Should ground/water swatting be illegal?

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Should ground/water swatting be illegal?

Postby RowdyGSP » Sun Jul 07, 2019 3:22 pm

We all know it's an unwritten rule that you don't shooting un-injured bird that aren't flying, however I'm not aware of any state where it is illegal to shoot game birds that are on the ground, on the water or in a tree. Why not? Water swatting ducks and ground sluicing upland game birds is definitely unsportsmanlike, so why isn't it against the regs? I could see allowing hunters with disabilities being allowed to, but for the rest of us we should have to shoot them on the wing, fair and square. Not wanting to start an argument, but I'm just curious why it isn't illegal or if it is against the law in any state.

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Re: Should ground/water swatting be illegal?

Postby huntinmo » Sun Jul 07, 2019 4:28 pm

Unenforceable and dispatching cripples when the dog is not chasing them. Probably standard practice for cripples in water. Too many rules already! :shock: I always want to see sky behind the bird when I am shooting! :!:
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Re: Should ground/water swatting be illegal?

Postby RowdyGSP » Sun Jul 07, 2019 4:55 pm

huntinmo wrote:Unenforceable and dispatching cripples when the dog is not chasing them. Probably standard practice for cripples in water. Too many rules already! :shock: I always want to see sky behind the bird when I am shooting! :!:


Yeah exactly, hence why I said "un-injured" birds. But you're right, it's probably really hard to enforce. However, making it illegal to do swat them, would deter some law-abiding hunters. I will water swat ducks and geese that are going to dive that I've already shot out of the air. Will not do the same to a crip on the ground no matter what, since I have dogs on the ground.
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Re: Should ground/water swatting be illegal?

Postby flitecontrol » Sun Jul 07, 2019 4:57 pm

Oh, this is going to be a good one, I can tell! :)

How many turkey hunters flush them before shooting? :wink: How many deer/coyote/bobcat, etc., hunters will only shoot at a running target?

Rails are reluctant fliers and usually prefer to escape into heavy cover rather than fly when given the choice. When they do fly, they're pretty easy to hit providing they stay airborne long enough. Is it any more or less ethical to shoot a wild bird that is a poor flyer than it is to shoot pen reared birds that don't fly as well as their wild counterparts? Is it even ethical to shoot pen reared birds, especially if they don't fly well? I haven't hunted them, but understand that scaled quail, chukars, etc. often run to escape hunters rather than fly, or run and then fly. If a hunter has put in several hours (or days) hunting such problematic birds without success, and takes the opportunity to shoot them while running, are they unethical scumbags?

I sometimes stalk ducks in flooded timber. This usually takes 45-60 minutes or more to sneak within range. Often, the ducks see me before I'm in range, but when they don't, I'm able to make clean head shots on drakes. And yes, whenever possible, I'll wait until two or more drakes are in line before shooting. I use #7 steel shot through a tight choke when stalking. Some may find that objectionable, but to me, the challenge is in the stalk. Is it more ethical to cripple and lose a flying duck than to make a clean kill on the water? These are some of the reasons most states don't require that birds only be shot on the wing, and why it's such a thorny issue.

Now, in the interest of stirring the pot, let's address shooting birds with rifles, which is legal in many states. :twisted:
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Re: Should ground/water swatting be illegal?

Postby RowdyGSP » Sun Jul 07, 2019 7:47 pm

flitecontrol wrote: I haven't hunted them, but understand that scaled quail, chukars, etc. often run to escape hunters rather than fly, or run and then fly. If a hunter has put in several hours (or days) hunting such problematic birds without success, and takes the opportunity to shoot them while running, are they unethical scumbags?


Yes.
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Re: Should ground/water swatting be illegal?

Postby Sooty42 » Sun Jul 07, 2019 7:53 pm

Because elk and deer hunters out west wouldn’t be able to get any camp meat if they couldn’t ground swat with their shotguns or .22’s
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Re: Should ground/water swatting be illegal?

Postby flitecontrol » Sun Jul 07, 2019 10:16 pm

RowdyGSP wrote:Yes.


And why is that, since you didn't put ground swatting turkey hunters in a similar category?
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Re: Should ground/water swatting be illegal?

Postby carramrod » Sun Jul 07, 2019 10:27 pm

RowdyGSP wrote:
flitecontrol wrote: I haven't hunted them, but understand that scaled quail, chukars, etc. often run to escape hunters rather than fly, or run and then fly. If a hunter has put in several hours (or days) hunting such problematic birds without success, and takes the opportunity to shoot them while running, are they unethical scumbags?


Yes.


Curious why you think it's more ethical to scare them into flight instead of taking a more accurate shot while they're holding still with more of a chance to make a clean kill.

I don't ground swat. I have shot ducks off water before, but I can recall 1 time specifically.
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Re: Should ground/water swatting be illegal?

Postby jlw034 » Sun Jul 07, 2019 10:32 pm

I always love this conservation.

