I would recommend everyone in your group brushing up on what is expected of them when you are away from home and hunting waterfowl. If you haven’t here’s the link to the federal rules set forth by the Fish and Wildlife Services:
Unless your party wants play for our cleaning service you are responsible for cleaning your birds. Cleaning and transporting birds is something your group needs to have a plan for before you arrive.
When you travel for a hunting trip you need to consider any bird you shoot a possession. This means it is your bird. That birds need to be tagged at the completion of every hunt, morning or evening to identify it as yours. Your party needs to bring tags (similar to what you put on your luggage when traveling) that will allow them to identify yourself and the bird you have shot. Information required on the tag is name, signature, address, phone number, species of waterfowl (canada goose, mallard, pintail etc) and date harvested.
Click here to buy tags on Amazon
It is never acceptable to “breast out birds” when you are on a guided hunting trip. The only exception would be if your party decides it would like to cook some of the birds at the lodge.
Your party needs to be prepared to clean your birds with a wing attached along with the game tag you have filled out that is mentioned above. To help with this we have a “bird hitch” or two available at our lodge and on most hunts in KS & SD. This device allows you to clean ducks, pheasants, snow geese, specks, and small canada geese in seconds.
Big canada geese can be a little tricky but your guides can give you some tips to help with that. As you’ll see it’s actually faster than “breasting” the birds.
Click here to see bird hitch in action.
When you are done using the bird hitch you will have two wings and a full breast in your hand. Everything you need to transport birds.
Once your hunt is done, whether you drove in for your hunt or flew, you do need to have a plan for transporting your birds back home with you. Plan on bringing or buying a large cooler to fill with ice to bring in your vehicle or on the plane. It is your responsibility to check with your airline to see their requirements for the game and cooler if any.
If you have plans to “gift” the birds to people please make sure read both the federal regulations listed above and the regulations for the state you are hunting in to ensure proper procedure on your part.
That is what required by all waterfowl hunters when traveling and shooting waterfowl. If you decide that your hunting party does not want to handle the bird cleaning, you can hire us for a fee of $50/person per day. This is available on most, but not all hunts so if you choose to use our service it needs to be reserved ahead of time.
This fee must be paid in full before the hunt starts, and may not be added once the hunt has begun. We will have to bring in and pay additional staff for this service so if you choose to go this route the fees are the same whether you shoot 3 birds or 30.
Please note – if you choose to have us clean your birds and prepare them for transport, this does not include us shipping them for you. This is for cleaning only.
If you “forget” your birds at the lodge at the completion of your hunt, they will be shipped home at your expense plus a service charge. If we are unable to contact you to arrange the shipping of your birds we are required to call game and fish.
As stated in federal regs in regards to possession limit “Daily bag limit. You can take only one daily bag limit in any one day. This limit determines the number of waterfowl you may legally have in your possession while in the field or while in route back to your car, hunting camp, home, or other destination.”
This means you may not possess or shoot more than the daily bag limit during your hunt. More specifically you may not shoot your friends, sons, guides or any other person in your hunting parties birds. For example if the daily limit is 6 ducks, once you personally have shot 6 ducks, you are to unload your shotgun and wait in the field with your party for the hunt to conclude.
Your guides will do their best to police this but it is nearly impossible for us to determine who shot what when there are 6-8 hunters in the field. After a shooting volley when the guides to retrieve the birds it is helpful to claim the birds you are certain you shot. Your guides will also ask you to claim birds. You must claim birds you know you shot. If no one in your party is claiming their birds then your guide will be forced to call the hunt.
Please understand as your guides we want everyone to enjoy a safe, fun hunt that falls under the laws and guidelines of the US Fish and Wildlife service. If you have any questions about the information on this page I encourage you to contact UFWS directly.