Hunting Standards

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Hunting Standards

Postby valleydrakes » Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:16 am

I have enjoyed reading this blog from time to time over the years. The most recent post on the blog made me question if it is right or sporting to shoot ducks on the pond. I am new to waterfowl hunting and don't pretend to know much about it. That's why I am throwing the question out for some feedback.

Until seeing this video, I would have thought most hunters didn't shoot ducks on the water but instead would flush them and then shoot them. I don't recall anybody telling me it was "wrong" to shoot ducks on the water so I cannot really explain why I have that perception. A video of the shoot can be seen at the blog post or at

I am not being critical of the blog post or the hunter. I simply do not know enough about duck hunting standards and I am eager for some feedback about it. Do CT regulations allow decoys to be left in the water without anyone hunting over them?
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Re: Hunting Standards

Postby SquadIrons » Thu Dec 06, 2012 2:24 pm

I try my best to shoot while they are off the water. If they get in and land without me looking I'll take them on the water, but usually if they swim in I'll flush them. Or at least try to. I've had times where I popped up to flush them and shoot and they just swim away, they didn't fly. If that's the case then I'll shoot them on the water, also.
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Re: Hunting Standards

Postby falcon » Thu Dec 06, 2012 3:05 pm

In the hunters safety course the state gives they say to not shoot a duck on the water as it is unsportmans like. Bull chit. If you get up before the sun and are in your spot/blind with decoys out and you did your homework on where to setup to be successful you are a sportmans in my eyes. You did all this to fool your quarry into coming in close to be shot, on the water or in the air. Now if you are going to shoot on the water be aware that the further away a duck is from you the less likely you will kill it. I've watch many over the years try and shoot a duck at 40-50 yards on the water only to watch the bird get up and fly away. As Clint Eastwood would say,"Man has to know his limitations"
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Re: Hunting Standards

Postby JimG » Thu Dec 06, 2012 3:58 pm

Valley Drakes.... Except for Hens Only and apparently Falcon, shooting ducks on the water is unsportsmanlike. The thing to do is to let the birds swim into gun range, stand up and yell "HEY HEY HEY" at the ducks. The ducks will then swim to the fringe of gun range or beyond then take flight, at which point you shoot and miss. Then your dog pisses on your leg. At times it can be productive to force the birds into flight by shooting NEXT to them. If your aim is bad and you ACCIDENTALLY shoot the bird on the water you just explain "I didn't shoot that bird on the water. I shot NEXT to it to make it fly and MISSED". I have seen the Tool use this technique. He is a bad shot and "misses" all of the time.

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Re: Hunting Standards

Postby Me and Black Betty » Thu Dec 06, 2012 5:13 pm

Do you wait until the deer starts to run before you take a shot?

I don't shoot at birds on the water because too much of the bird is actually under the water and not exposed, not because it is unsportsmenlike. As somebody said, I pay enough in license fees and crap to warrent killing what I see. However, the chances of a clean kill is better if they are taking off or out of the water as more of their body is exposed. More importantly know the distance of the shot and the pattern of your gun and know your limits. If you practice enough and learn to shoot, taking a duck on the wing shouldn't be any different than shooting one on the pond. Now with that said, if the stupid thing sits there after I try to flush it, I will shoot it, and then shoot it again if it doesn't die the first time.
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Re: Hunting Standards

Postby Lead Shot Only » Thu Dec 06, 2012 8:18 pm

Ground swatting is the best way to make fast kill. I have no shame in doing it. It like some guy who wont pass shoot, dont het that either. I think there is actually a member on here with the name groundswatter, he must be a pro. Got any tips?
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Re: Hunting Standards

Postby Citori16 » Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:02 pm

Wingshots are my goal, but that's not to say I don't fall short...especially after a long day of no action and a single zips into the deeks.

When the birds are showing you their breasts :biggrin: their vitals are exposed, and it becomes an easy kill. They have a harder time backpedaling. That's what I try to get them to do. I've noticed a 50/50 chance of wounding birds when they are wingtips to me, and I believe it's because the wings protect the vitals on the downflap. I have seen Grouse flop down belly up and then get up in a few seconds and scamper off with a broken wing after being hit with a duck load at 15 yards...nevermind a winterized duck.

