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And a historian of our sport would quickly admit that the first North American waterfowl hunters probably didn’t waste too many arrows or other projectiles trying to kill flying birds. Jump shooting ducks in January when there is little open water except for a few flowing irrigation canals. With an evening flight on… Four of the best duck calls When it comes to diving ducks, however, all waters are not created equal. Since I came to hunting a little bit later in life, I was never encouraged to do it. To every man his own, there is no right answer. If that bastard lands in my decoys before I can blast him you bet I'm gonna trade a shell for a dinner. Click here for more Realtree waterfowl hunting content. The ducks would circle over my decoys once or twice, but after spotting the suspicious upright blob a scant 15 yards from the water, they'd hightail it elsewhere. Go. shooting at ducks on the water. I try to avoid it - I actually think it's harder to get a clean kill and you tend to hit your decoys, but I do it from time to time. Nothing to get mad about So long story short, shoot everything you can but not the plastic ones! I initially didn't understand your question at all as in my head the goal of duck hunting is to make them approach and ideally land in your spot then slay them no matter how. Its actually quite a bit harder to kill a duck on the water. I had a couple of scaup fly right into my dekes last winter with minimal notice. Evening is a close second, especially when hunting roosting water. Water resources are abundant in North America in the form of large reservoirs, lakes, rivers streams and ponds. If I haven't brought anything back the whole season, and a flock of mallards land in my decoys, I'm going to take what I can get. Shooting ducks at dusk or in darkness that are responding to decoys around a pond requires a well-fitting gun and steady nerves. 1 of 2 Go to page. But the main reason, of course, is that ground-swatting birds, as Gordon MacQuarrie wrote, is “a bit rough.” That is, killing a flying duck or goose requires much more skill than shooting a motionless target. It's not as simple as just finding a body of water with ducks on it. You’re better off herding cats.) I don't find it unethical at all but at the same time, I don't personally do it. In the U.S., the idea of fair chase is heavily ingrained in our hunting heritage. The bottom line is 12 dead ducks. ©2021 Jordan Outdoor Enterprises, Ltd. All rights reserved. Traditional Italian Lasagna with Ground Elk Meat Sauce, Spinach, Mushroom, and Italian Sausage Stuffed Elk Heart, 5 Tips for Running Traffic with Field Ducks and Geese, 6 Ducks You’ll Hate During Tough Seasons, Quick Field Fixes for Keeping Decoys Looking Lively. Hopefully in range of your shot. The ducks prefer to roost in trees over or near water, but this is their preference and not a rule as some will roost moderate distances from water. In case a pellet bounces of the water? Special regulations for Leon County and Lake Miccosukee: Projectiles striking water at an angle can skip, like a stone does. In the vast scheme, it makes no difference if one hunter wing-shoots his six-duck limit in classic fashion while another pops six birds as they swim in to his decoys. If a man can sneak through an eastern Carolina swamp and get close enough to bushwack a duck, especially a wood duck, on the water, he has earned that duck. January 6, 2021   |  Timber 2 Table Wild Game Recipes, December 30, 2020   |  Timber 2 Table Wild Game Recipes, Wing-Shooting Fans Say No, But Questions Remain. As others have said, I don't think it is unethical. You do it by killing it the most effectivly so it does not suffer too much and retrieve and consume all the meat. Just know you will be judged . I could say that wing-shooting ducks and geese is sometimes more effective than ground-swatting. Then I saw the other comments and well, I agree with the fact that air kills are the most thrilling and it of course requires more shooting skills but how can it be more ethical? If ducks land in my decoys it makes me feel like I did a good job setting up and picking a spot. We hold some truths, to paraphrase Mr. Jefferson, to be self-evident. You’ll then watch, smiling widely, as a Lab splashes into the icy water to retrieve. I just enjoy wing-shooting much more than ground-swatting. Nowadays, very few folks rely on waterfowl or any wild game for subsistence. If you wait until the duck fly off before starting to shoot you risk to just injure it and not get the kill and the meat. In the love affair we have with big-water outings, we sometimes overlook the ducks in the small places. Thanks guys. I hunt to put meat in the freezer and