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marsh man

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  1. Brilliant , Three quid seem to be the standard asking price , we got our two a little cheaper as we bought in bulk As for safety , it's a wonder were still hear to talk about the early days , hammer guns were not the safest of guns and were the cause of many accidents , the below photo is not of me but a local fowler who wasn't that concerned he had a few bits of fingers missing , life carried on and he was known as Pintail Thomas
  2. When it came to buying guns we were like master gunmakers when it came to how we inspected the gun that we were thinking about buying , we were up our boatshed one day when an old boi from a well known wildfowling family called in and asked if we knew anyone who might be interested in a couple of old hammer s x s guns , at that time we were shooting a lot of Starlings up the allotment for practise and was thinking about leaving an old gun up their as sometimes while attending the garden you would get the odd duck dropping into one of the many dykes that border the allotments , anyhow , we said we might be interested if they aint a lot of money , having said that he went outside and untied a couple of old canvas gun sleeves that contained these two hammer guns , he laid them on our bench and the first thing we done was pushed the top lever open and looked down the barrels , a fair bit of pitting but we couldn't see any daylight not like some we had looked at , we then pulled the hammers to full cock and held them while pulling the trigger , so far so good , after it passed the first two tests the old finger test came into play , fair old bit of choke in them barrels Billy , yea their been good killers ,( a phrase we heard a lot back then ) then the last test was made before any money changed hands and that was holding it by the barrels and give it a good old shake , apart from a little rattle it wasn't that bad , so now it was the tern of the other one , apart from a louder rattle and a bit more pitting it was o k for a stand by , as for proof marks all we knew was they were nitro proof and could take 2 1/2 cartridges , that was good enough for us , now the nitty gritty , how much are you looking for Billy boy ? , well I was looking for £10 but I would be looking for the rest of my life to get that off you , you certainly would Billy and maybe a bit longer than that , I said what about a fiver for the two ?, eight , no a fiver and that's it , six quid and they are yours , cor your a hard man Billy , six quid then , we gave him a couple of quid and told him I would drop the rest round after tea , he was happy and was going to have a quick pint before he made his way home . We were never really that interested in who made what and if they were worth anything , we left them up the gardens and used them until nowadays they would be classed as a danger to your life and they ended their days in bits scattered around various peoples houses .
  3. For the variety of different shots you will get while pigeon shooting you will never get a one cartridge combination that will suit all , this could be the same with chokes, if you start changing the choke and cartridge because you got more runners than normal or you couldn't get quite on whatever you were shooting at then their is a good chance you will be changing them for the rest of your shooting days . I have got an old side x side with the left barrel having a bit more choke than the right , how much ? , I don't know as my finger go down the right barrel a bit furthur than the left one , I used to be a devotee of Clear Pigeon 30gm 6s until the price went through the roof and I started to look around for a cheaper cartridge , over the last few years I have tried stacks of different brands , different shot sizes and different weight, one or two good ones that stuck out were the Super Fast and Velocity , all the others would certainly kill Pigeons if I was good enough putting the shot in the right place which nowadays is easier said than done. Every cartridge have it's limitations along with the person who is pulling the trigger , so find what suit you and just enjoy the good days and forget about the bad ones.
  4. A very sensible approach to limit yourself with what numbers you can handle , you get your sport and you are showing your face , to be fair the majority of Pigeon shooter don't get enough to dump and can easily manage to dispose the bag amongst friends and keeping the rest for themselves . A couple of years or so ago when 2 / 3 people came out of nowhere and stopped our Pigeon shooting virtually overnight and all the shooting organisations were left stranded when the old G L wasn't been complied with , when the G L was back to some form of normality it was touch and go weather we would be able to shoot any pigeons apart from the place where they are doing the damage and that was after trying other methods of control in the first place, now we are talking about shooting pigeons on a non crop and dumping them as so called pest control , how many used non lethal methods of control before putting the decoys out ,
  5. We expect them down here around the last week in September after they have had a rest up North / Norfolk for a few days , strangely enough they normally arrive as soon a the Sugar Beet campaign start which this year is a bit late due to the dry weather .
