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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Im almost embarrassed to ask this ? :oops: but is it legal to shoot ducks in water? Ive read the NY regs back and forth and I see nothing stateing the it is illegal, are there aditional federal regs? I was on my 1st self guided duck hunt the other day in which I killed my 1st duck, a Mallard hen. I couldve killed more though but I had always thought they had to be flying.
 

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There is no rule against it, however, most feel its not sporting to shoot them on the water. Lots of people do it and I see nothing wrong with a new hunter doing it. As I said most feel it's more sporting not too so they might yell at the duck to make it jump up and then shoot. Gives the duck somewhat more of a chance. My dad always does this and I saw him miss one last year after he yelled at the dumb duck a couple times...I think he could hear me laughing at him on the other side of the lake. The % of birds you'll kill anyway is still going to be high even if you give them a chance...but I know you will feel better about shooting a flying bird rather than on on the water.

Some will say...who cares...a dead duck is a dead duck. Personnally I know guys that do kill them on the water and I pass no judgement on those guys as it is legal.
 

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Where i hunt in P.A u dont see ducks all that much. When we see them we shoot them, on the water or not. I agree it is less sporty but we hunt to put meat in the freezer and ducks arent as common to shoot as geese. the old saying is if it flys it dies........but for us if it just sits there it dies too.
 

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Whack'em..yeah I have no problem with that. I guess for guys that get to go a lot they will probably start being more selective not taking shots at birds on the water, passing on certain ducks like spoonies, hens of any kind etc. But for the guy that is totally new or only gets a chance to hunt ducks a few times a year...or a meat hunter...then who cares go for it.

For me a few ducks a hunt is all the meat I need for a week. My wife isnt crazy about duck...I end up making jerky out of some of it too.
 

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10% of Americans are hunters (that number is shrinking)
10% are anti-hunters (that number may be growing)
80% of Americans are not hunters.

The last thing we hunters want is for the non-hunters to know how many hunters act with little regard for ethics or sportsmanship.

Shooting birds on the water is like running deer over with a truck.
If you must do it, keep it to yourself.
 

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Shooting ducks on the water is an unethical action. It is the equivilent of shooting a pheasant holding in cover, or a dove sitting on a light line.

Hunting was once not only about putting meat on the table, but also reverencing the species, and the Creator who gave the hunter dominion over that animal. The moment one harvests a game species is a sacred moment in time that should be cherished.

Sorry about preaching.... but it's what I do!

- PJ
 

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:? I figure this just might tick a few off, but we all have opinions. What chapter of the Ethics Book was that in?

Lets say I've got a wounded but not dead bird thats swimming off and I hunt without a retriever... shoot or no shoot?

But I suppose someone might say don't hunt without a retreiver...this type of statement basicly says if I can't hunt with all the fringes you can... I just can't duck hunt. Not a good thing from my view point!

We don't shoot birds on the water down here because they make terrible targets, over half of your shot pattern is deflected by the water and is sent ricochetting up over the bird anyway. Its bad enough to have to try to kill the wounded bird so I don't loose it.

I wouldn't want to shoot a bird on the water in my decoys anyway and if anybody if refering to running them down to shoot and kill then...think they should talk to the Fed.Boys. I believe thats illegal.

So unruffle those fetters :!:
Thats my penny's worth!
Mike...
 

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Swampwood said:
:? I figure this just might tick a few off, but we all have opinions. What chapter of the Ethics Book was that in?

Lets say I've got a wounded but not dead bird thats swimming off and I hunt without a retriever... shoot or no shoot?

But I suppose someone might say don't hunt without a retreiver...this type of statement basicly says if I can't hunt with all the fringes you can... I just can't duck hunt. Not a good thing from my view point!

We don't shoot birds on the water down here because they make terrible targets, over half of your shot pattern is deflected by the water and is sent ricochetting up over the bird anyway. Its bad enough to have to try to kill the wounded bird so I don't loose it.

