What Makes a Good Hunting Partner

The fall woods can be a remarkable place for solitude and self reflection, but they can also be the place to create friendships like none other.

A quality hunting partner can be difficult to find. With the added responsibilities of being a good and dependable hunter, there’s much more expected from a hunting partner than an average day-to-day friendship.

To help define the traits of a quality hunting partner, the hunters of onX weigh in on the qualities and situational ethics of the people they spend time in the field with.

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Jack McKinney, National Key Accounts Manager

I look for someone who pushes me over the next hill when I’m tired. I look for someone whose hunting knowledge is at—or slightly above—my level so we can bounce ideas off each other without having one person lead all the time. Perhaps most importantly, they must understand the subtle art of lunch napping.

Nick Thies, Social Media Specialist

I want to hunt with someone who isn’t lazy, is willing to hold their weight on a pack-out, switches between camp duties like filling water and more. When we are in close on an elk, I want a partner who doesn’t insist on being the shooter all the time, but realizes success can only be achieved with a true partnership.

Andrew Burrington, Product Manager

There are two things I look for in a new hunting partner:

1. Timeliness – You can’t be late. Hunting opportunities are missed when you aren’t on time for those peak moments.

2. Easy-going – Hunting can be stressful, but in the end it should be all about having fun. Keeping a fun spirit and being able to adapt to situations with a positive attitude makes the long days way better.

Sarah Allen, Customer Support Technician

I always find myself drawn to hunt with people who are easy-going and fun. Sometimes in the biggest moments of hunting, you need someone you can laugh with. If you don’t, you could go insane.

I also look for a hunting partner who’s flexible and patient, as plans always change. Someone I trust—definitely not large and in charge.

Jared Larsen, Community Engagement Specialist

I look for someone who adds to my overall confidence while in the field. Somebody I trust will persevere through crappy weather, long pack-outs and tough hunts. Someone who will make the shot, knows how to call, and is willing to go the extra mile when searching for a critter. Lastly, I look for somebody I trust will know what to do if something goes wrong in the field, that they can make quick decisions to help one another stay safe in all situations.

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Dylan Dowson, Community Coordinator

There’s nothing worse than taking someone into a hunting spot only to see their pickup parked there the next weekend. Good hunting spots are getting harder and harder to find and they can be ruined by one person spreading the word. The last thing you want to do is have someone going there without permission, or worse, telling others about where you saw that bull or buck of a lifetime.

It should seem like common courtesy, but many people experience this every season. You shouldn’t have to have “the talk” with a trusted hunting partner about the secrecy and respect of your hard work and scouting, but it’s always good to lay the ground rules down in the beginning.

A trusted hunting partner knows to not even think about going into your spot (or hunting the “edges” of your area) without you or without asking permission beforehand.

Katelyn Mauldin, GIS Technician

I primarily look for competence and reliability in a hunting partner. Hunting is a high-risk activity and with these qualities, it’s easier to have a good time and, in the end, a successful hunt. In case the worst happens, it is comforting to know that he/she would be able to handle the situation with composure.

Secondly, I look for a hunting partner who is good at sneaking and doesn’t scare the animals away!

Kipp Shoenleber, Customer Support Technician

Be quiet. I’m not a big talker in the field so I look for someone who’s happy without extra conversation during a big game hunt, and happy with silence.

Andy McNaught, SEO / ASO Analyst

A good hunting partner does their fair share of research, scouting, theorizing, and planning. I want to hunt with someone who puts in just as much time as I do (both in the woods and in the books) and has theories of their own. Organization and reliability are equally as important.

Man in camouflage uses binoculars to spot elk while hunting in the Montana backcountry.

header image: Dave Fields

Written by Cavan Williams