Maybe I should just leave it to Angus?
Maybe I should just leave it to Angus?

I got a couple helpful comments about killing cripples, so thought I’d foreground the issue. The suffocation method was recommended to me a few years ago by a lifelong upland hunter and recently retired bird biologist for the US F&W Service. It’s worked well but does take a while. He told me that it’s the most humane way to do it, so I trusted him and have had no problems with it other than it prolongs the event.

Today, I had the chance to try the method recommended by two people (comments on previous post). Angus brought me a crippled chukar, very much alive. I grabbed it by its legs and really rapped its head hard on the butt of my stock. I used to kill trout that way so it made sense. I thought I’d used adequate force, but it didn’t kill the bird. I did it a few more times, harder with each swing, and the chukar did not go limp and its eyes still looked at me. I suffocated it. I tried again with the next bird, same thing. I must be doing it wrong. Or chukar are descended from Terminator.

Any other ideas out there? How do you kill your cripples?


7 Replies to “Dispatches”

  1. I used the gunstock coup de grace technique quite successfully this morning, but on a wimpy rooster pheasant. I am not above suggesting the obvious of striking harder, it won’t hurt your stock’s finish, not that you crazy chukar hunters care about that.
    There is a little of a technique to it, don’t discount a good follow through.

  2. I wring their neck, but even that takes a lot more force than typical birds…I was told once you can use your k-9 tooth an push it through the crown of their head fairly easily guess it’s pretty soft, an it shuts off everything no last minute shakes or nothing… wouldn’t try it with my mouth, but maybe with a knife or a key or something…but then again the neck wring can be done quick if done sharp enough…there is also the squeez where you squeez the chest tightly with your thumbs on their back an eight other fingers on the Chest aroung the heart area so the heart has no room to pump, so it stops pumping. Use this on gambels, an it works in seconds, have not tried it on chukar though, but supposedly it’s a relaxing death form them…if that’s possible?

  3. After a lifetime of killing chukars and trout, including a few of each this last week, I can testify that a whack to the head that will put a trout into a fatal quivering state would barely cause a chukar to blink. Even though my shotgun, a Model 59 Winchester, has 40 years of rock scars marring the finish I have never wanted to further abuse it by bashing chukar skulls on the stock. For my cripples I just find a convenient rock, rarely far away where I hunt, and swing the bird so the back of it’s head hits the rock. It needs to be a fast swing, so the birds neck extends a bit on the arc before it hits the rock. All of this is certainly is not a pleasant part of our hunting memories, but it is part of the hunting process.

    Here is a radical option: train Angus to be more hard mouthed. When I was a kid my dad had a great Springer Spaniel, but she got pretty beat up retrieving a lot of cock pheasants. So she took to giving them a fatal squeeze if they did any flapping around in her mouth. She carried this over to chukars as well, and the older she got the more forceful the squeezes became, plus every bird got the same treatment even if they died in mid-air. Sadly it became rare to skin a bird and not find some serious teeth marks in the meat. So I am sure you don’t want Angus to head down that road.

    1. I’ll try the rock method – back of the head might be the spot. Yeah, my birds usually have more holes in them than I’d like, so I think I’ll stick with soft-mouthed Angus. 🙂

      I wonder if injecting them with ketamine would work, or maybe it’d mess up the meat…

  4. I’ve been using the “squeeze” till they suffocate for a few years on all upland game birds from Chukars and smaller, I’ve had too many still alive after ringing their necks, and or I don’t like the mess when there heads come off. For wounded pheasants and ducks, standing on them until they suffocate works well.

  5. I have used the “squeeze” method in the past by moderately compressing the chest cavity, it stops the heart and lungs from working and only takes a few seconds usually….otherwise, the neck wringing is the fall-back for me.

Chirp away

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