Idaho. Out here the deer populations could not handle party hunting, as I think it definitely affects success rates. I personally hunt for food, and even more than that I hunt for the experience. Why would I want to let someone else take my tag and miss out on the hunting experience? Why would I want to take the game for another hunter and rob them of their success, or unsuccess for that matter? Let people hunt for themselves, and remember, Vegetarian is an old Indian word for "lousy hunter". If you can't shoot a deer, grow a garden.

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from buckhunter wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

Cross tagging is illegal in Ohio and is frowned upon in hunting circles.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

Cross tagging or party hunting is not legal where I hunt (all 3 states). You shoot 'em, your tag goes on 'em. End of story.

But, is it unethical to help another hunter who is struggling to fill his tag when he is a member of your your hunting camp/group?

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from RAZORBACK wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

There have been a lot of good comments posted on this issue. Cross tagging is illegal where I hunt. To me it gets down to a matter of personal responsibility. You can in most instances cross tag here and get away with it. What we do while no one is "watching" says alot about a persons character. It brings out the best in some and the worst in others.

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from MLH wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

Is it used to help ensure that the deer herd is reduced by a desired amount? Or is it tradition?

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from BigWoodsHunter57 wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

It doesnt look like anyone has posted info about Maine so I figure ill take a crack at it. This is also illegal in Maine and this is the first time I have actually heard of it being legal anywhere. Maybe I just dont get out much ha. But like others have said, even though its illegal, individuals still do it all the time. As far as my feelings are about it is that as long as you are hunting with your normal hunting crowd I dont see the big deal. I DO however think it is wrong for a father to shoot three or four deer a year and make his younger children tag them giving them less of a chance to do it on their own. I have heard about this all to many times where the father wants to continue hunting because he didnt shoot a "big enough" buck and makes his son or wife tag it. This is just wrong and these people have no morals

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from Dabeck19 wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

I have hunted deer in Minnesota for 12 years. I mostly hunt for meat, but also hunt just because I love the outdoors. For six years, I didn't even get a deer. So if my friend gets 2 deer (mostly doe's) I just tag one and we still get the meat in the freezer. Also, where I hunt you can only shoot bucks unless you get in the lottery. Most are not so lucky. So do I think this is about shooting trophy's? Absolutely not. If a nice buck just happens to be my deer for the year, well that's just lucky hunting. At least then I have meat in my freezer.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

A couple of years ago I shot a decent buck on the next to last day of the hunt, not a trophy by any means, and had taken an elk 2 days earlier. One of the guys who had not gotten a deer nor an elk asked to split some of the meat from the deer and share the processing cost. I suggested that he take the whole thing since I really did not need the meat right then. He gladly accepted the deer since the weather was deteriorating rapidly that day with worse forecast for the next day. I told him to whip out his tag, notch it and put it on the deer. As soon as he did, I removed mine, cut it up, and shoved it in my pocket. My rifle was already cased in the rig. I considered myself "done" for the season right then. So I guess that was somewhat illegal, but it was an ethical "donation" in my book.

What say you?

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from BigKill.com wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

Limits exist for all the right reasons. Support the law and the creators of them. At least you can share tags =)

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from FloridaHunter1226 wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

I personally am against cross tagging for the reason you stated... the state says one buck... then that means one buck.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

During my 4-year tour (1986-90) at Eielson Air Force Base Alaska, I've been asked how many bears have I taken. I had hundreds of chances. I had my crosshairs on many with a round in the chamber of my 338 Win Mag with Nosler 250 grain partitions loaded at 2800 fps and a harvest ticket in my backpack. An easy one shot clean kill everyone. I never pulled the trigger though.

Why you ask?

The beauty and respect of one a Hunter to the other (the bear) perhaps? Most of all the cost of having it mounted I couldn't afford and I knew in the back of my mind that if I did pull the trigger, the hunt was over. I wasn't ready for the hunt to end, never. I wanted more days to hunt, just to be out there. Even if I came home empty handed, it didn't matter. The awesome power, to watch a Grizzly role rocks the size of my ATV like a basketball, hunting for rodents. I never have taken a bear until I moved back to Arkansas.
Most of all, being alone on a mountain ridge, setting on a giant rock overlooking the endless landscape where perhaps no man ever walked.
To watch a snow flurry on a far mountain ridge and feel the Lord setting next to me enjoying what God has made.
I may have come home empty handed,
but my mind is full of awesome memories
it is a experience, I'll never forget!