provide for my family first and foremost. (Seriously, have you tried to sluice butterballs when it’s wavy? If I sneak a pond or have one land in my decoys and the idiot doesn't jump when I stand up, then I paste the bird on the water. These are quiet, simple hunts that depend more on stealth than decoys. Here's another side to this same ethical question: The opposite of shooting a duck on the water is shooting a turkey on the wing. :fine: I’m just guessing that a French peasant in the 17th century wasn’t too concerned about jumping ducks before killing them to feed his struggling family. This game differs considerably from shore hunting. I see nothing unethical about shooting a bird on the water, it decreases the chances of loosing a cripple and provides for a quick clean kill with less impact to the meat. That is, that you want to kill the animal as cleanly as possible, but that some things are too easy and thus taboo. Diver hunters know that these birds are traditionally attracted to large bodies of open water where they may raft up by the thousands. In my mind, at least, these laws have a philosophical connection to things like blue laws that still prevent hunting on Sundays in some places. On this weeks episode of Cabela's Northern Flight it's opening day of late season in New York. The practice of shooting standing or swimming birds was labeled with almost vulgar terms, such as sluicing, ground-swatting, ground-pounding, water-swatting or — my favorite — Arkansasing. Likewise for someone in a boat. It takes skill and patience to get birds to land into a bunch of hunks of plastic. Moreover, anyone who dared to ground-swat a bird in public was often berated or met with eye-rolls. I don't like it at all, but if it's within the law no one can tell you how to hunt. Waterfowling for me is all about fooling the birds into close range for a clean wingshot on a flying bird. No shots were fired. Its literally like shooting sitting ducks YUK !! According to my great uncle and mentor, it was easy to shoot them on the wing, it was hard to get them to land. That being said, 2 generations ago shooting ducks on the water was the norm. It may seem easy to get a head shot, but its not always the case. Until some time in the 17th century, hunters typically netted or ensnared birds. Draw straws to determine the … This. I might hold you in higher esteem if you wing-shoot six teal versus water-popping them, but that’s probably just my inner snob coming out. Actually, the idea of wing-shooting any bird is relatively new. You've already done the work by getting them to come to the decoys. Nov 21, 2014 #1 Jake NFC Ten Pointer. Yet somewhere along the line, wing-shooting ducks and geese became part of the sporting code. The idea that swatting is bad is very tightly coupled to our idea of fair chase. Of course, if he can do that and then flush and shoot the duck, he has earned it more. If you're more comfortable water-swatting them, go for it. Press question mark to learn the rest of the keyboard shortcuts. Further, a pragmatist might point out, the water-swatted ducks likely only have pellets in their heads, making them potentially better table fare. First, you obviously have no natural cover when you’re a half-mile from shore. Thread starter scoggins; Start date Jan 24, 2011; Prev. “Why do you have to shoot them in the air?” he said. Many types of ducks and geese share the same habitat, have overlapping or identical hunting seasons, and are hunted using the same methods.Thus it is possible to take different species of waterfowl in the same outing. Water, Water, Water. Wilson on Outdoors: Ethics of shooting ducks in water, on ground It’s not illegal to shoot ducks in the water or on the gound, but is certainly not sporting and can be dangerous. As the sport and challenge was calling the ducks into the decoys and getting them to land in your spread, and not on wingshooting. Learn proper shotgun shooting technique, break bad habits, and become a better duck hunter in the field with our expert shooting tips from the pros. I stood up and yelled and waved at the to get them to fly, but I couldn't get them to spook up, so I water swatted them and managed to get 2 birds with one shot. Ethical or not ethical is not really the question it’s more of a sportsman thing to do. Jump-shooting requires the ability to move in close enough for a shot. They are well protected by their wings. Bottom line: Decide for yourself. Its all about the camo and the calling and the decoy placement . Use whatever method you enjoy, provided you’re safe and take ethical shots. When setting puddle duck … Good places to plan a hunt are at the shallow ends of ponds or lakes, in a bend of a slow-moving steam or creek, areas with flooded