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jam1e

Advice needed regarding decoying.

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Hi folks,

I've had a lot more success with my decoying, since looking at the decoy layouts posted by Beardo. So thank's to you! :good:

I use the "horse Shoe" layout, as it's the one I like, and have had the best results with. Albeit, that may be just luck...

I add the dead birds to the pattern at the sides, but leave the kill area open. However, I'm unsure when to pick up the dead birds.

Do I set them up after each one is shot, or wait until I've dropped a few, to save disturbing the ground? Also, do dead birds flat out on the ground put other pigeons off landing??

Also, I've wondered what other members do with "winged runners", or flappers. I presume this would scare off other birds?

To save on cartridges, and spoiling the meat, I take my .22lr along to dispatch them. How do other members on here dispatch the winged birds?

Below is a picture of one of my best bags so far. I did drop around 6 to 10 more birds, but couldn't retrieve them, or find them in the wheat.

Not a lot to brag about, but I'm a terrible shot with a shotgun, and it did take around 7 hours to achieve it! But even so, I was buzzing with this result. :yes:

Pigeon%20shoot%202015-04-06.jpg

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Generally I only pick up dead birds if they are on their backs as this will put the incoming birds off. If the birds start to loose interest change the pattern and add or remove as you see fit. A couple of simple changes can make the difference. The birds will let you know if your pattern is good.

 

With regards to injured birds I go and despatch them as an absolute priority. Get hold of them by the head with one hand and give them a quick spin and this will break their neck. I would never bother with a rifle, to much hassle. Going into the pattern will not disturb the birds much if they are intent on coming in they will keep coming. I have been out in the pattern before and had pigeons almost land on me before realising something is wrong.

 

Keep up the good work buddy.

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I was out with my son the other week and we had birds we had not retrieved lying every which way, if pigeons want to feed on a particular field it doesnt matter if the dead birds are standing on their heads.

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Hi Jamie,

 

Sounds like we're in a similar boat! I use a .22 air rifle to snipe any runners - seems far more easy than trying to capture them and then I'm hopeless at ringing anyway!

 

I too use a horse-shoe layout (at the moment) - I've recently added a magnet to the setup although didn't find it helped much on my first outing with it.

 

I've generally waited for a few kills before retrieving (and then layout out on the rape stubble) dead birds to add to the decoy pattern but don't know if that's the right thing. Generally I will sense whether any more are due in (good visibility of flight lines where I shoot). If there are a lot about I'll take the gamble that they're not bothered by the sprawled kills, and instead wait and hope more come in.

 

I have tried other methods of dispatch but I don't seem to have the knack - a pellet to the head works a treat and gives me the another chance to practice my rifle shooting for ratting / rabbiting.

 

On one occasion I failed to do the pigeon's neck and didn't have the rifle on me so had to use the shotgun. Keen not to do that again from too close a range (and I was careful....!)

 

Good luck with it! We can fail together if nothing else!

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On one occasion I failed to do the pigeon's neck and didn't have the rifle on me so had to use the shotgun. Keen not to do that again from too close a range (and I was careful....!)

 

you used a shotgun on a wounded pigeon? Christ, bet that made a mess at close range? If you can't quite grasp the necking technique, carry a priest with you in your decoy bag, you can buy nice fancy stag horn ones but a wooden hammer handle does the trick. A quick tap on the back of the head will almost certainly put it out of its misery. Saves on cartridges, or in jam1e case bullets, is very quick, a lot safer and there will be no mess atall.

 

Wounded quarry should be priority at the end of the day too, I think we owe it to the pigeon, after all it does go back into the food chain.

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It was my first wounded and I got a bit soft about it. I've necked smaller birds but this pigeon was hardy (had been shot in the head and chest when flying in and was still alive!). I have a priest too and this didn't work either - either hit the wrong place or not hard enough (I've seen people use them on pheasants - it looks so easy!)