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from Clay Cooper wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

PS

THINK ABOUT IT!

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from steve182 wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

WMH, I don't have a problem with what you did. I think when guys keep hunting after they tag out, knowing someone else will tag it is a problem.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

Clay

Me and the bears have a peace treaty. They leave me alone and I do the same. I have been tempted to get a tag, but that would be breaking a promise of sorts. So I'll pull up on them if they get close, but not shoot unless I feel threatened, in which case it will have been the bear that broke the treaty!

I have no problem with others hunting bears legally. Just not my thing.

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from 175rltw wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

Now I understand if someone can't get out and get there own mest due to disabaility or infirmity. For these reasons here in Alaska proxy hunting is allowed. This allows the harvest of a game animal on behalf of another person, but both parties have to put in for this. It is ethical, and allows people who wouldn't otherwise be able to get it to have game meat. This is a good solution for other states to utilize as well, rather than allow cross tagging, which I would see as ethical and sensible if it was used for purposes like the those I just outlined. AS for party hunting gand crosstagging just to beat the system, that I'm not down with. If I don't draw, I still go out and help my buddies hunt, by glassing, packing etc, that way I am still doing what i love, I just don't get to pull the trigger.

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from BuckTheSystem wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

Everybody gets a tag to fill, and everybody gets a share of the meat. We don't care who shoots the deer. I've party hunted in MN my whole life. The idea behind cross-tagging is allowing all tags to be filled. The number of tags distributed is meant to manage the overall heard. That was when doe management was the priority, now it is all about antler size. It's the introduction of all of the new regulations that is making this a problem.

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from BuckTheSystem wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

Don't forget, party hunting is about the whole process. We scout together, build our stands together, drag the deer together, and butcher them together. Pulling the trigger is just a small part. We hate to go home with unfilled tags. There were times I filled other people's tags, and times other people filled mine. And I was glad to give up my tag. I get just as much excitement when someone I know does well as when I do myself. If you are in position to take 2 trophies in one season, and have enough tags to do so, then congrats to you for a great season.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

WA Mtnhunter

Bears are too easy to shoot.

You and I think the same Sir and a +1 for you!

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from Kentucky Hunter wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

I would not support it at all if you have killed one buck your self no need but greed in killing another and using your friends tag. wait for the big one the frist time.and let some one else have a chance at it if you want to kill for meat hunt doe's.i am sure thier are zones that you may kill more deer if your willing to buy the tags and travel.but if you dont have the tag get out of the woods. also i do not support the tela check system here in ky also just another licnce to poach deer.

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from huntcamp wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

Party hunting or cross-tagging is legal here. In my camp we are a team, like it was mentioned before. We all help each other out and there is not one person who minds giving up his tag. We have 10 hunters and we will never fill out. Came close a couple times in 20 years. Using other peoples tags is a lot less common since we have all these doe tags we can use. Frankly getting a shot at 2 bucks is not that easy in thick heavy hunted areas. Decent bucks that is.

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from s-kfry wrote 4 years 41 weeks ago

I assume that the party hunting idea is taken into account in the deer management plan such that to take it away would require that some other consideration be taken into account in determining the number of tags that need to be sold to maintain proper herd sizes. just a thought.

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from GiantWhitetails wrote 4 years 41 weeks ago

i think you should be responsible for your own tags and your own kills. and if you have an unfilled tag you should get cheaper tags next season.

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from tmac49 wrote 4 years 41 weeks ago

I live in a state with a one buck limit. You shoot a buck your done hunting bucks, no matter what method you use-bow,gun,or muzzleloader. I like it that way, crosstagging sounds pretty silly to me. I think each hunter should shoot his own buck and if you don't get one thats one more buck left for next seaon,a year older and most likely a lot bigger.

