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G.I. countrysports U.K. GARY

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  1. Double H... You missed the point, maybe I was too brief in my explanation... Scenario: The day is going fine, birds decoying well, getting to mid afternoon... The birds start to get really hungry and want to get on another part of the field, totally ignoring your now pretty impressive pattern. A quick check (to see if anything is not quite right amongst the decoys) but all seems perfect. The fact is that the birds now know where you are. Just about everything that was coming to that particular field has given your decoys the once over and nearly got caught out in doing so. Two choices: 1. Pack in and move to where the birds now want to be, (not really a good idea it would take too long to move, and the day would be over before I get all sorted out) 2. SHOW THEM A MAGNET I have done this 100s of times, previously shot at birds seem to throw caution to the wind and pile in, the movement when the birds are really hungry is just what they want to see. This dodge can turn an otherwise good day into something really special. Putting the magnet out at the correct time is the key to success... However, if the birds had seen the magnet earlier on in the day and then it was brought in, it has no effect whatsoever, in fact, it pretty much puts them off... That is the point I was trying to get across... All the very best Gary
  2. I thought that tip 4 might be misunderstood. Some/most magnets allow you to angle the attitude of the bird on the end of the arms. If yours does not do this, then I suggest that you alter the arms to allow it. If you place the birds on normally, then they would be flat/level, by turning the bird outwards or inwards it would then have an angle. Angle 1 bird to face outwards and the other bird to face in towards the machine, in fact both birds (looking from side on) would have the same attitude. If you angle both outwards, while the magnet is turning it looks really odd from a distance (something I get to see far more than anyone) (viewing patterns and set ups from a distance) And the other question: No, I am not in favor of any gadgets or gismos, although to the experienced they give us options to try when things get difficult, they are not a quick fix, overall they won't enable you to shoot more birds. Decoying skills are far more important. Similar: A scope on a rifle makes a good shot far better, and a bad shot far worse... If I still have not explained the turning the birds one out & one in very well, please, someone try to do it better for me... All the very best Gary
  3. At this time of year (exactly at this time of year) we loose the birds for a couple of weeks mainly to Beech and Ash budding... Woodpigeons love this valuable food source... They dont eat the buds although that is how we refer to this act. They actually eat the trees flowers. Right at this time of year both Ash and Beech trees come into flower. The birds can feed exclusively on these trees for up to 3 weeks, after then the trees are past the flowering stage and they then offer no food value... It happens every year, we always loose the birds for this period. However, they will leave the trees alone for better food value e.g. Drilling I think that as far as what value do they get from the tree flower, it is quality grub, because they refuse all other greenstuffs. You will see the odd one here and there on other kinds of crops like peas growing through and Rape, but I do think that the tree flower is the prefered choice... Take a close look at a Beech tree right now, some of them will be laden with flower, I say some of them, the ones that were heavy with beech mast last year will hardly have a flower on this year, they seem to run in a 2 year cycle... Maybe someone could enlighten me further about the 2 year thing... All the very best Gary
  4. I thought it would be a good idea to give my thoughts and experiences on using Magnets. I would like to start by saying they are not my favorite gadget, but they have their uses (on the right day, at the right time) TOP TEN TIPS... (really 11) 1. Always 30 meters from the head of the pattern. 2. Close in, not well out in the field. 3. Get the magnet low, really low down, we don't use the stand unless in tall crops. 4. Angle the birds one facing into the magnet and one facing out (so that you can see both birds at the same time) not both birds facing out. 5. Speed control set to a natural Pigeon coming in speed. 6. Replace the birds that you started with as soon as you have shot 2 fresh ones (they look 100 times better than old birds) 7. Start the day off without it. 8. It will work best when the day is going along nicely and then the birds start shying away. Show them the magnet at this point for instant results... 9. Use very long arms, ours are 7 foot long on each side (5ft arm with 2ft extension bar) they eat the batteries at this length, but they work far better. 10. Don't bother with it on calm/still days, they will scare more birds than they will bring in, much better with plenty of wind. I know that I said TOP TEN TIPS but this one is also important... 11. Make sure the colour of the magnet is correct for the time of year and the crop you are shooting over... a. BROWN & BLACK for drillings (cheap fence paint, totally matt in colour when dry) b. SAND & BLACK for laid Barley and stubble (exterior house paint, sandtex etc) c. GREEN & BLACK for Rape (any car paint supplier will make this up for you, ask for olive drab with plenty of matting agent added) GO LIGHT ON ADDING THE MATT BLACK (blackboard paint) APPLY TO THE MAGNET IN SMALL SPLODGES ALL OVER WITH A SMALL PAINT BRUSH. WITHOUT THE BLACK THE MAGNET DOES NOT BLEND IN WELL, IT IS A MUST... Hope this helps... All the very best Gary
  5. As a full time professional guide shooting a great deal of woodpigeons every year, I would like to add a few valid points to this interesting debate... 1. Woodpigeon numbers are not down, in fact, exactly the opposite. The overall population of Woodies has continued to grow since 1975. 2. The majority of Woodpigeons do not breed until mid July - mid September with only 30% of the population breeding outside those months. ...WHEN SHOULD WE HAVE THIS CLOSED SEASON... 3. The whole country has experienced a very difficult spring with regard to numbers of birds shot. Mainly down to the weather patterns that we have had. The birds are still there, we just don't see them all of the time. 4. Bag limits are a great idea, however, they tend to be forgotten about just as soon as the limit is reached. 5. Pigeon Guides/operations shooting with their clients wouldn't account for 10% of the numbers of Woodpigeons shot yearly in this country. As always, we need to blame someone... 6. The Woodpigeon is classified a PEST species, not a gamebird. Maybe we need to have the bird re-classified. THE SHOOTING OF WOODPIGEONS IS PRETTY MUCH SELF REGULATING, THE OVERALL AVERAGE SHOOTING DAY PER MAN IS NOT THAT MANY BIRDS, EVEN FOR THE GUIDES. DON'T FIX WHAT ISN'T BROKE I WOULD BE THE FIRST ONE TO PACK IN IF I THOUGHT I WAS HAVING AN IMPACT ON THE OVERALL NUMBERS OF WOODPIGEONS IN MY AREA, NEVER MIND THE ENTIRE COUNTRY.... All the very best Gary
  6. IN ANSWER TO EARS RESPONSE DATED JULY 7th DO WOODPIGEONS PAIR FOR LIFE? I really do not know the answer to that question. All of the research that I have read on the subject has not touched on this subject. Maybe the study would be impossible to carry out anyway. I can only add with a very interesting observation that I made earlier this year. Pair of woodies sat in a tree, definate pair, saw the cock bird mating. What I thought was another cock bird joined this pair and started pestering the first cock bird. I thought that it was trying to drive the bird away from his female. They flew from tree to rooftop several times before the pestering bird lay down and allowed the male from the initial pair to mate. So, the bird that joined the initial pair was a hen that obviously went to great lengths to be mated... DO WOODPIGEONS MATE FOR LIFE? No, I don't think so. All the very best Gary G.I. country sports U.K.