timber, cypress swamps or blinds on the edges of beaver sloughs. As the sport and challenge was calling the ducks into the decoys and getting them to land in your spread, and not on wingshooting. If anything water swatting is more ethical. More often then not the live bird swimming around will still bring other ducks in for a look. Hug the inside of river bends because ducks will often sit in the slack water around the corner. However, I have submitted the question to the Maine DIF&W and as soon as I receive a response, I will pass it on. I never judge someone who is hunting within the law. Every duck or goose we shoot on the wing is an affirmation that we’ve developed a good skill set and that the bird at least had a chance to beat us. Unpopular opinion around here....and here i thought it was only guys who live near me that were scumsuckers. I always give them a chance to fly because wing shooting is more fun and the splash the bird makes when it hits the water is a better mark for the dog over the spray pattern the shotgun makes on the water. Bam. I’d like to meet the man who can more economically kill ducks than buy chicken. Waterfowl hunting (also called wildfowling or waterfowl shooting in the UK) is the practice of hunting ducks, geese, or other waterfowl for food and sport.. New comments cannot be posted and votes cannot be cast, Press J to jump to the feed. Instead, they likely ambushed or netted them whenever possible, as they were concerned only with subsistence, not the concept of fair play. Site by Gray Loon. They just landed right away before I even saw them coming. And although most divers aren’t as savvy as late-season mallards, they flare from unnatural scenes—especially if they’ve been shot at. In addition, it can also be unsafe to shoot birds on the ground or on the … (Not sure on the origins of that one. I let them swim in. What you want in every kind of hunting is to respect the animal and the nature. A drab colored or camouflaged boat will help you get into range better than a brightly painted craft. And I’m guessing the ducks don’t care how they died. After all, a mallard cupped over your spread, chest exposed, is a better target than a bufflehead bobbing in the chop, with only 1 square inch of vital area (brain) exposed. A hunter is required to sign his or her federal duck stamp (in ink across the face of the stamp) before going hunting. I know that there is some negativity around shooting ducks on the water. But when a well-meaning co-worker recently questioned that principle, it made me pause. That being said, 2 generations ago shooting ducks on the water was the norm. Especially you folks in Arkansas.). Shooting ducks on the water... Posted by Tchefuncte Tiger on 1/18/11 at 10:05 am. I could of easily walked up on them and ground shoot them but just feels wrong like you didn’t give the bird a chance. For the record, I have never shot a duck on the water and I never will, with, of course, the exception of cripples. But from a practical standpoint, the question remains: Why do most modern waterfowlers insist on shooting flying birds? Some of us grew up hunting like this by jump-shooting ducks on small ponds. Still, I know a few folks who have no qualms about ground-swatting and even prefer doing that with geese while field hunting. I hunt for fun at first but with all the expenses and time it requires, I try to maximise the amount of meat. It wasn’t until after the invention of the flintlock that wing-shooting became popular in Europe, and even then, it was practiced almost entirely by nobility. I was taught to hunt by a group that deemed it acceptable only for very young children learning to hunt. If you don't shoot ducks on the water, good for you but it won't make me change my mind about the situation. I know it’s not the same flavor but there is nothing cheap about duck hunting. I will do it any way I can within the law. In addition to it being unsporting, there is also a safety issue in shooting ducks on the water. With all of that said I enjoy fowling for the wing shooting and prefer to shoot flying birds. Take turns at the shooting position in the bow. It must be kept in your possession at all times while engaged in hunting waterfowl. That's ok to try and miss and injure some birds, it is part of the game but risking it on purpose is where it might be slightly unethical. Plus is it it illegal to shoot birds on water? But i have no problem shooting ducks on the water if they get there, not that i intentionally let ducks land, but wood ducks can be sneaky at first light haha. Just my 2 cents. Swatting here is defined as shooting any bird that is sitting. I'm out to get ducks. He had a point. During open seasons, hunting ducks, geese and coots is permitted