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Once upon a time; if a hunter shot a game bird and could not recover it the lost bird was counted as part of their daily limit. Is this a good idea? Does anyone still do it?

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  • Once upon a time; if a hunter shot a game bird and could not recover it the lost bird was counted as part of their daily limit. Is this a good idea? Does anyone still do it?

    Once upon a time; if a hunter shot a game bird and could not recover it the lost bird was counted as part of their daily limit. Is this a good idea? Does anyone still do it?

  • #2
    I don't do it myself, and I don't know anyone who does. In my opinion, it's one of those things that might be good in principle, but in practice it's not such a great thing. It would be virtually impossible to enforce such a law, so it would basically be an honor system. Besides that, there's the practical side of it - what do you count as a lost bird? Is it just one you bring down, or do you include ones you pull feathers from, but fly off?

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    • #3
      I'm conflicted on this one. In principle, it's a good idea since if you kill the bird, you've removed it from the population. On the other hand, many bag limits read something like "limit of twelve, twelve in possession", so does that give you the right to kill enough to fill up your bag?

      If you have to count the ones you can't find, it makes you look harder and longer, especially if you are planning on wildfowl for dinner.

      Once upon a time, I shot a dove and broke a wing, causing it to fall into a farm pond. It struggled a few seconds and was eaten by what appeared to be a huge bass. I shot another one to take its place.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by huntfishtrap View Post
        I don't do it myself, and I don't know anyone who does. In my opinion, it's one of those things that might be good in principle, but in practice it's not such a great thing. It would be virtually impossible to enforce such a law, so it would basically be an honor system. Besides that, there's the practical side of it - what do you count as a lost bird? Is it just one you bring down, or do you include ones you pull feathers from, but fly off?
        This was part of sportsman's code. Or nowadays we'd refer to it as ethics, not a law, rather self discipline or honor system. Only birds which fell were counted not fly offs.

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        • #5
          I'm with Piney and huntfishtrap on this one. It is a personal choice I believe. It could only be enforced by the individual on his or her own. I've heard of this idea years ago but not so much anymore.

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          • #6
            I have done it both ways, but generally only count a bird in the bag in my limit. One thing I always do though is spend every effort to try to retrieve downed game. Many times, a bird will jump up and need to be shot again as I look for it. This leads me to believe that not all birds knocked down are dead and lost. Another wrinkle is that every US Fish and Wildlife survey I have ever filled out instructs us to only include birds in the bag and to not count lost birds in the totals.

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            • #7
              I think a bird down should be counted. Makes for a better hunter and encourages better shot choices.

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              • #8
                I think it is a situation by situation type thing. I'm not going to judge a person either way so long as a significant effort was put into finding the bird.

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                • #9
                  In MN if you drop birds you cant find, they are considered part of your limit. If you dont count them, what is stopping people shooting just for fun. They could drop birds and never look for them. According to what some of you are saying that person could keep killing birds all day as long as the bag limit isnt full.

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                  • #10
                    Hunt with a good dog, your lost birds will be very minimal.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Pup49 View Post
                      Hunt with a good dog, your lost birds will be very minimal.
                      I agree it is best to hunt with a good dog. Some hunters believe it is unethical to hunt birds without a dog. However, for whatever reasons some hunters cannot own a dog and I would hate to exclude them from upland hunting. When I hunted without a dog I counted lost birds in the bag. Still do even though I now have an excellent dog who rarely loses a hit bird. But it still happens on very rare occasions.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by bflowers View Post
                        In MN if you drop birds you cant find, they are considered part of your limit. If you dont count them, what is stopping people shooting just for fun. They could drop birds and never look for them. According to what some of you are saying that person could keep killing birds all day as long as the bag limit isnt full.
                        I would like to believe that people who would shoot game birds just for fun are a very tiny portion of the hunting community. And if they're sleezy enough to do that, I doubt making it illegal would stop them. Nobody puts more effort into trying to find a wounded bird or animal than I do, but sometimes they just aren't going to be found. That's a fact of life when hunting. I hunt primarily to put food on the table, and obviously you can't eat what you can't find, so that's why I don't count ones I can't find as part of my limit.

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                        • #13
                          I still follow it. One deer I hit we never found(I am positive it died though), so I tossed in the tag when we burned the trash.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by JM View Post
                            I still follow it. One deer I hit we never found(I am positive it died though), so I tossed in the tag when we burned the trash.
                            I have gained more respect for you JM. You and I share a common ethic. Good way to hunt.

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                            • #15
                              Thanks for all the thoughtful answers. I added comments to some of the answers. Does anyone read the comments to answers or just the answers?
                              I still count unrecovered birds in the bag. On a recent hunt my partner thought it weird and unnecessary since its not a legal requirement. So I thought I'd ask the OL crew.

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