Photos of Animals Shot During Hunting Ok?

I am working with a student group and taught them to use iNaturalist. I have been helping remind them about proper etiquette and which kinds of observations are and are not acceptable, to add notes, to take multiple photos, etc. One of the students hunts and asked if it is acceptable to upload photos of a deer she shot while hunting. Obviously assuming she avoids purposely grotesque pictures (like zooming in on the wound), is is ok for her to upload her pictures of the dead animal as an observation for a white-tail deer?


Yes acceptable under site rules.

From the Community Guidelines :
Images of dead or dismembered animals. While we do not endorse killing or fatally injuring animals just for the sake of contributing to iNaturalist, as naturalists we all encounter such scenes in our explorations, for example in the form of road kill and recent predation events (including predation by humans). While these kinds of images can be disturbing for some people, they can also be interesting, and provide the same kind of scientifically relevant occurrence data as an image of a living creature. Very often they demonstrate some aspect of the life history of the organisms involved, or may even provide information relevant to the conservation of the organism in question.’

They should however understand that while permitted, they may generate some unfavourable comments.


Thank you!

It may help to add the Alive or Dead annotation as “Dead” too, so people who don’t want to see it can filter those out.



As long as the location is correct before the animal was moved it is still good data. I add photos of dead stuff all of the time but I try to use a closeup photo of an identifiable part of the animal for at least the 1st photo. That way people who don’t want to see dead animals don’t have to.


@jabrams_foc 's point is actually pretty critical. The location of where the animal was collected (i.e., shot/killed) and not the location of where the photo was taken (if different) needs to be submitted. Otherwise the data is innacurate and should not be eligible for research grade.

For example, If one of your students takes a picture of a deer in the forest where they shot it using that location info is OK so long as the location is within where it was in a wild state. But, if your student takes a picture of the deer when they get home, the location should be updated to the approximate area of where the deer was when he had encountered it in a wild state.


No different than the fish market uploads I wouldn’t say. Just fiddle with the annotations so that it says “deceased” :)


I certainly hope anyone who hunts and photos their kill will consider balancing out their focus on the natural world with living creatures as well, and in their natural habitats.


Absolutely! To add to what others have said, if you’re going hunting anyway, why not make that data useful by adding a quick observation for it?


Yes! As long as you are hunting legally, then why not? Especially when waterfowl hunting. It’s usually during migration, so it will be helpful to know where these birds are showing up. I live in Arizona and we have so many random “ponds” that ducks may show up at and many time they are seen while duck hunting.


I agree with others that data derived from hunter’s kills can actually be important, some ‘game’ animals are rarely encountered in certain seasons and locations except by those specifically looking for them. But as a hunter myself, I do hope that people would be respectful (and scientific) enough to photograph the animal itself, versus taking ‘trophy’ pictures, which is something I’ve never understood well nor been able to appreciate. Otherwise, I don’t see anything wrong with this; animals kill and eat other animals, so what is wrong if the hunter is a human? Another thought is that these observations could be used to track the health of certain animals (white-tailed deer and the spread of chronic-wasting disease come to mind).


A bit off track but I would like to be able to filter by dead/alive status when browsing observations. As mentioned it could be useful for hunting or roadkill studies…

You can do that using search URLs! Here is a tutorial post:

Here is an example search URL to show all observations that have been annotated as ‘dead’:


Exactly what I needed, thank you!

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