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Jim Neal

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About Jim Neal

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  • Birthday 10/06/1977

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    Male
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    Kettering, Northants

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  1. Jim Neal

    Tomorrow in Northamptonshire

    It ain't the Norfolk Heap! And it ain't the Birminghamshire Regimental Pigeon Display. I can only offer a suggestion it's a new style called the "Northants Spread"
  2. Jim Neal

    Cooling Pigeon

    Think I've got the answer to this, from my home brewing gadgetry Hopefully you haven't spent a fortune on anything yet, as there is a pretty simple and cheap option to make your freezers act as fridges by exactly controlling the temperature. Search on ebay for a device called STC-1000 temperature controller. Cheapest will be from China for under a tenner but I'd advise using a UK seller with good feedback rating, probably more like 12-14 quid but worth it for the peace of mind. You'll need one for each freezer. The way they work is by use of a thin wire temperature probe, which you'd gaffa tape to the internal wall of the freezer, it's thin enough not to affect the door seal (or drill it through and seal it if you don't care about butchering your freezer). The way the device works is by interrupting the power supply to the appliance, to keep it at the required temperature which you set by means of a digital control. You just set the freezer to its maximum setting and let the controller do the work. When you first attempt the wiring it can be a bit mind-boggling but once you've got your head round it you'll find it simple enough. What I do is rather than cut into the power cable of the freezer, cut up a short piece of spare flex and use a plug and trailing socket which you plug the freezer's power into. Obviously that adds a few more quid to the cost but the advantage of that is you can interchange the controller between whichever freezers you'd like to control with it, rather than it being permanently attached to one. The instructions for mine are written in Engrish, reading them in your head using a Chinese accent helps (they might be different now, who knows) If you want to have a go at it feel free to give me a shout, I'll help you get it set up. I make it sound a lot more complicated than it is!
  3. Jim Neal

    Pigeons in the trees

    ...or even better a photo! Are they on the actual twigs or more like around the trunk? Could be something else growing/living on it.
  4. Jim Neal

    'Hitting clover'

    Hilarious!! You have to love them though, even though they drive you nuts at times. I had a peg in a disused stone quarry one drive last season, and the ground was impossible to get the stake properly screwed in. I got it as good as I could but lo and behold, the first time my gun went up they were off, leads taut between them and the stake jangling about in the middle. Until they ran one either side of a tree.
  5. Jim Neal

    Kite

    Red Kites are more common than seagulls round my way, literally. There was a release programme locally some years back, and they have thrived ever since. From high ground with binos if you scan around you'd see at least 10-20 in the air, all day every day guaranteed. Someone in our village puts food out for them; A friend showed me a photo taken from his back bedroom window with over 40 kites circling and swooping down above another back garden along the road. Buzzards have increased too, as far as I know without any human intervention, so generally speaking the world has become a better place for raptors in recent years Let me give you my experiences and opinion. We release ex-layers on our shoot, so obviously I know it will be different with poults. As you'd expect within the first 2-3 weeks after release you get a few sick and stressed birds keel over (around the 5% mark). Rarely do I find the carcasses untouched, they're normally emptied of the offal and sometimes a bit more thoroughly stripped. Mostly buzzards but the kites do get involved as well. After a month or so, what's going to die will have died. I don't continue to find chewed up carcasses in the pen. So are they mercilessly hunting my pheasants or just taking advantage of what's there? Charlie takes a lot more throughout the year, and they are healthy birds. The sparrowhawks had nearly all my partridge last year, and Charlie mopped up the remainder.
  6. Jim Neal

    'Hitting clover'

    I get that in duplicate! I left my two at home for most of my roosting excursions this year. Less birds seemed to flare away at the last second for some reason! Mind you, one time I was cursing at myself for not bringing them whilst chasing a winged pigeon round a patch of blackthorn. It's funny, one of them has learned to look where the gun points and therefore the flying bird, but the other to look at the gun itself and wait for the bang. Makes no difference after the trigger is pulled. Got through two ground stakes last game season
  7. Jim Neal

    Artichoke cover crop

    In all honesty, to put artichokes in you need to completely out of other options, or so short of budget you have no other choice. It's very easy to overlook the long term implications. Artichokes are as good as permanent if you get them established well. If you change your mind in a couple of years and want rid of well established artichokes you've got a nightmare job on your hands. I'm not very clued up on the finer points of agricultural machinery/methods but the chap who does ours talks about "scuffling" them in (not sure if that's different from ploughing or another word for it?) and then scuffle it over every spring to stimulate regrowth. We've got 2 areas of artichokes, I don't know how many years they have been established but they come up 8ft tall and so dense you have to walk sideways through them, flattening the stalks with the soles of your boots. I have to partly disagree with the above comments regarding their inability as a windbreak. If you get a whole patch of them established as densely as I've described above, the wind certainly does not rip through them whilst they're standing. However if you want to use them as a border to windbreak something else in the middle you're probably right, only a 5 yard or so strip of them would probably still have the wind whistling through. It all depends on the variables but ours usually last through till Novermber and when they do start to fall over they still offer a little protection for a further few weeks, or until the weather says otherwise. Nothing great though. I'm talking about a bit of camouflage against aerial predators, more than providing something to "hide under". I personally think artichokes are **** as a cover on their own, they have no food value and I don't believe they do anything other than serve as something to slow down a running pheasant if you've run them in there from somewhere else. Our biggest patch of cover is split in half, with a decent cover mix in the first half and then the second half we walk through is the artichokes. Most birds flush from the first half, very little runs through the artichokes, but we will stil lshoot a few out of it even after Christmas. Another cover is all artichokes, we get maybe 3 drives off it early season before it's barren and not worth the walk over it. If you're that stuck for ideas or budget maybe just chuck some Kale in? Fodder radish also an option, at least they last the winter and you wouldn't have to worry so much about getting rid of them. I'd only go for the artichokes as an absolute last resort.
  8. Jim Neal

