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My first time duck hunting, and the first duck I ever shot in my life (drake black duck) hit the surface of the water and never came back up. We searched for a while and it was nowhere to be found. When we were wrapping up the hunt and cleanin up the decoys later we ended up finding it. It must've gotten caught up in an underwater root system or a deadfall under the water, and the current or some other force eventually set it free. Sometimes they just...get away. Like Killin'Time said I've followed cripples in a canoe swimmin around underwater before for a pretty remarkable amount of time.

And to test one of my theories, any chance the bird that got away was a Hen? Just from my limited amount of experience with cripples, and with shooting hens(
just kidding), I've noticed that they are far more resilient and have a much higher drive to escape the danger after being injured than are the drakes. My theory is that it is innate in hens since they are largely responsible for the continuance of the species...

Anyway, that [censored] but it happens to the best of us. Good luck.
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