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the hitman

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  1. Hi Al I also have not set a decoy on drillings this year. I have a perm where 2 pea fields were drilled on Tuesday. I check both fields every day this week including today- and not a pea or pigeon is visible. I am however optimistic as these fields have historically produced good sport, so hopefully when they green up the pigeons will find them.
  2. Deny Essex This must have been a difficult call, but ultimately the correct one if your physical health is going to suffer. I have often mentioned on here that it’s a physically demanding hobby. Never say never as you might get an invitation someday. Hitman
  3. I think the pigeon feeding habits have changed somewhat since JB wrote his book. No new crops have been introduced locally- however as MM mentioned spring drillings are more of a miss than the hit they used to be. Winter rape, peas & stubbles make up 90% of my pigeon shooting- roosting is the other 10%. As an aside - does anyone know if John Batley still shooting pigeons? Also another author called John Grey wrote an excellent book on pigeon shooting back in the 80’s - again is he still with us and hopefully still shooting.
  4. Peas have kept me going at this time of year and beyond for a few years now. All vining peas planted at different stages across half a dozen fields. The farms I am most interested in are due to be drilled next week- so my lean spell may be coming to an end- hopefully. Late afternoons seem to be the productive time of day locally.
  5. Fond memories of shooting Baikal cartridges back in the 80’s . I remember decoying pigeons over Winter rape, when a small skein of geese came over the top my hide at about 40yrds up- it shot the tail end bird stone dead with a black no7. It was my first ever goose - and I can still see it fall in my mind’s eye.
  6. Nice bag - thank you for reporting. Its the time of year when getting out and looking for flightlines is essential, as the big flocks have broken up and a trick of pigeons could lead to a good afternoon session- as you described.
  7. Very interesting and memorable advertisement- I wasn’t shooting independently in 1976, however fast forward 10 years to 1986 and I had a local game dealer phoning my parents house to ask if I had any pigeons as he had a demand for them. During the lockdown of March 2020 - I was asking to shoot pigeons by a farmer friend - I declined as I had no buyer. I don’t want to provoke the argument of crop protection Vs shooting to sell - as I agree with both- it’s a personal choice.
  8. Nice write up Muncher- sounds like a great shared day. A field like the one photographed could keep you going with shooting for a few weeks to come- especially late afternoons as we get into the longer warmer days.
  9. Nice write up- I enjoyed reading that. A well planned day, you did your recce of the field prior to shooting. You had a successful day out, and don’t dwell on the easy misses as we all have those.
  10. I remember having a 100+ day on Easter Sunday 4 years ago on large patch of eaten down rape. Today I am on day 3 of having Norovirus - definitely on the mend after my wife has forced a loaf of toasted white bread and a large quantity of tap water through me. I would rather be in a hide somewhere- do if you can get out there.
  11. If you mean pigeons then yes .
  12. Nothing to do with Brexit Boris lied to parliament and has been found guilty of breaking the law which he set. My wife is an NHS nurse who worked 12 hr shifts in full PPE from the very start of the pandemic- she didn’t have drinks with colleagues or celebrate birthdays even though they were all working in the same building. Its always - what’s next with Boris and how long will his bumbling bluster wash with voters.
  13. That’s interesting- I have also seen good numbers on grass but not on shootable fields. Back before OSR was in abundance my old dad had his best days on drillings followed by clover.
  14. Next time I go out I am going to keep count of how many I shoot in succession- I recon about 6 before I get carried away and go for the 50 yard screamer.
  15. I hadn’t done a proper recce yesterday but had patch of well eaten OSR where I knew they would be. I couldn’t get out till 1pm - and it wasn’t until I parked in the gateway of the field that I realised that an easterly wind was blowing which resulted in the pigeons wanting to tuck in close to a hedge on the roadside edge of the field. I spotted a few coming onto the field through a gap in some willow trees so I decided to give it a go. I had the sillo’s out and I had to stand side on to the wind as it was making my eyes water. First one came in - nice easy shot, which I completely missed followed by another which I also missed. Next came 4 - straight in, double shot and I had 2 for the magnet - which began to pull them in - not fast and furious but enough to keep me interested. In my part of Northumberland an easterly wind is cold - straight off the sea, and I was doing an impression of a gun dog to keep warm. Every so often a few would come directly from behind, and it was really good over head shooting- most of which were dead in the air. 4pm came and was ready to pack up with 16 pigeons in the bag and one lost in the fast flowing stream under the willows. Not a huge bag but my first day out in weeks which I really enjoyed. This field is eaten down and I will return - when the west wind makes an welcome return.