 

Anyway - I'd made the poor thing suffer enough I no longer cared about preserving it for food, I just wanted it over. I sat it 2m away and aimed up top so it was just its head that took the brunt...... it wasn't as messy as you might think but ........ anyway. I use the air rifle and I'm happy with that :-\

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It helps to hold them in one hand with the wings together so the head sticks out. One firm tap should do the trick, if not give another one quickly. That's the way I dispatch pheasants as they are a lot bigger, but pigeons generally get a quick spin. Seen many experienced guns swinging old cock birds round and round trying to break their necks but to no avail, to a bystander it looks ******* awful and 9 times out of 10 the head separates from the body and is very very messy

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I think when I did it I had the pigeon on the floor .. maybe this stopped its head moving too far.... and stopped it working - do you hold the pigeon up (as in, you're standing) when you do it??

 

Yes, a head coming off doesn't look so great......

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I've found the old priest job works a treat on pigeons, rooks on the other hand are some hardy muthas!! The first one I tried to dispatch got a good thwack round the head and just turned and looked at me as if to say "do that again and I'll kill ya!!!" lol :mad:

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Yeah no you do need to pick it up first. Grab it, hold its wings together, out comes the head then you do the business, job done, into the pattern. Whole process takes about 3 seconds. It might flap for five seconds or so, but it's just nerves. Rooks are a nightmare. I've seen wounded rooks have a pop at dogs trying to retrieve them!

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A large, long flat head screw driving with a hard plastic handle, a perfect priest and hide pole hole borer for hard ground.

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If you hold a wounded pigeon in your left hand with its wings closed ( if you are right handed) then hold its head between you right thumb and forefinger a quick couple of twists of the head and its dead and no bird in one hand and a head with another , collect wounded birds as soon as possible , leave the others where and how they drop unless birds become reluctant to come into the pattern.

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Thanks for the replies folks. I hadn't thought of a priest. Although I did have a go at breaking their necks many years ago, but always ended up with 2 parts :oops:

I also used my 12 bore to finish one off from several meters away into soft soil. My ears were ringing for ten minutes!! Not one of my better decisions....

I suppose the main use for the .22lr was for runners that were some distance away, although I also used it for close up dispatching to...

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Sounds more like the circus than pigeon shooting.

Totally Agree. And I would advise a.s.a.p the OP learns a safer way to despatch wounded Birds as a 22rf is a accident in waiting.

Whilst my Brother and I was decoying Pigeons using only shot birds some deranged Soul decided to open up with a 22rf resulting in two Projectiles smacking into the ditch inches from us having picked us off the Rape field.

I stopped using a 22rf years ago as even shooting down at a angle more often than not you would hear a Projectile pick up and go Whinning away.

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I agree too. Dispatching wounded quarry really isn't hard to do, and using a shotgun at close range or a rifle is unsafe. Never been a fan of 22lr rounds either to be honest, it's not a welcoming sound or sight that's for sure

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I've found the old priest job works a treat on pigeons, rooks on the other hand are some hardy muthas!! The first one I tried to dispatch got a good thwack round the head and just turned and looked at me as if to say "do that again and I'll kill ya!!!" lol :mad:

Rooks and corvids in general, I usually grab by the body (so as not to get pecked and clawed) then swing them hard so the upper neck and head connect with a fence post/gate/hide pole, and that usually breaks their necks or caves their skulls in, killing them instantly

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Thanks for your imput Redditch, that's a good point, and no priest needed, as long as there's an object to strike them on I suppose.

 

Let me clarify a couple of things -

Firstly, I have only dispatched 1 pigeon with a 12 bore, in fact, that is the only time I've dispatched anything with a 12 bore at close range. So lesson learned.... Although it was safe and legal...

Secondly, 6.6x55SE. You have no idea about the locations I shoot, or whether the land is undulating or not. Or the type of soil, to give an objective opinion on whether it is safe to use a .22lr to dispatch pigeons on the ground or any other quarry on the ground for that matter.

