Chasing cripples

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Chasing cripples

Postby bayside » Sat Dec 28, 2013 10:48 am

Hunting divers yesterday, we lost a bufflehead. Chased it in the boat (no dog), swatted it twice and still it managed to get into the shallows and avoid capture. I HATE losing birds. Wasn't mine so didn't get too riled about it. Packing up to go, another party takes a reeaall long shot at brant, eventually the bird drops. they don't chase it. Since we were leaving, I decided to fetch it and return to hunters to make karmic amends for losing the buffie. Back at the ramp a discussion ensues about retrieving game. I personally will go to great lengths to get birds I shoot. Another said he doesn't sweat it too much as nothing goes to waste in nature. (which I agree with on the face but feel responsible for MY dead birds). Not looking to get flamed, just a survey of attitudes about game retrieval.
PS Anyone know the enforcement attitude toward shooting cripples from a boat? (I know shooting under power is verboten, but chasing, stopping, loading and still having bird in high percentage range can be challenging.)
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Re: Chasing cripples

Postby papageno » Sat Dec 28, 2013 1:20 pm

Personally, I will always make a reasonable effort to get cripples. Getting older, the retrieve effort is less while the physical effort is actually greater. If the birds are flying, I will not waste the whole day trying to find a likely unfindable cripple, however.

From a boat is different… there is no excuse not putting a reasonable effort in unless sea conditions make it unsafe.

What the folks you came across did (or in this case didn't do) is illegal and completely unethical. It falls under and the definition of Wanton Waste. Making no effort at retrieving is slob hunting. You're not required to kill yourself chasing crips, but you should have a reasonable expectation of finding them before you shoot and putting a solid effort into retrieving. His excuse about nature does not hold up - he should try telling it to a CO.

Divers are notoriously hard crips to retrieve, but brant are not.
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Re: Chasing cripples

Postby jerseywaterfowler » Sat Dec 28, 2013 4:27 pm

If you shoot a bird and make zero effort to retrieve it thats disgusting. Dont bother hunting, go shoot clays.
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Re: Chasing cripples

Postby FFT » Sat Dec 28, 2013 4:36 pm

I spent one hour this week in a thicket looking for a woodcock. I wentas far as removing the dogs collar and vest so he could belly crawl in. I was covered in briars and tore my hands to crap. The dog has rasberies from one end of his ass up to his chin. Thats how much effort we put in.

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Re: Chasing cripples

Postby bayside » Sat Dec 28, 2013 4:51 pm

On the brant we retrieved for another party, their boat was hi & dry (tho they did have a dog) but bird was riding current and pushed by wind away. Furthermore, after delivering bird, we were told they had a boat on call (guide operation, which I verified at home via web) but we did not know as we went for their brant. So cant necessarily toss them under the bus for not retrieving, as we may have interfered before all options exercised. I should have been clearer, but didn't want to be long winded.
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Re: Chasing cripples

Postby Batsto » Sat Dec 28, 2013 5:55 pm

FFT...did you find that woodcock? I just did the same thing last week. I was lucky we found the darn bird wedged in between two tree limbs about 4 feet up. It took me and the dog about15 mins.
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Re: Chasing cripples

Postby xxDuckWildxx » Sat Dec 28, 2013 6:48 pm

I hate losing birds too, just last week I went out to look for a downed hen mallard twice that fell across the stream on a neighboring property. Both times I took the dog over, the second time I also had a second set of eyes. We exhausted ourselves for over an hour looking for that bird. It really bothers me, but like was previously mentioned I know the bird won't go to waste. My kids and I missed out on the duck nuggets though...never had the cripple shooting from a boat explained by a warden, but in my opinion the laws contradict themselves. On one hand it says you must make every reasonable effort to reduce a cripple to your possession, but you may not shoot at a bird until the boat loses all momentum from power. I think from an ethics standpoint it's best to power up as close as possible to the cripple and make the high percentage shot, but it may be difficult to prove to the warden that the bird was previously crippled if he didn't see you shoot it from the blind first.
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Re: Chasing cripples

Postby jerseywaterfowler » Sat Dec 28, 2013 9:11 pm

I admit I don't have a boat beyond a canoe. Would a long handled fishing net be an option?
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Re: Chasing cripples

Postby FFT » Sat Dec 28, 2013 9:32 pm

Batsto wrote:FFT...did you find that woodcock? I just did the same thing last week. I was lucky we found the darn bird wedged in between two tree limbs about 4 feet up. It took me and the dog about15 mins.

