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Thread: Cripples and Conservation

  1. #1
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    Default 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.
    Thank you
    Fon

  2. #2
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    I think it should be a option "gun dog or not"
    But you are supposed to keep up with the numbers of birds if they are (known to be knocked down) "crippled" and it added to your total. As a moral and ethical standpoint you should stop at your limit number. If you don't and your local Game and Fish Officer was watching and he/she just happened to be holding the cripple you let get away or could not find...... That would not be a good day.

  3. #3
    Senior Member gdgnyc's Avatar
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    Not chasing cripples results in "wanton waste of game". You are supposed to make an effort to get your cripples. Most duckhunters I see in my area chase them down in a boat.

    If you want to cut down the number of duckhunters, just require a dog.
    "I love the rod and gun and where they take me."

    "Do not judge a man until you have walked two moons in his moccasins."

  4. #4
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    You should go hang out in a public duck marsh. I find alot of dogs to be not adequately trained to be an asset.

  5. #5
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    I am a retired state warden and a duck hunter. We don't need any more rules to detract from the number of people we attract to our sports. I hunt public areas almost exclusively and I wish most people would leave the dogs I see at home and fetch the duck themselves. Fifteen minutes of "fetch it up, come on boy fetch it up, fetch, Back you sob, I'm gonna kick your a$$ fetch it up!" disturbs the hunt of all around them.

    Speaking as a warden a hunter is required to make a reasonable effort to retrieve their waterfowl. I believe most do. I wrote a few tickets for wanton waste for failure to retrieve. Most of the time it was for a hen they didn't want to claim. One time it was too some teenagers and 20 somethings who were blasting the heck out of wood ducks opening day and only retrieving the ones that drifted into the bank.

    After a reasonable effort if you can't find the bird or the cripple escapes you are not required to count it toward your limit but morally I think you should.

  6. #6
    Senior Member sick lids's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kpolley View Post
    You should go hang out in a public duck marsh. I find alot of dogs to be not adequately trained to be an asset.
    This is so very true. I have put the gun down so that I could enjoy the show on more than one occasion. Last year we had a guy set up across the way who had two dogs that would bark out of control when anything, and I mean anything was flying. If any thing came within a 100 yds the dog jumped out of the boat. It sounded like the guys were trying to call over the dogs. We were even betting on which dog was going to jump first. I'm going to do my best to not be one of those hunters with one of those dogs.

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    There are areas that are not safe for dogs. I live in Fl and we have gators down here, I do hunt with my dog but only in places that I feel are safe. There have been times when I've lost ducks because I thought they were almost dead and sent my dog only to find out they were still alive enough to take off across the top of the water with my dog to close behind to shoot them again and they get in to the thick cattails where he can't get them.
    HRCH Dallys Wild Willow SH Born 11-06-97 Left Us 1-30-12 will always be in my thoughts RIP Willow

  8. #8
    Senior Member Brad B's Avatar
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    In theory, yes you're right. In reality, it's an absolute enforcement impossibility. No way no how would it ever come close to working.

  9. #9
    Senior Member 7pntail's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kpolley View Post
    You should go hang out in a public duck marsh. I find alot of dogs to be not adequately trained to be an asset.
    Yup, even the worst "trained " still bring back ducks. That is/was what they were bred for. May not take a back, over, or whatever, but many do their job. Might ruin a hunt or two for others but.....


    Agree in principle, dog equals conservation. But, a Draconian mandate---nope-- enough big brother
    John Stroh, Lodi ca


    There are two spiritual dangers in not owning a farm. One is the danger of supposing that breakfast comes from the grocery, and the other that heat comes from the furnace…........If one has cut, split, hauled, and piled his own good oak, and let his mind work the while, he will remember much about where the heat comes from, and with a wealth of detail denied to those who spend the weekend in town astride a radiator.

    Aldo Leopold

  10. #10
    Senior Member sdnordahl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fon View Post
    So my thought is this: would not it be reasonable to have a law that requires.....................................
    Thank you
    Fon
    This is the same logic anti gun nuts use to try to limit our 2nd amendment rights. Don't you think we have enough rules and laws to guide our lives?

    It comes down to personal responsibility. Some have it some dont. My dog has found someone elses cripples walking along the river and I'm happy to add them to my bag. But if we do lose a bird it's one less out of my bag I get to take home
    Steven

    Nordahl's Dream in Extreme JH (Dixie)

    Nordahl's Flyin High (Sky) RIP

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