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  1. That’s a real shame. My Dad is older than you and still goes but rarely solo now, and will generally wait and go with me. This wasn’t the case 20, even 10 years ago but there’s no reason you can’t still enjoy the sport from a different angle/with the company of someone else on the days shooting if you’re still keen in mind.
  2. Agree, mostly drillings offer little to no shooting now and as you say mainly due to the efficiency of the kit. There will still be the odd farmer with older kit or fields that had very poor seedbeds to drill into that can offer some shooting…..but you need to be there at the right time as they can be there today and gone tomorrow! I’ve not shot a big bag on drilling for a good few years now, but used to in the past. Peas here don’t generally get hit until they’re well up, and certainly not from drilling all the way through to harvest. It amazes me actually how and where some people shoot pigeons depending on area, but that’s probably down to the numbers being significantly more in some area than others….who really knows?
  3. 75 in three hours when only 50 birds lifted is good going by anyones standards, great when more come back than expected…..well done Ben 👍🏼
  4. Very area dependant isn’t it, as you find some people shoot huge numbers on crops that never/rarely produce for you and at different growth stages….that’s the unknown of pigeon shooting really, as is how they’ll totally ignore some fields but predictably pile into others when the right crops are grown! The peas I shot a lot over on one farm in particular are a pea grown specifically for bird seed, a maple pea which as you’d expect the pigeons really seem to like. It’s small and when they go ripe/rock hard is when they really seem to go for them. There aren’t any vining peas here so never shot over them!
  5. Well done PC….your usual perseverance paying off yet again, even though it might not have been the bag you’d hoped for. Marshman: I agree. Although at this time of year when things go ‘quiet’ for me too I tend to just resign myself to the fact I probably won’t be shooting a lot for a month or two, and if something shows up unexpectedly then it’s a bonus! I had a really good year on peas last year starting in early June and shooting good bags weekly through until September, but I don’t think this year will follow suit sadly. This is mainly down to the fields that have been planted this year, and one farm in particular where I shot the biggest bag not growing peas at all. I shot over 600 on one small block which was in a great location and difficult to access / watch which worked in our favour as no one else bothered with it and gave us multiple 100 plus days. This year there’s a much bigger block of peas that are easier to access/watch…..they have multiple butterfly shooters who like to have a pop so I predict not getting the same uninterrupted shooting this year, but here’s hoping!!
  6. 100% this. Who even takes the huge quantity of pigeons shot by some? I don’t shoot huge amounts, 1,500-3000 a year but could get rid of them easily to a number of game dealers….seems nigh on impossible to find such a regular outlet now! I have someone I offload quite a lot too but if/when the opportunity arises to shoot a big bag the first thing I think about is how am I going to get rid of all this lot, which kid of ruins things a bit. I’m not sure other less regular shooters will be so bothered and just blast off all day long then not know what to do with them so end up in the hedge?!
  7. Great bag on rape, well done! I’ve never managed to shoot good numbers over rape, mores the pity but they just don’t seem to hit it hard round here like they do other crops. The bird flu comment had me intrigued, as all my local game dealers closed the doors through Covid I was hoping to find another this year to offload on but this doesn’t sound good. I do wonder how some that shoot hundreds week in week out can get rid of them!?
  8. Had a large block of peas go in but got there a day or two late I think and only shot 28 (saw hundreds flighting the previous day) Spotted some direct drilled barley well over a week ago and checked that out to see plenty of seed on the ground but no pigeons! However kept an eye on it as it seemed easy pickings and pigeons began to find it last weekend and built up through the week…..shot it this afternoon and managed 56, which was less than I thought I might shoot but still a good knock and to be honest the best bag I’ve had since the end of December! The rape promised good things but just didn’t deliver good bags here sadly, although I see on Facebook endless massive bags over rape / flailed maize covers etc in other parts of the country. It’s usually a quiet spell now until into June when I tend to start getting some shooting on peas again. It still won’t stop me driving round looking for opportunities when I get the chance!
  9. That’s some great bags through the winter, most could only dream of those numbers! Well done Ben 👍🏼
  10. This is 100% what it takes to be a successful pigeon shooter (and plenty of pigeons in an area too of course). It takes a serious amount of time and effort and sounds as though Ben is fully committed to which is where his great results come from! Lots of people think you just turn up and shoot good bags, until they try it themselves and realise it’s not always quite so easy.
  11. You spend all your free time pigeon shooting with a young family at home? I’d not be able to allow myself the same freedom I did before having kids (or be allowed)….I find myself taking afternoons off in the week mostly and looking for pigeons after work as you do which is much easier during the summer when the pigeons feed later anyway! I’m self employed so can often manufacture afternoons off etc and as you say shot most of my bags last year setting up after 2 o clock and often as late as 4 and still getting good shooting. Marshman is 100% right though, time is key and I’ve missed out on so many good days through only being able to watch when I should be shooting!
  12. Jim Albone videos are still the best I’ve seen, used to love those. He’s some shot on pigeons too! Anthony Poolman who Chris Green filmed is in prime pigeon shooting country, has access to lots of extremely good shooting….and has the time to go out multiple times a week etc. He’s also been shooting those numbers for years and years so wouldn’t say there are more or less pigeons now. Some areas seem to never dwindle in numbers despite people shooting tens of thousands year on year. Other areas just don’t hold the same numbers regardless of crops/food source! One of Jim Albones later videos shows clients shooting more than a thousand in a day for example.
  13. We’ve got a contractor/farm manager who’s obsessed with pigeons on the rape and puts out rope bangers/kites regularly and scares them off etc. Nice guy but then wonders why we struggle to make good numbers as they never get a chance to get into a comfortable routine. They still eat the rape in the same numbers when they can but become impossible to shoot. The other chaps were clearly dismayed at not being allowed to shoot the land so would rather no one shoot any there I would say, and are trying to gain more shooting on their land by pushing the birds off of yours. A little underhand I’d say. Perhaps you should offer to return the favour when you see any on their patch? Still, as usual you did the job and shot some pigeons pc! I shot a small block of rape yesterday the chap I spoke about above looks after, but can’t put bangers on due to location and shot a nice steady 42. They came in the afternoon though and very unusually for me on rape the pigeons came in up until 16:30.
  14. Agreed, Hive extremely easy to use/user friendly. Bought one to fit for my parents funnily enough as I know they’ll be fine with it. Most are unnecessarily complicated, especially underfloor stats it seems as customers never set them up properly!
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