  6. I have had the good fortune in meeting both Chris and his good lady , and both look a picture of health, we will put it down to either the fresh sea air or the healthy eating , or possibly both , whatever it is they both look well on it . Another first class account of an enjoyable day spent in good company and some sport thrown in for good measure .
  7. One interesting item in this weeks Shooting Times apart from on the front cover that states is the start of the wildfowling season to early ? , a subject I mentioned a few weeks back , is an article on lead shot contaminating the Wheat crops , I didn't read it all but I am sure we will hear more about it in the weeks ahead , plus other crops that get lead shot fired over it .
  8. As far as mobile phones go I think we are very similar in our ways , I never had a mobile until we had to have one at work as we often worked in some remote parts of the estate , it took ages to get used to it , I would often leave it in a different coat that I was working in and let the battery go flat , up until now I have never sent a text and I have had my own mobile since I retired nearly 14 years ago, the thing is I have never took a lot f interests in mobiles and if you haven't got any interest in anything then you will never learn , my wife bought me a phone as she thought I was getting on a bit and going down the marsh in the dark by myself , and believe it or not it wasn't till the other day when I realised it could take a photo , so one day I might take one and try and put it on here , on the other hand if it take me as long as it did to find out I could take a photo them maybe I won't be about to do that
  9. Very interesting , it just goes to show how it varies from one area to another , this year we shot very few on growing grain crops , some places had small areas of laid patches but on the estate where I shoot we never had a stem went down , I dare say I shoot roughly 25 / 30% pigeons over crops and the rest on what stubbles are available , we keep going on stubbles for another 2 / 3 weeks and then call it a day as the first shoots are only a few weeks away and I am tied up on all the shoots . We then get very little trouble with pigeons until after Christmas and even then it change from year to year , when the game season finish we let various people go in the woods for the four Saturdays in February and its not fair if I shot a few beside a wood on a rape field mid week and somebody was looking forward in having a go on the Saturday , come March I then have a free hand to keep an eye on the Rape , if no , or a very few are showing interest then that is all I do is to keep an eye on it as I can only shoot pigeons on the rape if they are going on it in the first place , as the month wear on the Rape is sprayed and it begin to take off , we do shoot some at this stage of growth but again it vary , early April our Peas are going in and the rape is left alone as it is then getting well up , the Pea drilling is a dead loss and we don't get any till they are well above ground , we then get a few on the growing Peas in May and a few on thin patches of Rape , this carry on till the Peas are cut around the 1st / 2nd week in July , then our Winter barley was ready to be combined on the 3rd week in July , so I was now shooting numbers over Pea stubble and as the stubble started to rot the first barley stubbles fields came into play, from then up to the present day I have shot nothing but stubble fields and tomorrow wont be any different as we are shooting over Bean stubble , so I don't think I am far out when I say shooting pigeons over crops only resulted in a about a quarter of my years Pigeon tally . Unless Pigeon shooters don't go on the stubbles I would be surprised if they shot more throughout the year on crops than they would on the stubbles
  10. What is very confusing this year is the amount of Fodder Radish grown for Winter grazing for the Sheep , this is normally direct drilled into the Barley stubble and look exactly like Rape when it is a few inches high , if anything it is a slightly lighter Green than Rape , again you might get a few Pigeons to begin with but as the crop grow the chances will be few and far between. .
  11. One thing you need to avoid is going to often as you will soon jar them off , watch them for a couple of night and then try and pick a night that is windy and the wind direction is in your favour , you won't get to many goes at them before they find somewhere safer so do your homework , pick the right night and you should get a shot or two .
  12. I don't think it's a case of not shooting any Pigeons because the demand have dried up, it's more of a case of not shooting as many as they did when they could offload them , I look at shooting pigeons on the stubbles is payback time for all the time I had spent trying to protect the crops , and now and for the last few weeks I have got a free hand to shoot the stubbles when I want , it wouldn't make the slightest bit of difference to the landowner if I went seven days a week or not at all , he knows fully well if he rang me up and say their is several pigeons getting on the xxxx I would be there either the same to have a look and shoot it , or shoot it the next day . In all the years I have shots Pigeons I have never dumped the bag , the odd ones I have used on the magnet yes but never the bag , a return trip to the game dealer is just over 80 miles and I would sooner take them knowing they have gone in the food chain even though I have got next to nothing rather than dump the days bag in the rubbish pit , these were the last ones I took when we diverted from the coast on a day out .
