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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I came across something I never come across before waterfowl hunting in the 3 years I've been hunting ducks and geese. I broke a deke off my longline as I was pulling dekes. By the time I got all my dekes in, the decoy that broke off the longline was pushed up against an ice jam. I went to go retrieve my decoy and I came across a dead bluebill in the ice jam. As I looked around and during my run in along the ice jam I found several dead birds and a couple of live cripples ranging from cans, redheads, buffies, mergies and even a goose. About a dozen total. What would you do in this situation? I had 6 birds already for my hunt, but what would you do if you didn't have a limit or had no birds at all? Would you attempt to retrieve these dead ducks and or shoot the cripples to include them in your daily bag limit? It was sad to see so many dead and cripple birds stuck along this ice jam. A couple very beautiful birds were just lying there!!!! These birds could have been totally retrieved with a long handle net as they were right along the ice/open water area either floating in between ice or lying on top of the ice. I am sure that they either dove or flew away before they dropped into the water and ended up in the ice.......

What would some of you guys do?

I left the birds were they were,but maybe somebody got em'!
 

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I have a hard time wasting game.... it is tough when the pup finds hens... i have been trying to get him to only find drakes...
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Sometimes the right thing to do isn't always legal.

Would it be legal to take them if you didn't have a limit already or had no birds?

Makes you wonder if a reasonable attempt was made to retrieve these birds??? Thats a lot of dead birds and cripples for such short distance area wise for the amount of hunters in the area.
 

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This is where if you did the right thing, the DNR would've cited you. That being said, if I thought I could've made it to the truck without being checked, they would be shrink wrapped and frozen. Just my opinion.
 

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it is against the law not to make a resonable attempt...

they would count against your daily...

I have had a limit a couple times and never even set up... puppies and cripples in the managed areas.... kinda like milk and cookies...
 

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According to the law you did the right thing. :dizzy:

You can always go back tomorrow and clean up the cripples and retrieve the dead birds. It'd be good training for a pup.:idea:

Water_Hazard wrote :
Sometimes the right thing to do isn't always legal.

I say :
Ain't that the truth ?
 

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You're going to get a full range of answers on this one, because there truly is no completely right or wrong answer. This is really a tough thing. Legally, you couldn't kill anymore birds. But as Waterhazard said, sometimes the "right thing" isn't always legal.

If it were me, and I was on a popular public waterway like you were, I expect I would've had to let them lay...sad as that is. The chances of getting stopped by a CO at the launch on a place like that is just too great. Ethically, I have a hard time giving you that answer, but I guess it's my first instinct and I'll stick by it. My 83 year old hunting buddy (my dad's best buddy) has a saying...the foxes have to eat too! In other words, cripples happen!

Now let's change the scenario a bit...I'm in your shoes with 6 birds already in my bag, I'm hunting an out of the way, little known waterhole (public or private), and my chances of running into anyone, let alone a CO, are slim to none, then I likely would've offed the crips but let them lay for the predators to get. Reason I say let them lay is I was not the one who initially wounded them, and I personally don't feel responsible for the death of the bird...just doing the humane thing in ending it. If I didn't have my limit already, I'd take those home to make my legal limit, and let the rest lay. And here's where one of my personal rules of thumb comes into play (and before anyone says it, I don't ask anyone else, nor do I expect anyone else, to follow this rule of thumb...it's just mine). When I'm duck hunting, and I definitely cripple a bird...I mean it's obviously hit, dropping a wing or a leg, or on the infamous "death glide"...then I make every effort to recover it, but I count that bird in my bag whether I recover it or not. That will help avoid me coming out of the marsh with my limit, and running into a bunch of MY crips that I couldn't find.
 

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3 of the 5 birds we got today were other peoples cripples. These guys didn't have a way to go get their birds after they sky busted em and some how hit em enough to down them. I would take out cripples till limits were filled. If not a long drive I'd have gone home dropped birds off and came back. As far as I am concerned if nobodys looking for them they are yours for the taking. IMO
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks guys. A see a lot of different views on this. I was by myself and had 6 birds already and I wouldn't have taken the birds but just wanted to know for future reference if I didn't have 6 birds already or if someone was with me if we could take them in our daily bag legally.
 

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...just wanted to know for future reference if I didn't have 6 birds already or if someone was with me if we could take them in our daily bag legally.
Perfectly legal to fill out your limit by dispatching cripples. I had a friend who hunted the managed corn strips a lot, and his lab would go off and find cripples in the corn rows all day long. He couldn't get the dog to understand that they were out there to shoot birds themselves, not just find crips.
 

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If I can not retrive a bird I will not shoot at it. If I do wound a bird I will do everything I can to find it, even if it means circling the boat for 1/2 hour trying to find it while flocks fly overhead with-in range.

It saddens me to hear of some prized birds (cans.) that were crippled, and not retrieved.

I agree on the fact that "The right thing to do isn't always legal"
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
If I can not retrive a bird I will not shoot at it. If I do wound a bird I will do everything I can to find it, even if it means circling the boat for 1/2 hour trying to find it while flocks fly overhead with-in range.

It saddens me to hear of some prized birds (cans.) that were crippled, and not retrieved.

I agree on the fact that "The right thing to do isn't always legal"
Most of the birds were drakes, one can was prolly the fattest can I have ever seen, a real trophy.
 

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if my limit wasn't reached it would have been period!:evilsmile on bad hunting days (if there is such a thing) i go around marsh edges and hunt the cripples it makes for some very quick shooting not to mention one hell of a workout. but, like said above you can go back another day and get your limit and be perfectly legal shooting those crips. but to come in over your limit :yikes:and have a CO inspect you,:yikes: you'll get a very special COUPON and the possibly loose hunting privelegdes :banghead3:banghead3the LEO has no other choice-***it's his job***:Modified_
 

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well as I was reading how everyone did... I found this..

Since we were hunting 40 yrds upwind from the Ice, there was no need for the tender to come and pick up the birds until we were done and made a shift change at the same time.

I am guesing you hunted the same area...
 

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Too bad you didnt pick up at least one of those ducks and the goose, because you still would have been legal. I saw in your other post that one of your 6 birds was a Merg, those dont count towards your 6 duck limit, and neither do geese.
 

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well as I was reading how everyone did... I found this..

Since we were hunting 40 yrds upwind from the Ice, there was no need for the tender to come and pick up the birds until we were done and made a shift change at the same time.

I am guesing you hunted the same area...

I made the same observation and am wondering the same thing.....
 

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I started my hunt yesterday by dispatching a hen can that was up against the ice. I saw her there Saturday evening and she was still there Sunday afternoon. She was the first (and only) bird added to my bag. This was my youngest daughter's first hunting experience and I am sure she at least learned one lesson: try to not let any animal suffer needlessly. We talked about it before I shot her and she agreed that it was the right thing to do.

Happy Hooker - you did the right thing.
 

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I made the same observation and am wondering the same thing.....
:yeahthat: I saw that too, but HH said he was on LSC, and Duckwacor said he was at the North Channel, so it doesn't sound like it was the same birds.

But it does bring up another issue...I'm aware that lots of people let their birds lay and expect to pick them up later. Although there's nothing prohibiting that, I rarely do that for a couple reasons...1) ducks are tough SOB's, and I'm never convinced that they are completely lifeless until they're in my hand, so assuming they're stone dead and letting them lay has never made me comfortable, 2) on big water if the wind picks up, I'm never convinced I'll find a bird that's floating away, and 3) one time in North Dakota we let a couple lay because we were in the middle of lots of birds flying, and a friggin' hawk got one of the dead birds :yikes:.
 
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