Nope, I can't tell you how frustrated I was. If the tail feathers didn't blow past my face I would swear it didn't drop.
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Re: Chasing cripples

Postby bayside » Sun Dec 29, 2013 6:49 am

Duck Wild, your point on pursuing cripples from a boat is exactly what I wanted to express. I believe we lost that bufflehead because of following letter of law. I was not in boat, but I watched my partner motor to bird, disengage motor, turn it off, load a shell, shoot, shout obscenity when bird kept going, crank engine and do it again. I lost sight of him around a point at which time he said boat was grounded and too muddy to pursue by foot. I feel that a more aggressive action to get bird would have been more in spirit of wanton waste rule, but violation of other aspects. Further, in my (admitted few) yrs of watching I've seen all kinds of antics of hunters chasing birds so I understand the need for laws. For me it has made me a more conservative shooter, taking what I feel are high percentage shots for my skill level. Also, makes me REALLY want a dog!
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Re: Chasing cripples

Postby xxDuckWildxx » Sun Dec 29, 2013 6:56 pm

Agreed Bayside...and like they say, a good dog truly is a great conservation tool. My pup is 17 months old and we're starting to reap the benefits of his talents...and to the point posted about long handled fishing nets, I've used them in the past and they help considerably especially for stone dead birds but even cripples in bad shape. You're going to need a hell of a net for a winged diver though! :yes:
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Re: Chasing cripples

Postby duk_hunter155 » Mon Dec 30, 2013 9:24 am

Cripples. Everyone hates to lose a cripple. But there are times when you need to be careful when you send a dog for a cripple without a boat or with a boat that won't start. A strong cripple can take your dog completely out of your view, yes the chances are you will get your dog back but I can tell you from experience you may not ever see your dog again. When a dog is two feet from a cripple and chasing it forever and the wind is against you no matter how well trained you retriever is there is always this chance.
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Re: Chasing cripples

Postby wingshot1 » Sun Jan 26, 2014 6:47 pm

If you read the sea duck Regs they allow you to chase and shoot cripples under power.. Only makes sense to allow the same for divers.
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Re: Chasing cripples

Postby duk_hunter155 » Mon Jan 27, 2014 8:37 am

Almost everyone hates to lose a crippled bird. But for my own information what were you going to do with the bufflehead if you retrieved it? Just wondering other than a mount.
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Re: Chasing cripples

Postby bayside » Mon Jan 27, 2014 7:24 pm

DH155,
I've eaten buffles but don't much care for them. Before I go coastal, I have an acquaintance I fish with that eats them and, well just about anything (incl mergs), I check with him to make sure I can give my "undesireables" away, else I minimize the harvest to that which I can make use of the meat. Brant I found make decent jerky, some of the divers can get mixed sparingly in with heavily seasoned dishes and the family is none the wiser.
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Re: Chasing cripples

Postby duk_hunter155 » Tue Jan 28, 2014 9:57 am

bayside wrote:DH155,
I've eaten buffles but don't much care for them. Before I go coastal, I have an acquaintance I fish with that eats them and, well just about anything (incl mergs), I check with him to make sure I can give my "undesireables" away, else I minimize the harvest to that which I can make use of the meat. Brant I found make decent jerky, some of the divers can get mixed sparingly in with heavily seasoned dishes and the family is none the wiser.



The first ducks I ever shot were 6 buffies. I painstakingly plucked everyone by hand, marinated them in buttermilk over night, roasted them in the oven till golden brown. I remember taking a picture of them coming out of the oven they looked like James Beard had prepared them. I made some wild rice and had a orange glaze. I cut the first piece put it in my mouth. I still gag just thinking of the alarm that went off in my mouth that screamed abort abort! Not wanting the meat to go to waste I cut it up and put in in my faithful retriever's bowl as a reward for bringing all 6 of them back to hand. He nosed around in the bowl then looked up at me as to say no way man I'm not eating this shat. This from a dog who as a puppy swallowed stones.
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Re: Chasing cripples

Postby papageno » Tue Jan 28, 2014 10:16 am

My system goes in reverse for all divers…. Lab and yorkie love them - dachshund looks like a kid eating spinach.
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Re: Chasing cripples

Postby FFT » Tue Jan 28, 2014 11:38 am

wingshot1 wrote:If you read the sea duck Regs they allow you to chase and shoot cripples under power.. Only makes sense to allow the same for divers.

If you are one mile from land, this is true. Otherwise it becomes an offence.

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Re: Chasing cripples

Postby LeakyBoot » Tue Jan 28, 2014 8:42 pm

duk_hunter155 wrote:

The first ducks I ever shot were 6 buffies. I painstakingly plucked everyone by hand, marinated them in buttermilk over night, roasted them in the oven till golden brown. I remember taking a picture of them coming out of the oven they looked like James Beard had prepared them. I made some wild rice and had a orange glaze. I cut the first piece put it in my mouth. I still gag just thinking of the alarm that went off in my mouth that screamed abort abort! Not wanting the meat to go to waste I cut it up and put in in my faithful retriever's bowl as a reward for bringing all 6 of them back to hand. He nosed around in the bowl then looked up at me as to say no way man I'm not eating this shat. This from a dog who as a puppy swallowed stones.


One time I shot 6 Buffys and decided to cook them. Tasted so bad they got fed to the dog as well. After eating them Buffys the dog ran out the front door howling like a Beagle chasing a rabbit. He rolled around in the lawn and then began licking his butt, just to get the taste outta his mouth. :smile:
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