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Catamong

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About Catamong

  • Birthday 23/03/1955

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  • Gender
    Male
  • From
    Hertfordshire
  • Interests
    Pigeon Shooting, also Clay Pigeon Shooting at grounds all over the UK and abroad, a bit of golf when I get the time..!!

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  1. Yes, the above comment is spot on. I'm a great fan of aftermarket chokes, I've bought Rhino's, Mandel & Teague over the years, but I now use the standard extended Maxis chokes in my CG Invictus and I wouldn't contemplate a change, I'm convinced that they throw superb patterns. Cat.😎
  2. I bought a Duster 4WD in mid Feb, to use primarily as an off road shooting run around vehicle. I have kept my 19 plate VW Tiguan for most of my road use and longer journeys. I looked pretty hard into what was available, and ended up with an 18 plate 1.5 diesel Laureate with 35k on the clock. I believe they only do the 4WD version in a 1.5 diesel engine with a manual gearbox? I discovered that there were actually very few 4WD models on the market, I reckon that for every 25 Dusters that you see on Autotrader or other dealer websites, probably only one will be a 4WD version, so if you're going to buy through a Dealer, do check that it is actually a 4WD, as a lot of them just state that it's a 4 x 4, when in fact it's a 2WD. Also, avoid the earlier models, (pre 2015), that were made in India and have developed major rust problems, (so I'm told). Later models were made in Romania using a lot of Renault components, as the Company had been bought by Renault. The factory fitted tyres were Michelin Cross Contacts, which are a pretty good M+S tyre, but I took them off, sold them on ebay and fitted a set of Yokohama Geolanders from Asda Tyres at £78 each fitted. My initial impressions are that it is an excellent vehicle for off road use, the back seats fold down flat very easily, and I can get all of my gear in there with ease. Road tax is £150 per year, and I'm getting 37mpg out of it, this is mainly all short journeys, and has been measured properly by actual tank fills, not the on board computer, which never give the true MPG. The sound system is pretty basic and it doesn't have reversing sensors, so I have to be extra careful, having had sensors on all of my cars over the last few years.! Having said that, it will certainly get to a lot of places I wouldn't try getting to in the Tiguan, so I'm well pleased with it. Cat.😎
  3. Catamong

    gamba stock

    Trevor Stanton at Country Pursuits may be able to help. 01923 772916 Cat😎
  4. Yes, they're definitely on the increase in this area too, it's frustrating the way that these dumb little birds will generally come right into the decoy pattern, whilst the odd Woodie that may be in the group will invariably shy away. They used to be the "Johnny Come Lately" in the feeding cycle, usually arriving after the Woodies have cleared off most of the spilled drillings, but nowadays, as pigeon numbers decline, they're there from day one. Cat.😎
  5. Interesting points raised, but I'm not sure exactly what his message is? Is he arguing that there is a decline in Pigeon numbers due to the reduced acreage of Rape now being grown, and that a good few birds clear off to France for the Winter where Winter food is more plentiful? I believe there is no shortage of Winter food in most parts of the UK, but the birds are pre-occupied with foods such as Acorns, Beech Mast and Ivy berries, which they much prefer to Winter Rape. They will generally only start on the Rape when these other food sources have been exhausted, and as of today, in my area, they still have not been feeding on Rape in any numbers. I was pretty sure that this would be the case back in September when the extent of the bumper Acorn crop was evident. Some folk on this forum say that hard weather drives the birds onto the Rape, if so, when it was minus 5 here last week, they should have been hammering the Rape, but they weren't, as air temperatures appear to make little difference to their desire to feed. Some of my 100 plus days over Winter Rape have been in late October, when I've been shooting in a T Shirt, the birds would pour in simply because there were no Acorns or Beech mast to speak of that year. In my area, there has been a steady decline in Pigeon numbers over the last 5 years or so, some folk say it's partly due to the vast increase in numbers of Kites and Buzzards who are taking the young birds, I'm not so sure that's the reason, but there is a definite decline in numbers. Cat.😎
  6. In my area, (South Herts), the first Rape was grown in 1973, (I think?), the birds piled in on it during that Winter and the Farmer was kind enough to put out a couple of Bale hides, which was much appreciated. Of course, he dumped the bales in the wrong place, so we had to move them PDQ before they got too wet, and we had some fantastic sport with my old Remy 1100 five shot semi, Flexicoy deeks and a WAGBI Semark flapper.! The birds are still on the acorns and Ivy berries here at the moment, am hoping they'll move onto the Rape in numbers soon, there's the odd one or two already about, but not enough to justify a visit in such dreadfully cold weather. Cat.😎
  7. I am booked in to shoot it on 14th April, to be honest I doubt that restrictions will be sufficiently relaxed by then to enable it to go ahead. A good few people will have had the jab by then, but only the first dose, I would expect the advice at that time for all will be to continue to abide by all of the current guidance.? I hope I'm proved wrong. Cat. 😎
  8. Welcome back John, sorry to hear about your wife, not many of us Old'uns left on the forum. Cat.😎
  9. Yeah, battery life is an issue, I reckon to get about just under 4 hours from a fully charged battery, however I did buy a spare, which can simply be changed in the field. Cat😎
  10. My tally for the whole of 2020 has been 87. It's been a difficult year for all, with vast numbers of ramblers and loose dog walkers all over land that was very quiet up until lockdown. During January, I shot 8 with the Benelli 12g Semi, and trapped 16 in Fenn traps near the Pheasant feeders, with peanuts as an incentive to enter the tunnel. They just kept coming, I was amazed.! Between March and June I shot 14 over peanut feeders on another, (more private) farm that I have access to, using my BSA Ultra SE .22, a lovely bit of kit, I really enjoyed getting up early and watching all of the different birds coming into the feeders, (especially Nuthatches and Woodpeckers). Things really changed in early November, when I took the financial plunge and invested in a thermal spotter, I opted for an Axion XM30S, a very small device that fits neatly in the palm of your hand. It wasn't cheap at just over £1500, but the numbers shot have increased like a graph of Covid cases.....what a game changer these are..!! From 6 November to 30 December I've shot 49, all mainly on another 300 acre arable farm that I've taken on this year. The spotter takes a bit of getting used to, but, with practice, and the right weather conditions, (cool and overcast), you can spot even a small part of a squirrel laying up in the fork of a large oak, which means "game over" for him when I let loose with 36g of 5's. If you're serious about squirrel control, a good quality thermal spotter is a must. I haven't bothered with trapping, as there's so much natural food about this year, I'm not sure it would be worth it, and if I continue to shoot them at the same rate, they'll soon be an endangered species on my land..! A Happy New Year and good Hunting to all in 2021. TOTAL 2003 Cat.😎
  11. Following an exchange of messages with Sciurus some time back, I've recently invested in a Pulsar Axion XM30S, a very neat, pocket sized thermal, and it really is a game changer when hunting down squirrels. I got mine via Uttings, I paid the RRP for it but as far as I could see via online searching, nobody is discounting the prices of these units? I have mine running on a "White Heat" setting, squirrels stick out like a 500 watt bulb when conditions are right, and you can spot very small animals like mice with it as well. A couple of hours stroll around the hedgerows used to yield a couple of kills, perhaps 3 on a good day, but now bags of 6 or 7 are the norm. I'm running out of squirrels fast on our 300 acre Game shoot, and saving a fortune on wheat in the pheasant feeders normally thieved by the grey hordes.! Thermal spotters work best when you have another gun to work with, who can cover the other side of the tree or hedge, so they cannot shuffle around the trunk of larger trees as you move in position to get a shot. It's great fun, very exciting, and I wouldn't be without it now.! Cat.😎
  12. Catamong

