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We've all heard about taking a "boat limit" when fishing. Hypothetically, if three guys are fishing for redfish and 2 of them have their 3 legal fish and the other just has one, most of the time, all will keep fishing until the other two legal fish are boxed. I guess the common thinking is that there's no compelling reason for the other two to just sit down and daydream while the third guy keeps fishing.

What's the call when hunting dove or quail? Does/should a "boat limit" mentality apply assuming all parties are legal to hunt?

I'll confess that back when my son was just starting, we'd take a two man limit together. Also, I'm now married to a wonderful woman that loves to go afield with me, but can't hit her bu++ with both hands. I've seen her miss a dove that landed in a mesquite tree right over her head. I've been guilty of picking up and giving her birds she shot when she didn't even pop a cap. "Here's another one, baby. I think you got this one..." if you know what I mean.

How about the rest of you, where do you come down on the issue? Remember, there's no catch and release in bird hunting.

Bob
 

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Weedless said:
Does/should a "boat limit" mentality apply assuming all parties are legal to hunt?
IMO No,
Game wardens have become fairly lenient when it comes to a boat limit of fish, they actually changed the rules for guides that allow a boat limit. Hunting game birds, especially migratory birds like Doves is a different story. It's actually illegal to give someone a bird in the field without a resource document. I would be very careful of taking more than your limit of birds, even if someone else in your party doesn't have a limit, because if you get caught, you will be the one in hot water.
 

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I think that it is wrong, but I will admit that I've done it myself in the past. I would caution you though that game wardens will often sit and watch you (from a distance) and see how many birds you really shoot. Another tactic that they use is to separate the hunters and quiz them on their 'bag' to see if they really shot all of the birds.

The federal game wardens are very strict on the WRD. I know that you can give somebody your birds up to a limit but I don't think you can use it to give someone birds over your limit.

It can be very expensive and I don't think doves or ducks are worth it.
 

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Good way to get introduced to a local JP you didn't really want to meet under those conditions.
 

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Do Not Get Caught Dividing Birds.

Had a buddy in the field last year and it was a party of six with one retriever. As the dog was retrieving birds they all came back to the owner of the dog and he ended up with a $1500+ fine for the birds. Granted, he shouldn't have let the dog retrieve all of the birds but it was a bit late when the "MAN" showed up.
 

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According to the rules and reg book, you cannot divide birds OR use the WRD 'in the field'.

'Transfer' section on page 67.
 

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bbridges said:
Do Not Get Caught Dividing Birds.

Had a buddy in the field last year and it was a party of six with one retriever. As the dog was retrieving birds they all came back to the owner of the dog and he ended up with a $1500+ fine for the birds. Granted, he shouldn't have let the dog retrieve all of the birds but it was a bit late when the "MAN" showed up.
Frankly, I think that is pretty sorry. Using a retriever helps in limiting lost game and is a responsible thing to do. To penalize someone because the dog is doing what its trained to and bringing the birds to the handler instead of the gunner is stupid.

There was an article in the latest TF&G about sitting on your tailgate when dove hunting and how that is technically hunting from a motor vehicle, which is against federal law for migratory game birds. The jist was that the author spoke with TPWD and was told that the wardens were trained to put themselves in the shoes of the "offender" when deciding whether or not to ticket someone and base the decision on whether they would think it was fair. In the situation you describe, it clearly wasn't fair.

After all, the ethical thing to do is to make every possible effort to retrieve any downed game and to ticket someone for doing that just because the animal doesn't know any better than to bring all the birds back to the boss is just lame.
 

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If I had got that ticket, I'd have asked for a jury.
 

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Another Thing...

I had this situation happen to a buddy and I last dove season down near Dilly. We had a realitively slow start in the morning (I had 3 birds and my buddy 4) which we cleaned, put in separate plastic bags and placed in the ice chest. We rested a while and then later in the afternoon went back to the field to finish out our limits when the GW shows up. He checks our birds in the field and then asks to look in the ice chest. He gave us a pretty hard time about not having each bag marked with our name and date of hunt. He did not write us up as neither one of us had more than five birds in our hunting bag but gave us a stern warning. :hairout:

As far as the thread question, I personally would not do the "boat limit" when bird hunting for two reasons. First, it's not worth the constant worry of looking over your shoulder for the GW to pop out from around a bush, much less the financial hit. Second, I hunt with a tough group of hunters that love to tease the poor guy in our group who didn't get his limit. :D

BTW, the GW's must like me or something as I was checked this year on opening day of central zone, teal opener and again last friday for the south zone opener!
 

