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Honorable Bird Hunters Dispatch With Grace

You think it’s awkward for you? Try making a TV show with a flopping bird on camera! Seriously, it is kind and humane to dispatch your quarry as quickly as possible. Honor your birds and our sport with a little attention to this important detail.

Here’s one method: Hold the bird (wings tight against the body) with your dominant hand. Face it away from the broad, flat portion of your gun stock or other hard object and swing his body with a snap to conk his head against the hard object.

And another: Wringing a bird’s neck quickly and cleanly is more difficult than it appears. “Cervical dislocation” is much more humane: Grasp both of the bird’s legs in your non-dominant hand. Wrap your dominant index finger and thumb around the bird's neck just below the head, so the back of the bird’s head is in the crook of the finger and thumb. As you stretch your dominant arm straight out you will put tension on the bird's body. When you reach the limit of stretching the bird bend the head back and increase tension so that the vertebrae is separated from the skull.

Finally, the “taxidermist’s squeeze” is another method: Hold the bird by its breast, your fingers and thumb in its “armpits.” Squeeze – hard – and hold until you’ve stopped both breathing and heartbeat.

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