Long / Pass Shooting vs SkyBusting / Scraping

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Long / Pass Shooting vs SkyBusting / Scraping

Postby worknem » Sat Mar 18, 2006 1:29 pm

Not sure if this one will be able to fly here. I've seen it approached in different places where it got out of hand pretty quick but in light of the Thread about the use of Heavier and bigger shot size, I'll give it a go. Moderators please pull fast if it takes a wrong turn at too high of speed.

First off. A long shot for self is one taken at an honest 40yds. Over that is beyond my skill level and equipment which is geared to less than 30yd shots with birds hovering like GoodYear blimps over the blocks. If they aren't going to fully commit, generally I'll not be taking the shot. That's my rush of it all.

To me Scraping is when a person is continually shooting at birds beyond thier skill level or equipment capabilities and missing / cripping birds. Them doing this for whatever reason, be it trying to increase thier bag by doing as they've seen someone more capable be succesful, the thrill of hearing the gun go off with the excuse of having a bird in the general vicinity, or ignorance. For some reason this catagory has a high percentage of folks who don't realize, don't care, or rationalize about the effect they are having on the birds, surrounding hunters and hunting as a whole.

Long / Pass shooting, on the other hand, when being done by a person with a skill level and equipment that matches the approach, is nothing less than any other accepted method of take for waterfowl. All the good Long Shots I know take into consideration the birds and fellow hunters. They frequently take thier birds with a bird to shell ratio that beats mine taking 20yd decoying shots. They've earned thier stripes of skill and knowledge on the clay instead of the ducks which is IMO where it needs to be kept (the practice part.). It's no different than accomplished calling, jump shooting, sculling, dog work picking up other's lost birds, etc. It's an art of it's own.

Whenever this topic has come up as the theory has evolved that decoying ducks / geese is the only acceptable method I think about Dove hunting. Decoys and sometimes calls are used but the majority of the time taking them is done with pass shooting. Sometimes at loong ranges. Some of the longest shots I've ever seen made on real birds were on doves during the national trap shoot at Kingsburg over Labor Day weekend. One of the in between pastimes for some of the guys used to be huntin down at the bottom of the Range or out by the Gum Trees. Lots of consistent honest 90yd shots connecting at high speed. How come it's nowadays considered OK to do that with Doves but not waterfowl if this method is applied properly?

Years ago in CA there was an un-official place provided for pass / long shooters on most CA Public Areas. The dreaded "Firing Line". Both Long Shots and Scrapers would have at it. It concentrated a large portion of folks who preferred this type of shooting leaving the rest of the place, for the most part to those that wished to work birds etc. It also provided those that wished to work thier dog an opportunity to make a couple of passes several hundred yards behind the Line and pcik up crips. (A good / bad thing.) One would say this reason, lost or cripped birds, made the Line evil. It was this thinking that caused changes to be made to the system. IMO it was the ill equipped Scrapers that caused this, not the Long Shooter. I witnessed the difference from afar many, many times. Are the Firing Lines really honestly gone? The assigned blinds across the front of the north Closed Zone (used to be the Firing Line. Folks lined up on the road between Lots A and B) at Delevan are still mainly a pass shooting situation. I'd venture the majority of birds taken from those blinds are by pass / long shooting. If a person told me they were successful at working carp (snows) into decoys from one of those front blinds I'd have a hard time believing without seeing. Same holds true for the Northernmost assigned at Sac and the original ones at Los Banos WA. The slot we called The Point at LB way back when (not sure of the number now) doesn't even have any place to work a bird. It's still a top producer. How they doin it? I know of one well established club that Long Shooting is the main way they take thier birds. All of them agree. The place has been a duck magnet since time immortal and a person could work to commit birds any time of day during the season. They simply grew bored with working and taking birds, pass shooting provides more excitement to them.

All this just my .02 that all legal existing forms of hunting waterfowl have thier time and place when in the hands of the right person.

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Postby PinTeal » Sat Mar 18, 2006 9:12 pm

I've witnessed some long shots that drop birds DEAD. Then again, I have seen many a long shots on levees or other areas and sailing birds. I remember hunting flooded timber when people were making long shots and sailing unretrievable birds into the trees they were not invited back to hunt the club again the following year.

I too would rather decoy birds in and shoot within 25 yards where I can kill more effectively, but as long as someone is killing their birds at distance, and a ways away from me so they are not screwing up my decoying birds, to each their own. In my opinion, it's not the long shooter that gives long shooting a bad name, it is the cripplers that do.

