Puddle Duck diving ?

Duck Hunting for puddlers like Mallards, Sprig (Pintails), Black ducks, Widgeons, Woodducks, Teal, and other ducks.

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Puddle Duck diving ?

Postby Trey » Sun Nov 20, 2005 8:07 pm

This past hunt I downed a Teal that folded and looked like it was out. When I went to retrive it on the river it had floated a bit toward the shore line and to my surprise popped its head up! When I went to pluck it out of the water it dove down - never to be seen again. I have heard this before but am wondering what is the general rule here - should I back away and wait, does it go down-grab on to shrub and die, dive and float down river?
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Postby sparky » Sun Nov 20, 2005 8:24 pm

The same situation has happened to me over the years. This has been with mallards and wood ducks. I have also seen this happen with geese but they come back up.

Ducks will do this to avoid the hunter or danger when death is near. I have found the odd woodie and they dive and hold on to weeds and then eventually die with their bills locked up. Sometime they reapear but other times still there.

Look in the general area and if its shallow use a paddle and sift around in the weeds and you may find it or lodge it loose and it will float to the surface for you.
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Postby notceaubrite » Sun Nov 20, 2005 8:57 pm

The best way to keep this from happening is by hunting with a well trained retriever.

Why on God's Green Earth would anyone hunt without a dog anyway? Nothing quite like having a wet dog shake off all over you after an awsome retrieve. :thumbsup:

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Postby Mallyard » Sun Nov 20, 2005 9:09 pm

A story my grandpa told me when I was a kid..

One day he was out hunting and he shot a drake mallard off of a shallow clear creek. When he went to pick it up it dove down and grabbed onto some weeds at the bottom of the creek. He could still see the mallard plain as day. I said it sat there and watched the duck drown it self. He figured it saved him the effort of having to ring it's neck. He then reached down and pulled the duck up weeds and all. He said the bill was locked like a vise onto the weeds.

/\/\allyard
Aim for their lips...
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Postby lars » Sun Nov 20, 2005 9:59 pm

hey, man it happens- cant do much bout it, except get a dog :salude:
went puddler hunting this year as usual.... shot more divers than puddle ducks. typical
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Postby chevyZ71 » Sun Nov 20, 2005 10:13 pm

well i had a buffle head do that to me once. probably waited 3 minutes all around till i just decided not to bother waiting anymore. my friend just told me that he dove down and grabbed a weed then drowned.
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Postby Benelli Slinger » Sun Nov 20, 2005 10:53 pm

yeah, all waterfowl will dive to get away from danger, some to never be seen again, thats why if i hit a bird thats still moving on the water it gets another shot...my duck hunting pet peve is loosing birds
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Postby Iluvetwins » Mon Nov 21, 2005 12:43 am

i agree with benelli, give it another shot.
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Postby Citori12 » Mon Nov 21, 2005 8:07 am

shot em again and yes puddle ducks will dive on you.....sometimes never to be seen again...sometimes to return to the surface yards downstream or on the other side of the pond. If they go down and are swimming they get a head shot for sure.
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Postby chevyZ71 » Mon Nov 21, 2005 9:33 am

i had a mallard hen to almost dive on me. but i said uh uh uh, your not :mrgreen: going anywhere. so i just gave her another quick shot.
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Postby casey_714 » Mon Nov 21, 2005 10:49 am

Last year, I shot a goose and downed it, but it wasn't too great of a shot. It just broke his wing and he started swimming away. We got the boat and tracked him down. Right when we got there, he dove! I've seen ducks do that, but never a goose! he kept doing it, and it almost looked creepy the way he looked down there. Thankfully we were able to get it, where i ringed his neck...
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Postby chevyZ71 » Mon Nov 21, 2005 11:33 am

i almost had a goose do that to me once. but he didnt have enough life in him to do it. so i have him another 3" in the back
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Postby ol' yeller » Mon Nov 21, 2005 1:06 pm

In the spot we hunt it is not a far swim to deeper water. Most cripples will dive on us because of this. Sending my lab in this situation is very irresponsible as the bay we hunt is 1 mile across and 1.25 miles wide. Most of the time we head out in the boat and try to keep them underwater as long as possible. They will get tired and eventually won't be able to dive. Then just drive the boat right up next to them and pick them up.
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Postby Benelli Slinger » Mon Nov 21, 2005 4:35 pm

my tip is, always load your gun before you retrieve downed birds whether they are alive or not, and get a good sling so you can carry your gun anywhere and have 2 free hands
Last edited by Benelli Slinger on Mon Nov 21, 2005 5:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby chevyZ71 » Mon Nov 21, 2005 5:02 pm

that'll do benelli. :thumbsup:
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Postby duck jerky » Mon Nov 21, 2005 7:13 pm

I have had that happen every kind of duck I've shot. the best was when my dog went to get this wounded duck it dove well there was a thin layer of ice. after 5 min and no duck i went out to help my dog. well about ten feet from the open water was the duck dead under the ice.
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Postby texan68 » Mon Nov 21, 2005 7:51 pm

If you do get a cripple that dives, I have found if you just let em go, they will eventually come up, and make their way to the nearest shoreline.
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Postby chevyZ71 » Mon Nov 21, 2005 8:40 pm

would it be possible for one's lungs to fill with water and just sink then never come up?
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Postby Smackaduck » Mon Nov 21, 2005 9:20 pm

Yes, when something dies or drowns if sinks at first but will float back up later.
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Postby Mallard Machine » Tue Nov 22, 2005 2:57 pm

i've seen in clear shallow water after shooting a duck that dove i've went out walking and kicked around a lil bit and up poped mr.teal with a mouth full of grass dead as could be so yes i would say they dive and hang on.
i've had blacks duck and mallards both dive on me sometimes never to be seen again. If you have a dog just give it time
9 times out of 10 the bird will sneak it's way to shore close to where it went under and be just sitting on shore and the dog will have no trouble picking them up
i've seen me shoot a black ducks and them buggers dive and not come up and i'd run the dog at the end of the hunt and he would pick the duck up burried in a hole about 150 yrds in the grass or woods from where i shot it.

but if u have no dog just be patient sometimes they will come back up other times they will grad on
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Postby hankrt » Thu Nov 24, 2005 6:02 pm

Over the years I have had 2 Greenheads dive under the water right at my feet in flooded corn, and both ducks never made any water wake, or sigh of where they were. The water was only about a foot and a half deep with no weeds, just corn stalks, so you would think that by kicking around you would be able to find them fairly easy, but no luck, still a mystery to me............
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Postby BIGDUCKDAN » Wed Dec 07, 2005 8:28 pm

the most notorious duck that are diving little devels are wood ducks. even with a good dog ive lost them. especialy if the can go to deep water.
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Postby yellodog1 » Thu Dec 08, 2005 4:06 am

We shot 4 mallard this year on opening day. We Immediately retrieved 3 and I waded out to get the last one still swimming out in front of me. The water was only about 2 feet deep for at least 100-150 yards, and clear.
I got right up to the greenhead and he dives right in front of me, so close that I could look down and see him trying to grab the few weeds on the bottom. I stepped on him and held him down until I could reach in and grab him.

Duck hunt long enough and you will lose ducks in the most unlikely spots. Its extremely frustrating. Even when they have enough steel in them to sink a battleship, sometimes those suckers will swim forever.
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Postby casey_714 » Fri Dec 09, 2005 6:11 pm

So far i've seen 1 goose, 1 mallard, and 1 redhead try it. Thankfully we got them all back.
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Postby jjohnson_714 » Sat Dec 10, 2005 8:27 pm

casey... you are forgetting about those blasted widgeon... dang them....
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