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Shooting ducks on the water...?

17626 Views 13 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Travismaine
Does anyone know if it is legal to shoot ducks on the water in Maine? Thanks.
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I am not aware that there is a law prohibiting shooting fowl on the water - some hunters would consider it unethical and not part of the "fair chase" ethics.

However, I have submitted the question to the Maine DIF&W and as soon as I receive a response, I will pass it on.
The answer guru at MDIFW is out in the woods hunting this week and will return to his office on Monday, November 28, 2005
The nerve of that man.
Thanks very much. The reason I ask is because I had a family of 6 Rouen ducks (domesticated / pets) on a small farm pond very close to my house. A few weeks ago, three guys standing on the road shot and killed four of them. I do know it was illegal for a few reasons, i.e., they were well within 100 yards of my house and at least two other neighbors, they were shooting toward a residence, and they were standing on a paved road. They took off running when I starting screaming at them. Those ducks didn't have chance, as they couldn't fly. These guys knew it, since they were trying to swim away from them, but none of them flew away. I can't imagine wild ducks simply swimming away from gun shots. I have a friend from Pennsylvania (a hunter) who was furious and said he wasn't sure if it was a law or hunter etiquette, as you have suggested, that you don't shoot a duck sitting on the water. Now I'm just curious and I couldn't find anything on line about it. These ducks were twice the size of a wild duck and had orange feet, which they knew because they had the gall to take one of them before I could get down there. I realize these jerks weren't real hunters, but it's things like this that really make us question why we don't post our 53 acres. Infuriating. Thanks again for your help.
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I would be wild as well. What morons. Have you called the authorities and given them a discription of these bozos?

Nobody needs these kinds of people out and about anywhere and I know I wouldn't want to have them anywhere near me when I am hunting.

I don't really think there is much issue in whether it is illegal to shoot "sitting ducks". These guys broke just about every law known to mankind.

I'm assuming you live in Maine and if so there are Wardens who do care. I know a few of them and they would like to get this kind of information so to stop this atrocity.

I'll still let you know what I find out about the law on sitting ducks and if I can be of further assistance let me know.

The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife web site has contact information if you need it.
Yes, we are in Maine (Kezar Falls area). I called 911 and they sent a Warden over. He seemed as mad as we were. We collected a few spent shells and handed them over to him, and he took pictures of the ducks before we buried them. Like you have said, he said this was illegal on so many levels it doesn't matter what excuse they come up with. Unfortunately, I couldn't come up with a very good description of them, as it was raining and windy (remnants of Rita blowing around). They had a car parked beyond my line of vision behind some trees. When they ran, I could hear it start up a tear off, but that was it. Unfortunately, unless they're stupid enough to brag about it, we'll probably never know. Thanks again for your help, and the link.
The ironic thing is many of these guys are in fact, stupid enough to brag about it and that's how they get caught.
They will get theirs someday.
I am saddened that this happened to you. I think you know that all hunters are not like this. A true hunter will do anything to stop this sort of thing.
Thanks for sharing.
I promised I would bring you an update as soon as I heard from Ralph at Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife about the laws on shooting ducks sitting in the water. I will post exactlly what he wrote:
I have found nothing in the rules that ban you from shooting sitting ducks on the water. Thanks! Ralph
As I said before, I had found nothing that probibited the shooting of waterfowl sitting in the water but any decent hunter will flush first and then shoot.

But, these thugs aren't hunters and I hope someday they will get what's coming to them.

I figured that you were right before, when you said it was probably hunter etiquette. Even if I never find out who they are, I'm sure they will pay some how, some day. Tom, thanks again for your help. I really appreciate it!
I think my 911 cal would have said they were shooting at me in my house! Let the authorities figure it all out after the s.w.a.t. team showed up and the guys were found speeding away.

People like that make me sick! I've turned them in for driking in the woods while hunting, smoking dope while hunting, shooting does without a antlerless deer permit, etc.

Sorry for you loss whether they were pets or livestock.
Go Get 'em Jack !!!!!!!
It is not against the law to shoot waterfowl sitting on water. Most waterfowl hunters wouldn't do it because it lacks the sport of calling a duck in and then shooting on the wing.
Shooting birds on the water is like fishing in a hatchery....
I believe that duck hunting is about the sport of it and not filling a bag limit no matter what.
If the idea was to shoot them off the water they would allow hunters to use rifles. I won't shoot a bird off the water either.
I do agree with the wounding vs killing idea. I always "double tap" a wounded bird to lessen my chances of loosing it.
Hunting is not "fair" If it is legal to take the animal then go for it. In this case the guys where out of season, to close to homes and so on so they where not within the law. Ethical hunting depends on where you are and what you are hunting as the ethics change for many. Ie unethical to bait a deer but ok to bait bear. If you see a bird on the water and you are all legal and shoot it I have zero issues with it.
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