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Shoot the crippled immediately. In order to quickly kill a duck or goose, a shot must be fired within the appropriate range for the type of pellet being used. When a hunter shoots at a bird outside of the lethal range of the pellet, a practice known as "skybusting," the animal is often wounded or crippled but not killed outright. Aim error is also a factor in waterfowl wounding.
Wounding is an inherent component of waterfowl hunting. The majority of ducks and geese wounded in this way are not likely to recover: for these birds, death can be protracted. It is not currently possible to accurately document waterfowl wounding rates or to assess the total number lost to wounding. However, visible evidence for crippling, a more easily observed from of wounding, is more readily obtainable. Crippling rates of up to 45 percent of all birds shot have been documented via direct observation of hunts in progress. A sophisticated mathematical reanalysis of U.S. crippling data estimates that for every duck killed, another is crippled. Skilled hunters wound approximately five ducks for every 10 killed outright, and novice hunters wound between five and 15 ducks for every 10 killed.
 

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Don't sky bust.

Get em in close..

Especially divers, if they are still thrashing hit em again until they stop. Once divers go down they seem to disappear.

Nuf said!
 

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Yes most will die.

There are cripples that go down immediately and dive -they is dead.

But what many do not realize is that those out of effective range of your shooting abilities that are indeed hit-will die a later that day or week. Most causualties in war prior to 100 years ago died days if not weeks later from the wounds from infection--ducks are no different. So when you see a guy skybusting and hitting the bird but it does not come down--it is hit-and will die later :pissed: They are clueless as to what extent their selfish actions are in hurting the population.
 

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Well stated. Have always had the habit of hitting the bird again on the way down if I'm sure it's not dead. Usually set up for crossing shots and have a good tendency to over lead (head hunt, sure kill or miss clean) which cuts down on cripples. I know it's tougher to do on low flying divers but stay on it until your sure, you don't need a double or triple cripple chase on your hands.
 

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Snafu518, it's true. Have pulled a Mallard and Goldeneye off some weeds 3' under the surface dead that had there bills tightly locked onto some weeds. Really weird sight. Have also had a downed Goldeneye WALK on the bottom. under the boat while trying to figure out what where he went. We got him when he surfaced 30 yds away but we were worthless the rest of the day due to way to much laughing.
 

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OK, thanks for the info...like everybody else said, blast them again. I am sure that you guys will agree with me, that a brused and battered shoulder is a good thing after a day of duck hunting. Here comes the pain...lake season in a few hours.
 

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Last year my chessie was being a smart ass and would not bring me my bluebill, he went and layed on the floating bog when , bam just like that the duck shot down a hole. Man was he pissed, now any duck he find gets crunched :thumbsup:
 

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Yes Snafu, they will indeed committ kamkazi. And not just divers, but puddlers too-escpecially Mallards. the 2 things I have found best to minimize lost cripples is:
Using High Velocity steel shot loads, this means 1450+fps loads. They hit harder and penetrate deeper. Remember the pellet has to go through the feathers, meat, and breast plate/bone to get to the vidals to kill it.
The second is make sure they are close in and not beyond your effective range of your capabilities.

Granted a reg 1300 fps load is effective to 35 yds--but what about when the 2nd or third shot is over this range? Thus why I use HV. That or discipline yourself of no shooting over 35yds with the slower loads-but many guys can not do it and are tempted to take a long shot. And a big part of it too is that many do NOT gauge range accuratelty, often shots they think are at 35 yds are actually 45 yds shots based upon scientific survey ananalysis.

Also a great cripple load is #6 shot for the head shots. It is hard to find a 1.25 oz loads of it-but it makes for a good dense pattern to 40yds. It is ballistically effective to 42yds as I recall-but a strong wind will blow the pattern too often 3' sideways. So an alternative is #4 shot for cripple loads and it is much more easier to find it than a #6 shot heavy payload is. I keep and extra box of "cripple" loads in my hunting kit and always have 3 cripple load shells in my hunting coat pocket, just for is case I need them. Also, aim a hair below the head when shooting a cripple. Often the pellets rechioche (sp?) off the water, so aiming a little below will put more pellets at the haed for a better chance of hitting it.

BTW--I shot 13 times at one crippled Blue Bill, everytime I squeezed off it doove before the shot got there only to pop up 15 yds further away. All shots were within 40 yds. Yes I got him--that was one expensive bird.

Also often you will not see the body of the bird-only the top of the head swimming along-so look for it being small like 1/2 of a small egg and a wake - look for the head-not the body if you knock down a bird and it "disappears".

I hope these tips helps a few of the less experienced guys out there. :thumbsup:
 

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Also often you will not see the body of the bird-only the top of the head swimming along-so look for it being small like 1/2 of a small egg and a wake - look for the head-not the body if you knock down a bird and it "disappears".
this happened to me on sat a mallard dove and all i could see was a little wake the shape of a "v" when i poped him he was about 20 feet from the bushes. one #2 right in the back of the head.

had
 

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I winged a goose yesterday and it sailed approximately 300 yards away and up river to boot. I immediately pulled anchor and raced after it. Took me 3 more shots to kill that goose, but I got it.
 

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I think any bird crippled will die eventually, it may be a few days later. If not it will be crippled for quite some time and probably killed by some kind of predator. So don't skybust. I don't see what the fun in skybusting is anyway, I've had plenty of oppurtinites to sky bust geese and ducks but I don't think it is right and I've never done it and will try to never do it in the future. I don't hunt just so I can go out and kill ducks, I do it because I love wildlife and there's nothing prettier to me than having a big bunch of ducks or geese with their wings locked, sailin straight at you into your decoys.
 

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I hap two times last year that realy up set me. once we had one land in really rough waves about 2 foot high. It mad me mad cause he folded up when he came down and then hit the water and was gone. The other landed in a bunch of trees I sent the dog out and he about drowned him self in a log jam. so I had to go get him and I could not find it eather.
 

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The best thing to do if you know you have a crippled bird is to get on him right away. I've had to run almost a quarter of a mile to retrieve a wounded goose (Kept flying, then just glided down into the field). Luckily I wasted no time & was able to retrieve him before he made it onto someone else's land. That's one day I wish I would've brought my dog.
:smile:
 

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Cast,

I know what you mean, we shot a goose one day over the river and we were on a steep hill. he clided all the way across the river on the way down, MAN I love dogs! We didnt have a boat, but the dog brought it back...
 
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