Water Swatting

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Do you water swat?

Poll ended at Tue Feb 07, 2006 9:23 pm

yes
4
50%
no
4
50%
only when nobodys watching
0
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Total votes : 8

Water Swatting

Postby marcbme » Sat Jan 28, 2006 9:23 pm

Settle a Friday night bar bet for us please.....Is water swatting illegal in Montana?

Do you or Don't you water swat? Why, Why not?
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Postby Leakydecoy » Sat Jan 28, 2006 10:01 pm

I assume by "water swatting" you mean shooting an incomer that lands or an unsuspecting bird already on the water while jumpshooting as opposed to finishing off a cripple?

There is no regulation in Montana stating that the bird has to be in the air.
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Postby marcbme » Sat Jan 28, 2006 10:07 pm

I'm sorry, didn't elaborate.....By "water swatting" I mean blasting a duck/goose on the water, not flying.
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Postby DownThePipe » Sat Jan 28, 2006 11:51 pm

There is nothign illegal about that at all. In fact, on slow days when I am by myself, I will try and land a flock of more than 4 birds in order to get three quality shots off- giving me a for sure on the first bird and then a good chance to finish off the triple..that is just me though :yes: :yes:

This year I had a redhead that skirted the decoys and landed at about 35 yards...I did all I could to get him to go airborn but he just start swimming hastily- needless to say I wasn't going to let him get away- and put a great 40 or so yard water swat on him.

The only problem is that by water swatting you are aiming for a much smaller area with very little vital body parts in a good position to make a kill. Obviously the head/neck is the best place to hit- but hitting any other part of the bird and you will have an almost for sure cripple.
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Postby dukkilr6 » Sun Jan 29, 2006 4:53 am

If the question is whether or not it is legal as far as I know it is. The real question is are you a sportsman or not. Ya we all shoot cripples on the water but live unharmed birds is a different story. atleast try to get them up, maybe by throwing a shell or something, but in my opinion shooting a duck on the water is about as fun as shooting the neighbors dog when it comes into your yard. It all comes down to your ethics wiitch vary from person to person. I'll be the first t admit that if a duck swims away it won the battle. Dont worry there will be more!
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Postby Leakydecoy » Sun Jan 29, 2006 9:10 am

Maybe you're familiar with the "Five Stages of a Hunter," a natural progression or evolution identified by a survey of hunters and repeated in subsequent surveys. It's not rules for how we should be but rather observations of how we act.

Stage 1: Shooter
2: Limiting Out
3: Method
4: Trophy
5: Sportsman

Water swatting is generally part of Stage 2.

http://www.nodakoutdoors.com/hunter-stages.php
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Postby DownThePipe » Sun Jan 29, 2006 11:44 am

I think the stages of hunters are all fine and good...but I think I go through each stage at a different time of the year- from hunt to hunt.

2: Limiting Out- there is no doubt that on opening day I am in search of a limit, not really worried about what species or if...for example...a teal is a hen or a drake- you would have to be a hell of a biologist to them at even five feet which are drakes, so I am out there to shoot my seven birds and start the year off with a bang.
3: Method- There is nothing better than putting out a 120 decoys and hunting the big water, but it is also incredible to put out 12 decoys on a small pond and whack a bunch of mallards. Shooting out of a layout boat or laying in the mud, changing methods is what makes the season so fun- trying to get the upper-hand on the hunters and birds is what I think about every hour of the day.
4: Trophy- when the canvasbacks and redheads are in the area- I will forego any other puddle duck to go after these birds. If it means I will get a drake canvasback, I will pass on 14 drake mallards...If it means I get to shoot a mounter pintail- I will take that over a limit of anything but cans and reds. I have set up many a spread to target one bird- luckily I am usually in a spot where I have a chance to shoot some others.
5: Sportsman- this year on the last day of the season- I went out there knowing that I would be lucky to have a bird come into shooting range. I set up my decoys at 12 PM and sat until the last second of shooting light, just enjoying the sites of thousands of birds landing in places that I could not access. I was cold and did not fire a shot, but there is something glorious about seeing the sun go down that final time and knowing that the ducks made it- but also reflecting back on the best hunts of the year.