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from BamaHunter wrote 4 years 41 weeks ago

Cross tagging is bull. The "other hunter" who "gives" his tag to be used is probably the guys wife or girlfriend who doesnt hunt anyway. I live in Alabama where the subject is moot anyway, we don't have tags at all. But I hunt in Kentucky too and Ive seen guys call home and get their wives to go inline and purchase licenses for themselves so Hubby can Telecheck the deer in her name and continue hunting the rest of his trip.

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from tmac49 wrote 4 years 41 weeks ago

If your a meat hunter shoot some does, If you have over population shoot some more does. Seems like a simple soulution. I think young and beginner hunters should have the chance to shoot what they want to shoot, But older more experienced hunters should have the willpower to hold off for a mature deer.

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from charlie elk wrote 4 years 41 weeks ago

It is traditionally called party hunting not "cross tagging". By law all hunters must be afield during the hunt. Wives, girlfreinds, or a hunter not with the party actually hunting break the law by tagging game. Enforce the law on them do not take the tradition from those who enjoy it just because some break the law.
Different states have different laws and traditions for reasons. In the western states deer hang around together many times in open country where one hunter may have the opportunity to shoot multiple animals at one time. Where as in a state like MN this opprotunity normally does not occur.

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from Scott in Ohio wrote 4 years 41 weeks ago

Cross tagging is the wrong direction for the sport to go.

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from suschocker wrote 4 years 41 weeks ago

In Pennsylvania, it's illegal, although I'm sure that there are plenty of camps/clubs that party tag, at least for anterless deer. The club I belong to drives the big woods for deer all day, then processes everything that night and divides the meat equally, but if you shoot it, you tag it. If you're tagged out, your a driver for the rest of the hunt. We sometimes place senior hunters who are tagged out with juniors who have tags, and place them together as standers/blockers on drives. This gives the older guys/gals the chance to still have a very active role, and to impart their knowledge and wisdom to the young 'uns, plus gives them an extra set of eyes and ears.

We once had a hunter (a guest of a member) who shot a buck that didn't meet PA's antler requirements and pleaded with us to have a junior hunter tag it (junior license holder in PA are exempt from the antler point restrictions.) Instead he was asked to call the PGC and report it immediately (with the member witnessing the call) and then get his a$$ off the property in a hurry and not return. I see this as a potential problem for states that allow party tags for bucks and have antler restrictions.

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from Chris Carpenter wrote 4 years 39 weeks ago

its illegal in missouri and i think its total bullcrap and unethical to do so. my friend put his lastr doe tag last year on a doe him and my brother both shot because my brother didnt have a tag, he was pretty pissed.

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from alabamaoutlaw wrote 4 years 39 weeks ago

When people hunt for food they have for years made the best of the season by cross tagging and putting up as much meat as possible up in a limited time and quota system.
Alabamaoutlaw

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from salmonquest wrote 4 years 39 weeks ago

What happens when you shoot a nice buck and then you are out hunting does and you see a scrub buck you don't want breeding and you know someone who wants the meat and hasn't been able to fill their tag yet.

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from Kentucky Hunter wrote 4 years 39 weeks ago

let it walk call your freind tell him where you seen it if he wants it he will hunt it if not he can buy meat at the store.

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from rasht wrote 4 years 38 weeks ago

The main problem that I have with not allowing party hunting is that it is hard to enforce. In most cases, the game warden doesn't witness the incident so most of the evidence comes from what a group of hunters says happened. This is especially true during Iowa's late muzzleloader season in which most everybody shots a 50 cal. Ballistics tests could be used to figure it out but that wouldn't be reasonable. Furthermore, allowing party-hunting during Iowas main deer hunting seasons (shoot-gun season) has not kept the state as a whole from harvesting more does than bucks in previous years.

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from Tim.T wrote 4 years 38 weeks ago

I have no issues with it, as long as it's done legally. People I know hunt for meat, and if you help someone else get meat, then good on you.

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from ShawnaPass12 wrote 4 years 38 weeks ago

As long as no deer is taken illegally I find no harm in tagging another buck with your friends tag. That just means he doesn't get to hunt a buck with his tag. I mean he paid for the tag and if he wants to give it to his buddy whose having a good season. Who says he shouldnt?

