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Retrieving Cripples...how Far Will You Go?


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I do everything possible to retrieve cripples, but how far will you go?https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10201885262231537&set=vb.1182992445&type=2&theater

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One of the funniest cripple chases I have ever seen involved a small cave, a cripple bw teal, and a very determined Golden Retriever. From where we teal hunt it is about 300-400 yards across te lake to the other bank. It was one of those perfect early teal season mornings and we were able to shoot limits, but had a couple cripples swim across the lake on us. We hopped in the boat and drove across and began walking the bank. Found one cripple and killed him, then the second hopped into the water and we couldn't get a shot due to the retriever being in line with the duck. The teal swam into a rock hole and the golden followed it into he hit his back hips. He couldn't go any further and the duck was about 6 inches to a foot in front of his nose... He got so mad and frustrated it almost became comical. There was nothing we could do to reach te duck and it took both my dad and myself to drag the dog back to the boat and I had to hold onto him as we pulled away or else he would have jumped back into the lake and went back to the hole.

That is one of the hardest yet unsuccessful cripple chases I have ever been on and the other chase was the most expensive. I was around 13 or 14 and was hunting flooded timber in Arkansas. We knocked down a drake and of course he began swimming. My buddy shot him or at him 4 more time and he finally died. (Or so we thought). We were working a bother big flight when I looked up and the drake had raised his head and began swimming away again. 4 more shots and he finally didn't swim anymore. As a kid I thought this was one of the funniest things I had ever seen. It was fairly expensive and the expletives coming out of the mouths of my father and buddy were a scream!

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I will not do everything possible to get cripples, I once did but soon figured out Eagles and coyotes have to eat too. I will make a "good" attempt but that's about it.

A good story about retrieving a cripple: My brother went out of the blind once to go after a cripple, when he was on the way back to the blind we saw him drop to his knees and start calling, there was a group of about 30 or so mallards that came from behind and started circling our blind. They all came right in except one very smart drake who stayed about 30-40 yards back...he'd been shot at a few times and was very cautious. We all shot and killed 5 or 6, but the smart duck was out of our range but flew right over my brother and my brother nailed him. That duck had a band and was 13 years old according to the records!!

"Honor is a man's gift to himself" Rob Roy McGregor

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We have have to fight Bald Eagles for ours sometimes. That has been a chore. Paddling around in the middle of a lake chasing a cripple mallard with a eagle swooping down at you too.

"Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously."

Hunter S. Thompson

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Wrench I have ran in to the Dock Owner situation a few times and one of the reasons I carry the state and federal regs with me.

USFWS http://www.fws.gov/le/waterfowl-hunting-and-baiting.html

Arkansas http://www.agfc.com/resources/GuidebookDocs/waterfowl_p32-37.pdf

Missouri http://mdc.mo.gov/hunting-trapping/regulations/hunting-general-provisions/general-hunting-regulations

And then the specific lake im on for instance Beaver Lake http://www.swl.usace.army.mil/Missions/Recreation/Lakes/BeaverLake/RecreationActivities/Hunting.aspx

I have had the sheriff come out several times when I'm trying to retrieve birds from around docks and ask me what I am doing. I tell them politely trying to retrieve a crippled bird which I must do under federal law and state law and ask him if he would like to see the law. I only one time after that had an officer tell me I shouldn't be there at which point I pointed out I was below the corps stake and had every right to be there and pointed out to him the corps rules in conjunction with State and Federal he called a Warden who confirmed to him my activities were legal and he left.

Just because people own the dock does not give them the right to harass a hunter and in fact its illegal to do so, so in the event its a dock owner I advise them I am legal and they are welcome to call the police, army corps and game and fish if they push the issue and I had one do it. I got back in my boat anchored up called fish and game and had a warden come out ( be prepared to wait a while though took two hours for him to get there ) But that home owner has never bothered me again.

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That's very interesting. I've never been in that situation and never gave it much thought, but being on LOZ I can see that happening. I've never hunted there, would like to try since I have a place down there now.

I've chased my share of cripples in my day and always gave every effort to retrieve, no matter what we knocked down. I'm getting older and I've quit taking those long shots, cause I now hunt with 2 younger guys, but they are a bit on the overweight side, so I'm the one that ends being the dog.

If I see where it falls, I'll hunt it down. If it sails off, my effort is less diligent, but I will give it a try,

Also, if I shoot at a bird and see that it isn't a clean kill, I'll stay on that bird. It's tough for me to get that across to my youngen's. They'll run their shot gun to "E" and might have 3 or 4 birds down and not have a clue to where to start looking. Aggrevates the pee out of me. I hate leaving birds out in the field. It's like cleaning more fish than you'll eat, and having it freezer burn so you'll have to pitch it.

Again, thanks for the info on cripples around docks. Never gave that a thought.



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