Anyways, I am not trying to call you out LeakyDecoy, but sometimes that formula doesn't always work in my opinion. Heck, you could throw water-swatting under number 3 or 4 as method or trophy- because if I am using a method of 6 can decoys with 3 dozen coots and have a can land at twenty yards while I am not aware- he will see a load of 3" 2's coming at him when he is trying to swim away...because I have not shot a can in 3 years- and it could be three more years....or twenty...
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Postby Leakydecoy » Sun Jan 29, 2006 12:26 pm

You seem pretty defensive for someone who hasn't been accused of anything.
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Postby DownThePipe » Sun Jan 29, 2006 2:48 pm

I can't say I was being defensive at all...take it as you will though...I just can't say I agree 100% with the whole stages of a hunter- at least in the form of a person advancing from one stage to another in succession from year to year or as they progress. I think a person goes through a different stage each hunt or even each part of a hunt.

Heck, I remember a hunt I was planning on targeting Divers only- I went out in the afternoon not really expecting to see many birds/shoot many birds- but hoping for the best. I set out my diver dekes and started having singles come in about 10-20 minutes after each other. All of these singles were hens- and after I had shot a hen ringneck, hen scaup, and hen redhead, I re evaluated the hunt and realized I had a real shot here to shoot some quality birds. So I started passing all of the hens and only shooting nice drakes- and taking out the camera to try and capture some hens coming into the decoys in flight. I ended the day up with those first 3 hens and 4 pretty good drakes.
Anyways- that day I started as a sportsmen/method hunter, and then quickly realized I could be a trophy bird hunter (looking for some mounter ringers, reds, or 'bills), and then when I realized I had a chance to limit- I was then a limit hunter....anyways- just my thoughts on the whole deal.

Sorry to hijack the thread- I would say that for the most part it is pointless to shoot birds on the water- but it does have its place in specific situations.
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Postby Fredito » Sun Jan 29, 2006 9:41 pm

Guys...I realize that this post is going to have different views, basically ground sloushing or not....but please becareful about comments that may seem like a personal attack at someone....
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Postby Duck Runner » Mon Jan 30, 2006 2:49 am

No law against it, so if you want to Arkansas a duck then I have no problem with it. I prefer to have that duck up in the air where I get to swing the gun and (more than likely) pump the gun to fire again! LOL!

I know a few folks in NoDak that would say hunting over water is totally unethical and that field hunting is the only hunting that should be allowed. Either way, it's a matter of what your preference is. If you really think about it though, whats the difference between a 'sitting duck' and a duck that has been flapping over your decoys for five seconds while you put the bead on it?? When I lived in Nebraska we knew some spots that the ducks would come right in and then sit there in the air a few seconds before sitting down. We never had to fire above our heads, just straight forward while we were sitting in our chairs - same concept as busting some ducks on the water to me.

Check out the Duckmen videos and watch them shoot duck after duck on the water. To me is doesn't seem like much fun, but then again I don't think deer hunting would be much fun - and look how many people like that.. Different strokes for different folks...

How many more days until opening day? :getdown:
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Postby Leakydecoy » Mon Jan 30, 2006 10:17 pm

DR, which would you say presents the shooter a lower probability of wounding, a 'sitting duck' (i.e. on the water) or a duck that has been flapping over your decoys for five seconds, both at the same distance?
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Postby Duck Runner » Mon Jan 30, 2006 11:59 pm

Leaky, I can't say that I know the answer to your question on a statistics basis, but I am gonna say that you are more likely to wound a 'sitting duck'.. Ready for the explanation - here goes...

Thought behind the answer is that there is more of the duck exposed to the pattern while the duck is in the air - whereas the duck that is sitting is not exposing it's front side - and the back of a duck is difficult to shoot through - that's why you want them cupped up and infront. It's nearly pointless to shoot at a duck that is flying away from you because steel shot isn't very good with bringing down a duck from behind. Same concept as a duck that is sitting on the water...