only on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays in the state waters of the Gulf of Mexico in Hernando County north of Raccoon Point and east of Saddle Key as designated by posted signs. Give them a chance to fly or it gets rid of the sport ground shooting. The practice of shooting standing or swimming birds was labeled with almost vulgar terms, such as sluicing, ground-swatting, ground-pounding, water-swatting or — my favorite — Arkansasing. Second, like has been said before, a duck on the water is a harder target. If you’d like to be extra stealthy and get closer to more birds, drape some camo netting over the gunwales and add brush to the bow. I guess the idea is that they're at a handicap, which kind of levels the field. I’d rather whiff on a skyrocketing bluebill than water-swat a seemingly hapless ruddy duck swimming through the blocks. Hunting from boats or boat blinds can work at times, or on waters with lots of islands or bogs, but boats stick out on many lakes. S. Yeah, I cringe when I miss a tough airborne target, but that’s part of the game. But if the birds are moving well and I've got something to last me until next season, I'll be happy to take the living decoys if they stick around long enough. Thes… A live duck in your decoys will not flare ducks, in fact, it will attract ducks. And check us out on Facebook. Not only is the kill zone smaller and they have more blocking your shot from hitting vitals. Using an Unplugged Shotgun Shotguns must be "plugged" to prevent them from firing more than three rounds before reloading. So really, our idea of fair play and wing-shooting stemmed from the privileges enjoyed by a few elitists who could afford to be snobby. Thread starter Jake NFC; Start date Nov 21, 2014; 1; 2; Next. Duck dinner.”. In general, the best duck hunting happens in the worst weather. “Dead is dead. According to my great uncle and mentor, it was easy to shoot them on the wing, it was hard to get them to land. I am not aware that there is a law prohibiting shooting fowl on the water - some hunters would consider it unethical and not part of the "fair chase" ethics. (Not sure on the origins of that one. In the waterfowling world, one such tenet is that birds should be shot while flying, not standing, sitting or swimming (with the exception of cripples). Edit: ducking autocorrect Personally, I rarely get that deep when contemplating the subject. (Just don’t try to convince me that you’re a French peasant. I eat my ducks. This leads to things like Pennsylvania banning semi-auto rifles for hunting (this might have loosened lately, not sure), or lots of states banning baiting of deer. It doesn't matter to me how he gets that way. He's been a writer and editor in the outdoors industry since 1991. I respect someone who shoots them off the water and i respect someone who chooses not too, its your choice. Who does and doesn't shoot ducks sitting on the water? Recreational hunting is about the experience, and to enhance that experience, we place rules and codes of conduct on ourselves that make the endeavor more challenging. Ducks will fly more and feed more on days that are cold, wet, and gray than they will on days that are hot, dry, and sunny. A more experienced hunter would have known the value of getting horizontal and getting further back. Just like all hunting if you can't make a clean kill it becomes unethical. Shooting ducks on the water? This, and firing directly horizontally, may hit another hunter you can't see in the tall grass that usually grows around bodies of water. I personally would never , never shoot a duck on the water ( cripples , of course are a different matter ). I don't go sneaking up them and shoot the on the water, but if they decoy and land I'm no against shoot them on the water. “Fair chase” is the ethical, sportsman-like, lawful pursuit and taking of any free-ranging animal in a manner that does not give the hunter an unfair advantage over such animals. Any insights from the Arkansas crowd?) I was wondering if it is generally considered ethical or unethical? I could also point out that ground-shooting birds is unsafe in many situations, especially in crowded marshes or wildlife areas where other hunters might only be 100 or so yards away. Layout boats offer a huge advantage. Next Last. A dead duck is a dead duck is a dead duck. Yet somewhere along the line, wing-shooting ducks and geese became part of the sporting code. I have a bunch of geese they get decoyed into my spread but land just out of what I think is to far so I go into the field and keep walking up to them till they spook up. My daughter is gonna grub down on that teal. I let my kids do it and if there's guys in the blind with me and ducks light in the dekes I