And thirdly, what is the difference between dispatching pigeons with a .22lr on the ground, or shooting rabbits or pigeons (on ground) to achieve the same objective? Bullets pass through rabbits, just as easy as they do pigeons. Even with subsonic rounds. And as millions of rabbits are taken with a .22lr every year, it says a lot.... When I dispatch pigeons with my .22lr, it is from within the hide at a given distance.

6.5x55SE's statement -

Whilst my Brother and I was decoying Pigeons using only shot birds some deranged Soul decided to open up with a 22rf resulting in two Projectiles smacking into the ditch inches from us having picked us off the Rape field.

Please explain to me what relevance your above statement has to do with the advice I asked for, or even the way I dispatch pigeons? Also, unless the "deranged soul" was poaching, then you need better communication on who's shooting on "your" ground/permission at any given time, to avoid such accidents....

You also say "I stopped using a 22rf years ago as even shooting down at a angle more often than not you would hear a Projectile pick up and go Whinning away"

For one, that depends on what ammo you use. If you have ricochet's "more often than not", then you also need to learn (or have now learned) more about the kind of ground you shoot over. It sounds like the permission you talk of is unsuitable for .22lr, due to debris/stones that cause most of the ricochets.

I personally only ever have the odd ricochet, (as no doubt others do) due to the permissions I use being surveyed by me to clarify if they are suitable for .22lr, which they are.... Although one can never account for the odd pebble/rock being just under the surface. Which can cause a ricochet, from most projectiles...

And I may be mistaken, but I believe the most popular used "S.1 Firearm" to shoot small game, is a .22lr. Speaks for itself.....

It's always sad when certain members on PW try to derail threads, by looking for opportunities to criticise other members. Especially those, who don't even have the facts to make a sound point.

On PW, When asking for guidance I usually try to add "Constructive advice", as it generally avoids pointless replies. Unfortunately I forgot to add it on this occasion.......

However, on a brighter note, thanks for all the "constructive" advice from other members. :good:

Edited by jam1e

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Thanks for your imput Redditch, that's a good point, and no priest needed, as long as there's an object to strike them on I suppose.

 

Let me clarify a couple of things -

Firstly, I have only dispatched 1 pigeon with a 12 bore, in fact, that is the only time I've dispatched anything with a 12 bore at close range. So lesson learned.... Although it was safe and legal...

Secondly, 6.6x55SE. You have no idea about the locations I shoot, or whether the land is undulating or not. Or the type of soil, to give an objective opinion on whether it is safe to use a .22lr to dispatch pigeons on the ground or any other quarry on the ground for that matter.

And thirdly, what is the difference between dispatching pigeons with a .22lr on the ground, or shooting rabbits or pigeons (on ground) to achieve the same objective? Bullets pass through rabbits, just as easy as they do pigeons. Even with subsonic rounds. And as millions of rabbits are taken with a .22lr every year, it says a lot.... When I dispatch pigeons with my .22lr, it is from within the hide at a given distance.

6.5x55SE's statement -

Whilst my Brother and I was decoying Pigeons using only shot birds some deranged Soul decided to open up with a 22rf resulting in two Projectiles smacking into the ditch inches from us having picked us off the Rape field.

Please explain to me what relevance your above statement has to do with the advice I asked for, or even the way I dispatch pigeons? Also, unless the "deranged soul" was poaching, then you need better communication on who's shooting on "your" ground/permission at any given time, to avoid such accidents....

You also say "I stopped using a 22rf years ago as even shooting down at a angle more often than not you would hear a Projectile pick up and go Whinning away"

For one, that depends on what ammo you use. If you have ricochet's "more often than not", then you also need to learn (or have now learned) more about the kind of ground you shoot over. It sounds like the permission you talk of is unsuitable for .22lr, due to debris/stones that cause most of the ricochets.

I personally only ever have the odd ricochet, (as no doubt others do) due to the permissions I use being surveyed by me to clarify if they are suitable for .22lr, which they are.... Although one can never account for the odd pebble/rock being just under the surface. Which can cause a ricochet, from most projectiles...