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from longbeards wrote 4 years 37 weeks ago

Folks, This is not a question for anyone who is not a resident of the state Minnesota. I can see where it is a traditional practice that those folks have choosen to keep. I have been hunting deer as long as I can remember, I can remember as a kid oldtimers in camp talking about party tags, and how it allowed them to take home deer meat during the depression when it was much needed! Just my thoughts! Longbeards

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from Hunt_Hard wrote 4 years 33 weeks ago

I really dont see a problem with this...
If there is a legal tag to put on an animal than whats wrong??

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from 2Poppa wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

I never knew cross-tagging was legal until this article.

We had a dishonest fellow Kentuckian tag out early in the season,then went back into the woods to doe hunt.(In Kentucky you're allowed an unlimited number of does as long as you tag them with your bonus doe tags.)

As he went back in, he saw a world record class whitetail and shot it using someone else's tag. The Conservation Officers for that county caught wind of it and was investigating it.

Also after reading in "ANSWERS",libertyfirst quoted a Game Warden,a friend of his, that made the comment ...
"I've found in my business that all hunters are simply creatures of opportunity".

I can see where a comment of that nature may apply to cross-tagging,and abuse of our hunting privileges.

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from idahooutdoors wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

I would think it would depend on game populations and traditions, Illegal hear in Idaho....One thing that always aggravates me though is people not from an area telling the locals what they should and should not do.....the local hunters and game departments are always in the best position to decide on matters like these....living in a state like Idaho with such a large amount of public ground we are constantly victim to outside "do gooders" forcing things down our throats that sound good in theory, but in the real world usually cause more problems than they solve, or fix problems that don't exist other than in the crazed minds of some enviro group or an Al Gore and Michael Moore Movie....

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from awilson98 wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

i am a minnesota hunter, have deer hunted for over 15 years. i have party hunted nearly every year. for most of the people i have hunted with, it's all about puttin meat in the freezer. we hunt for food. if my buddy needs a deer n i get 1 early u can bett your city slicker butt i'll let him take my deer n tag it. in most cases, whatever deer we get are split up among everyone in the group. we party hunt around here. if you don't like it stay in the city and leave the deer for us!

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from buckhunter wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

Cross tagging is illegal in Ohio and is frowned upon in hunting circles.

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from minigunner111 wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

I think it's fine but thats just me.

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from MB915 wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

I see no problem with the party hunting rule. As long as someone is willing to give up their tag for you to use and the deer gets tagged there is nothing wrong. At the end of the season, if there was a group of 6 people, those six people in total are still not going to shoot more than 6 bucks. From a harvest stand point why does the state care if only 4 of the 6 hunters shot the deer. At the end of the day, there are still six tags that were used.

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from Walt Smith wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

Meat in the freezer is meat in the freezer. I've never seen freezer bags with a line that says "shot by" marked on them.

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from ranger2 wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

It sounds like a regional thing. I have always hunted in the west, almost entirely in Idaho. Out here the deer populations could not handle party hunting, as I think it definitely affects success rates. I personally hunt for food, and even more than that I hunt for the experience. Why would I want to let someone else take my tag and miss out on the hunting experience? Why would I want to take the game for another hunter and rob them of their success, or unsuccess for that matter? Let people hunt for themselves, and remember, Vegetarian is an old Indian word for "lousy hunter". If you can't shoot a deer, grow a garden.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

Cross tagging or party hunting is not legal where I hunt (all 3 states). You shoot 'em, your tag goes on 'em. End of story.

But, is it unethical to help another hunter who is struggling to fill his tag when he is a member of your your hunting camp/group?

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from BigWoodsHunter57 wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

It doesnt look like anyone has posted info about Maine so I figure ill take a crack at it. This is also illegal in Maine and this is the first time I have actually heard of it being legal anywhere. Maybe I just dont get out much ha. But like others have said, even though its illegal, individuals still do it all the time. As far as my feelings are about it is that as long as you are hunting with your normal hunting crowd I dont see the big deal. I DO however think it is wrong for a father to shoot three or four deer a year and make his younger children tag them giving them less of a chance to do it on their own. I have heard about this all to many times where the father wants to continue hunting because he didnt shoot a "big enough" buck and makes his son or wife tag it. This is just wrong and these people have no morals

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from jbird wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

I think it's something that's going to happen no matter what, so they just made it legal. Same thing's been going on illegally in my home state for decades.

