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  1. For some time I have wondered whether Shotgun Licences are too easily granted. The whole process could be initiated by a theory test focussing on public safety and the law concerning shotgun ownership etc. Coupled with this, a background check, a rigorous interview in assessing the applicant's mental state and aptitude. Should these stages be successfully navigated the applicant should be granted a provisional shotgun licence. Before a full licence is granted, the applicant would be required to complete a log comprising a number of supervised outings, demonstrating competency. Parts of the above process are not unlike acquiring a BSAC qualification and/or obtaining a driving licence. An organisation such as BASC in conjunction with the Police authority could organise much of this. Yes, it would come at a price but it would weed out those not fit to be in possession of a shotgun.
  2. That's encouraging. Apart from rape, anything much else in their crops?
  3. That photo has life in it - I really like it.
  4. Too true, but if the birds aren't there then there ain't much to hone your shooting. Nor will binoculars help in panning empty fields. There's shed loads of members on this Forum - why don't they please post their experiences on the numbers of pigeons seen and more importantly, numbers that they have shot. I sometimes think that we get a distorted opinion resulting from a very small band of hard-core posters who are lucky enough to live in pigeon rich areas. It would be good to see a greater variety of views.
  5. Many times I have posted that there are just not the pigeons about in my area of Leicester****e sic. I probably went out at least a couple of times a week for most of the year. For the whole year I shot about 150 pigeons (one 50ish, a forty something and a 30 something) coupled with a couple of days of ten and a few handfuls. If the pigeons aren't there, they are not there to be shot irrespective how great a shot one might be. It seems that many shooters aren't prepared to own up to the numbers of pigeons they have actually shot. It would appear that in some cases small numbers reflects their hunting prowess and indirectly their masculinity. In the past I've posted about exaggerated bags. I know for a fact a number of acquaintances of mine who have claimed to have shot huge bags of birds in the 80s, 100s etc - it's rot - the birds were not there to be shot. It reminds me of a well respected figure in the fishing World who would return claiming great success in numbers caught and far more than ordinary mortals. As the fishery's manager would wryly say " not witnessed". So, maybe some of those members of the Forum who do not put their heads above the parapet should report their experience of numbers shot. I hardly believe that I'm the only one to have had a rotten year
  6. I think that it was George Digweed who said that he wouldn't take the shot unless he could see the vital bits of a bird and at the time was referring to pigeons and in my experience crows are a tougher proposition. Incidentally on dogs' retrieving crows apart from the beaks the talons are pretty unpleasant too. I fashioned a crow neck breaker using a modified professional litter picker. Works well. If anyone goes down that route don't use a £1 shop version.
  7. That's great news. I appreciate that you are in a prime pigeon area but all I can go on is what is happening in Leicestershire and there is no doubt that there has been a significant decline in the pigeon population
  8. Well, from the gist of reports on here there doesn't seem to have been a great deal shot this year. If your experience is to the contrary then I'm very pleased for you.
  9. A quite remarkable video and from 2016. I've never seen birds coming in like it, in those numbers and frequency. I was talking to a farmer a couple of weeks ago and he said that in the past, he and a friend would easily shoot 50 or so in a wood on a Saturday and not uncommon to shoot a number with one shot. He is not seeing those numbers any longer. I'm starting to wonder if there are just not the numbers about anymore with the pigeon population in decline. Some of you guys may have seen the best of it. It will be interesting to log the numbers shot in 2021.
  10. Hence the expression "Turkey shoot"
  11. Good man! Let's hope that some of the more doubting Forum members get onboard.
  12. The manual flapper is fine for traditionalists or as a labour of love but there are so many better options out there. Treat yourself to a Xmas present.
  13. Spot on. A couple of roost shoots that I did yielded a couple of squirrelys. There were reasonable sized flocks of pigeons which was encouraging but not heading in my direction. In response to old'un's post, pigeons will breed any time of year if the conditions are right. I literally haven't nailed a pigeon for months. And well done JDog, I've seen no pigeons on either drillings or rape.
  14. Yeah, I'd like to see that and even better to see it in the flesh. Depends on how many guns and over how many days
  15. A most enjoyable video. Not a criticism but I wouldn't allow my dog to go anywhere the corvids - nasty old things.
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