Cripples and Conservation
After reading the article titled Crippling in the recent Retriever Journal, it got me thinking. We have laws in place for the conservation of our waterfowl, such as steel shot, possession limits, shooting times, and season dates to name some. However, we have no law that requires a duck hunter to hunt with a sporting dog. Hunting with a dog would certainly conserve game more times than not. A dog would find most cripples and this fact would help to prevent Mr. Hunter from shooting another one for his bag limit while the cripple gets away and is likely obliterated from the breeding population. Furthermore, a dog would help to prevent accidents in the water because Mr. Hunter would not have to retrieve his own birds. So my thought is this: would not it be reasonable to have a law that requires waterfowl hunters to have a sporting dog of some kind with them while hunting. We have laws that state you cannot hunt with a dog, so why not have laws that state you must hunt with a dog. Trained or even just minimally trained, sporting dogs have good enough noses and natural ability to search and find a bird. If we are trying to hunt with conservation in mind and prevention of accidents, then it sure does make sense to me. Although, I love to go duck hunting, I am not a duck hunter, so I plea to those that do hunt to educate me concerning my dilemma: dogs, mandatory vs dogs, optional.