  13. I can understand where your coming from when you don't want to let your farmers or land owners down when it comes to crop protection and pest control , no and neither do I , but as we all know most of the Pigeons shot throughout the Mid and late Summer are shot on stubbles and at the moment it is around the peak time of the year when the young are now on the wing , if we are honest about why we shoot Pigeons , for me and a lot of other Pigeon shooters it for the sport and we are protecting the farmers crops while enjoying the sport . In 50 odd years of shooting Pigeons I have never had a farmer or land owner ring me up complaining about the amount of Pigeons that are are on his stubbles , in fact their was a time when we had to leave them alone on the Pea stubbles as while they were eating the loose Peas they wern't eating anything else . I still continue enjoying my sport but on a lesser scale than I once did , this is mainly through old age aches and pains , poor demand for dead pigeons and the ever increasing cost of the cartridges. I have been giving cartridges in the past to keep them off crops but never to shoot them on stubbles and I dare say this is the same with many Pigeon shooters. It was once stated by P C that he shoot around 7000 / 8000 pigeons a year and had seven freezers to store them in , now if that one persons bag is no longer shot and other Pigeon shooters who also stopped shooting those kind of bags ,or at least eased up , then how soon would the population of Pigeons seriously build up ?
  14. We know a lot of the members on P W manage to eat or give away most if not all the pigeons they shoot , but their are several that shoot large numbers and offload them at the game dealers , now if you are lucky to find a dealer that are are taking frozen pigeons then you would need to take well into three figures just to cover your fuel , as far as I know we have only got one dealer in the whole of Norfolk that are taking frozen pigeons and the returns are very poor to say the least , at the moment they are making 10 pence for both fresh and frozen . Now I can't really see the people who make big bags are going to continue shooting big numbers and haven't got a outlet or if they have got one they could end up losing money by taking them , when the same question was put out awhile back, one of the top big bag boys ( Pigeon Controller ) said on here he would not shoot big bags of Pigeons if he didn't have a market for them and I think that would be the same for most of us who sell the bag . So will this lack of demand and very poor returns when you do find a buyer make a difference to the pigeon population ? , it was always stated in the past that a very cold Winter kill off more pigeons than all the pigeon shooters put together , now with milder Winters and a never ending food supply the chances of the weather alone killing off large numbers of pigeons are very remote . So in our wildest dreams , could we ever see the day where the ministry of agriculture bring back the cheap , or free cartridges like they did in the Rabbit Clearance Society days ? , or could the numbers rapidly get out of control and costing farmers a fortune ?
  15. As above , the only time you might get some shooting on early rape is, if it has been direct drilled into a grain stubble , even then they will be more likely after any loose grain rather the rape plants . worth keeping an eye on but while the weather is mild it will grow like the clappers and will soon be well up .
  16. They would be the ones Chris , I dare say we called them guard fish because of the long pointed spike on it's head , if I had 2 / 3 I would put my bit of string through the gills along with the the other fish , the Scots fishermen would never eat the Mackerel as they were superstitious , why I don't know , maybe the Green bone inside them . On a Sunday the the quayside where the Herring boats unloaded the catch was empty as the boats would steam up the river to tie up for the weekend , no doubt for the crew to get a pint , this was when the locals would use their hoop nets , these were baited with fish guts and it didn't take long for them to get a good fry of fish , these were mainly flat fish with the odd Whiting ect , now I doubt you would get the bait touched in the nets as the only boats that moor their now are the oil supply boats and the ones that service the wind turbines , I think the last Scots drifters came in the seventies .