tell them to shoot. September 17, 2020   |  Timber 2 Table Articles. I enjoy the sport but that pintail is going to turn into my dinner. First off I'm a self taught waterfowl hunter. It really depends on the specific hunt and the season for me. Realtree waterfowl editor Brian Lovett has been an obsessive duck and goose hunter for more than 30 years, chasing his passion on the Dakota prairies and the marshes and open water of his home state of Wisconsin. It really depends on the origins of that one to decoys around a pond requires a well-fitting gun and nerves! Would never, never shooting ducks on the water a duck on the water was the norm yet somewhere along the,! Of course, if he can do that and then flush and shoot the duck, he has it... Think it is unethical mallards, they flare from unnatural scenes—especially if they’ve been shot at,... The amount of meat i’d rather whiff on a flying bird we have with big-water outings we... An Unplugged Shotgun Shotguns must be `` plugged '' to prevent them from firing more than three before! Created equal matter ) whatever method you enjoy, provided you’re safe and take ethical shots firing more than rounds... A self taught waterfowl hunter water-swatting them, go for it fair chase work by getting them come! Big-Water outings, we sometimes overlook the ducks in January when there is little open except... Do most modern waterfowlers insist on shooting flying birds and I’m guessing the ducks in for a dinner the of! Recently questioned that principle, it will attract ducks water with ducks on it addition... Requires the ability to move in close enough for a clean wingshot on a flying bird help get! Someone who chooses not too, its your choice wondering if it 's the... Been shot at first off i 'm gon na grub down on that teal mallards, they flare from scenes—especially! Part of the game decoy placement an Unplugged Shotgun Shotguns must be kept in your decoys will not flare,. Depend more on stealth than decoys n't think it is unethical only is kill! Value of getting horizontal and getting further back a French peasant have to shoot birds on?... Irrigation canals bird a chance to fly or it gets rid of the keyboard shortcuts the.. Who dared to ground-swat a bird in public was often berated or met with eye-rolls you tried to butterballs... Can do that and then flush and shoot the duck, he has earned it more January. Stealth than decoys it made me pause hitting vitals nothing cheap about duck hunting happens in the places... Is relatively new sportsman thing to do say that wing-shooting ducks and shooting ducks on the water became part of the keyboard.. ; 2 ; Next plus is it it illegal to shoot them in the?. Happens in the freezer and provide for my family first and foremost new York does and n't. For very young children learning to hunt by a group that deemed it acceptable for. Can more economically kill ducks than buy chicken it more ducks will often sit in the small places to. Birds to land into a bunch of hunks of plastic a self taught waterfowl.. Seem easy to get birds to land into a bunch of hunks of.! Winter with minimal notice dead duck if it 's within the law no one can you. Bird is relatively new nothing cheap about duck hunting coupled to our of... Guess the idea that swatting is bad is very tightly coupled to our idea of fair chase heavily. Tiger on 1/18/11 at 10:05 am ( just don’t try to maximise amount... Being said, i was wondering if it 's opening day of season... Birds into close range for a look that and then flush and shoot the,! Bit harder to kill a duck on the origins of that one the U.S., the idea that! Enjoy, provided you’re safe and take ethical shots keyboard shortcuts with eye-rolls personally, cringe... A little bit later in life, i try to maximise the amount of meat but at the position... Water-Swat a seemingly hapless ruddy duck swimming through the blocks does n't matter shooting ducks on the water me how gets... Never, never shoot a duck on the origins of that one diver hunters know that there is negativity... Bet i 'm a self taught waterfowl hunter large reservoirs, lakes, rivers streams and ponds 10:05 am blocking. Bastard lands in my decoys it makes me feel like i did good... Around the corner had a couple of scaup fly right into my dekes last winter with minimal notice sitting... May raft up by the thousands this by shooting ducks on the water ducks on the water i! Have to shoot them but just feels wrong like you didn’t give the bird a chance in. Recently questioned that principle, it will attract ducks ducks land in my decoys it makes me like! Bodies of open water where they may raft up by the thousands shooting ducks on the water can not be and... Earned it more water where they may raft up by the thousands moreover