This question is mostly for the Americans. How is hunting season dealt with in your workplace?

In general, if people have the vacation time, and their absence isn't going to muck up any important projects, I'm happy to have them take the time off.

Some small businesses here actually close completely on the first day of gun season.

What's it like where you are?

An aside:
Because we do agricultural research and I manage huge tracts of land*, we have an organized hunt on our property each year. You can't do research if deer keep eating all your plots!

We gave over 2000lbs of venison to the local food bank in 2007.
It was one of my directs that found a way to pay for the deer processing, and I'm rather proud of her.

[size=7]*random monty python joke. I had to do it.[/size]

TomW's picture
Training Badge

Where I grew up (Erie, PA), most of the city and all the schools were closed for the first day of hunting season. Where I live now (Philadelphia), it's pretty much up to the people to take vacation (or sick time, wink wink).

HMac's picture

This isn't a direct answer to your question, but it's an observation I can't resist passing along:

I spent 12 years living in Minnesota. The spring Fishing Opener far outstrips the fall hunting season there.

But here's my story regarding the fall hunting season: it always seemed to me that there was a bit of snobbery among hunters - those who participated in the opener of the BOW season seemed to look down their collective noses at those who participated in the opener of the GUN season....


thaGUma's picture

[quote]This question is mostly for the Americans. How is hunting season dealt with in your workplace? [/quote]

I love this. Is there a tradition of taking sickies to go hunting in the US? Do tell.


US41's picture

In most American companies, there is no such thing as managers "excusing" time off. You announce your vacation time in advance, and as long as no major company event requires your presence, time off is granted with no description of what you are doing required.

If I ask for a day off and my manager asked me why I wanted it, I'd think they were probing into my business inappropriately.

I have never denied a request for time off from my directs unless they had failed to sync up with one another and were trying to all take vacation on the same days or were scheduling it on an important company event day. I never ask what they will do with the time until after I have approved it.

bug_girl's picture

[quote="thaGUma"][quote]This question is mostly for the Americans. How is hunting season dealt with in your workplace? [/quote]

I love this. Is there a tradition of taking sickies to go hunting in the US? Do tell.


[b]Absolutely[/b]. Enough that we try never to plan anything the first few days of hunting season around here, because we know people will be "sick".

I just had someone bow out of a very important meeting (state-wide, twice a year) because he wanted to take his grandmother hunting for the last time (she's 83).

I thought that was a pretty good reason to miss the meeting, but I have S tendencies.

AManagerTool's picture

As 41 points out, Time off is time off.

If someone wanted to take time off to go on a nature hike and photograph a woodpecker that would be fine as well.

I think that the question is more in the lines of what do you do when your entre staff wants to take off at the same time?

With that in mind, I use the top performer rule. Your rating determines who gets off and who has to stay to cover. If you call in "sick" and you were needed, feedback will be given as needed. Opening day is not a universal sick day.

wendii's picture
Admin Role Badge

[quote] Absolutely. Enough that we try never to plan anything the first few days of hunting season around here, because we know people will be "sick". [/quote]

It's things like this that make me wonder how you American's manage to get the job as Leaders of the Free World. Although, they always used to say, if people were smart, they'd invade England at 3.30pm, just as we put the kettle on for afternoon tea.


jael's picture

[quote="US41"]If I ask for a day off and my manager asked me why I wanted it, I'd think they were probing into my business inappropriately.[/quote]

Same here. My notes usually say something like "I have personal business to attend to and will be on PTO fromdate-todate" with the "personal" meaning it's none of theirs whether it's a trip or just sleeping in. Depending on my relationship with any given boss, I may go on to tell them what I have planned, but I haven't asked for permission to use my PTO in over 25 years.

bug_girl's picture

Mostly, I was just curious about how this is handled different places.
Even within our org I see a pretty wide range of responses.

Usually, we all [i]know[/i] what people are doing when they fill out the time off form. Especially if they are wearing blaze orange when they drop it off :D

jhack's picture

Here in metro New York City, hunting isn't a big deal. Skiing, however... Caribbean scuba diving. Vermont for the foliage. Trips to see a big college game.

I don't see why hunting is any different. But I'm a city boy...


tlhausmann's picture
Licensee BadgeTraining Badge

I love this thread.

I grew up in Minnesota AND spent time hunting and fishing. Echoing what is already posted in this thread:

Fishing opener is like Christmas, Independence Day, Easter, and Thanksgiving all rolled into a single weekend. You just don't plan anything else opening weekend. :D

When my wife and I married we made sure our wedding date did not conflict with fishing opener.

lhalleck's picture

Wow! I didn't realize hunting was that important. I live in MA and although I am aware of some people occasionally hunting, I have no idea when the hunting season starts and definitely would not expect it to be a reason for absences from work.

That being said, I completely agree with previous posters' statements about PTO being for whatever you want to use it for. I would be completely fine with one of my DRs scheduling time off to coincide with the start of the hunting season if that was something they were into. What I would not approve would be if someone called in "sick" because they forgot to plan ahead. Just because the time is PTO and not sick vs. vacation at my company is not a good excuse for people to notify you the day of that they are not coming in for some reason other than being sick or some type of unavoidable family emergency.

mdave's picture

Hmmm... the way I heard it, the World Cup (outside of the US) is sort of like hunting season, the fishing opener, and the SuperBowl all rolled into one -- and for several weeks.

I work the rural US and here is what we do:
1) Hunting (and fishing -- although not quite so significant since the bait opener is always on a Sat) is treated vacation time. It needs to be scheduled and approved in advance.

2)We are careful to schedule things around key game seasons. Part of it is due to our employee make up. Also, our clients are equally (if not moreso) occupied so it is generally ineffective to have key actions going on during that time. That said, the world does not grind to a halt and employees are expected to have their work completed such that those who do not pursue wiley game animals can forge on.

3) Our office potluck usually features a "Beast Feast" featuring culinary creations from the fall exploits.

4) We have a similar issue in the late summer with the county fair as we have a lot of employees whose kids show 4H and FFAanimals .

P.S. During the winter, it is not uncommon to have a bunch of fish in the snow by the back shed from pre-work ice fishing. That worked fine until one day a skunk came along... then management issued a "proper fish storage" policy.

HMac's picture

[quote="mdave"]... then management issued a "proper fish storage" policy.[/quote]


mdave - you made my day!


bug_girl's picture

Ha! Funny. :D

The only problem we've had is from our "pest control" deer hunt.

Someone noticed one of our official pickup trucks (with the logo on it) driving through town with 16 legs sticking up in the air out of the bed. That caused some comment.

This year we'll take them to the food bank processor in the evenings :lol:

stephenbooth_uk's picture

Not quite what what you're asking about, UK based and from the 1980s.

I attended a military, Roman Catholic, school in my early teens that was situated next to a major pheasant shooting woods. The school basically closed down for the opening week of the pheasant season as most of the teachers wanted to participate in the shoot and the pupils could make a bit of extra cash as beaters and retrieving birds.

A lot of the pupils also helped out during the rest of the year with trapping predators, snaring rabbits, maintaining feeders &c.

From a management point of view, if there is a particular day that you know a large proportion of your staff are likely to want off and you can reasonably close (or at least operate at reduced capacity) for that day then why not? Sounds like a good way to build employee loyalty. It could also be a good opportunity to get all those maintenance jobs you've been putting off done with no-one around.


thaGUma's picture

The French, being French, go one step further. When two bank holidays are in close proximity they are liable to take the intermediate day off. Being French they also have a specific term 'le pont' to cover it.

Business expects and semi-condones the behaviour.