And I may be mistaken, but I believe the most popular used "S.1 Firearm" to shoot small game, is a .22lr. Speaks for itself.....

It's always sad when certain members on PW try to derail threads, by looking for opportunities to criticise other members. Especially those, who don't even have the facts to make a sound point.

On PW, When asking for guidance I usually try to add "Constructive advice", as it generally avoids pointless replies. Unfortunately I forgot to add it on this occasion.......

However, on a brighter note, thanks for all the "constructive" advice from other members. :good:

I to gave you Sound advice. Here is some more advice Rather than get your knickers in a twist about me who has 40yrs useing Rifles from 22rf through to 300 Win-Mag and shotguns .410 through to 4ga on a daily basis.

Look at your own actions !!!! eg as ALL can see in your pictures you have a Rifle pointing God knows where with a Closed Bolt and a Shotgun also with a Closed Bolt !!!! Need I say any more.

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I to gave you Sound advice. Here is some more advice Rather than get your knickers in a twist about me who has 40yrs useing Rifles from 22rf through to 300 Win-Mag and shotguns .410 through to 4ga on a daily basis.

Look at your own actions !!!! eg as ALL can see in your pictures you have a Rifle pointing God knows where with a Closed Bolt and a Shotgun also with a Closed Bolt !!!! Need I say any more.

The picture was taken after clearing and checking them, and just prior to putting them in there cases. And you're quite right, you have no idea where they are pointing......

Edited by jam1e

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Very often dead birds aren't - they're just not moving. Pigeon shooting is not a numbers game but vermin control carried out in a sporting manner. It doesn't take a few seconds to nip out and make sure all is well. OK, it might mean a few less 'in the bag' at the end of the day but the objective is not necessarily to fill it.

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Holy Moses, I've never heard such a load of tosh, pigeons have very soft muscle tissue in the neck, just pick up by the head, spin gently with thumb and forefinger each side of the neck just at the base of the skull, you will feel the neck segments part and the bird is dead, no blood, no shooting, no banging it against posts, rocks or bashing the hell out of them with lumps of wood, screw drivers or fishing priests, practice makes perfect, no mess and no fuss, I was taught the right way 50 years ago and it works 100% of the time, the only time I use a second barrel on a grounded bird is when it can run faster than me, then its at a decent range so not to mutilate the carcass. corvids are a bit tougher but it still works , just needs a little more umph. :/:/

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Thanks Wymberley and lakeside 1000 for your replies.. That's partly why I use the rimfire, (when safe). I've have a few occasions where I've had to cover 50 yards to get to a pigeon, only to find that when I get close, a few of them started running/half flying away. Albeit, I'll openly admit to making the mistake of shooting one pigeon close up on one occasion some time ago with a 12 bore.... I'm the first to admit my "bag" in the picture looks a tad meagre. But it was a good day out and I enjoyed it. The farmer was also pleased I shot the numbers I had. He also understood that I spent the best part of a day keeping pigeons off his freshly sown seed.

Lakeside 1000. I understand your point. When I've picked up dead birds, and "Hooked them up" as decoys, the necks do feel weak. As you say, a little more "umph", and maybe some practice on dead birds would help.

Cheers.

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Just a word of caution, young birds have very soft tissue and muscle, if you spin too hard the head will come right off in your hand, so easy does it, just one or two quick flicks to rotate the body, if you feel the neck as you spin you can stop as soon as you feel it separate, just don't look them in the eye when you pick them up, we all hate to see suffering, so quick and clean, no fuss no mess, best of luck and congrats on a decent bag, as you get more experienced you get far less runners, so the need to finish them reduces, a word of advice if I may, pick your shots carefully, you dont need to fire at every bird in the sky, take your time, take the shots in range where you can see full front or side of the birds, shooting at birds going away invariably results in broken wings and legs but little else, less noise, less misses and less crippled birds. :yes::yes:

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