"If you shoot it, you eat it” is not a hunting requirement, but it is a saying that some hunters use. “If you shoot it—you gotta eat it” has been cited in print since at least 1974. Another 1974 article pointed out that some states make it illegal to discard the meat of game species, and “if you shoot it, you gotta eat it” applies to crow as well as quail.
4 December 1974, Atchison (KS) Globe, “Sports Roamer” by Mickey Parman, pg. 7, col. 1:
Some states find it unlawful to discard the meat of a game species. If you shoot it—you gotta eat it.
12 December 1974, Ames (IA) Daily Tribune, “Anyone for a crow cookout?” by John Madson, Outdoor Page, pg. 19, col. 3:
In many states it’s unlawful to discard the meat of a game species. If you shoot it, you gotta eat it, and that must apply to crow as well as quail.
8 March 1987, The Orange County Register (Santa Ana, CA), “The Hunt: The search is on for island prey,” pg. L5, col. 3:
As he gutted the ram, Washington said, “My father taught me, ‘If you shoot it, you eat it.’ I’m not the kind of guy who hunts for heads. I’m taking this meat home. He’s young, so he should be tender.”
Stoneydale Press’ Field Care Handbook:
For the Hunter & Fisherman
By Bill Sager and Duncan Gilchrist
Stevensville, MT: Stoneydale Press Pub. Co.
If you shoot it, you eat it.
This basic adage of hunters has changed over the years, as has hunting.
To the early subsistence hunter, it meant one had to be a successful hunter in order to eat.
Georgia Outdoor News Forum
Favorite or Best Hunting “1-Liners” or Quotes? ...Let’s Start with Michael Waddell’s
01-13-2009, 12:40 AM
“you shoot it, you eat it”
every little boy hates those words, especially when theyre looking at that songbird the new BB gun just took care of
Rifle and Bow and Arrow
By Ed Hale
Paistow, NH: eBookIt.com
Dad’s general hunting rule, especially with game animals, was If you shoot it, you eat it.