Or I think of it like this - how many times have you downed a bird into the water and crippled it - so you blast it again and the thing just keeps swimming away. I have stopped shooting them again because it's basically just wasting a shell when I can wade across the marsh and get 'em.

Now - this is all suggesting that the duck is around 25-35 yards out - about the optimum distance for most patterns - if that duck were 20 yards or closer - then it's a little different story.

What are your thoughts?
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Postby marcbme » Tue Jan 31, 2006 12:28 am

Couldn't agree with you more
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Postby Leakydecoy » Tue Jan 31, 2006 1:22 am

You asked "...what's the difference between a 'sitting duck' and a duck that has been flapping over your decoys for five seconds?" I'd say a big difference and for exactly the reason you provided: more of the duck's vitals are exposed. I agree that the difference in lethality between the two methods lessens inside of twenty yards and increases as you move beyond twenty yards.

For me, the ethical question regarding waterswatting is not so much whether I kill a duck in the air or on the water (since they're both dead) so much as it is a question of whether I have done as much as I could to make a quick and clean kill. Consequently, and based on the previous paragraph, I choose to limit my shots to those that are close in and in the air.
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Postby Duck Runner » Tue Jan 31, 2006 9:36 am

I see what you were suggesting about my 'what's the difference' reference. I was mostly comparing the fact that a 'sitting duck' has very little chance of getting away, whereas that flying duck already has momentum behind it's escape (if it gets one). However, the duck that is flapping over the decoys for a few seconds really doesn't have much momentum either - so they are relatively 'sitting ducks' in the air.

I personally don't like to shoot the ducks on the water no matter what the situation - not saying I won't if the situation is right though.
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Postby 7grnhds » Tue Feb 07, 2006 9:19 pm

i dont know i think there is good and bad to doing it and yes i have done it more than a few times. for one it is easy for a new shooter to hit a duck on the water than it is one winging over the deeks. bad yes you crip alot, but they are usuall close to the shore if you shoot them in the water, so if you have a dog i think its ok. I let new shooters shoot ducks sitting in the water
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Postby LaRedneck » Wed Feb 08, 2006 12:49 am

MAN IF IT GOT THIS HEATED IN THIS FORUM MA'GIN WHAT IT WAS LIKE AT THE BAR :eek: BUUUUTTT my two cents are as a young hunter is was taught ethics, but as a father and husband i'm taught to do whatever it take to put food on the table, yes there are limits to what i'll do reverting back to ethic but come on guys if its not a law chill! As long as your not hurting yourself or someone and being true to the inner sportsman than WHY CARE what someone else does Next topic.
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Postby Hart » Thu Feb 23, 2006 9:26 pm

I don't shoot birds on the water unless they are crippled. I have my own set of standards when it comes to waterfowl hunting. Some of my standards are the direct result of my own ethical opinions and others are simply to make the sport a little more challenging and make the day last a little longer. The important thing we all need to remember is individual hunting standards, as long as they are within the law, are a personal thing. We are all hunters and as long as we are, we all need to stick together. Set your own personal standards and stick with them. Enjoy God's creation and enjoy the company of all your brothers in the marsh.
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Postby fun4jake » Mon Feb 27, 2006 5:58 pm

Actually LAredneck

This has been a pretty good and mild discussion. As moderators we have had very little to do in this thread and in the Montana group. I think alot has come out of this thread and Hart summed it up pretty well. We all set our own standards, personal, ethical, legal, etc. As long as we can go to sleep at night without feeling guilty than all is well. This is one of those agree to disagree things. Let topic continue and keep it clean.

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Postby LaRedneck » Tue Feb 28, 2006 7:29 am

Sorry had a little to much to drink that night and go a little mouthy but anyhow how is the duk hunting i MO, i'm in AK right now and plan to move back to the lower 48 soon and would like to go there. I'm in the military so i'd be huntin around the base mostly but don't mind travelin. I've taken a trip that went through MO and loved it, just outside of great falls was beautiful. Don't mind me i'm just a redneck.
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Postby fun4jake » Tue Feb 28, 2006 3:22 pm

no problem, just did not want you to get the wrong idea. When its time to hunt in MT give us some warning and we will give you some ideas of where to go.
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