mtbaughs wrote:Some may think that there are a few situations where hunting without a dog or boat might work if the river is shallow and the hunter has waders though in that situation a wounded duck will almost always be lost unless its next to dead. A broken wing and its highly unlikely you'll ever catch it though I'd like to watch someone try. I don't see a hunter searching through bank brush for a wounded duck for very long. Of course dogs will miss some retrieves but the % of loss is WAY less unless the dog has an owner who hasn't spent the time. In killing an animal, we should honor it by doing everything possible to harvest it. The above scenario I think may increase chances but still leaves the door too open for wounded birds to get away.
Almost always be lost? You're telling me that if it weren't for your dog you would lose just about every bird you shoot that isn't stone dead when it hits the ground/water? I guess if you're hunting deep water that makes sense, but not everyone hunts deep water. You don't use the tactic of a follow up shot for cripples?
A bird that hits the water and only has a broken wing is going to out swim a dog anyways, or at least make for an extremely long retrieve as it repeatedly dives to escape the dog. I would hope that in those situations the hunter is prepared to shoot the bird again on the water as soon as it's obvious that the take down shot was not lethal, if for no other reason than to allow the dog an easier and safer retrieve without risking the bird getting into the bank and the dog having to navigate over hanging brush.
I'll give you a 100% true scenario illustrating my opinion on this, for what it's worth. This past weekend we had reasonably good shoots both days on water that I can easily wade without ever being above my waist. Two dogs with on Saturday, one dog with on Sunday, not because we needed them but because we enjoy hunting with our dogs. Of all the retrieves that the dogs made (somewhere in the neighborhood of 20-25) there are only two that I can think of where we actually NEEDED them to do it, and both of those birds could have easily been passed up if we didn't have dogs that we knew could make the retrieve.
I agree with you in principle, that every attempt should be made to harvest a wounded/killed animal. I just don't think that the idea of forcing people to not hunt a body of water like the Boise river because they don't own a dog is a good idea. It would just turn one group of hunters against the other, and that's not good for any of us.