    Hamster

    Sad news, I was aware that Hamid was seriously ill, and I had given him my best wishes some time ago, but this is still a great shock. He was a very talented clay shooter, and both a prolific and entertaining contributor to Facebook and a number of Shooting Forums. He will be genuinely missed by many shooters in the South East and beyond. Sincere condolences to his family and friends. Cat.
  13. The Silvers were, (in my opinion), a poor follow up and a significantly more expensive shell than the truly superb Trap 100 / Trap 200 / Winner 8's, for some reason they never quite worked for me, so I think I switched to Fiocchi for a spell and then onto Hull Sovereigns. As for the Gamebore Patriot's, I can honestly say I've never shot a more annoying shell, in that when you were on target and pulled the trigger, the clay sailed on, unbroken..! I've no idea why that was, but I simply couldn't get on with them, and it came as little surprise to me when Gamebore quietly discontinued them. Things have moved on since those days, the Gamebore Evo 24g in plaswad is a truly superb shell, I have complete confidence in it. Cat.😎
  14. I have had a couple of Turbo Flappers from A1 Decoy that have served me well over the last few years. I also bought a FF6 Flapper from Flightline Decoys in May 2019, my first impressions were that it was a decent, solid looking bit of kit, albeit that the ground spike could be easily lost as it simply slots into the Flapper unit, unlike the A1 Turbo Flapper, which comes as a single unit, so I wrapped some red tape around it, which makes it easier to spot when clearing up. The wingbeat on the FF6 is definitely more convincing than the Turbo Flapper, in that it's very fast, however I have been disappointed that the very fast flapping motion tends to enlarge the hole made by the spike in the birds wing, the result being that the wing is forever being being thrown off the spike, which means that I'm having to get out of the hide on numerous occasions to reset the wing. Mine has also now developed a fault with the left wing arm literally going haywire, so it will have to go back to Nick Tait for repair or replacement. I understand that Nick Tait is an Engineer, not a Salesman, and that his workshop is currently being re-roofed and he will be uncontactable for a couple of weeks. He also appears to have an almost "God like" following of devotees on Facebook, who are completely besotted with his products, let's hope his after sales service matches the praise given by his loyal band of followers, I will e-mail him to seek his advice on my now faulty FF6? Cat.
  15. Yes, it's a worrying trend, I remember some time ago when the price of Gamebore Black Gold 28g Steel loads went up from Β£180ish to over Β£200, I was told it was due to increases in the price of Lead, I couldn't get my head around that one..? Eley seem to be pushing the price upwards with their new "Eco Wad" loads, their 28g load is currently selling at Β£339 on the (admittedly expensive) Just Cartridges website, with the 32g load selling at Β£369. I presume they're hoping to capitalise on the forthcoming switch to 100% Steel loads, it's going to make Pigeon shooting a very expensive pastime for some. I still hope to be able to buy Steel loads in France, the last few I bought there were around Β£165, however a lot depends on the value of the Pound against the Euro, and whether import tariffs will be levied against any goods bought in from the EU..? I wouldn't bet against it.! Cat.
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