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the hitman

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  1. Nice write up- and well shot. As MM said it’s a early for pea stubble this also applies to me but I still have it to come. Hopefully you will get another crack at them before the plough comes out .
  2. What a result- 2 cracking days . Were the corvids mostly rooks ? Did you shoot many carrions?
  3. Hi MM Nice write up and obviously an emotional time for you. Good to see that your tradecraft worked to your advantage with a very respectable bag of pigeon. I have been using the Geoff Garrard method of propping pigeons up using long bendy rods - which work well on tall crops like peas. Glad that you remembered a lost shooting friend in a very fitting way by having a day in the hide.
  4. Nice shooting chaps- respectable bags . Clover and peas - nice crops to shoot over.
  5. Nothing on barley yet here in North Northumberland- however the conditions for growing have been very good so perhaps something to consider soon. Great effort on the clover and peas 👍
  6. Hi Folks I finally got the decoys out today after a prolonged spell of inactivity. I had been watching a couple of back to back pea fields which have enjoyed some fantastic growing weather recently- and I spotted about 50 pigeons scattered over one of the fields. Today was my only opportunity and the conditions were good- if a little bit too wind. I was at the field at 11am and spent 20 minutes watching the flightline into the field before deciding where to set up. I had a nice hide in a high hedge which gave me shelter from the wind. The sillo decoys were bellowing like a pipers cheek- and the first two came straight in - good I thought it will be two for the magnet- I stood up and fired at the easy one first and totally missed, the second barrel was pure hope as they were off on the wind- well it’s been a while. Next a bunch of five came in and I connected with one - again the wind was so strong that a flick of the wing and they were out of range. More begin to arrive and I was picking away- mostly singles including one high one which flew over the hide. Not sure if the magnet made any difference today as everything that came past came for a look before I set it up - but as I had carried it a long way I thought I would use it. The flightline was not a strong one and I had long spells without a shot. By 4pm I had had enough and packed up my 25 pigeons plus 2 I lost in the rape field behind my hide. It was just nice to be out again- I hopefully these fields will give me at least one more opportunity. Hitman
  7. Hi MM Glad you got out with a respectable bag- I have vining peas being drilled this week and some drilling 4 weeks ago so will keep me going- hopefully.
  8. I folks I am currently enjoying half term in the picturesque Andalusian town of Nerja- where the waters warm and the drinks are cold and the only birds I am spotting are on the beach. I have peas to go at when I return so hopefully a few posts and pictures from me soon. Hitman
  9. 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.
  10. 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
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. If you mean pigeons then yes .
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
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