Water swatting

wncdeerhunter

Old Mossy Horns
Thread starter #1
This should be interesting -

What are your thoughts? I’m a wing shooter through and through, but one hole I hunt, you rarely get a safe flying shot (maybe right before they hit the pond) and the shot while on the water has a safe backstop across the pond and is much more likely to not cripple a bird. Also much less shot in the breast as opposed to one coming at you with the landing gear down. I eat all my birds.

My thoughts are I prefer a flying/decoying shot, but a dead bird is a dead bird, and if it’s safer in some instances, I have no heartburn over it.

Granted, in many situations, a lower water shot may not be safe, so there’s that.

But I’ve heard arguments over it being unethical/unsportsmanlike- curious as to everyone’s thoughts on the subject.
 
#2
This topic will be very entertaining to watch. Im in the same seat as you in some of the small wood duck holes i shoot. I prefer to shoot them flying but in certain situations, as you said, a dead bird is a dead bird and it doesn’t break my heart to bust one off the water.


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#3
This should be interesting -

What are your thoughts? I’m a wing shooter through and through, but one hole I hunt, you rarely get a safe flying shot (maybe right before they hit the pond) and the shot while on the water has a safe backstop across the pond and is much more likely to not cripple a bird. Also much less shot in the breast as opposed to one coming at you with the landing gear down. I eat all my birds.

My thoughts are I prefer a flying/decoying shot, but a dead bird is a dead bird, and if it’s safer in some instances, I have no heartburn over it.

Granted, in many situations, a lower water shot may not be safe, so there’s that.

But I’ve heard arguments over it being unethical/unsportsmanlike- curious as to everyone’s thoughts on the subject.
I look at it like this: I much rather prefer to shoot the duck back pedaling a few feet off the water because it’s a more guaranteed kill that way. If I must water swat them, I will. If he lands on the water, I won the game. The same people who tell you that water swatting is unethical are shooting deer over corn piles.


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woodmoose

Administrator
Staff member
Contributor
#4
ethics are a personal issue,,,

some only shoot drakes,,,or try to,,

some would never water swat a duck unless wounded,,,,

some kill ducks and measure success by full limits all around,,,

some shoot ducks as they pass,,,as they hover 6 inches off the water,,or after they have landed,,,,

it's all the same,,,it's hunting and legal,,,,

ethics are personal
 

Troutbum82

Four Pointer
#5
This has been covered already but here goes water swats are for kids and women.
But there are situations where swatting is no big deal. I prefer to shot over the decoys and try to shoot drakes only but with that said I also have hunted situations where the most ethical shot is on the water.
 
#6
Depends on my body of water and situation. I have no problem at all water swatting a bird that flew into the decoys. Means I've done 90 percent of the work. With that said, I prefer to take more sporting shots just to challenge my wing shooting skills.

But take for example last week when we went on a guided curtain box hunt and we had birds feet down in the decoys, we sent some steel shot skipping across the pamlico.

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woodmoose

Administrator
Staff member
Contributor
#7
Depends on my body of water and situation.

reminds me of the one bit of advice my POS biological donor passed on to me,,,it had to do with military service,,,,

when asked "what would you do if blah blah blah" the answer is "depends on the situation and the terrain",,,,,,,,,

must of worked as he made Sergeant three times!! :D
 
#9
I don't shoot them on the water but if that's you're thing have it.
It's all about personal definition of sportsmanship. Like somebody said, a new deer Hunter may be most successful using a rifle over a corn pile, then maybe using a crossbow, then a compound bow, then a composite longbow/recurve, finally a homemade selfbow . Or just keep using a rifle over a corn pile. It's all good whatever level of challenge you prefer to engage. As long as the technique is legal, a true sportsman doesn't criticize another Hunter's method. We all need to stick together against the anti's....
 
#11
I personally like to shoot dippers, hairy heads, hens, cripples, and off the water if they land before I can get my gun on em.

I shot a cripple goose across a field the other week with bbs at 40yds. He folded. Not sure why people mess with turkey loads...


