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Waterfowl hunting is the next major target of the animal rights movement.

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) is always the group I look at to see what play the movement is going to make. Sure, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) publicly release extreme, asinine and otherwise downright lame comments, but HSUS has credibility with the mainstream media and the American public who think of them as the saviors of abandoned puppies and kittens.

Pretty much everyone knows PETA are out there. HSUS however are the most well funded, slick and dangerous animal rights group who are totally out to eradicate hunting.

If you don’t believe me, then check out excerpts from this HSUS press release.
"In a report, titled The Ones That Almost Got Away: Unseen Victims of Waterfowl Hunters, The HSUS documents the inaccuracies of previous research on waterfowl mortality and calls for efforts from wildlife management communities to dramatically reduce waterfowl wounding rates.
Among the report’s findings."

"Wounding is an inherent component of waterfowl hunting. The majority of ducks and geese wounded in this way are not likely to recover: for these birds, death can be protracted. It is not currently possible to accurately document waterfowl wounding rates or to assess the total number lost to wounding. However, visible evidence for crippling, a more easily observed from of wounding, is more readily obtainable. Crippling rates of up to 45 percent of all birds shot have been documented via direct observation of hunts in progress."

"Sampling procedures in earlier studies on the frequency of wounding and crippling were fundamentally flawed, as they generally relied on hunters’ self reports, via questionnaires or surveys, to estimate wounding rates. The reliability of such figures is doubtful, since hunters may simply not accurately recall events of the hunt, may intentionally lie because they failed to retrieve shot birds, or may not see the wounding or crippling they cause."

"One study comparing direct observation of waterfowl hunting with hunters’ reports found a significant discrepancy between the numbers of birds wounded reported by the hunters and the tallies of trained, concealed observers. Hunters’ self-reporting produced a crippling rate of six to 18 percent of all ducks and geese shot, while observers reported a crippling rate between 20 to 40 percent."

"A sophisticated mathematical reanalysis of U.S. crippling data estimates that for every duck killed, another is crippled. Skilled hunters wound approximately five ducks for every 10 killed outright, and novice hunters wound between five and 15 ducks for every 10 killed."

"In order to quickly kill a duck or goose, a shot must be fired within the appropriate range for the type of pellet being used. When a hunter shoots at a bird outside of the lethal range of the pellet, a practice known as "skybusting," the animal is often wounded or crippled but not killed outright. Aim error is also a factor in waterfowl wounding."

"Misidentification of Waterfowl Protected species of ducks and geese are also at risk of similar wounding or crippling rates. The report highlights hunters’ inability to correctly identify under hunt conditions more than two or three of the most common duck species. Despite this, hunters shoot at more than 90 percent of ducks and 100 percent of geese they believe are within range."
If you think HSUS are simply concerned about the ducks, the final part of the release details their real agenda.

"While hunter education programs may produce some success in reducing waterfowl wounding and crippling rates, the report notes that hunter density and social factors may counteract educational efforts. The report posits that hunters may feel in competition with each other, driving them to be indiscriminate in their shooting in an attempt to kill more birds. Similarly, observing other hunters engaging in skybusting may result in acceptance of this practice. These social factors may increase as hunter density increases, as on firing lines, for example."

"Despite the realization that millions of ducks and geese are shot and injured, and suffer terribly before they die, there has been no comprehensive response from the wildlife management community to try to reduce the wounding rates," said the report’s author, Robert Alison, Ph.D., Canadian waterfowl biologist, international waterfowl expert, and former waterfowl hunter who has written for Outdoor and Hunter magazines.

"In fact, states have programs in place designed to attract children to duck hunting. This will undoubtedly increase the percentage of waterfowl experiencing a prolonged, miserable death."

As detailed in my book Texas Waterfowl, this is typical animal rights propaganda. They mix a little truth (wounding rates) with a lot of hyperbole. They forget to mention that waterfowlers pay to produce these ducks through duck stamp sales, excise taxes and through membership in groups like DU and Delta.

Be forewarned, this is the next great animal rights battle and waterfowlers should be prepared.
 

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I can't imagine a PETA member approaching a bunch of duck hunters armed with 12 guage shotguns way back in some flooded timber and harasing them :smack: I can't see them harasing any hunter's in Arkansas out in the field for that matter of a fact. Maybe California, but not Arkansas :smack:
 

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:rolleyes: I wouldn't get too worked up about it. Waterfowl hunting is too big of an industry (especially in Arkansas) to be messed with too much. It's like you said, there's very little truth in their article. The comment that ruffled my feathers the most was the one about "attracting children to waterfowl hunting." :mad: I'll get my child into hunting and let them do whatever they want to with their children. We'll see which one ends up in more trouble. I know duck hunting and hunting in general kept me out of a lot stuff I shouldn't be doing.
 
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