  16. Nice report-and well shot. I can’t remember ever shooting 17 straight pigeons. I also have farmer friends who call me out with the story of hundreds of pigeons- never mind it was 4 hours doing what you enjoy.
  17. Nice post - and I recognise everything you mentioned. I also began an Bailkal cartridges- black 7’s & red 6’s if memory service me. I am still fortunate to have a game dealer giving me 35p each for fresh pigeons- but it’s a 50 mile round trip . Its my only hobby- except fly fishing which I hardly do at all now - so I don’t mind the cost of fuel & cartridges, also it gets me away from Mrs H for a while.
  18. Nice report PC We have all done the miles looking for pigeons when plan A goes wrong. Obviously the correct decision to move and a bag in the 60’s is a memorable day in my book. I am going to have a recce out tomorrow- unfortunately I haven’t done my homework so it might take a few miles to find any. As far as the cost - the shooting is free so as long as I can afford the fuel I will soldier on protecting the farmers crops and most importantly to me - shooting a few birds in the fresh air. Keep the Talk from the field posts coming everyone. Hitman
  19. I don’t like the experience of visiting IKEA - but the products are good and quiet innovative. Both my daughters were kitted out in Ikea before going to university. My wife loves the place- and in the event of her passing she would like her ashes scattered in the soft furnishings area. Hitman
  20. Nice report- well done getting out. Plenty reports of larger bags - however some days I would have settled for 8 . Love the picture of the cocker - gun dog and house pet best -of both worlds.
  21. Interesting post MM - I agree that drillings are a bit hit and miss now , whereas they were a sure bet not so many years ago. Also I have noticed the fair weather brigade out and about at this time of year. I hardly heard another shot when I was sitting freezing my nuts off protecting OSR in deepest winter- now in my patch most fresh drillings have a vehicle in the gateway. I will be keeping an eye on the bare patches of OSR next month- that’s where they will be after drillings are done. I also have quite an acreage of peas to go in , and Easter school holidays-so hopefully I will have another shooting report soon. Hitman
  22. Very impressive BB - some cracking bags and you have enjoyed some great sport while doing crop protection for your farmer friends. I have a theory that the lockdown of March 2022 gave the pigeons an opportunity to boast their population and we are seeing many more in certain areas. I hope your success continues.
  23. Drillings is always a special time of year- more these days because it signals the beginning of spring rather than the guarantee of good bags of pigeons. I am old enough to remember those bygone days when drillings was the crème of years sport- now stubble shooting for me is more productive. As the days become longer and warmer I will be looking for afternoon sport - or even better all day.
  24. I spotted a good number of pigeons feeding on a favourited field of OSR on Tuesday- and as I couldn’t get out until Saturday I was optimistic that I would get some shooting. The wind changed direction on Wednesday to an Easterly and the pigeons simply disappeared from this field. Yesterday the wind was more southerly so I was out at 8.30am today for a recce. Not much about, however where I had seen them on Tuesday had a few down feeding so I set up. After an hour I had 3 which at least gave me 2 for the magnet. I could see pigeons going to another field on the same farm, however with the wind direction I would be shooting with the gusting wind and sun in my face - but it was better option. So I set up at the second location with the wind in my face- the pigeons began to arrive in singles and small groups. Some were coming over my head and perhaps I should have had my sillo decoys further out as they were having some difficulty getting in. After about an hour the wind changed to a westerly, which changed the line into the field and the pigeons began to arrive from left to right into the decoys. I kept picking away and had 2 cracking second barrel kills as they were spinning away after the first shot. The sun was lovely and I was stripped down to my T- shirt in the hide. The sport was all over by 12.30, I gave it another 30 mins but nothing- so I picked up my 26 hard earned pigeons. I did spot a large area of heavily grazed rape and thought this will be where they want to be when the rest of the field is in yellow flower- one for the future perhaps. Drillings to come next .
  25. Nice write up PC - glad the day ended well with another good bag of pigeons and a crop protected. I am hoping to get out this weekend if I can clear my feet of work and family commitments. As a follow up to you advice- 35 years ago when I was living with my parents in a small Northumberland village I realised that half a dozen local farmers regularly attend church on Sunday mornings. My mother had me confirmed into the church as a young boy - so I thought it would be a good time to take communion and rub shoulders with these gents. I don’t attend church anymore however I do still shoot on the farms where I made my introductions that day.
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