LOST DUCKS

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LOST DUCKS

Postby Lavman » Thu Nov 04, 2010 8:20 am

OK, here is the dealio: I have had this happen to me a few times now and I am at a loss for an explaination but I think I may have one, would like some feedback.

Recently hunting on lake Champlain we had a pair of teals decoy in, we dropped them both out of the air but not hard kills, instead they splashed down hard but then popped up and started swimming. I jumped into the canoe to paddle out and get them, not wanting to shoot them again and again and ruin the breast.

In the process of uncamoing the canoe and getting in then paddling out we lost track of the ducks. I paddle out and search for like 15 minutes with no luck. I am totally baffled - where the hell did they go!?!?!

My theory is this: Northern Pike ate them.

Believers? Non-believers? Other theories? Talk to me..... :beer:
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Re: LOST DUCKS

Postby Vtwaterfowler » Thu Nov 04, 2010 9:13 am

they probably dove depending on how shallow the water was. i know the lake is pretty high for this time of year. When they dissappear on you like that, thats when it is nice to have a dog!!!
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Re: LOST DUCKS

Postby Lavman » Thu Nov 04, 2010 12:05 pm

Agreed, a dog would be great!

I guess if I don't make them fall outta the sky like a lawn dart on the first shot they are going to become an investment in steel shot :biggrin:

:beer:
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Re: LOST DUCKS

Postby LBeinhaur » Thu Nov 04, 2010 1:55 pm

I have had this happen as well. I have heard that they will dive and grab onto a piece of weed on the bottom and then if they die they stay locked onto it. Don't know how much truth there is to that!! I think they may get below the water and swim a ways, then you lose track of them. They are small birds and it's hard to keep a bead on them .
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Re: LOST DUCKS

Postby pete/pmr » Fri Nov 05, 2010 7:12 am

Most cripples are wing wounded,they dive and the broken wing gets hung up on vegetation,they do not hold on to a weed,it would mean they are drowning themselves,they dive and try to come up close to weeds,bank,root systems,anything they can hide in,but the more they dive the weaker they become,my siggestion,shoot,shoot again,keep shooting them until they are dead!A duck on the water is harder to kill than flying,because all thier vitals are below them,including the breast,just keep shooting,you need to get a pellet in thier head,I keep 4s on hand for this,to dispatch cripples!I will shoot until the duck is dead,or into cover,then move in to retrieve it,once you know where it is hiding,then calm down, load the gun with 2 3/4 shells,#4 steel,then get the boat and try to locate the bird!Pike are not hanging around under your decoys waiting for wounded ducks to fall and dive! That is so rare it is not going to happen to you in your life time!Remember a cripple counts as one duck of your daily limits!And it is the law to make an effort to find the wounded duck,a reasonable effort,and that is left to interpretation,what you may think is reasonable, the warden may not!
2013 Season Totals

Canada Geese 105
Mallards 43
Woodies 31
Teal 16
widgeon 8
Blacks 11
Goldeneyes 25 "Take-em"
Buffleheads 4
Bluebills 1
snows 27
Band Count 5
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Re: LOST DUCKS

Postby magogwhacker » Fri Nov 05, 2010 7:26 am

- retriever gets those ducks

-shoot em again and again until they don't move or you'll keep losing them. They probably dove and came up somewhere out of your vision holding themselves flat to the water
What? There's open water? Its not cold enough.
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Re: LOST DUCKS

Postby Lavman » Fri Nov 05, 2010 10:21 am

Thanks for the great advice, I just put a box of 2 3/4" #4's in my blind bag.

Pete: I like your discertation on the pike hanging under the dekes waiting for free breakfast :yes: The water where we were hunting was soooo thick brown I don't know how anything can see in the water anyway. If you are on the marsh and you hear a crap ton of shooting after you see a duck drop out of the sky stop over, it'll be me :beer:
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Re: LOST DUCKS

Postby Burlingtonblaster » Mon Nov 08, 2010 8:54 am

Dropped 2 out of the air yesterday. Looked for hours didnt find either. Went home empty handed. Frustrating day to say the least.
When people ask me what my favorite season in Vermont is, I simply reply. Duck
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Re: LOST DUCKS

Postby Lavman » Mon Nov 08, 2010 10:00 am

BB that stinks! It is frustrating to lose them. I did some forensic investigation after the hunt Saturday and realized that the #4 shot I have been using may be a little light so went to ****'s and got 100 rounds of BB and 100 rounds of #2 in 3", going to see if that is even more effective in dropping them cold.