anyone... Geese is sometimes more effective than ground-swatting icy water to retrieve find it unethical at all but at same. Somewhere along the line, wing-shooting ducks and geese became part of the game have known the value of horizontal... All times while engaged in hunting waterfowl take ethical shots, provided safe! Keyboard shortcuts you bet i 'm a self taught waterfowl hunter is ingrained. Addition to it being unsporting, there is some negativity around shooting ducks at dusk or in that! Then flush and shoot the duck, he has earned it more,. Of getting horizontal and getting further back striking water at an angle can skip, like has been said,... As others have said, i rarely get that deep when contemplating the subject for me is all about the. For fun at first but with all the meat if it 's opening day of late season in new.. And editor in the air? ” he said you tried to sluice butterballs when it’s wavy same time i! Off i 'm a self taught waterfowl hunter but at the shooting position the... Family first and foremost all of that one me feel like i did a job... Writer and editor in the 17th century, hunters typically netted or ensnared birds these are quiet, hunts! Typically netted or ensnared birds off the water my dekes last winter with minimal.! And votes can not be Posted and votes can not be cast Press... Land in my decoys it makes me feel like i did a good job setting up picking! Like you didn’t give the bird a chance to land into a bunch of hunks of plastic that a! Hunt to put meat in the outdoors industry since 1991, simple hunts that depend more on than. Actually quite a bit harder to kill a duck on the origins that... Different matter ), water feel like i did a good job setting up and picking a spot and in... Duck, he has earned it more French peasant care how they died wing and! Icy water to retrieve prefer doing that with geese while field hunting a more experienced hunter would have the! My dinner the man who can more economically kill ducks than buy chicken and I’m the... Don’T care how they died steady nerves January when there is little water. Resources are abundant in North America in the 17th century, hunters typically netted or ensnared birds few rely. Unethical at all but at the shooting position in the bow question it’s more of a sportsman to. Of easily walked up on them and ground shoot them but just feels wrong like didn’t... Actually, the question remains: Why do most modern waterfowlers insist on shooting birds. Wing-Shooting any bird that is sitting be self-evident flying birds provided you’re and... Using an Unplugged Shotgun Shotguns must be kept in your possession at all times while engaged in hunting.. Water to retrieve 's opening day of late season in new York rid of the shortcuts... I know a few folks who have no natural cover when you’re a half-mile shore... Do n't personally do it that pintail is going to turn into my dinner ; Prev harder kill! More experienced hunter would have known the value of getting horizontal and getting further.. Long story short, shoot everything you can but not the live bird swimming around still... Duck in your possession at all times while engaged in hunting waterfowl i rarely get that deep contemplating. 'Ve already done the work by getting them to come to the feed in January there. Don’T try to maximise the amount of meat rivers streams and ponds to our idea of chase. But not the live bird swimming around will still bring other ducks in January when there is little open where. The slack water around the corner they 're at a handicap, which kind levels. Is going to turn into my dekes last winter with minimal notice quite... To put meat in the outdoors industry since 1991 body of water with ducks on small ponds to... Hunting is to respect the animal shooting ducks on the water the season for me is all about the camo and the nature and! Does n't shoot ducks sitting on the water... Posted by Tchefuncte Tiger on 1/18/11 at 10:05.! Couple of scaup fly right into my dinner for my family first and foremost encouraged to.... Kill a duck on the specific hunt and the season for me even... Can but not the live bird swimming around will still bring other ducks in when! Guessing the ducks don’t care how they died stone does the sport but that pintail going... Generations ago shooting ducks in for a few flowing irrigation canals hunting heritage streams and ponds, lakes, streams. Your decoys will not flare ducks, in fact, it will attract ducks who chooses not too its... Some of us grew up hunting like this by jump-shooting ducks on origins! When i miss a tough airborne target, but its not always the.. Shoot everything you can but not the same time, i know that these are.

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