You make the presumption that ground swatting a bird is unsportsmanlike. Why? That animal doesn’t care how you killed it…all it knows is that it doesn’t want to die. We, as sportsmen and women, only owe that animal the quickest death possible. It could give two shits if the hunter made a miraculous shot.

If I’m goose hunting, and an entire flock of geese land in the spread, I did my job as a hunter. They have been completely fooled. Shooting the first bird in the head is an easy kill, and is a much higher percentage shot than the 45mph passing shot when the N wind is pushing that bird at mach Jesus.

I have much more respect for the law abiding hunter that takes the high probability shot than the hunter that takes the sporting shot. That is mainly due to the fact that to get that high probability shot, the hunter has done his/her job well. The game is unaware of the hunter’s presence.

Any ‘style’ we put on hunting is a human construct. We put sensible laws in place to maintain our game and give it a semblance of fair chase.

My upland hunting generally doesn’t allow ground swatting due to the cover I hunt, so I shoot those birds on the wing. But I am very cognizant on my shots. I got a pointer to give me closer shots, which she does quite well.

Waterfowl is fair game though. Nothing better than a fat mallard with zero holes in the breast.
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Re: Should ground/water swatting be illegal?

Postby mtbirder » Sun Jul 07, 2019 10:38 pm

I am now 56 years old, shoot snooty doubles over pointers, and wear a Wingworks vest and high dollar boots while hunting birds.
However.......
Fortysome years ago I was a young teenager - .22 rifle, no dog, tennis shoes and a typical young man's lust for blood. Many Northern MN ruffies standing on abandoned logging roads lost their lives to my ground sluicing with a .22.
It's what got me hooked on hunting birds.
Though I wouldn't think of that tactic today - neither would I deny a kid today of that experience. The shooting of the bird was ONLY a part of the whole thing........

Reminds me of my snobby Montana fly fishing brethren who scream for barbless hooks and more catch and release river sections. They forget they most likely learned to fish on a Zebco..............
Ennis Montana's Bailey B - No pedigree, no prizes. Just 11 years of field excellence
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Re: Should ground/water swatting be illegal?

Postby RowdyGSP » Sun Jul 07, 2019 11:31 pm

carramrod wrote:
RowdyGSP wrote:
flitecontrol wrote: I haven't hunted them, but understand that scaled quail, chukars, etc. often run to escape hunters rather than fly, or run and then fly. If a hunter has put in several hours (or days) hunting such problematic birds without success, and takes the opportunity to shoot them while running, are they unethical scumbags?


Yes.


Curious why you think it's more ethical to scare them into flight instead of taking a more accurate shot while they're holding still with more of a chance to make a clean kill.

I don't ground swat. I have shot ducks off water before, but I can recall 1 time specifically.


I watched a guy I no longer hunt with ground swat a covey of chukars. He got 6 in one shot. 2 of them died immediately, as 4 of them fluttered downhill, very much alive. 3 dogs recovered 2 of those 4 birds and 2 were lost as crips. Please enlighten me how that is ethical.
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Re: Should ground/water swatting be illegal?

Postby jlw034 » Sun Jul 07, 2019 11:36 pm

RowdyGSP wrote:
I watched a guy I no longer hunt with ground swat a covey of chukars. He got 6 in one shot. 2 of them died immediately, as 4 of them fluttered downhill, very much alive. 3 dogs recovered 2 of those 4 birds and 2 were lost as crips. Please enlighten me how that is ethical.


Is that any less ethical than flock shooting the same birds, with the same result?
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Re: Should ground/water swatting be illegal?

Postby Willie T » Mon Jul 08, 2019 6:23 am

Illegal for quail in Oklahoma. I agree with that law and wish more states would follow suit. As a kid I was taught the "skillet shot" is an unsporting practice. As an adult I tend to agree.
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Re: Should ground/water swatting be illegal?

Postby flitecontrol » Mon Jul 08, 2019 6:35 am

jlw034 wrote:Any ‘style’ we put on hunting is a human construct. We put sensible laws in place to maintain our game and give it a semblance of fair chase.


And that is the crux of this issue. Why is it more ethical to only shoot flying birds yet it's considered less ethical to shoot at a running elk/deer/whatever? Both have a higher probability of losing the animal versus shooting a stationary target. In addition to driving them off cliffs, Native Americans shot or speared running bison from horseback. No doubt the crippling loss was significant, yet the buffalo herds survived for many years under such pressure. But they couldn't withstand the losses from highly efficient marksmen that took them with one well placed shot from a long range rifle. Which method was more or less ethical, and why?
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Re: Should ground/water swatting be illegal?

Postby GONEHUNTIN' » Mon Jul 08, 2019 8:51 am

It's legal' let it alone.

Should using a dog be illegal?
Tracking collars?
Decoys for waterfowl?
Tree Stands?
Compound bows?
Crossbows?

When you start trying to outlaw a legal practice you're treading on dangerous territory.
I just hate seeing birds die of natural causes unless I'm that natural cause.
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