I’ve spent many a night hearing whistles or flapping of wings then a splash….and seeing f-all in between!Agreed with everything you say. Tame duck come crashing in, Wild duck are cagey, they loop round covering a very large area before coming in to ever decreasing circles, its lovely to hear those wings whistling round & round in the twilight under a moon.
Nothing worse than Teal arriving late, they hardly make a sound even when they land, all you see are the expanding ripples in the moonlight. You have my sympathies!I’ve spent many a night hearing whistles or flapping of wings then a splash….and seeing f-all in between!
The best reared duck shooting I have experienced was on a small shoot on the edge of the moors. The mallard were put down on a river in a narrow steep side valley, they would be flushed down and along a line of guns, two or three bunches flying fast over the tree tops and that was it, no circling or coming back into where they flushed from. One chance at them and they were gone, if the shoot was lucky they would settle on a part of the river inside the boundary and a return drive might be attempted, but often they were often out of bounds for the rest of the day
I often wonder on these large driven duck days how many use non-toxic?
I personally never have done it however used to enjoy flighting/decoying wildfowl on the foreshore. I have turned down invites to a large duck shoot locally, however have heard horror stories, that it is, quite literally a feeding pond that the ducks sit on, a beater is sent in with an umbrella, scares the ducks of the pond, they do a few passes over the guns and look to come back to land and he flaps the umbrella again and they go back round even higher (out of range often) until the bag is reached for that drive, guns move pegs and the same happens again. Once the bag is reached the day is concluded unless overages are taken, the pickers up then walk the river and often pick up 30-50 of the ducks that were pricked during the day.
I don’t agree when people tell me ‘the ducks fly well’ as ducks in still conditions when unable to land naturally will fly very high! Probably out of range/ out of clean killing capabilities for most.
Complete con. Bag filler on shoots where they don't provide enough decent birds. I refuse to shoot them and try to get the team to do the same.
The worst I have experienced was picking up on Auchmacoy, the ducks were so low and the guns so bad I was pulling my spaniel down so he didn't get shot! Same day I was dragged behind a pick-up by the under keeper and a beater as its "not safe out there".
I used to shoot a fair few ducks, mostly flighting them in the evenings. Then one year I raised 50 birds for my local gun club, no more duck shooting for me ( not very much now anyway ).
Ducks are clever and they have individual little ducky personalities too.
They deserve better than the practices you describe, not for me thanks.
The fact that its not illegal and generates cash flow is a pretty poor defence of practices indistinguishable from turning a group of gobshites with shotguns loose in the poultry yard.any form of wild duck shooting is for me the best, reared duck no matter how good would not appeal to me, but let's be honest some commercial shoots use ducks as bag fillers for those who don't know better and cannot shoot sometimes called corporate days I believe. Have seen these for myself as have many others along with low pheasants been taken in numbers at £x per bird, as retired keeper it sickens me. However not illegal and provides employment and revenue. cannon fodder/ bag fillers little wonder driven shooting has no future!