If they are on the water, the percentage of clean kills goes down alot...and, yes, that is my experience, not observations of other peoples. Nothing worse than chasing after a bird in a swamp shooting 4 or 5 times to get it to stop and die :mad: that's a real good way to discover a muck hole deeper than your waders. :eek:

Sometimes I carry a bunch of Hi Brass #6 Hevi Shot to finish off a wounded swimmer.

As I've only gone out for ducks 3 times this year so far I am still on target for that goal with the ONE duck I've shot. Work sucks :crying: ...but it buys more decoys. :rolleyes:
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Re: Hunting Standards

Postby ctdeathfrombelow » Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:51 pm

The "Old Timers" used to wait until the birds were on the water and thought it was "un-sportsmanlike" if you shot them while they were flying. The name of the game was tricking the birds into landing in your spread, that was the accomplishment, not shooting a duck flying 60yds out. I can hit em in the air but not on the water so I usually try to scare them up with noise or throwing something. It's more fun to watch them fold and fall! :wink:
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Re: Hunting Standards

Postby hardcoreducks » Fri Dec 07, 2012 12:08 am

I usually don't shoot them on the water. But then again it depends on my mood. If I've been missing all day and am pissed I usually will. I went into this season telling myself that I shoot enough birds so that I don't need to shoot them on the water, and so far this is the first season I haven't done it.
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Postby duckdiesel » Fri Dec 07, 2012 12:22 pm

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Last edited by duckdiesel on Tue Dec 11, 2012 12:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Hunting Standards

Postby GuitarPlayer » Mon Dec 10, 2012 7:48 pm

I get it, but those ducks weren't dead bro...
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Re: Hunting Standards

Postby DUKHTR » Tue Dec 11, 2012 8:48 am

it's a PERSONAL issue........I for one, have not and will not, shoot a duck on the water that is not wounded.......that is MY way of hunting and I do not put down anyone for their practices.....that said, I will not hunt with anyone that does it and they are not welcome in my boat......I am not some elitist or snob, just the way I hunt.......some guys shoot only drakes (if they can ID the species), some shoot only decoying birds.
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Re: Hunting Standards

Postby golferboy426 » Sat Dec 15, 2012 9:03 am

I get it, but those ducks weren't dead bro..

I thought so too but I emailed the son who told me his dad waded in after a couple of minutes, picked up the ducks , both dead, .Only the one shot was fired.

We all have seen well hit ducks take a while to die. Heck just last week I hit a drake that flew close to 100 yds when I got there in my kayak it was stone dead
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Re: Hunting Standards

Postby mosherd1 » Sun Dec 16, 2012 8:29 pm

I have never shot a duck on the water that was not wounded. I hunt 2-3 times per week and would rather come back empty handed then to shoot a swimming duck. I will always scare them up, or put a shot in next to them to jump them up. Sometimes when I jump them I will let them fly 5-10 yards out so they are not mashed with shot. I am not so desperate to kill a duck to kill one swimming. The way I look at it, some days you do all the work and you get nothing, thats nature and those are the breaks sometimes. Other days you do the work and get rewarded with great opportunites. Thats why it is called hunting and not shooting. With the justification of putting the work in, so I deserve a duck, one might as well sky bust because you deserve a duck. The other thing is that as others have said, killing a duck on the water is hard but wounding one is easy. I would rather make a clean kill if at all possible. To each his own, but for me I will not do it.
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Re: Hunting Standards

Postby reddogs » Sun Dec 16, 2012 8:57 pm

mosherd1 wrote: I am not so desperate to kill a duck to kill one swimming.

I wait until they stop swimming.
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Hunting Standards

Postby Frylock » Wed Dec 19, 2012 8:13 am

reddogs wrote:
mosherd1 wrote: I am not so desperate to kill a duck to kill one swimming.

I wait until they stop swimming.

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