  7. GREAT PHOTOS... YOUR A LUCKY GUY... ALL THE VERY BEST... GARY
  8. DURING THE LAST FEW WEEKS SPORT HAS BEEN DIFFICULT TO FIND... THE BIRDS ARE STILL FEEDING, JUST THE HOURS THEY ARE KEEPING IS A REAL PAIN... THE BEST FLIGHTS ARE STARTING AT 18.00hrs. EXPECT THE FIELD TO SHOOT UP TO 19.30hrs THEN IT IS ABOUT FINISHED... CLOVER SAW THE BEST BAG OF LAST WEEK, 121 SHOTS IN 3 HOURS FROM 16.30hrs - 19.00hrs WHEN WE PACKED UP... DON'T EVEN BOTHER TO LOOK UNTILL 16.00hrs FOR YOU WILL SEE NOTHING... THE BIRDS WILL MOVE AT THE END OF THE MONTH FROM ABOUT 13.00hrs. THE FIRST BULK OF SQUABS WILL NEED FEEDING BY THEN. PEAS WILL BE THE FAVORED CROP. BY MID JUNE THE SHOOTING WILL BE ON SONG... DON'T GIVE UP SO EASILY... ALTER YOUR RECCE TIMES... IT IS JUST THE SAME FOR ME. I HAVE TO FIND SPORT EVEN WHEN THE GOING IS TOUGH... ALL THE VERY BEST GARY
  9. Would you please add to your post N.T. I don't really understand the set up, but i am very interested... All the very best Gary
  10. In answer to the post made by "THE SNIPER" At this time of year woodpigeons love both Ash and Beech (flower) On still/windless day's shooting any numbers at this time of year is a problem for us due to this fact. The birds gorge themselves on this (easy found) food source. When the wind is blowing a bit the birds can't get to the ends of the branches for these easy pickings so they tend to fly to fields for alternatives. Food preferances in the order that the birds will choose (given the option) at this time of year... 1. Drillings 2. Beech flower 3. Peas (sprouting) 4. Ash (flower) the long thin sprouting bits at the very end of the branches 5. Rape Remember: the birds will only fly about 3 or 4 miles maximum to feed. Check these preferances in your area and look for the birds at about 15.30hrs. It is not uncommon to find all of the above in the crop of one single bird. This then knackers up all of our findings... Just when we thought we had the job well sorted out... All the very best... Gary
  11. I WAS CONTACTED A FEW MINUTES AGO BY A PRODUCER AT CHANNEL 4 THEY REQUIRE 2 (FRESH) DEAD WOODIES FOR A PROGRAMME THEY ARE FILMING. THE STUDIO IS IN MANCHESTER COULD SOMEONE NEAR THAT AREA PLEASE RESPOND DIRECT TO: SHONA SMITH e-mail: shosmit@supanet.com THEY WILL PAY YOU FOR YOUR TROUBLE THEY NEED THE PIGEONS IN THE MORNING, IT IS NOW 18.50HRS SUNDAY PLEASE HELP... ALL THE VERY BEST GARY
  12. some find it difficult to keep the call bird alive for any length of time. (POOR HUSBANDRY!!!) Do not allow the call bird to foul it's own water supply, the bird will refuse to drink the water when it has messed in it. Resulting in a long thirsty death. Wire a used (washed out) food can to the side of the cage, above the height of the perch. The water supply will then stay clean, and quite possibly keep the call bird alive for longer. Mine last years... Dry dog food stays fresh for much longer than dead rabbits etc and the call birds do fine on it... All the very best Gary P.S. clip one wing of the call bird just in case someone lets it out. It is far easier to shoot it then...
  13. WELL PUT DAVE... A TRUE SPORTSMAN INDEED... ALL THE VERY BEST... GARY
  14. Hello everyone Took one of my labradors to a stud dog to be lined. She was ready (standing) but the dog never managed it. The Bitch was really difficult with the dog. Bloody long way to travel for nothing.... Any tips or advice.... especially for maiden bitches.... All the very best Gary
  15. GREAT ARTICLE, WELL DONE N.T. PLEASE WRITE A BOOK... ALL THE VERY BEST GARY
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