I feel obligated to help educate, promote and communicate the need to understand waterfowl conservation and some of the hunting ethics and courtesies associated with this sport.
Yesterday I could not hunt the morning with you guys..but did venture out to the marsh after work. Me and a buddy along with Skeeter made the trip, and was set up around 645. For the next 2 hours I witnessed some insane and ridiculous efforts to harvest waterfowl being shared not more than 150 yards from us. I know we counted over 43 shots and within clear view of the party only saw one bird fall. Now, you might say, well, the chaps maybe needed more practice, maybe the lads were just off that day..etc.
The fact remains the group was obviously new to waterfowling, showed a true lack of respect for trying to cleanly harvest the birds. By this, I mean waiting until they were in effective range, at least 40 yards at a min. They continued to shoot 6 times at every bird, except for the one harvested. They obviously had no idea how to call, work birds, or knowing the effective range of their guns, all of this leading up to multiple cripples being lost. Further more, showing a true lack of respect for effective harvesting waterfowl. It was just an extremely poor representation of what most of us are not. They obviously were just out there to bang away, shoot some shells and try to get a bird. Consistently shooting at birds over 75-100 yards on the opening day.. of all days, knowing patience would put more birds locked up in their face. I witnessed large groups of widgeon locked up on their spread, if they would have waited just 10 more seconds the birds would have been under 20 yards.
Those that know me, might ask, why didn't you say something, normally you would go over and invite them into your spread to help educate them, or ask if you could hang with them and help...well, lets just say it was opening day.... I'm sure I will have another chance...I would however if the chance offers itself again, do my part in helping to educate the young lads in all aspects of the sport.
We had a great afternoon outside of this, worked our birds into the decoys and made nice clean kills and was done in about 90 mins. Skeeter was rock solid and performed very well. I was very pleased with him. He was like a spider monkey on crack... think we were just like three kidos in a candy store.
If your reading this and it was your group, brother, let the birds work, don't get so excited that you want to shoot at every duck flying overhead at 100 yards. If birds are working another spread of another group, have some respect and reach down in your blind bag and break out a can of waterfowling 101 ethics/courtesies , let them work.
There are plenty of birds to be shared by all. learn to blow a duck call, greeting call, comeback call and lonesome hen. Its all you need up here to harvest birds.
See ya on the marsh!