  17. Around here Skate is the dearest fish in the fish shop and it take some beating if it is fresh , another fish we don't see often now is the Dab , Place on the Bone is one of my favorites and the humble Whiting although I have never seen them on the menu in any local fish shop . When I was a boy I used to go down the fish wharth on a Saturday morning in the Winter to get a bag of Herring when the Scots drifters would come in to unload the catch , I would sit above the fish hold while the two crew members would be filling up the fish baskets to unload them on the quay , now and again I would spot a Mackreal and one of the chaps would chuck that up to go with my Herring , one fish I also got now and again was what we called a guard fish , they were about two feet long with a long pointed head and about three inches round , one of my highlights was after they had put the catch ashore they would steam back up the river with me on board to moor for the weekend before they went back out to sea on the Monday , I got to know one or two of the crews and as luck would have it my mum worked at the sweet rock factory and many a time a bag of sticks of rock were exchanged for a good fry of fish , happy days long gone .
  18. Just goes to show after months and months that roll into years sitting in a pigeon hide and trying to observe their habits and way of life we still can't work it all out , we know where they should be if they play ball but when they have other plans we can't compete with their way of thinking and once again we are beat . We have got two fields of Bean stubbles in a very good area of the estate and yes their are some pigeons beginning to find the loose Beans , note I only said some as some are still on the Wheat stubbles , some are on old Rape stubbles , some on some old Rye stubbles and the list can go on with some Spring barley stubbles on other parts of the estate , yes you can shoot a few pigeons and at least you see pigeons going backwards and forwards and now and again one take a detour and give you a shot , in other words , enough to keep you happy
  19. I got the exact wheel and nearly tyre from Ebay for my Honda CRV , it came from Scotland and it was delivered within three days , it was £100 and Ebay had a promotion where you got 20% off what you bought so it cost me £80, as a coincidence it went on my motor for the first time yesterday as I got my first punture yesterday in four years of having my motor and my little garage never had a new tyre that was my size so had to order one and putting the spare on was money well spent .
  20. I think the 4 10 is a very underrated gun and in the right hands can be very effective with decoying and game shooting . Having said that I haven't fired one for a number of years for the simple fact the cartridges were as dear as the 12 bore we were using . When I had one it was a 303 converted into a 4 10 , when I say converted I don't know if anything was ever done to convert it , when we got it the magazine was still on the gun but I can't remember if it ever worked , the gun was bolt action and we used it up our allotment which was on the edge of the marshes to shoot the Starlings that were in the 100s, and at the time was very good sport. Another part of your life that is now in the history books .
  21. My eyes are nowhere as good as they once were although I can still spot objects and items that seem out of place on the marsh , well one day last week I was having a wander when in the distance was a bird of prey that was huge , it was gliding over the marsh and various birds were mocking it , far bigger than the Harriers and the Buzzard's we see daily , the only thing I thought it might had been was the Eagle that have been reported in the Eastern regions . now for the last few days I have taken my binoculars I have seen no sign of it .
  22. Well I am glad we didn't pay the full price of over £13 , we cut it half and done it in a pan with a drop of Olive Oil , I kept turning my half over till both sides looked done and my wife left hers in a bit longer as she likes her fish well done , mine wasn't that bad but the middle could have been cooked a bit more , my wife's bit all right in the middle but the outside was a bit on the hard side , to be honest I think it was down to the cooking rather than the quality of the fish , we had a couple of Skate wings a few days earlier and it was lovely , knock spots off the Swordfish , still it's nice to try something different with fish , the last one off we had was a piece of Hake , it looked better than it tasted , looked like a Cod fillet but that was as near to a piece of Cod as it will get , before the pandemic we had the Maritime Festival each September and the crew from the Hembsy lifeboat done Herring on a hot grill with the roes , these had a squirt of Lemon on them and they melted in your mouth , far different than the odd time we do them when they leave your house smelling of the Silver Darlings long after they had been devoured.
  23. Nice one Steve , Be very careful your new edition don't jump up on your lap , it could be very painful both to you and your wallet . Hope the early training goes to plan and you end up with a faithful pet and a decent gundog . GOOD LUCK
  24. Many THANKS to you and all the above members for your time and advise . I have been looking up online for the Bravecto tablets for large dogs and the ones I saw were prescription only , is their anywhere I can get them from the vet shops , or order them online please ?
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