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Postby EXTREMA » Sun Mar 19, 2006 4:14 am

i prefer to decoy birds. i'll call til my lungs fall out and try what it takes. if i've been out from 4:30 am until 4:00 pm and i'm hungry ,tired and haven't fired a shot....i might skyscrape.
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Postby ACEBLDRS » Sun Mar 19, 2006 2:55 pm

Good point about the doves Rel. Sure is a lot different outlook when it comes to just a grey dove compared to a beutiful duck. There are a lot of differents in the outlooks between the two. I don't know if there are any CHAT sited devoted totally to dove. Dove are migrators as well, and we don't hear about saving there breeding grounds. DU stands for DUCKS, not dove.

Still, if you can take a dove at 60 or more yards and everyone thinks it is a reasonable shot, how come it doesn't transfer to DUCKS?

I personally believe that chat sites like this one and others, have made people HOLLIER than THOU, or at least they think so. Everyone wants to tell me the RIGHT way to hunt and live.

I think i am an ethical hunter, I choose ethical partners. My ethics may vary from someone elses, but my groups ethics are usaully in sink. If that makes since.

I guess what i'm trying to say is GET IN WHERE YOU FIT IN.

I like shootin ducks in the face. Some days they don't cooperate. But, i always give them the chance to get shot in the face before i take what they give me.

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Postby bullet » Sun Mar 19, 2006 3:35 pm

Many good points here. As far as the dove is concerned, it's much easier to throw lead than steel.
I see guys on refuges that can flat out shoot. To those I tip my hat as long as the birds aren't decoying into my or some other guys spread. The good long shooters I find are far and few between. I pass shoot birds over my decoys on days they won'y commit. Same distance just a faster swing. My farthest shot is usually when doubling up. they get away from me and I fall victim to the longer shot. I'm a 3 handicap in golf and at 60 yards I've got a better chance to hit them with a Titleist
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Postby stalns » Sun Mar 19, 2006 10:34 pm

Let's face it boys, if you hunt the public refuges, you are going to encounter the frustration of somebody shooting when you have birds working into your spread. One of my worst nightmares is when the group of hunters next to you gets lucky and hits a bird with a skyscraping shot. Then they think that every bird at that height is in range. It will probably happen more times that not. We all know if you are at the refuge when shooting time starts and everybody is shooting, you aren't getting too many decoying birds landing into your decoys.

I am also curious as to what a "decoying bird" means to each hunter. To me a decoying bird is feet down and wings cupped. I know that in my experience at the areas I hunt, if you are waiting for a bird with wings cupped and feet down, you aren't going to be shooting limits.

What I look for are birds that are working (your spread). When you see a group (or a single) of birds that are working, then the hunt begins. This is when your hunting skills start to pay off. The calling, the decoy placement, your concealment (camoflage), your ability to read what the birds are thinking and how to get them to commit into your spread. Once they are real interested in your spread (flying into the 35 - 40 yrd range) you must then decide if you are going to get off a shot or try to get them in closer. The ability to read the birds only comes with experience. There is a fine line as when to take the shot. Not all hunters have this experience and will end up taking the long shots. The experienced hunters may try to get them closer up to the point of decoying in.

It has been my experience that most of my shots are going to be a pass- shooting shot. Which to means that the bird is flying within a range that if you hit it it will fall and it is not going to be putting down the landing gear. This may be as far out as 30 yrds and as close as 5 yrds over your decoys. If I was going to wait to shoot until every birds' landing gear was down, I wouldn't be duck hunting anymore out of frustration. This is what I call "pass shooting".

I am not sure if I got off topic here but I think I started out thinking that each one of these definitions (decoying, pass-shooting, long shot and skybusting) might mean something different to each hunter.
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Postby Russell » Mon Mar 20, 2006 10:25 am

I try to get em feet down but 7 times out of 10 its a close looky loo- fly by. A quiet afternoon during low average times produce the feet downers.

IMO....if a guy can consistently FOLD the bird on the FIRST shot, no matter the range...he is well within his skill level. Last year one day I was cut off by two guys who basically pass shot everything. They were 200 yards away and killed everything that came at me (but obviously to them first). They were good at what they did.....folded all of em, picked their shots....nothing I could do or say....I would have been wrong to bitch.

Would like to see a return of the firing lines just for pass shooters just to keep em in one area like the old days....but it ain't gonna happen.

So, yeah...there is a place for "ethical" pass shooters who can pull it off consistently, but a fine line between scrapers and cripplers.
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Postby PinTeal » Mon Mar 20, 2006 7:55 pm

Good post Stalns. Come to think of it, there are not too many teal that I have shot that responded to the call, circled the dekes and then came in landing gears down--just doesn't happen. I pass shoot teal, but only when they are well within range, otherwise I don't shoot, them bastages are too fast!

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Postby bullet » Mon Mar 20, 2006 8:46 pm

PinTeal, I hunt mainly the grasslands and good majority of my birds are Cins and Greenwings and we shoot them with their feet down. They do seem to have more confidence to commit in numbers though. The Greenheads on the other hand seemed more difficult to work then I ever remember
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Postby CrackerJackShot » Mon Mar 20, 2006 10:03 pm

ACEBLDRS wrote:I personally believe that chat sites like this one and others, have made people HOLLIER than THOU, or at least they think so. Everyone wants to tell me the RIGHT way to hunt and live.



:thumbsup: :salude: :hammering: VERY VERY TRUE. I honestly believe that people on here arent quite as innocent as they would like to think. I do believe that they can TRY to be as honest as possible but might forget once that they took a long shot or something.

Also, :salude: to WORKNEM That is by far the BEST outline of what a sky buster is and what a pass shooter is!!! GOOD JOB!!!

There are loads that can exceed 50 yards. And if the shooter can too, then thats a winning combination. I think that people have set distances that they think should never be shot over but it is not that cut and clear. Just because they might not be efficient at it, or nobody they know, doesnt mean that some people arent.
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Postby stalns » Mon Mar 20, 2006 10:18 pm

Russell wrote:Last year one day I was cut off by two guys who basically pass shot everything. They were 200 yards away and killed everything that came at me (but obviously to them first). They were good at what they did.....folded all of em, picked their shots....nothing I could do or say....I would have been wrong to bitch.


Been there Russell. :pissed:
You set up in your spot where you know how the birds are going to come in and then at shooting time some arsehole moved into your approach and starts picking off the birds coming down your flight path.. More than likely they know what the birds are going to do and because you got to the X spot before them, they take away the approach instead of moving on. If they have done this, you have a good point to bitch about. But 200 yrds off at the refuge is pretty good space between.

Pinteal, I shoot alot of teal. My thinking is that if you can shoot a limit of teal, you are shooting pretty on the mark. They can come in pretty fast and seem to be able to do loop da loops as you are putting a bead on them. I can usually bring them in with the whistle but before I see the landing gear down, they have already splashed down with the decoys. If it is a single or double, I like to let them stay there. They will suck more in in no time. But 80% of the time, they are doing fly by's and they will get pass-shot.
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Postby bullet » Tue Mar 21, 2006 7:39 am

I personally believe that chat sites like this one and others, have made people HOLLIER than THOU, or at least they think so. Everyone wants to tell me the RIGHT way to hunt and live.

I saw that too, could be me he's talking about. Probably is. I've been vocal about the long shot. Truth of the matter is I'm 45 now, eyesight diminishes, one relies on wing beats more than actual identification til they get closer. We put our Sprig out at 45 yards and 50% of the time you can barely see them through the fog. I hunt w/ a younger buck and he can barely see them too. So it's not just Oldtimerz disease. 60+ yards is out of the question. You hear them before you see them. You're greeting call is a Feed. Next time your out, mark off 70 yards, it's a poke, for me.
I use my Sprig as my gauge. Inside of that the safety's off. Truth ne told, can you except making that long walh back to the truck w/ a light strap if you did it your way. I know I can and often do. If that makes me Holyer than though...... But I know I'm not.
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Postby Russell » Tue Mar 21, 2006 10:06 am

[quote="stalns"]

Been there Russell. :pissed:
You set up in your spot where you know how the birds are going to come in and then at shooting time some arsehole moved into your approach and starts picking off the birds coming down your flight path.. More than likely they know what the birds are going to do and because you got to the X spot before them, they take away the approach instead of moving on. If they have done this, you have a good point to bitch about. But 200 yrds off at the refuge is pretty good space between.
quote]


This was legit by them....they came in during the afternoon hours after I had arrived and prolly didn't know I was there until I popped a couple coming in the backdoor. The good part was they revealed a better X to me by being there.....and thus I moved my act 200 yards north the rest of the month. :yes:
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Postby ACEBLDRS » Tue Mar 21, 2006 12:31 pm

bullet wrote:I saw that too, could be me he's talking about. Probably is. .



NO, i'm not talking about YOU!! I'm not really talking about anyone on THIS site, just thinks i've read on other sites and threads. You know, the spinner issues and other things.
.....you've got to ask yourself a question: 'Do I feel lucky?' Well, do ya, punk?

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Postby bullet » Tue Mar 21, 2006 7:28 pm

ACEBLDRS wrote:
bullet wrote:I saw that too, could be me he's talking about. Probably is. .



NO, i'm not talking about YOU!! I'm not really talking about anyone on THIS site, just thinks i've read on other sites and threads. You know, the spinner issues and other things.

