Shooting Hens

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Shooting Hens

Postby Duck Runner » Sat Oct 28, 2006 9:22 am

Instead of hijacking Troutslayer's thread, I am starting this one to maybe liven it up around here and get some discussion started. Now, here's the deal - this can be a very sensitive topic for some people so lets show some class and discuss the matter without attacking each other.

Here's my stance. I have no problem shooting a hen or two on occasion. My reasoning for thinking this is simple. I don't target female geese or teal (if you can identify them and pick only the males then I want to know how you do it). Teal can be identified in later parts of the season, true, but I don't know of too many people around here who will harvest them in full plumage. to be able to tell the difference. I hunt for meat and a hen tastes just the same as a drake. I can legally shoot 2 hens daily and that is accounted for in setting waterfowl season lengths and bag limits.

So what does everyone else say?
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Postby ben » Sat Oct 28, 2006 10:34 am

i have a friend who works for the usfw as a biologist and she said that even if hunters shot thier limits in hens, 2 mallard hens not the full 4-5 limit, it still would have little to no effect on population. we do not have impact on the breed. i still try to pick out drakes though. guess old habits die hard!
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Postby Troutslayer » Sat Oct 28, 2006 6:38 pm

I will shoot a hen, obviously, and I don't see anything wrong with it. I try not to make a habit of it, but there are plenty of days when you're not going to get all green and my trigger finger gets real itchy sometimes. If I'm in a spot and seeing a lot of greenheads I will only shoot for them. I don't think I'm doing significant damage to the population having shot 4 or 5 hens so far this year. Drakes are bigger and for some reason I think they're better eating, they don't taste as muddy to me. If we were hurting the population I think there would be more restrictions in place which would be fine by me but it would limit the opportunities to shoot which might steer people away from the sport which would lead to less conservation efforts and less ducks total so it must be good for ducks to shoot a hen or two once in a while.
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Postby Hart » Sat Oct 28, 2006 10:35 pm

[url="http://www.hunt101.com/?p=445404&c=500&z=1"]Image[/url]



Personally I don't shoot hens. It's the right decision for me and I don't have anything against folks that decide differently. If we shot hens the day would end far to quickly.
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Postby wingnutty » Sun Oct 29, 2006 10:56 am

Amen Hart :salude:

I personally don't have anything against guys shooting hens, unless they are hunting very often and always taking 2 hens, cause that sure adds up.

Personally, I like the color GREEN :toofunny:
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Postby marcbme » Sun Oct 29, 2006 1:13 pm

People far smarter then I looked at the population data, pounded on thier scientific calculators and came back with the limits on hens.

That being said, I have no problem shooting hens. Someday I might be good enough of a hunter to be pickier.
Lord......let me be as good a hunter as my dog thinks I am....amen
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Postby nelli21 » Sun Oct 29, 2006 7:20 pm

you know i personally DO NOT shoot hens, but along with others I do not look down on someone who does shoot hens it your legal right. My family, friends and I started a tradition a few years ago, that if you shoot a suzie you owe five dollars to a pot, and by the end of the year (depending on how the season went) you would take all the money in the pot (Or jar) and buy some new hunting supplies. Like decoys or what have you. It is a great way to keep your self and buddies in check and have a little fun while your at it. good luck out there and dont get your feathers all in a mess. we are here to support eachother.
Until Next time.......
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Postby Hart » Sun Oct 29, 2006 11:01 pm

Ok here's what happens when you say "personaly I don't shoot hens". I guess I should have said personaly I never purposely shoot hens. Here's my birds from today's hunt and as you can see there's a brown one right in the middle. Collateral damage :-). The rest were very much on purpose.

[url="http://www.hunt101.com/?p=445804&c=500&z=1"]Image[/url]
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Postby Duck Runner » Sun Oct 29, 2006 11:42 pm

That's a good haul Hart. I have yet to get into the geese, but hopefully it happens soon!
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Postby nelli21 » Mon Oct 30, 2006 9:34 am

I know what you are saying when you shoot a hen on accident. It happens more than id like. That is a nice limit Hart (the Canadians should be on there way now with this weather) good luck out there.

Until next time
happy hunting and God Bless
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Postby phutch30 » Mon Oct 30, 2006 10:34 am

It’s a well know fact of waterfowl science that hens have a much higher mortality then drakes,mostly due to nest predation. So my feeling is if you can avoid them then why not do so. I love to argue the compensatory vs additive argument. For those of you not familiar with it. Here it is in a basic nut shell.

Compensatory= shooting them will have no effect on the population of the species because some % are going to die anyway.

Additive= Additional mortality will have an impact on the population due to low populations, or other factors than are influencing the species

Most waterfowl bag limits are based on the assumption of compensatory mortality and rightly so. Some are going to die anyway. However, the fact remains if you shoot them there is no chance they will be able to breed in the spring.

Note-What I am about to spout off about deals only with easily identified hen waterfowl i.e. mallards, pintail, teal and divers. Gads and widgeon while identifiable can be difficult under normal conditions. I shoot 6-10 of these a year by mistake.

Ok here are my feelings on the subject. I have no problem with shooting an intentional hen once in while. I shot one yesterday in fact. However it was the first intential hen I have shot in several years. I dont count accidental hens they happen. I think beginners should shoot anything they want. But IF you can avoid shooting a hen its better waterfowl management in the long term to avoid them. I dont think as a rule we should shoot 2 hens just to fill a limit. This always holds true-

DEAD HENS DONT LAY EGGS!
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Postby Hart » Mon Oct 30, 2006 10:45 pm

Well said Hutch. We love it when you let the biologist come out. that makes a lot of sense. Enough brown goin down. Let's nock the tar out of some Green.
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