How Party Hunting Works

Arguments Against Party Hunting

You can locate someone else's game, dress it, pack it, even eat it -- just not shoot it­. That's the philosophy of those against party hunting, and the mantra of the states in which party hunting is illegal.

­Though supporters of party hunting believe the practice will allow them to take more game, in the end, party hunting could hurt their chances of even getting a deer license. In states like North Dakota, the state issues only a limited number of certain special deer licenses [source: Leier]. Looking to tag a whitetail buck? Unfortunately, the state issued a limited number of licenses and the guy before you bought a license for himself, his wife and his two young children. The wife and children have no interest -- or plans -- to hunt, but by applying the practice of party hunting, that guy grabbed the last four licenses. You came too late, and now have no opportunity for a license until next year. Meanwhile, he's busy taking four bucks home himself.

In addition, such states issue all licenses based on how much game is out there to be hunted. If party hunters are very successful, state agencies would most likely then reduce the total number of licenses issued because the number of available game to hunt is reduced [source: North Dakota Game and Fish Department].

Groups can be made up of very different people, and one aggressive shooter may hunt for the entire party, ruining it for others. It can also be very frustrating to poor, new, or young hunters. Remember Johnny and Mary from before? Even though Johnny might be a bad shot, he'd rather go home empty-handed than have to take another hunter's kill. And Mary's frustrated by her first walleye fishing experience because the more experienced anglers caught the entire group's limit before she could even get a single bite. Unable to take her own fish, Mary grew tired of the activity instead of being given a chance to enjoy the sport.

Now that you know both sides of the issue, next time someone brings up party hunting, you'll be able to decide what's best for you.

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More Great Links


  • Leier, Doug. "Why Party Hunting is Illegal for Deer Hunting." The Valley Outdoors. (Accessed 11/5/08)
  • North Dakota Game and Fish Department. "From Both Sides." November 2004. (Accessed 11/5/08)
  • Utah Wildlife Review. "Ethical Hunting: You Make the Call." (Accessed 11/5/08)
  • Wyoming Game and Fish Department. "Party Hunting Costs Sheridan Men Over $23,000 and 42 Years of Hunting Privileges." 6/30/07. (Accessed 11/5/08)
  • Wyoming Game and Fish Department. "Party Hunting Illegal in Wyoming." 10/21/05. (Accessed 11/5/08)