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About kitchrat

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  • Birthday 08/06/1953

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  • From
    Near Great Dunmow, Essex
  • Interests
    Motor sport, field sports

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  1. In the absence of anything, went back to the bean field again today. They were building up yesterday, so what the heck, at least it will keep the farmer happy. I knew I would have to move my hide location and that they would be jumpy after Tuesday's hammering. So Matt took me to a deep ditch (then had to leave) and I built a tiny hide, with roof in the wet (4in water) bottom. With the roof I was well out of sight but could pop up when the time came, like putting on a poncho. Good backdrop from the field behind. The hide gave me grief all day, snagged stuff, fell in and made reloading in hurry impossible but I was well hidden!! At 1st, I was in the driving seat,100% hidden, birds decoying well. There was no wind early on, so I got caught out a few times when they came from behind and saw me get up but with no wind they could do little in the way of taking evasive action in time. Ist little group, L&R (well U&O), the 1st box of No 6's put 22 in the decoy pattern!! Then the tide ebbed a bit. As the sun rose, it shone into my prison and they could see me better. The wind got up, which was great as they moved about more but evasive action became much more effective. The larger flocks would not decoy well, small groups did at 1st but later on got very fussy, any dead bird in a funny position and ….gone! I lost count of how many times I climbed out of the ditch to clean up. So the shots got more speculative and the hit ratio went down. Plugged away and picked up 75 for 120 shots Good ratio and another great day's sport!! Cheers, The Old Seadog Kitchrat
  2. Yes, the tide may have come it but at least I filled my boots (also there was water in the ditch!) They are back today so might tray again tomorrow.....
  3. Do you think the lofted ones helped? I've been up the same road with 25 footers, a nightmare to position/retrieve and look stupid in full-sized trees. I too have made a spreader but never tried it out..
  4. My shooting this winter has been sad - too many game shoots and not much OSR (flea beetle). One farm has a large block of OSR, gas guns all around, long hike to get to the middle. 1000's there but they won't decoy, they just "Flock-string" from one place to another. Gas gun goes off, fly to one wood or another, then "Flock-string" to a new place. If you guess where they will go next you can get a shot from behind a hedge before they change the string-line. If you get 10 all day, that's good work. One other farm has a small block of OSR, gas guns all around, which soon send them off. Farmer patrols on a quad, shooting at them. However, before the guns start, birds would land in large numbers in a nice copse, then drop on the crop for breakfast. If I'm in the copse I can get an hours "roost shooting" at dawn and get a few, once or twice a week. Nice the meet the farmer coming out as I walk off with a handful. Great PR! However, they do wise up and bags get smaller and harder. BUT, on Monday, only a few single birds show up at my copse, no flocks even come close. (still got 4) Where have they gone? Drive all around and check a nearby couple of fields, recently drilled with beans. I'd seen a few there over the weekend but now they are building up. Went in to see the farmer's son, Matt, and we set yesterday as the day to hit them. It's a long carry to the best spot but Matt will give me and the gear a lift out on the quad at 7.00am, go in for breakfast, then join me in the hide. I set up, GALE force wind on back, but soon-to-rise sun in face. Wind tries to destroy hide, blows birds off magnet. Set up a magnet, 2 floaters, flapper plus 8 dead birds on cocktail sticks. They start coming from the surrounding woods right away but the wind keeps then so low (2-4 feet off the ground) that the backdrop is the woods and in the half-light they are really hard to even spot, let alone shoot. I do badly, my normal average of 1.5 or 2 to 1 is hammered! Then the sun clears the wood and it gets worse. Sunglasses make it too dark, can't see anything at all. I move to my right and hide behind a tree, the light gets a better angle but they can see me, one movement of a wing and they are gone! Matt comes back (brings me a coffee - fine Lad!) and we both struggle as we take it in turns to shoot, especially Matt, who is learning. Still, he doesn't get downhearted and is pleased when he does hit the odd bird. They are very tricky, very cautious and quick to turn away. (Also, there are stock doves mixed in, very hard to ID then in the difficult light.) We change the pattern, take things in, put things out, no change. At last the pendulum swings a bit in our favour as the sun moves round and get higher, we can ID the incomers by their wing bars, see them better without being dazzled and the hit ratio improves. I even have a few L&Rs. Still very tricky but what sport!! At the end, we pick 90, God knows how many shots, but an epic day. More drillings and mashed maize to look forward to!! Cheers, Kitchrat
  5. I love the Pigeon Extreme for roost shooting too, very high and fairly thick trees in my wood make it very tricky. I dream of getting 27!! We had no wind last Saturday, this week we are forecast gales (plus rain) 28 here I come??? Dream on!!
  6. I once shot a magpie on an organised goose shoot in Canada. The dog (Starsky) ran out, grabbed it, spat it out and a "withering look" has nothing on what I got. He would not look at me for the rest of the day...
  7. Britain leaves the EU and the game season ends! The future looks bright!!!!
  8. I've been watching some beet fields getting lifted on my way to beating duties. So far, no interest from pigeons, they prefer the nearby OSR. Beet is fairly new to this area, maybe they don't know it's nice to eat??
  9. For the 1st time, sugar beet is going to be grown on one of my permissions. Should I become excited? If so, at what stage of the growing cycle? Will they go for it when drilled. sprouting, harvested or not at all?? I have no idea on what to hope for, except there was some last year on the next farm, as I see chunks of beet on the surface after harvest, with no interest being shown. I hadn't spotted it at drilling time so don't know if it was attacked then. Should I buy a few flats of ammo??? Cheers, Kitchrat
  10. My bee-keeping friend says these chemicals are NOT a danger to bees, just some EU scientist thought there COULD be a possible risk. A bit like those signs in petrol stations about turning off your mobile phone. Has anyone ever seen a spark from a phone?? How many 100 times has the car bitten you with a big spark when getting out on a hot dry day, due to static from the velour fabric on the seats? I expect you chaps have heated leather, so no problem!! Cheers, Kitchrat
  11. I have been saying for years that Essex Birds are often magnet aware. However, movement is important and flappers can, as said by Hidenseek below, scare birds if they flap at the wrong time. I have a flapper with remote control, which I use to get the attention, then turn it off as the decoys "reel them in". NB JD, all moving part of the magnet are covered with matt finish, camo duct tape. The motor also need to be hidden with a bit of stubble or weeds. I think birds round here are overshot and therefore over educated.
  12. I tried painting last year and ended up with RSI in my shooting shoulder, only just getting better now!
  13. I was once shooting a stubble field (full permission) and the keeper from the wood behind told me to leave "because his birds would be arriving next week and he wanted it to be quiet for them"!!
  14. Sorry, my fault! However, I do think that both we and game shooters shoot for sport really (although we can justify our "sport" by using the crop protection argument) and this is where the problem lies. We enjoy shooting live birds and many of the general, urban public find this, or can be led to find it, abhorrent. The lower we keep our profile, the longer we will be able to carry on.
  15. 100% agree. Some of these duck "drives" are an insult to the word "SPORT" and are just bag-fillers for the greedy, poor shots from the city. Many of these "Guns" don't even take a brace of oven ready birds home from a 200+ day. They are just there to take a photo of a full game cart and send it to their 1100 "friends" on Facebook. Just what Packham could use against us...
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