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from ishawooa wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

In Wyoming they will bust you axx if you cross-tag or "party hunt" as the old guys used to call it although that last name now refers to a different and legal activity in the regs. The rules of this state allow for you to shoot and tag only your animal and no one else's. I feel that is appropriate and actually would never allow someone else to fill my tag.

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from ingebrigtsen wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

What is it about the point system for antlers anyway?? why do people measure theire sucsesses in life by numbers etc.?? I feel good if i get meat for my freezer and make clean kills.. weather it had antlers or not is not a consern for me anyway.. the hunting experience is what im after, not something to decorate the walls of my hunting lodge.. Im against this forced micromanagement of us hunters and what prey we r "allowed" to hunt by people that dosnt know much about it anyway.. Im perfectly able to choose what deer to let go and what to get.. dang it, dang it all to heck!!!

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from RAZORBACK wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

There have been a lot of good comments posted on this issue. Cross tagging is illegal where I hunt. To me it gets down to a matter of personal responsibility. You can in most instances cross tag here and get away with it. What we do while no one is "watching" says alot about a persons character. It brings out the best in some and the worst in others.

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from Dabeck19 wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

I have hunted deer in Minnesota for 12 years. I mostly hunt for meat, but also hunt just because I love the outdoors. For six years, I didn't even get a deer. So if my friend gets 2 deer (mostly doe's) I just tag one and we still get the meat in the freezer. Also, where I hunt you can only shoot bucks unless you get in the lottery. Most are not so lucky. So do I think this is about shooting trophy's? Absolutely not. If a nice buck just happens to be my deer for the year, well that's just lucky hunting. At least then I have meat in my freezer.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

A couple of years ago I shot a decent buck on the next to last day of the hunt, not a trophy by any means, and had taken an elk 2 days earlier. One of the guys who had not gotten a deer nor an elk asked to split some of the meat from the deer and share the processing cost. I suggested that he take the whole thing since I really did not need the meat right then. He gladly accepted the deer since the weather was deteriorating rapidly that day with worse forecast for the next day. I told him to whip out his tag, notch it and put it on the deer. As soon as he did, I removed mine, cut it up, and shoved it in my pocket. My rifle was already cased in the rig. I considered myself "done" for the season right then. So I guess that was somewhat illegal, but it was an ethical "donation" in my book.

What say you?

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from Clay Cooper wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

During my 4-year tour (1986-90) at Eielson Air Force Base Alaska, I've been asked how many bears have I taken. I had hundreds of chances. I had my crosshairs on many with a round in the chamber of my 338 Win Mag with Nosler 250 grain partitions loaded at 2800 fps and a harvest ticket in my backpack. An easy one shot clean kill everyone. I never pulled the trigger though.

Why you ask?

The beauty and respect of one a Hunter to the other (the bear) perhaps? Most of all the cost of having it mounted I couldn't afford and I knew in the back of my mind that if I did pull the trigger, the hunt was over. I wasn't ready for the hunt to end, never. I wanted more days to hunt, just to be out there. Even if I came home empty handed, it didn't matter. The awesome power, to watch a Grizzly role rocks the size of my ATV like a basketball, hunting for rodents. I never have taken a bear until I moved back to Arkansas.
Most of all, being alone on a mountain ridge, setting on a giant rock overlooking the endless landscape where perhaps no man ever walked.
To watch a snow flurry on a far mountain ridge and feel the Lord setting next to me enjoying what God has made.
I may have come home empty handed,
but my mind is full of awesome memories
it is a experience, I'll never forget!

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from BuckTheSystem wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

Don't forget, party hunting is about the whole process. We scout together, build our stands together, drag the deer together, and butcher them together. Pulling the trigger is just a small part. We hate to go home with unfilled tags. There were times I filled other people's tags, and times other people filled mine. And I was glad to give up my tag. I get just as much excitement when someone I know does well as when I do myself. If you are in position to take 2 trophies in one season, and have enough tags to do so, then congrats to you for a great season.

