Jules is a good chap. Mostly. He kindly kept his eye on a freshly cut rape field over a few days and watched the number of pigeons build up nicely. I decided to have a pop at them on Thursday.
The weather was set fair, with a nice breeze to accompany the warm sunshine coming through the clouds. I arrived at the field at just after 10am, having first confirmed with the farmer that the field would be left alone. I moved a few pigeons off as I drove across the stubble to where I thought would make a good hide position, then I sat and watched for a bit. I was delighted to see the old faithful flight line starting, coming from way off. I then hastily set my desert net hide up in the open, chucked out a few decoys and set the magnet just off to the right of me.
As I walked back from "putting the truck away" some pigeons were already trying to land in my decoys, which is what I was hoping to see. As expected, I was in action immediately. I was shooting fairly well, and the main line was bringing regular victims. I had a good amount down by the time Jules arrived at around 1pm - perhaps 70. I let Jules have the majority of the shots for a little bit, and he didn't let the pigeons off the hook.
Though the main line was where I was mostly watching, odd bunches did turn up from other areas, catching us off guard at times. However, shooting with a full 360 degree angle of fire is my favourite kind of decoying, and those surprise birds were still on if we were quick enough.
The wind changed a couple of times during the day, ending up 150 degrees from where it started. I left the decoys as they were and it made no difference to how well they came in. The only thing stopping them was the long range outliers that some birds decided to land with.
It was just the kind of day that I go pigeon shooting for. There was never a moment without a pigeon in the sky. We also kept seeing a mass of pigeons to our right, several fields away. I think a fair few birds that succumbed to us were most likely headed that way.
Several old cartridges were used up during the course of the day. I am now very familiar with the use of 42gm BB steel on pigeons. However, I don't ever fancy a full day using them. I shall stick to my usual ounce of size 7s in lead.
By 5pm and with a good headache, I decided to call it a day. The flight had all but stopped. The long pick up yielded a bag of 201 pigeons.