I wouldn't want to shoot a bird on the water in my decoys anyway and if anybody if refering to running them down to shoot and kill then...think they should talk to the Fed.Boys. I believe thats illegal.

So unruffle those fetters :!:
Thats my penny's worth!
Mike...
obviously if you wound a bird you owe it to the animal to dispatch the cripple.
 

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Raven1 said:
10% of Americans are hunters (that number is shrinking)
10% are anti-hunters (that number may be growing)
80% of Americans are not hunters.

The last thing we hunters want is for the non-hunters to know how many hunters act with little regard for ethics or sportsmanship.

Shooting birds on the water is like running deer over with a truck.
If you must do it, keep it to yourself.
Like I said I don't shoot birds on the water but then again I totally don't agree with this statement above. Maybe if you would have said deer hunting in a stand and waiting for the feeder to go off and the deers that are trained to eat there come up to eat and you shoot. Yeah that's legal too.

Shooting a dove on a power line...that's not legal. Shooting a dove in a tree....legal but not sporting.

I knew we'd have some guys come on here that only see one side of it and act as if it's a sin. It's unsportsmen like but legal.

Everyone has an opinion though. I'm pretty surprised how judgemental some seem to be though. Then again there are a lot of people that think their way is the only way.

Most non hunters would not know the difference between shooting a duck in the air or on the water. All they know is we hunt and kill ducks...if they have a problem with the killing of ducks do you really think it matter how they are shot? Funny how turkey hunting is the exact opposite...you can't shoot them in the air you shoot them on the ground.

I think it does go to values and not ethics. My values say it's unsportsmen like to shoot ducks on the water...but I would not go so far to say its unethical.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Wow, some strong views on the matter and I appreiciate them all ,thanks.

I really only care if its legal personally, when I go hunting my objective is to harvest game within the guidelines of the law. I wont give my quarry any added advantages, I have too much respect for their defenses.
 

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It's not against the law and is up to each as to weather or not it's unethical or not. It's more sporting to have them flying and I think more fun. I have on occasion taken them on the water when I snuck up on them only to be in cover that would not let me swing the gun never the less stand up.

If someone else wants to take all of their waterfowl on the water that's up to them it's not my concern. I guess if it were so bad it would be outlawed. I shoot my deer standing and not running (well 99% of the time). Shooting upland birds on the ground also has to do with safety of the dogs and other hunters.
 

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PastorJimmy said:
Hunting was once not only about putting meat on the table, but also reverencing the species, and the Creator who gave the hunter dominion over that animal. The moment one harvests a game species is a sacred moment in time that should be cherished.

Sorry about preaching.... but it's what I do!

- PJ
Don't apologise Pastor. Its a good sermon. Something we should all remember - no matter what side of the fence someone sits on on this matter.
 

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Ducks in water, shoot? That is up to you and your hunting partners. Some states have laws against shooting birds on the ground, but that is more to protect dogs and other hunters than to protect birds, I believe. Keep in mind, with ducks on the water, only their head, neck, wings and back are exposed. So it is a smaller target than when they are flying. At the same time, those are all vital areas showing. There is little chance of a wounding shot to the leg or butt. Since the breast is protected by the water, it also makes for very clean meat.

Ethics and Sport. They are not the same thing and they don't always converge on the same shot. Ethics is about clean, sure kills, on the animal you want to shoot. Sportiness is about giving the quarry a chance and providing excitement.

It is more ethical to shoot a bird when it is still. There is less chance of wounding it because you are more assured of centering the pattern right on it. It is more sporting to shoot a bird on the wing, as it is harder to hit.

It is more ethical to shoot a bird that is close. The pattern is denser and it carries more energy, and it is easier to put that pattern on the bird. It is more sporting to shoot a bird at long range, because it's harder to hit.

It is not ethical to shoot into tight flock of ducks- you might wound a duck you are not even shooting at, or a hen when you are looking to shoot drakes. But trying to hit one of those birds buzzing by is great sport!

