Dispatch Ducks in Field

Submitted by AndyP on 10/20/2003. ( andypeterson@ci.ogden.ut.us ) 67.128.150.29

I can't find much in the archives, so I'll ask what must surely be a repetetive question. How do you reccomend that a hunter humanely kills a duck in the field? I read on this board that wringing their necks sometimes leaves a bit of a mess for you all. I tried something I read once called a "Taxidermists Squeeze" where you squeeze the chest untill the bird dies, but after about a minute, I couldn't stand the thought of that poor greenhead suffering anymore, so I got out my pocket knife and stabbed his heart. Probably worse I know, but at least it was quick. Any tricks\methods you guys reccomend? Thanks.

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hypodermic needle

This response submitted by jon on 10/20/2003. ( jonathan@harlequintaxidermy.com ) 68.113.208.64

Take a medium guage hypo. needle filled with rubbing alcohol into the field with you. While holding the birds head with your index finger on the bill and thumb on the base of the skull insert the needle into the brain cavity where the neck meets the skull. (you should examine this spot on a dead duck and try insertion a few times on a dead speciem so you know what I am talking about.) Inject a small amount of the alcohol and the bird expires in about two seconds with little or no spazing. If you get really good at this the bird is dead the moment you sever the spinal cord with the needle and I've been told they feel no pain. Not trying to be inhumane, but you already have shot the bird and I'm sure it is already in some sort of agaony. So a quick dispatch would be much appreciated anyways. You can buy the needles as most agriculture stores and they are large enough to do the trick. The smaller needles, (ie diabetic syringes, usually aren't large enough to penetrate and it gets messy) You can use water as well, or air, but the water has the chance of freezing, and air takes a little longer than the alcohol. Just be sure and keep the syringe CAPPED and in a safe location while in transit to your hunting spot.

Hope this helps.

Jon


taxidermist squeeze

This response submitted by jon on 10/20/2003. ( jonathan@harlequintaxidermy.com ) 68.113.208.64

also, last time I tried the squeeze on a mallard, it took forever and I finally ended up squeezing underwater and drowning the bird. Ducks are big birds and your hands will tire quickly especially if they are already cold and wet! One good breath of air and the duck is as good as new it seems. It works well on smaller birds quail size and smaller, but anything larger, and I try a different method.

Jon


taxidermist squeeze

This response submitted by jon on 10/20/2003. ( jonathan@harlequintaxidermy.com ) 68.113.208.64

also, last time I tried the squeeze on a mallard, it took forever and I finally ended up squeezing underwater and drowning the bird. Ducks are big birds and your hands will tire quickly especially if they are already cold and wet! One good breath of air and the duck is as good as new it seems. It works well on smaller birds quail size and smaller, but anything larger, and I try a different method.

Jon


I use the needle and air.

This response submitted by JOhn C on 10/20/2003. ( ) 208.180.205.103

Jon is correct about the needle, you can severe the spinal cord with it after a couple tries. I have shot water in the ducks head also, never used alcohol.

Its really tuff to squeeze one to death. But give it a try on one to shot up to mount.


I can't imagine Andy taking a needle...

This response submitted by marty on 10/20/2003. ( ) 12.206.178.1

...into the field with him.

The proper way to squeeze 'em is NOT with your hands but you kneel on their chest. The reason it probably took so long for you is when your hands got tired you probably loosened your grip and the bird got a quick gasp of air. Don't put all your weight on the bird, just enough to ensure that the bird cannot get air and it will expire within a minute or two. It actually is quite humane. The bird simply blacks out and eventually expires. Kneel on him a minute longer just to make sure....


Marty is right

This response submitted by jon on 10/20/2003. ( jonathan@harlequintaxidermy.com ) 68.113.208.64

This is another proven method as well, however, if you're standing in mud, muck, ice, and god only knows what while hunting you could end up with one nasty duck. Hehe..