    Missfires not so common these days

    I think "littering" only applies to public spaces, not on private land. Otherwise if you looked at the state of my car, van and shed I'd be locked up for a 20-stretch!!
  9. Jim Neal

    Missfires not so common these days

    I think they're divorced It never even crossed my mind that it might be technically illegal. But I'll stand by what I've said, and will continue to do the same in the future! What's more likely to happen? Someone coming along and digging up a buried misfire months/years afterwards when it's well and truly inert? Or me carrying a cartridge in my hand, pocket, or vehicle that could possibly go off unexpectedly? It's just common sense, which seems to have escaped a lot of people! Not many of us shoot in places where the general public are free to roam around.
  10. Jim Neal

    Hushpower update.

    I've only ever shot fibre wads through it, if that's anything to go by. Not sure if plastic would make the sort of noise I remember, it did sound like something small heavy and metallic. Anyway no matter, I looked at the end of the moderator last night, nothing like the photo shown above but maybe a tiny little sign of perforation in just one place. On the whole doesn't look like shot is catching it on the way out. I'll pattern the 28g 7.5s at the weekend and see if there's much difference.
  11. Jim Neal

    Missfires not so common these days

    Best thing to do with a misfire or flat report is point the gun in a safe direction for at least 30 seconds, just to rule out any follow-up ignition of the powder. I personally will remove the cartridge by blocking its ejection with my hand, then quickly take it out and poke it crimp end first into the mud. Stick your foot on it, press it well in and avoid the temptation to go back and dig it out for any further inspection! The damp will eventually see to it that the powder is defunct thus making it safe in the extremely unlikely event that someone should come along and dig it up at a later date. Yes, this is technically against the philosophy of not leaving any unwanted waste behind but it's better than having your fingers blown off or worse. Last season on our game shoot, one of the guns climbed back into the trailer after a drive, mentioned how he'd had a misfire and then proceeded to wave the offending cartridge around in front of everyone's faces! Needless to say a few sharp words were spoken! I've had one or two duds with Eley pigeon but considering the amount I've shot the percentage is tiny. I mostly use Hull Comp-X clay shells if I go to the shooting ground, and have had a few flat reports and some with a pellet bulging out the side so you can't load them safely. those ones I take home and carefully split and empty.
  12. Jim Neal

    Hushpower update.

    Wow that's quite severe! Haven't noticed that on mine but then again I haven't really been looking for the problem. Will check later. Now it's mentioned, I do recall once or twice having something rattling around inside the moderator after using the gun, could well have been a stray pellet deflected back inside. Thought nothing of it really, the offending pellet probably fell out when I unscrewed the moderator to put the gun away and I've forgotten about it.
  13. Jim Neal

    Hushpower update.

    I forgot to say, cartridges used were eley subsonic 32g 5s. I have some of the 28g 7.5s but didn’t have them with me to compare (or really the time) I’ll try patterning the lighter load when I get time How do I find out what choke level it is set up with? How do I tell if the shot is clipping the moderator? Apologies, I seem to have hijacked the thread ?
  14. Jim Neal

    Hushpower update.

    I don't get that. If I was previously sighting parallel with the line of fire but above it (hence the gun shooting low) and I move my eyes upwards without moving the front sight, I've introduced a downwards-angled line of sight relative to the line of fire. At some point, that line of sight will cross the line of fire? Anyhow, I did a bit of patterning today and discovered two reasons why my hit rate with the gun has been pretty poor. It shoots WAY low, and I mean about 12 inches at 30yds! Also, the pattern is extremely poor, with a very big spread and lots of gaps. Looks to me like it needs choking. I haven't looked yet what options if any there are for that. So I tried the pipe lagging bodge up, and after a couple more pattern tests found pretty much the right way to get my eye down it. At 30 yds I'm getting a reasonably on-target pattern if I line up the top ends of the "U" shaped sighting groove with the outline of the moderator tube. That's a massive difference to how I've been mounting the gun to shoot it previously. Unfortunatley not much opportunity to test it out in practice as I had other plans for shooting this afternoon, but I took the hushpower and ducked into a crow roost as the light went away... unfortunatley I think due to the biting cold easterly wind the crows had decided to use a different block of woods this evening, only a couple flew over at sensible shooting range, giving the chance of just one shot. Needless to say I missed!! I'll persevere.
  15. Jim Neal

    Hushpower update.

    Knowing virtually nothing about the gun, I just presumed they would have compensated for that with the sighting arrangement. Maybe not! The only thing with raising the comb height then is surely you'd have to "zero" your gun at a certain range? Your line of sight is no longer parallel with the line of fire, but crossing it at a certain point. So you're still going to be aiming too high or too low at closer or longer ranges. I'd probably go for 30yds and maybe try to compensate for it at different ranges. I'm presuming the sighting "trench" becomes obsolete raising the comb, you just usee the end sight bead I'll try agaman's method out this afternoon then, got some pipe lagging and gaffa tape in the shed!
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