Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: cripples

  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Arkansas
    Posts
    324

    Default cripples

    I have found a lot more remains/live cripples this year down at the palmer hay flatts than I normally do. On two seperate trips while walking to where I stash my decoys my dog went romping around in the grass and came out with live cripples. I have also seen 2 or three duck skeletons laying around in the grass freshly picked clean down to the bone. No proof but it is pretty obvious that these birds were the result of being crippled as well. I crippled a bird and was unalbe to recover it on Tuesday. I shot him at about 20 yards, saw some feathers fly off of him and he flew low to the ground obviously hit and bearly made it over the bank into the river about half a mile away. I went after him and searched for him for about an hour but came up empty. I dont know what happened to him. Anyone else noticing more cripples down there this year than last? Just curious.
    "A dog has no use for fancy cars or big homes or designer clothes. Status symbol means nothing to him. A waterlogged stick will do just fine." Marley and Me

  2. #2
    Member sledhands's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Wasilla
    Posts
    244

    Default

    I was there on the 1st of sept with my six year old boy and we didn't have our dog with us I know I left a mallard but I don't believe he was crippled, His head went back over his back and his wings drooped toward the ground but search as I may we never found him Classic fold! Would make a heck of a duck mount with one or two flyers along side. Anyway twenty five years ago we were down there with a dog named crickett she found twenty seven wounded ducks that weekend we never shot a duck. Stayed at the shack hunted some but the dog was dragging them back where ever we walked. That dog had a nose good lab. Wasn't a whole lot of use of shooting we got more than our limit from the dog capturing wounded ducks. So as to your Question are there more than usual . Hard to say unless you got crickett who has been gone quite a while now.

  3. #3
    Member Birdstrike's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    1,159

    Default

    The first "lost bird" I found was 2 days after the opener in the ACWR. My dog got birdy and I walked over to follow her and lo-and-behold she found a mallard that had part of the breast eaten away. Right next to the bird was a really nice Simms wading jacket. I was pretty excited about my find, until I found a cell-phone in the pocket. At that point I knew I had to make an effort to find it's owner. I checked the last dialed numbers and a number was listed as HOME. Long story short I scored on 2 packages of yummy dall sheep bacon for returing it.

    The second bird was in the Placer river area that was "lost" by a probably another dogless hunter shooting over heavy cover.

    The third was a live cripple a few days ago. Didn't need a shot for that one so my shot/bird ratio dropped a fraction.

    I'm sure there'll be more. If you don't have a good retriever consider where your birds will fall. If you can't retrieve them what's the point of shooting them?

  4. #4
    Member Gr is for Greg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Anchorville
    Posts
    597

    Default Unfortunate, but happens

    I hate losing birds, and I always search long and hard for birds that I've dropped, but I don't find them all. I don't have a dog, so I have to rely on my own abilities of marking where the bird went down and doing a meticulous, spiraling or back-and-forth search of the area. Nonetheless, I end up losing some. It sucks, but it happens. Sometimes my shot doesn't knock the bird stone dead. Sometimes it looks like it does, and the bird folds up and drops like a chunk of lead, and it still somehow disappears on the ground. As it is, I won't hunt flooded high grass without a dog anymore, because it's just so easy to lose your ducks.

    I'm glad to hear that some of these ducks are found and harvested. I have run into a couple cripples as well and done my part to see they don't go to waste. That story of the dog Crickett is exceptional!

    I guess my take on your question is this: If you are out hunting and run into a crippled bird here and there, I would not draw the conclusion that there are a bunch of hunters out there blasting into the sky and only recovering the birds they can find in two minutes. If you have a dog that sniffs out 27 wounded birds in a weekend, you may draw that conclusion, or you may just have an amazing dog.

    But I do feel and agree with your concern. I have heard a tale or two of people going out hunting and losing 2 - 3 birds, yet they were done and out of the field after just an hour of hunting with a limit of birds. That doesn't leave a whole lot of search time, does it? If I lose a bird, it is typically after about 45 minutes of painstaking scrutiny of the area surrounding where the bird went down. But, on the other side of the coin, the slow and meticulous approach pays off a lot of the time.

    -Gr
    My signature is awesome.

  5. #5
    Member thelast2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Wasilla, AK
    Posts
    259

    Unhappy Feel like Hell when I lose a bird

    Nothing worse than losing a bird have lost 2 this season one over open water bird jetted thru the water over forty feet looked like a shark with one wing out of the water headed straight into the reeds between the pond I was in and an adjacent pond after 45 minutes of searching and then continually scanning both ponds never did find the bird. Other fell into the grass and after an hour long exhausting search that all but had me convinced to just quit hunting and go home. Convinced myself that I need to invest in a good dog. I feel the same as many of you I try not to hunt over the heavy reeds try to stay in the low grass and water as the likelyhood of losing a bird is a lot lower but still happens on occasion feel better after reading some of the posts about peoples dogs actually retrieving a few cripples I myself have come across only one thus far this season so I guess if we all do are part many of these cripples wont be wasted or even become crippled for that matter if we are mindful of the surrounding terrain and dont shoot birds in and around the heavy reeds.

  6. #6
    Member sledhands's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Wasilla
    Posts
    244

    Default A little extra

    Yes crickett was an amazing dog! But on opening day there was at least forty trucks at rabbit sleugh probably two hunters per truck. That was on a Tuesday. Now if we average .25 ducks lost per day and you have 10 days like that in a season that is 200 ducks on the flats in a season. So if you have a dog and you are out bird hunting please take the time to do some casual walking and exploring of the area in the mid day. The birds are usually slow then anyway. You may be surprised at the catch your dog gets. You may not. In my opinion it is a good exercise for the dog. In any case I would believe it to be an extra effort in the conservation of a sport we all enjoy. So keep hunting and take your dog and tromp the grass when you can.

    good luck guys

  7. #7
    Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Fairbanks
    Posts
    203

    Unhappy Subtle hits

    I had my eyes opened a couple years ago in South Dakota. We hunted a lake that was about a mile across but had tons of ducks and geese move thru. We had our blind on the upwind side and the wind was about 20-30kts. We hunted all morning and killed several birds. A few we hit but flew off. They didn't go down but were still flying away the last time we saw them....
    At mid-day we got up and walked the shore around to the downwind side of the lake. We filled our our limits on wounded birds that tried to swim aginst the wind and chop but couldn't. Some birds are hit too far back (lack of good leads) and damage legs, tail, innards, but don't fall. On a windy day walking the downwind of ponds or lakes with a dog can be eye opening but can lead to alot of recovered birds. It is scary how many birds are actually hit with a pellet or two when we thought it was a miss.
    While raising my teenagers hunting in SD i decided to be the gunner who watched for hits, cripples, etc. I've gone well over a mile on wounded geese on many occasion.
    To follow on your original. Yes there are alot of birds wounded.

  8. #8
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    the Break Away Republic of Eagle River
    Posts
    513

    Default

    if your going to hunt ducks your going to have cripples period. If it bothers you so much that you need to leave the hunting area if you lost one or two, then maybe you should give up duck hunting overall or invest some time at the range. Count it as your bag limit and just know that there is something out there that will end up eating a heckuva a lot more of that bird than you ever will.

    Even with a dog - your going to have cripples and lost ducks, there is just no way around it.

  9. #9
    Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Fairbanks
    Posts
    203

    Default Agree... it's gonna happen

    It is gonna happen. The best we can do is pay close attention to the birds when shooting. An attentive hunter may see a hit bird and follow it up. If you can't find them I'm sure someone else in the food chain enjoy the free meal.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •