Lost & Found Ducks -- what do YOU do?

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Lost & Found Ducks -- what do YOU do?

Postby bluewing77 » Wed Dec 09, 2009 9:29 am

ok, i'll set it up. based on actual events, and a recent topic of conversation.

its mid morning and things are slowing down, you really ought to get going. you've got enough ducks in the bag to call it a successful hunt. youre just about to pack it up when a lone mallard swings by in range, you take a shot, maybe break a wing tip and the it sails off into the marsh. you mark the spot and wade out to find it. lo and behold, about 6 feet to the left of your now dead mallard, you see: [another good dead duck that would not put you over your limit] ... you can clearly see that this duck has been dead for maybe a couple hours (fresh blood, not completely stiff but totally soaked feathers). and you were about to leave anyway.

do you:
1) leave the duck, maybe somebody will keep looking for it and besides its not a banded greenhead. coyotes gotta eat too.
2) take it with you and deny everything, you snooze you lose.
3) take it, but ask any hunters you see on your way out if they lost a duck.
4) or, yell out in the marsh "HEY, WHOSE DEAD DUCK IS THIS??? GOT A DEAD DUCK OVER HERE!!"

dont be shy, lets hear what you guys have to say. and ghostingrey -- just say NO to mergansers :lol3:
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Re: Lost & Found Ducks -- what do YOU do?

Postby Medis » Wed Dec 09, 2009 9:51 pm

Keep it. If you don't it may just have died for no reason...If someone ask I would give it to them, if not just take it home and clean it. Take a picture of it with the rest of your bag, it deserves at least that much respect.
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Re: Lost & Found Ducks -- what do YOU do?

Postby StevenL » Wed Dec 09, 2009 10:39 pm

For me, based on the criteria you suggest, the type of duck would make a difference in my decision.

Last year, in the last half-hour of the last day I would be able to hunt waterfowl, I knocked down the only Drake Pintail that had presented such an opportunity during the entire season. My first and only shot at that bird killed it outright . . . wings straight up and head dropped as the bird began tumbling end over end before splashing down behind a salt cedar some 30 yards away from the blind where I launched the shot. I stepped out of the blind and into the water while ramming another round into the magazine of my autoloader with eyes still trained on the spot where the drake had splashed down. Through the brush I saw what appeared to be wingbeats in that general area so my slogging pace in thigh-deep water quickened. I was within 20 feet of where the dead drake had impacted water but had not arrived nearly soon enough to frighten away the hawk that was carrying away my prize. All that was left were a bunch of breast feathers in the water. I really did give a brief moment of thought toward shooting that bird as well.
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Re: Lost & Found Ducks -- what do YOU do?

Postby duckman nm » Thu Dec 10, 2009 7:46 am

i keep it. every duck in my bag is another duck to eat. gettin up there in years, sometimes you gotta take what you can get. funny you whould mention this, the other day, while hunting behind la joya, a fresh mallard came floating by. i grabbed him up and added him to the strap. he cleaned up good when i got home.
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Re: Lost & Found Ducks -- what do YOU do?

Postby bluewing77 » Thu Dec 10, 2009 9:31 am

duckman, you did better than me. my "bonus" duck was a drake ringneck. but he cleaned up real good and i cooked him on the grill. so who loses all these ducks? the mallard that i went slogging thru the marsh to find was somewhat hidden in the reeds, but the dead ringneck was just floating on the water close by, any slob who would have taken the time and effort to look for it could have easily found it. but nobody else was looking so finders keepers....
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Re: Lost & Found Ducks -- what do YOU do?

Postby fish4beer » Fri Dec 11, 2009 8:40 am

What if the duck was shot by another hunter using lead shot? I've never seen it, but I've heard of game wardens checking the birds themselves for lead shot. If it was me then I would surely get caught. My last name's Murphy and Murphy's Law works double for me.
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Re: Lost & Found Ducks -- what do YOU do?

Postby ghostingrey » Fri Dec 11, 2009 5:58 pm

I think you know what my answer would be :lol3: If I find it, it's coming home with me.
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Re: Lost & Found Ducks -- what do YOU do?

Postby Viperduke » Fri Dec 11, 2009 9:52 pm

Great question! Absolutely pick it up. If anybody else in your area had been searching for a duck that morning in that general area, take it over to them and ask if it is theirs, otherwise it is much better to keep a duck from going to waste, regardless of the species, than leave a fresh kill that will make safe, edible table-fare lay.

It would be a slightly different story if it had been there for a while (dew/frost on it or obviously old)...in that case I would might take it to an area where raptors perch and help their plight! If there is a game warden around it may also be worth while to let him know about it. Ducks that are not obviously dead from a crippling by hunters can mean a diseased bird. In my experience in other areas of the country in which I have hunted area managers usually keep track of these cases (bird influenza, botchulism, lead poisoning (through ingestion, not high speed), etc.). No game warden I have ever talked to would give you a ticket for leaving an old, possibly diseased kill in the field, so I wouldn't worry about getting a ticket in this case.

We, as hunters, are the best advocates for the birds and the marsh, so I think we should act like it!
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Re: Lost & Found Ducks -- what do YOU do?

Postby cjc » Sat Dec 12, 2009 1:04 am

#3. I would only pick it up because I was leaving anyway. I don't like others filling my limit. Takes the fun out of it.
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Re: Lost & Found Ducks -- what do YOU do?

Postby basseagle83 » Mon Nov 22, 2010 5:26 pm

Ive lost a very few floating away from me so I would take it if I didnt I did know of any hunters around or see anyone looking. I would definitely offer it up if someone asked. Better to not let it go to waste!(screw the coyotes :) )
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Re: Lost & Found Ducks -- what do YOU do?

Postby alanwebfoot » Fri Nov 26, 2010 10:16 am

I'm from Ohio but we got slob hunters out here ,if a deer don't drop in his tracks they won't get off their butt to go look for blood sign or don't try to hard to bring a bird to bag ,,shoot the guy I hunt with got in his truck and drove a quarter mile downstream to get ahead of a mallard on a fast flowing river then sent the dog ,,I say keep it and thank's for being honest!!
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