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from Big O wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

In Ark. you can take 4 deer(2 bucks/2does).
Don't really know where to stand on this, because part of me say's "If it's taged, it's legal", the other part says "Ethicaly you already shot 'your' buck so shoot your doe".
Sorry I could'nt help you out on this one.

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from weswes088 wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

In NY this occurs for does. Management permits (anterless only) can be transferred from one hunter to another. So if one person in our party has a permit for the WMU, whoever shoots a doe just uses that permit. Personally, I don't have a problem with it at all, nor do I understand why it would be an issue. As long as the hunters involved, especially whoever has the permit or tag, agree to it, there really are no management implications because more deer are not being taken. Granted, one could argue that group hunting increases the probability of success, but I don't see that as significant.

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from ENO wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

I am from Minnesota and I feel cross tagging blurs the line for many hunters between what is legal and illegal. I have party hunted and have tagged deer for others in my party and vise versa. Per the State Regulations a party is "any group of two or more licensed deer hunters who are afield at the same time, hunting together." There are a lot of ways that can be interpretted and if you clarify it, like Wisconsin has, it gets even more confusing. It opens the door for misuse and abuse. I think the simpler the better when it comes to regulations. Shoot the deer your licensed for. If a bigger buck walks by enjoy the view.

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from Elmer Fudd wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

Jbird and others are right, this goes on anyway. There's a certain argument that says it's best not to makes laws that can't be enforced.

Seems to me, though, there would be a certain degree of "encouragement" that would come with legality. I'd say the biologists would have to think there was an overpopulation in an area to flat out encourage it.

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from steve182 wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

Where i hunt, cross-tagging is somewhat common. My hunting buddies and i do not use this practice but have seen others do it. I'm not sure on the legality, but i'm quite sure it's unethical, and it skews the numbers too.

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from MLH wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

Is it used to help ensure that the deer herd is reduced by a desired amount? Or is it tradition?

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from BigKill.com wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

Limits exist for all the right reasons. Support the law and the creators of them. At least you can share tags =)

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

Clay

Me and the bears have a peace treaty. They leave me alone and I do the same. I have been tempted to get a tag, but that would be breaking a promise of sorts. So I'll pull up on them if they get close, but not shoot unless I feel threatened, in which case it will have been the bear that broke the treaty!

I have no problem with others hunting bears legally. Just not my thing.

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from 175rltw wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

Now I understand if someone can't get out and get there own mest due to disabaility or infirmity. For these reasons here in Alaska proxy hunting is allowed. This allows the harvest of a game animal on behalf of another person, but both parties have to put in for this. It is ethical, and allows people who wouldn't otherwise be able to get it to have game meat. This is a good solution for other states to utilize as well, rather than allow cross tagging, which I would see as ethical and sensible if it was used for purposes like the those I just outlined. AS for party hunting gand crosstagging just to beat the system, that I'm not down with. If I don't draw, I still go out and help my buddies hunt, by glassing, packing etc, that way I am still doing what i love, I just don't get to pull the trigger.

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from huntcamp wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

Party hunting or cross-tagging is legal here. In my camp we are a team, like it was mentioned before. We all help each other out and there is not one person who minds giving up his tag. We have 10 hunters and we will never fill out. Came close a couple times in 20 years. Using other peoples tags is a lot less common since we have all these doe tags we can use. Frankly getting a shot at 2 bucks is not that easy in thick heavy hunted areas. Decent bucks that is.

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from s-kfry wrote 4 years 41 weeks ago

I assume that the party hunting idea is taken into account in the deer management plan such that to take it away would require that some other consideration be taken into account in determining the number of tags that need to be sold to maintain proper herd sizes. just a thought.

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from GiantWhitetails wrote 4 years 41 weeks ago

i think you should be responsible for your own tags and your own kills. and if you have an unfilled tag you should get cheaper tags next season.

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from tmac49 wrote 4 years 41 weeks ago

I live in a state with a one buck limit. You shoot a buck your done hunting bucks, no matter what method you use-bow,gun,or muzzleloader. I like it that way, crosstagging sounds pretty silly to me. I think each hunter should shoot his own buck and if you don't get one thats one more buck left for next seaon,a year older and most likely a lot bigger.

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from Scott in Ohio wrote 4 years 41 weeks ago

Cross tagging is the wrong direction for the sport to go.