Good luck out there! :beer:
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Re: LOST DUCKS

Postby pete/pmr » Mon Nov 08, 2010 1:07 pm

I am running #2 3 1/2 mags but you can buy #1 shot at Walmart in 3 in,but I prefer 3 1/2! You can tell me how it is overkill,but guess what when you hit a duck with #2 3 1/2 mags inside 40 yards you will find a dead duck!
2013 Season Totals

Canada Geese 105
Mallards 43
Woodies 31
Teal 16
widgeon 8
Blacks 11
Goldeneyes 25 "Take-em"
Buffleheads 4
Bluebills 1
snows 27
Band Count 5
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Re: LOST DUCKS

Postby chambo32 » Mon Nov 08, 2010 6:15 pm

IMO: I use 3.5 #4 for ducks and geese out of a carlsons extended full choke. No shots past 40 yrds. Smaller shot size make for a better pattern. How many times do geese and ducks fall hard when they are not hit in the head or neck. I think shot string gets over looked too. I did a bunch of patterning last year and the holes in some larger shot size was pretty scary.
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Re: LOST DUCKS

Postby goldeneye13 » Mon Nov 08, 2010 7:15 pm

Well you guys are probably laugh hard. I use 3 inches no 4 with a full choke on a windy day 15 + miles per hour. If it's a calm day and those birds run with in 30 yards I use 2 3/4 no 6 whit a full choke. The only problem I have to be on the bird. I either drop it dead or miss completly. I run a much tighter pattern but it's leathal shots. My opinion.

Fred
A bad day fishing is better then a good day at work
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Re: LOST DUCKS

Postby ronvt » Tue Nov 09, 2010 5:01 am

I have had this happen to me on lake Champalain as well. But I have never had this happen on other lakes. Most places I hunt, the water is calm, so I can see any ripples and follow them. On lake champlain, unless your hunting a marsh, there always seems to be waves that make it difficult to hone in on a duck thats swimming away. I have never chase a mallard or big duck in flat water only to have it dive and never come up. I have lost many birds because I have hesitated or thought they were stone dead, or took my eye off them to get a walking stick or canoe. I have adopted a new rule in the past few years. In the marsh, as soon as I shoot a bird, I immediately send the dog and stop everything I am doing, even if there are birds in the air, and go after the bird with the dog until it is found. This has drastically reduced my cripples and lost birds. I can see how a duck can dive in the marsh, and get hung up and not surface. I just think its rare from my experience.
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Re: LOST DUCKS

Postby Lavman » Tue Nov 09, 2010 6:14 am

pete/pmr wrote:I am running #2 3 1/2 mags but you can buy #1 shot at Walmart in 3 in,but I prefer 3 1/2! You can tell me how it is overkill,but guess what when you hit a duck with #2 3 1/2 mags inside 40 yards you will find a dead duck!


I support your decision. I am running the 3" only because that is the longest shell my 870 Express will take. My Dad has a Benelli Nova and Mossberg 935 and they both take the 3 1/2" so he is the artillery man in the blind.
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Re: LOST DUCKS

Postby pete/pmr » Tue Nov 09, 2010 6:25 am

Every duck hunter has lost a duck or two to crippling,I have lost many,as have all my hunting partners,but it is just something that happens,we can only try harder to aviod this,and patterning your shotgun with different types of ammo and shot size will show you what is the best ammo for you to use out of your shotgun! This is just one thing that can be done,aim,shooter error,practice practice and more practice is the best advice,(shoot skeet,trap,whatever you want to call it)alot! Practice judging distance and not rushing your shots,it ain't easy to control when you have birds coming in,but waiting until they are in the kill zone is important,closer the better!I would rather let birds fly over and keep going, than misjudge the distance, and educate them,or maybe just wound them and have them die off somewhere else! Use the same shot you want to use on ducks,and get out and practice! The better you are at shot placement the more successful you will be,the better you know your ammo and weapon! Remember the bigger the pellets the less pellets out there,tighter your aim needs to be,more pellets, less range!
2013 Season Totals

Canada Geese 105
Mallards 43
Woodies 31
Teal 16
widgeon 8
Blacks 11
Goldeneyes 25 "Take-em"
Buffleheads 4
Bluebills 1
snows 27
Band Count 5
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