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JONOV

Six Pointer
#12
Is it Sportsmanlike? Not really, there’s no sport in it. Ethical? I’d argue it’s more ethical than a 35 yard shot at the edge of the decoys; your far more likely to make a lethal shot and recover the animal. Generally I won’t but I can’t say that I haven’t. What I like to do is shoot one when one has landed and the other is setting it’s wings then shoot the one that landed as it gets up. Honestly I think it’s a less sportsmanlike shot when they’re about a foot or two off the water and not moving fast at all.
 
#14
I used to duck hunt some and wasn’t very good at it. I’m not the greatest at shooting moving birds like that. I didn’t think you could shoot them on the water. This changes everything I can hit them on the water. Call me The Water Swatter.
 

snakeskinner

Twelve Pointer
#15
I will shoot a dove on a power line, while my mouth is watering, anytime. I probably would never swat a duck but wouldn't care if you did it if we hunted together.
 
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#17
If your hunting divers it’s almost hard to avoid. I am shifting my spread to almost all foam filled. Some good friends have curtain blinds and the only rule is don’t shoot the decoys! That’s a good way to not get invited back!
 

Wildlifer

Twelve Pointer
#18
This is NC duck hunting, the opportunities are usually limited so I’m shooting when they are in range and if that’s on the water, oh well. The dog doesn’t care and neither does my cookbook. I may have a different perspective if I hunted a place with more opportunities.
 
#20
It depends on the situation and if I'm in a shooting slump !!! All things being equal , and they very rarely are, I would rather swat them as opposed to all out sky busting.
 

JJWise

Four Pointer
#23
In my mind, it’s the most ethical shot. You know you can put it down with one quick shot, as opposed to shooting the edge of your range or at passers where you’ll likely get a couple pellets in the bird but may not drop it. Ideally, you’d want a deer standing still so you know that you can make a perfect shot and not wound it, so I can’t understand why that’s considered unsportsmanlike for a bird hunter. And if you’re hidden well enough and have a good decoy spread and call well, and the birds land in your spread, IMO you’ve won. Sure I usually shoot birds in the air, but I won’t hesitate at all to smack one on the water.
 
#24
....a true sportsman doesn't criticize another Hunter's method.....
I very much like this statement.
Unfortunately, there are fewer and fewer true sportsmen around these days - and more and more "killers" and selfie-takers. I was once a "killer"...and on a couple of assignments even got paid to do it.
 

ScottyB

Twelve Pointer
Contributor
#26
Trust me when I say this ......most of us don't care
I know there are too many variables to make the call on who has an open shot or not..... we had this scenario recently... if they get to the water without offering a shot.... by all means have at it... I got a little twisted on this scenario with a friend.... but I was 20 yards away with a different view.... from his view he had no shot until they landed.... from my side it looked like great chances to shoot.... too many variables..... I got over it pretty quickly.... hopefully he will too....

Not sure who you are Duckmauler DHC or if you we’re saying that generally people don’t care about water swatting ......or if you were specifically saying nobody cares what my opinion is on the subject.....

My original post indicates if you have a good shot on them flying in..... you should take it...... rather than letting them sit....that’s all
 

Crappie_Hunter

Ten Pointer
Contributor
#28
The goal of duck hunting is to make a duck think that those plastic things floating in the water are his buddies, and based on what they are saying he should come down and join them. To me the ultimate is getting a duck to land in the decoys. I guess I see it different, sure a 35yd passing shot is difficult, but not as "sporting" as convincing a wild animal to fall for your little trick... to each his own though, bang on em' however ya can!!
 

Hevi 13. Anson

Four Pointer
Contributor
#30
This one hits home with me. I let really nice bucks walk because we are blessed with good deer. We also pass on Jake's and most two year old turkeys but DUCKS are a different story. With limited access to decent areas for duck hunting, I just want dead birds for my lab so water swatting does occur. Im willing to learn patience if some of y'all duck slayers are willing to trade some duck honey-holes for a shot at some good deer and or turkey hunts. Lol