Friday Mixed Bag – On Cripples, Bloggers and Bird Bands
I’ve spent most of this short week trying to figure out what, exactly, to do this weekend. A weekend sleeping in sounded good, until I heard the honkers hovering above the Super America convenience store on this morning’s doughnut run. Change of plans, change of alarm time.
As I tried to “come to” at my desk this morning (slack warranted, Minnesota Vikings season opener last night), I, at the request of my brother, checked out a waterfowling website I’d never previously surfed. Nothing starts a Friday like the smelling salt substitute of a cream filled Bismarck, Monster energy drink and some duck videos.
One video proved to be enough. This sea duck hunt started with a joker popping a bird right off the water (I’ve heard enough country witticisms in my day, but one of the better ones is never shoot a pheasant on the ground or a duck on the water). Fast forward to the end, and the “lead” hunter stated they needed one more diver to fill their limit, despite having a cripple a few hundred yards out.
The best two ways to prevent cripples, of course, are to take and make good shots and have a darn good retrieving dog. Those points aside, any wingshooter, regardless of talent level, will have a moment where a crippled bird goes unrecovered (the average crippling loss of pheasants is estimated at 10 percent).
I know a few hunters who, after making wholehearted yet unsuccessful efforts (think the better part of an hour searching) to retrieve wounded birds will still count those unrecovered birds as part of their daily bag. It is not a matter for the hunting regulations to decide, but a personal code of conduct. In my opinion, a better way to operate.
Outdoor Life’s Gun Dog blog guy, Brian Lynn, pimped me for some insider pheasant hunting information yesterday. Knowing him, no doubt the information will be for his personal use, but he is kind enough to share in his new post Sleeper States: Beyond the Pheasant Forecast.
I started with geese, and that looks like a good spot to end for the week. I had the good fortune of harvesting my first banded bird last weekend, which I wrote about in my other blog at the Star Tribune’s Club Outdoors site. It’s the weekend again, with a little luck, another Weekend at Band Camp.
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