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from suschocker wrote 4 years 41 weeks ago

In Pennsylvania, it's illegal, although I'm sure that there are plenty of camps/clubs that party tag, at least for anterless deer. The club I belong to drives the big woods for deer all day, then processes everything that night and divides the meat equally, but if you shoot it, you tag it. If you're tagged out, your a driver for the rest of the hunt. We sometimes place senior hunters who are tagged out with juniors who have tags, and place them together as standers/blockers on drives. This gives the older guys/gals the chance to still have a very active role, and to impart their knowledge and wisdom to the young 'uns, plus gives them an extra set of eyes and ears.

We once had a hunter (a guest of a member) who shot a buck that didn't meet PA's antler requirements and pleaded with us to have a junior hunter tag it (junior license holder in PA are exempt from the antler point restrictions.) Instead he was asked to call the PGC and report it immediately (with the member witnessing the call) and then get his a$$ off the property in a hurry and not return. I see this as a potential problem for states that allow party tags for bucks and have antler restrictions.

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from salmonquest wrote 4 years 39 weeks ago

What happens when you shoot a nice buck and then you are out hunting does and you see a scrub buck you don't want breeding and you know someone who wants the meat and hasn't been able to fill their tag yet.

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from rasht wrote 4 years 38 weeks ago

The main problem that I have with not allowing party hunting is that it is hard to enforce. In most cases, the game warden doesn't witness the incident so most of the evidence comes from what a group of hunters says happened. This is especially true during Iowa's late muzzleloader season in which most everybody shots a 50 cal. Ballistics tests could be used to figure it out but that wouldn't be reasonable. Furthermore, allowing party-hunting during Iowas main deer hunting seasons (shoot-gun season) has not kept the state as a whole from harvesting more does than bucks in previous years.

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from Tim.T wrote 4 years 38 weeks ago

I have no issues with it, as long as it's done legally. People I know hunt for meat, and if you help someone else get meat, then good on you.

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from mitchw wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

Scott, as a fellow Minnesotan, I completely agree. The other time-honored traditions in Minnesota that could stand to go away are blasting the first buck you see, then when you find that ground-shrinkage happens, you search through your social network and find somebody you trust who puts their tag on your buck. Then you go shoot another one. Party hunting seems like a bad idea to me. If you want a good laugh sometime Scott, one of my buddies has a letter from Lou Cornicelli responding to his concerns about how the state manages their deer herd.

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from Big C wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

Personally I think that any deer that you kill needs to have "your" tag on it. In my state "cross-tagging" is illegal and I hope that it stays that way.

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from Douglas wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

Where I live, the bucks have a hard go of it just to live past 2 years. Plus the ratio of bucks to does is way off. Cross tagging for bucks isn't legal, but lots of hunters do it, mainly for greed, using their wifes or other relatives tags. To the deteriment of all.
It is legal to sign over an unfilled antlerless tag here, which is fine by me.
I am in favor of antler minimums to let the bucks get a chance with only ONE buck per season per hunter.

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from jjas wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

I live in Indiana and "cross tagging" or "party hunting" is not allowed. One buck per season, liberal doe tags.

Is this really about the deer herd or trophy hunting?

If this is really about the health of the deer herd, and a one buck rule and liberal doe tags haven't solved the problem, then have a year when it's antlerless harvest only for that year.

Wouldn't that solve it?

Just wonderin.....

Jim

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from Koldkut wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

As long as there is no group shooting and the animals are tagged before a hunter kills another deer, I don't have a problem with it, but you won't find me passing the buck......that I shoot.

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from FloridaHunter1226 wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

I personally am against cross tagging for the reason you stated... the state says one buck... then that means one buck.

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from steve182 wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

WMH, I don't have a problem with what you did. I think when guys keep hunting after they tag out, knowing someone else will tag it is a problem.

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from BuckTheSystem wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

Everybody gets a tag to fill, and everybody gets a share of the meat. We don't care who shoots the deer. I've party hunted in MN my whole life. The idea behind cross-tagging is allowing all tags to be filled. The number of tags distributed is meant to manage the overall heard. That was when doe management was the priority, now it is all about antler size. It's the introduction of all of the new regulations that is making this a problem.

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from Kentucky Hunter wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

I would not support it at all if you have killed one buck your self no need but greed in killing another and using your friends tag. wait for the big one the frist time.and let some one else have a chance at it if you want to kill for meat hunt doe's.i am sure thier are zones that you may kill more deer if your willing to buy the tags and travel.but if you dont have the tag get out of the woods. also i do not support the tela check system here in ky also just another licnce to poach deer.

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from BamaHunter wrote 4 years 41 weeks ago

Cross tagging is bull. The "other hunter" who "gives" his tag to be used is probably the guys wife or girlfriend who doesnt hunt anyway. I live in Alabama where the subject is moot anyway, we don't have tags at all. But I hunt in Kentucky too and Ive seen guys call home and get their wives to go inline and purchase licenses for themselves so Hubby can Telecheck the deer in her name and continue hunting the rest of his trip.

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from tmac49 wrote 4 years 41 weeks ago

If your a meat hunter shoot some does, If you have over population shoot some more does. Seems like a simple soulution. I think young and beginner hunters should have the chance to shoot what they want to shoot, But older more experienced hunters should have the willpower to hold off for a mature deer.

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from charlie elk wrote 4 years 41 weeks ago

It is traditionally called party hunting not "cross tagging". By law all hunters must be afield during the hunt. Wives, girlfreinds, or a hunter not with the party actually hunting break the law by tagging game. Enforce the law on them do not take the tradition from those who enjoy it just because some break the law.
Different states have different laws and traditions for reasons. In the western states deer hang around together many times in open country where one hunter may have the opportunity to shoot multiple animals at one time. Where as in a state like MN this opprotunity normally does not occur.

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from alabamaoutlaw wrote 4 years 39 weeks ago

When people hunt for food they have for years made the best of the season by cross tagging and putting up as much meat as possible up in a limited time and quota system.
Alabamaoutlaw

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from ShawnaPass12 wrote 4 years 38 weeks ago

As long as no deer is taken illegally I find no harm in tagging another buck with your friends tag. That just means he doesn't get to hunt a buck with his tag. I mean he paid for the tag and if he wants to give it to his buddy whose having a good season. Who says he shouldnt?

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from longbeards wrote 4 years 37 weeks ago

Folks, This is not a question for anyone who is not a resident of the state Minnesota. I can see where it is a traditional practice that those folks have choosen to keep. I have been hunting deer as long as I can remember, I can remember as a kid oldtimers in camp talking about party tags, and how it allowed them to take home deer meat during the depression when it was much needed! Just my thoughts! Longbeards

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from Hunt_Hard wrote 4 years 33 weeks ago

I really dont see a problem with this...
If there is a legal tag to put on an animal than whats wrong??

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from Del in KS wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

No party hunting in KS I like it that way. Just wish they would implement QDM antler restrictions like MO did.

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from libertyfirst wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

When you tag out -you're tagged out! Get your deer and be happy with other hunting opportunities. In Maine you would lose your license for this activity and I believe that this is the way that it should be. You should shoot your deer, your friend should shoot his deer and your mother should shoot her deer.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

WA Mtnhunter

Bears are too easy to shoot.

You and I think the same Sir and a +1 for you!

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from Chris Carpenter wrote 4 years 39 weeks ago

its illegal in missouri and i think its total bullcrap and unethical to do so. my friend put his lastr doe tag last year on a doe him and my brother both shot because my brother didnt have a tag, he was pretty pissed.

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from Kentucky Hunter wrote 4 years 39 weeks ago

let it walk call your freind tell him where you seen it if he wants it he will hunt it if not he can buy meat at the store.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

For the region of Minnesota, if cross tagging is legal, why bother to have tags!

I wonder what story they use to say how some other fella shot the deer.

Some big game hunter, right

You shoot it; you tag it, if you want to donate it to someone or especially a nonprofit organization, good for you!

A bunch of trigger happy ecological freeloaders I say!

And they have the audacity to call that hunting yet alone call themselves sportsman

NOT!

Its obvious these so called sportsmen

just get their kicks just killing something!

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from Clay Cooper wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

PS

THINK ABOUT IT!

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