Every year, a substantial number of ducks and geese are lost or wounded by hunters. Many are quick to blame this on the lack of killing power of nontoxic shot, but more often than not, the crippling of a bird is the result of poor shooting. One of the most common mistakes hunters make, either from ignorance or desperation, is shooting birds that are simply out of range. Shotguns are effective tools for hunting and the modern selection of nontoxic shot is expansive, but range is still limited, usually to 35 to 40 yards in most situations. The body structure and dense feathers of waterfowl are also an effective shield against pellets that are low on energy, so even if you hit a bird at long range, there’s a good chance you won’t recover it.