John C., I know what you meant, but it sure sounds like you're telling andy to try and squeeze an already dead duck to death... hehehe

Jon


A squeeze of a different kind

This response submitted by Mike V on 10/20/2003. ( ) 205.188.208.169

When I was very young I was told to use the kneel on the breast teqnique to dispatch a duck and had terrible luck with it. Later as the years went on I figured out why. a bird that is lying on its back has its vital organs protected by at least an inch of breast bone. When you think about it, in order to suffocate a bird in this manner you would have to either "if not both" crush the breastbone or the clavicle under your weight before suffocation could begin. The way I think "in theory" makes the most sense to me, and works very well is to hold the bird by the wings, at the shoulders. While holding the bird in one hand with its bill pointing towards your wrist. grasp the downy area above the side pockets. Congradulations! You just found the lungs, Protected only by skin and a very thin ribcage. As soon as you squeeze you will imediately feel the lungs collapse. The bird usually expires in 20-30 seconds. HOWEVER! This usually proves uneffective on seaducks! Their lungs are too strong for the human hand. Is there anything that'll kill them son's of bitches! Sounds like I'll be pack'n a syringe on my next scoter trip. Good luck!

-Mike


Watch the "Duckmen"

This response submitted by Bryan on 10/21/2003. ( ) 67.51.235.186

They bite there heads. we do that and it works great, you just bend there neck down place your mouth around the ear area ang bite down a little untill you feel the skull colapse a little, and bird is dead. Other ways I have done it is bang them on the head. No problems.


Mike V that's not true

This response submitted by marty on 10/21/2003. ( ) 12.206.178.1

Think about it. You're using (say) the boat deck or ground as one pressure point. And the other is your knee. It simply wouldn't matter which side is which. If enough pressure is applied it works almost like a Boa constrictor. That first exhale allows you to bear down even further. And eventually the bird will expire.

If you've ever played football as a running back you'd know what I was talking about. I can remember not being able to breathe for several seconds before untangling the pile of guys on top of me. And it didn't matter which way I was laying, with that much weight on top of me I simply could not breathe...

Now, anybody wanna know how to clean a pheasant in less than 30 seconds?


I break their necks, quickly but carefully

This response submitted by Nancy M. on 10/21/2003. ( ) 67.26.81.17

This method is foolproof and doesn't require any equipment.
Take the duck or goose (or pheasant) and hold it tucked fairly firmly under your *left arm with its head facing forward. Grasp its head with your right hand and twist it completely around, 360 degrees, until the beak once again is pointed forward, (you will hear it beginning to crack) then pull. The neck will break cleanly and completely.
I have never done any feather or neck skin damage using this method, but trying to wring a duck's neck the way that you do a chicken can demolish the neck - and then still leave it alive!

*reverse if you are left handed


shoot them in the head

This response submitted by Dane on 10/22/2003. ( ) 64.12.96.78

I find shooting them in the head is the easiest way to humanely kill a duck. Easier on your dentist bills too.


Shoot them in the head?

This response submitted by jon on 10/22/2003. ( jonathan@harlequintaxidermy.com ) 68.113.208.64

Doesn't that risk damage to a very vital part of avian taxidermy? Dane, please elaborate further, as what you are describing doesn't tend to lead toward viable specimens for taxidermy work. However, I would agree if you are not planning on using the bird for taxidermy, then yes an extra shot to the head would be the easiest way to put the bird out of it's misery.

Jon


Hypo

This response submitted by AndyP on 10/24/2003. ( ) 67.128.150.55

Thanks for the responses! This board is invaluable to a newbie like me! I found a hypo at the farm supply store with a screw on plastic cap. It's really similar to the ones we use to innoculate calfs with. I think I'll just put it into one of the gun boxes on the boat. Safe and there when we need it. Bryan-I'd love to see the "Duckmen", but it'll be a while before I start biting anything in the field! Thanks mucho everybody.

Andy


Give him the sleeper

This response submitted by kyle C. on 10/29/2003. ( ) 206.176.115.147

First of all when you go to pick up the bird imediatly start. Put youre thumb under the head . Put the pointer over the head and squeeze. this will not wreck the birds neck for mounting and will not cause a bloody mess. this process takes time thought so you must wait a minute or so.


good luck,
kc


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