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Dang!

Hullahopper said:
BTW, the GW's must like me or something as I was checked this year on opening day of central zone, teal opener and again last friday for the south zone opener!
They must. I rarely see the wardens. Never have while fishing. Seen them, just never been asked to show anything. I am always legal, so it's not a worry.

However, South opener we had them come into the field. Ou outfitter warned us of a green warden with an itchy pen just waiting to start earning his stripes.

I told everyone to make sure they were right on their bird counts, and all else. They came and checked everyone and moved on. Amazingly, two in our group did not have plugs. Borrowed guns and semi-rookie hunters. 250 bones apiece.
 

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What do you guys do when cleaning your birds? We have a habit of piling them all together on the tailgate and cleaning them as a group. Then everyone picks up there birds and bags them seperately and puts them in their own icechest. I know this technically is not legal. How do y'all handle it? Shoot, half the fun is standing around the tailgate cleaning the birds with an Adult Soda Water and shooting the bull.:)
 

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I don't think most GW's will give you too hard of a time if all of the birds are together being processed, but here is the law:

Species Identification: Except for migratory game birds processed at a cold storage or processing facility, or doves, one fully-feathered wing or the head must remain attached to migratory game birds while the birds are being transported between the place where taken and the permanent residence of the possessor. Note: Migratory game birds may be dressed for immediate cooking at a place other than a permanent residence (e.g., hunting camp). This does not include placing dressed birds in a cooler/refrigerator for later consumption while at a place other than a permanent residence. Hunters are encouraged to leave plumage on all doves other than mourning dove, white-winged dove, and white-tipped dove (e.g., exotic collared-dove) for species identification.
Transfer: A person may not transfer or give migratory game birds to another person while in the field. After leaving the field, a person must have a wildlife resource document for any migratory game bird not in the immediate possession of the person who killed them (see Daily Bag and Possession). Migratory game birds may be shipped, provided a wildlife resource document accompanies the package. See above for more information on documentation. A sample can be seen at wildlife resource document (PDF 64.3 KB).
 

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Dove hunting is normally an individual count, but if you are careful, I have no problem in helping someone. Quail hunting is generally a group count, especially if hunting from a rig. Even Pheasant hunting up north is normally a group count.
 

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Both ways

TXPalerider said:
What do you guys do when cleaning your birds? We have a habit of piling them all together on the tailgate and cleaning them as a group. Then everyone picks up there birds and bags them seperately and puts them in their own icechest. I know this technically is not legal. How do y'all handle it? Shoot, half the fun is standing around the tailgate cleaning the birds with an Adult Soda Water and shooting the bull.:)
I prefer the way you state. Tailgate, big trashbag, bloody hands and cold beer. But, I take mine straight from my game bag and clean one at a time and put in my own ziplock. That way if the bird and turtle club shows up, I'm still legal.
We have a few that like to go back to the hotel to do their birds. But that makes your room kinda funky.

Another question........how long do you fret over downed birds that have turned invisible? And, should you count those toward your limit. I am guilty of losing a few to the ground or brush and not counting them to the limit inthe bag. Bad Karma?
 

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yes, they should be counted towards your limit. I have spent lots of time looking for a downed bird just for that reason.
 

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troy merrill said:
Another question........how long do you fret over downed birds that have turned invisible? And, should you count those toward your limit. I am guilty of losing a few to the ground or brush and not counting them to the limit inthe bag. Bad Karma?
Precisely why I would have been so ticked if I'd been the guy with the dog that got the ticket. Dogs prevent this.

To answer your question, I agree with speckle-catcher, they should be counted. In fact, I think there is even a law that says so.
 

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We put them all together to clean. However, I guess if I were hunting a day lease or somewhere I was a guest, I would follow the letter of the law. Luckily, we normally hunt family property.

So far as downed birds...I spend a pretty significant amount of time looking for downed birds. Not because they count against my limit, but, because it seems like the right thing to do. I hate losing any game fur or feather. As far as bird hunting, I have a dog, so it's not a huge issue for me. But, nothing I hate worse, than a hunter that shoots 3-5 birds before he makes his retrieve. Invariably, 1/2 to 3/4 are never found. If your that d*mned lazy, stay at home on the couch.
 

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I agree 100%,
At our place, we hunt over some old gravel holes and goat weed sometimes and it's easy to lose sight of one over a ridge if it's a far shot. I will usaully only shoot 1 bird and go find him before shooting another one, unless I've got a nice close double.
 
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