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  1. Thank you, I am always happy to receive any advice or criticism, good or bad, it all helps. I have been reading what people recommend and I have been watching a few videos and nosing on people's days on here and it all helps. I haven't invested in any Rotary's or flappers or anything hi tech yet, I can't afford to splash out too much on myself so it's just going to be bit by bit I'm afraid. So far I just have a few shell decoys and a few flocked ones on the way. I am always looking to try new things and I'm enjoying getting out and tweaking things each time. As I said this type of shooting is still new to me and I am enjoying the challenge so far, and weather ( and wife) permitting hopefully I should be out again on Tuesday after work to give it another good go.
  2. Nice write up, I enjoyed the read. Well done and I hope you all continue to have days like this, I look forward to your next report.
  3. Well where to begin... My wife has been a bit unwell lately so I have been taking up some of the strain so she can relax and recuperate, luckily now she is feeling a bit better so it gave me a chance to get out and see what's about. I had all good intentions to do some recon and get some better flocked decoys but as life gets in the way I haven't managed any of it yet. I drove to the farm straight from work. Since my last visit the farmer has been busy. He has cut the clover fields, some wheat and has made a start on the rape. As I drove up there were probably a few hundred pigeons on the fresh cut rape. I pulled up on the track in my car and the pigeon didn't batter an eyelid. As soon as I opened the door and got out they all fled, some to a tree in the field, the rest to the horizon. I sat and watched for a bit as the bird flew to and from this tree into the fields. Ideally I would have liked to set up under it but it was surrounded by uncut rape and even if I could have made it to the tree without trampling the crop I would have never been able to retrieve any dropped birds. I decided to set up a pattern on the edge of the cut crop and see if I could entice anything out. I sat in my car with the boot open with the idea being that I could shoot out from the back as the birds didn't seem bothered by the car. Half an hour later and nothing. Birds were leaving the tree and following a line to a massive pile of manure in the middle of the fields, there they seemed to disperse and go their separate ways. They didn't seem to settle in one particular area, I think as food was so abundant they just landed wherever in their ones and twos. I packed up and made my way over to the lovely smelling pile and set up a pattern under the flight line and then I set up my hide as close to the manure as I could stand. It did lead me to wonder if pigeons have much of a sense of smell as everything seemed to make a beeline towards it. Anyway I sat and waited. Today I had my franchi alcone one field. I thought although my pump can carry the extra load, the instant second shot would give me an advantage over me fumbling to pump my trusty huglu. It proved a good decision as the first bird ducked out of the tree and dived straight towards me. It wasn't bothered by my decoys but just was traveling towards the pile. I lined up and pulled the first shot, totally missed but lined up perfectly for the second. I got it and the bird spun down to the ground, landing just shy of the pattern. Pleased I reloaded and waited for the next one. It wasn't long before another bird fell in the same way, crashing to another nice clean kill, this time just to the top barrel. I reloaded again to a rumble of thunder in the distance. I looked up to an ominous dark sky closing in. As the clouds grew darker and the thunder nearer I managed to get one more bird between a couple more missed. I picked up my prizes as the clouds closed in overhead and as I was sitting on top of a hill holding metal in my hands I bravely decided to pack up and run to the car like a little girl and wait it out. Just as I got in the car the heavens opened and after ten mins or so I realized it was going to be here for quite some time so I called it a day. Another learning experience and now I have some new decoys on order, hopefully I should be able to get out a bit more often now just in time for the harvest.
  4. Thanks for all the pointers, I dare say like anything with experience I will (hopefully) get better... I used the woodland for cover because to be honest I wasn't very confident with my hide building skills and it was easiest to sink it in against the woodland rather than attempt to build one on an empty field margin. As my confidence gets better I will try and build in better positions. To be honest the best part was just getting back out into the field and watching the world go by. It's been far too long since I have had a shoot where I can just sit back and enjoy the view even when nothing is happening. Any good chances on top is just the icing on the cake.
  5. I have been lurking in the background for a while so I thought it was about time I joined and contribute. I have shot for a good few years now. Mostly only allowed at night so lamping mainly for rabbit and other than that just pest control in warehouse and workshops, usually for ferals with an air rifle. Well times change and permissions come and go and I found myself in a position where all my shoots changed hands or management and for one reason or another I lost all my farms and I have spent the last year or so only able to pick off a few ferals with the air rifle in a warehouse. Well this year I managed to get a new permission on a farm but it's day shooting only. Also just to mix it up a bit there is not a problem with rabbits so it's pretty much winged quarry only. Only trouble is I have never really shot pigeon with a shotgun on a farm, only with an air rifle so I have had to do a bit of learning. Anyway last week I finally managed to get out, the farmer had cut and bailed some green wheat for whatever reason so I had one cut field with plenty of woodies on it. I pulled up and watched the field for a bit. On the southern edge there is a wood that the birds were flying over and onto the field on a line so I wandered down and set up. I put my net up in a cut out within the trees so I could see the birds flying over and catch them as I was hidden by the trees. I set up a pattern in the field, the wind was blowing straight towards me which obviously wasn't ideal but I thought I would try and see what happens. I only have 6 plastic hollow decoys and a couple of cheap nets as I didn't want to invest loads in something I may not enjoy or be any good at. So anyway I set up the pattern, hid in the trees and waited to see what happened. After a while I watched as the pigeon came over the woods, dropped down low over the decoys to have a look and then carried on onto the field. I sat and watched for about half hour and eventually a few pigeon started to land on the pattern, I must admit I got a buzz out of just knowing I got that right. By now I was ready to try my luck. I removed my gun from the slip, a huglu atrox pump 12g. Not an great gun but it's served me well. As for rounds I was using some lyalvale pigeon power no.6. I loaded some rounds and waited. A few mins later a group of 4 swooped over the trees, down and landed on the pattern, I pulled the trigger and with a puff of feathers the first woody came down, the other 3 took off before I managed to compose myself for another shot. So happy with myself I reloaded and waited for the next group. And I waited, and waited, and waited... And that was it. After nearly an hour not even a single lone bird came over. Disheartened I collected my only prize and packed up. I don't know if it was dumb luck or if I spooked them or maybe it was too late in the day but that was the end of my luck. Either way my first time out decoying was memorable but I'll give it a few more tries before I invest in some better gear I think, but I am definitely looking forward to getting out again.
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