I will shake my head and make fun of the hunter that swats a duck in the decoys. I will look away in shame from the one that blasts at ducks out of range and pulls feathers from three birds until finally knocking one down.

Jeremiah
 

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I know of no state that declares it illegal to kill a sitting duck. My state certainly does not.
That said, I ask anyone hunting from my blind or boat as my guest to subscribe to certain rules of hunting, and one of those rules is:
If a duck swims in, or flies in and makes it down on the water without being hit, it is safe until on the wing again. Granted, I've relaxed that rule on occaison, for a young inexperienced hunter. But, not for adults.
I'm not out just to kill ducks, I'm out on a sacred mission.
The ducks deserve more respect than to be water-sluiced.

Cripples?? I'll shoot a cripple on the water right now.

That'd be my position. Others may have different thoughts, but I've found that the sluicers generally are the ones who have little confidence in their ability to hit birds on the wing.
 

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I will give you both ethical and practical reasons why I dont shoot them on the water.

I agree with the reasons stated above as far as ethics. The ducks are not our enemy - this is a sport. Generally the longer you hunt and the more experience you obtain the more you agree with ethics. I know as a kid , I (we) just wanted to shoot. Shoot anything :) ! Today I enjoy hunting but there are many times I put my gun into back-up mode and enjoy others getting shots and hitting or missing these great birds. I have been able to hunt on several continents, so if I dont get them today it's OK. In your first year you might not feel like this but somewhere along the line most will.

When you are out hunting with me I dont want to you splatter any of my decoys with shot. The best decoys cost $100 a dozen, and even more :shock: ! You can put a lot of holes in them and then I've got more time and work to do :evil: and less fun hunting. I too rarely allow any "sitting duck" shots except as noted by others as in the case of young or very inexperienced hunters. The ducks are easier to kill cleanly in the air anyway.

I also dont want the hunters to be holding "down" when the dog is out working in the water and I call another shot.

So First Rule - no people get shot. Second Rule - the dog better not get shot. And Third Rule - Please dont shoot the decoys. :D

Besides that have you seen the smiles when the inexperienced hunter, young boy or girl, or just the first timer bags their first bird from the air. It's all bueno then! :wink:
 

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Swampwood wrote:
I figure this just might tick a few off, but we all have opinions. What chapter of the Ethics Book was that in?

Lets say I've got a wounded but not dead bird thats swimming off and I hunt without a retriever... shoot or no shoot?

But I suppose someone might say don't hunt without a retreiver...this type of statement basicly says if I can't hunt with all the fringes you can... I just can't duck hunt. Not a good thing from my view point!

We don't shoot birds on the water down here because they make terrible targets, over half of your shot pattern is deflected by the water and is sent ricochetting up over the bird anyway. Its bad enough to have to try to kill the wounded bird so I don't loose it.

I wouldn't want to shoot a bird on the water in my decoys anyway and if anybody if refering to running them down to shoot and kill then...think they should talk to the Fed.Boys. I believe thats illegal.

So unruffle those fetters
Was this meant for me? If so, my fetters (or feathers) aren't ruffled.

The chapter of the ethics book??? Chapters 1-8. The book? BEYOND FAIR CHASE, The Ethic and Tradition of Hunting by Jim Posewitz. It's a great read for anyone 10 and above. For those younger sportsmen, read it to them.

If your post wasn't directed to me.... I'll just sit back and savor the taste of this 12E that I've just inserted into my big fat mouth once again! :lol:

- PJ
 

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We all have our own lines drawn in the sand, lines that we don't like to step over.
I see many of us stop at shooting swimming ducks (cripples notwithstanding). Many of us do not shoot hens. Some of us shoot nothing larger than 20ga. We each have our own list of personal restrictions.

We all have limits that, while being perfectly legal, are self-imposed and just as absolute. Call 'em ethics, call 'em higher standards, call 'em sportsmanship, call 'em anything you like; they are real and just as limiting as if they were written in the federal and state regulations.

Enjoy.
 
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