Well thanks Ace but honestly wouldn't blame you.I've been more vocal on a few subjects lately than normal. I know I've never ruined a guys day of hunting with the kind of hunting I do but a few guys this year surely made my day miserable, and damn near shot my son and I. So I'm a bit touchy on the subject.
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Postby califireduck » Tue Mar 21, 2006 7:34 pm

bullet wrote:PinTeal, I hunt mainly the grasslands and good majority of my birds are Cins and Greenwings and we shoot them with their feet down. They do seem to have more confidence to commit in numbers though. The Greenheads on the other hand seemed more difficult to work then I ever remember



you must be talking about mendota....the teal were just outrageous there this year....some days it was just to hard to wait for the big ducks....fast and furious shooting is a whole other kinda fun....the days i stuck it out for mallards it usually paid off....
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Postby bullet » Tue Mar 21, 2006 8:07 pm

Califireduck, your right. I've got a place to hang my hat there so 90% of my hunting was done there. Mallards were there but seemed to want the turd ponds more so than were I was. I was sucessful getting my 1 Sprig a day, and the Widg came in late in the season. Tons of Mallards laughing at me while I drove past the closed zone though. Sorry to get off topic.
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Postby califireduck » Tue Mar 21, 2006 8:22 pm

bullet...


i to do most of my hunting there. youve probably seen me there.
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Postby bullet » Wed Mar 22, 2006 7:03 am

califireduck, that's cool. Next year won't be any different. Hope to see you there.
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Postby FSU_AG_Duck_Killer » Thu Mar 23, 2006 11:18 am

I've taken a few long shots here and there as most people have. I don't think its about the hail mary or two that get thrown up in desperation because most guys throw some up each season. It's about those who consistantly hunt that way, consistantly cripple birds, and consistantly screw up the hunts of others. To me its about the disrespect of these guys that their hunting style shows.

If somebody can kill 'em high and recover those birds then what can I say? Not a whole hell of a lot. Their birds are as dead as my birds. But when its somebody that sails 10 birds that they won't recover or just goes out to blow holes in the air at 80-100 yds I start to get a little PISSED. Either they don't know that they could be screwing up somebody elses hunt or they don't care and there is no excuse for either of those options.
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skyscrapers

Postby BrokenWing » Sun Apr 16, 2006 11:34 am

There is really no room for skyscrapers, I allow 3 1/2 inch but watch your distance and no 10-Guage allowed. Can you amagine what a 10-Guage would do to a teal at 30 yards? holly cow. :hammering:
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long pass shooting

Postby gryfox5512 » Sun Apr 16, 2006 2:31 pm

I agree with most of whats said. The new non tox loads(hevishot). have proven ballistic speed pf 800 ft/sec at 80 yds, which is a lethal velocity.I will pass shoot at 60 yd's now I've figured the lead. In reallity I will not take a shot greater than 50 yds, since I know I'm hitting the birds at greater distance, can hear the shot hit the wings. I'm SURE I' m crippling some birds so i wont shoot. High shooting is also educating the birds to fly higher. My take,20=40 yards, is correct. gryfox5512
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Re: long pass shooting

Postby WIDGEONATOR » Mon Apr 17, 2006 12:22 pm

gryfox5512 wrote:I will pass shoot at 60 yd's now I've figured the lead.
:hammering:

SOUNDS LIKE SCRAPING TO ME :yes:

Is it 20-40 or 20-60?

IMO- Non Toxic loads are for geese
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Postby Mattquack » Mon Apr 17, 2006 1:06 pm

I love this topic. There's so many different enterpretions of what's right or wrong, ethical or unethical. I've hunted with all types, and I do consider myself to be an ambassador for every sport I participate in. The last thing I would ever want is to be responsible for giving our beloved sport a bad name. With that being said, I'll tell how I shoot. I shoot 3 1/2 in shells. I like to pass shoot, and I can. I love to decoy birds, but if I get some birds buzzing by and 50 yards, but no more that 60 yards, I'll shoot him. Only if I know that I can hit him. And I know that I can, or I won't pull the trigger. I won't skyscrape. Mainly for 2 reasons. 1: I know myself well enough to know that I have trouble estimating verticle distance. I was a marksmanship instructor for a year while in the Marine Corps. So judging horizontal distance is second nature for me. 2: I HATE GETTING PEPPERED!!! So the last thing that I want to do is to pepper a fellow refuge-ite.
I've always looked at pass shooting just like it's been said about dove hunting. Until experience leads me to getting ducks to decoy more often than not, then I won't be afraid to pass shoot.

I believe that as long as I'm respectful about my shooting, and don't "long shoot" at birds that someone nearby is calling/working, then I'm doing nothing wrong.
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Postby WIDGEONATOR » Mon Apr 17, 2006 2:20 pm

I don't have any problem with pass shooting, as long as the birds are within reasonable range, and personally I feel 45 is scraping, or at least at the end of practical range.

I have never, not even one time hunted a refuge, so what goes on there would be merely speculation on my part.

As far as I am concerned people who shoot at birds 45+ on a regular basis have serious issues. Of course, hunting a refuge is a different story, so I guess when your in Rome, do as the Romans do! Scrape like your the king of all scrapers! :cool:
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