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    Yes, I just raise my hat at them. There are still some die hard woodcock shooters around here who must shoot them. I do my best to change their ways!

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    1 hour ago, CaptC said:

    Yes, I just raise my hat at them. There are still some die hard woodcock shooters around here who must shoot them. I do my best to change their ways!

    Do you have poor numbers of woodcock in your area as here in North Wales we have good numbers of woodcock.  

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    3 minutes ago, E.w. said:

    Do you have poor numbers of woodcock in your area as here in North Wales we have good numbers of woodcock.  

    On our shoot we get perhaps half a dozen rises as the woodland is not woodcock habitat. Steep wooded valleys . Further west where the ground is less hilly there are good numbers of woodcock. Down on the Lizard peninsula woodcock are shot in great numbers on woodcock only shoots. 

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    11 hours ago, CaptC said:

    On our shoot we get perhaps half a dozen rises as the woodland is not woodcock habitat. Steep wooded valleys . Further west where the ground is less hilly there are good numbers of woodcock. Down on the Lizard peninsula woodcock are shot in great numbers on woodcock only shoots. 

    There are regular woodcock shoots here run on a commercial basis with a lot of foreign shooter coming over, that’s  quite disagreeable with me considering the woodcock are a migratory bird, vasts amount of money change hands for the privilege of shooting driven woodcock with no limitations on bags, it’s difficult to know how to address this problem with the larger shoots as this type of shooting is a big part of there income.

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    We don't shoot woodcock on our pheasant shoot, but really a woodcock pushed over a line of guns across open ground rarely makes a decent bird any way. However I would quite happily shoot a few walked up if the habitat, weather and numbers allowed

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    I agree with you kennett a walked up woodcock day is my favourite type of shooting. If it was a driven day and one came over me I'd raise my hat at it and leave it go. However on a rough shoot day , I would be happy to take 2. Then stop. Must say on land I've shot over for 25 years, near where I grew up we used to see around 20-25 woodcock per shoot ( we shot it once a year between Christmas and New Year) one year we saw 42, last year we saw 7 and the year before 9. I Don't know whether we will shoot woodcock there this year? However snipe numbers are good (again we only take a brace each) pigeon, rabbit, and pheasant turn up plus corvids, so we usually get off a few shots.

    Cheers

    Aled  

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    Snipe are getting a rarity here - On one shoot that I have been picking up for nigh 25 years snipe would rise from the cauliflower. A change in farming practice/policy now means that nearly all the fields are given over to maize ergo no snipe. There were also large flocks of golden plover - again gone. A lapwing hasn't been seen for a long time either.

    Hopefully the Shoot Captain will ask the Guns to raise their hats to any woodcock on Saturday and leave this beautiful reclusive bird fly on untouched!

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    2 hours ago, kennett said:

    We don't shoot woodcock on our pheasant shoot, but really a woodcock pushed over a line of guns across open ground rarely makes a decent bird any way. However I would quite happily shoot a few walked up if the habitat, weather and numbers allowed

    I totally agree, I have invites to driven woodcock days but refuse on the grounds that there not sporting to me, I’ve always enjoyed walked up woodcock shooting, saying that a real hunter prefers walked up shooting.

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    48 minutes ago, CaptC said:

    Snipe are getting a rarity here - On one shoot that I have been picking up for nigh 25 years snipe would rise from the cauliflower. A change in farming practice/policy now means that nearly all the fields are given over to maize ergo no snipe. There were also large flocks of golden plover - again gone. A lapwing hasn't been seen for a long time either.

    Hopefully the Shoot Captain will ask the Guns to raise their hats to any woodcock on Saturday and leave this beautiful reclusive bird fly on untouched!

    We still see plenty of snipe but as you say a lot of our Shoot is still cauliflowers. In the fields across the lane from my house there is a good flock of Lapwings and they are here ever year. We also see a good few Woodcock every shoot. I Shoot one a season and this I did on Saturday and it was delicious, but that is it for me. As Shoot captain I will ask the guns next week to think if they really need to shoot at them, but ultimately it will be their choice but only 1 per gun.

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    18 minutes ago, rimfire4969 said:

    We still see plenty of snipe but as you say a lot of our Shoot is still cauliflowers. In the fields across the lane from my house there is a good flock of Lapwings and they are here ever year. We also see a good few Woodcock every shoot. I Shoot one a season and this I did on Saturday and it was delicious, but that is it for me. As Shoot captain I will ask the guns next week to think if they really need to shoot at them, but ultimately it will be their choice but only 1 per gun.

    +1

    We don't see that many woodcock but numbers significantly increase after dec1

    On our last shoot 6 seen 1 shot (first of season)

     Personally I limit myself to one a year and our guns are told it's down to the individual if they shoot or not. I have a sneaking admiration for these birds and the journey they make, so am in no hurry to shoot them. In the hand they are beautifully subtle and on the plate....well that's another matter😋

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    Had the first walk round for them on Monday and rose 6 which for the wee bit is a decent number and Mac managed one.

    Good snipe numbers the now although they are limited to where the can go the now with the snow so they are crammed in.

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    Just returned from a "woodcock watch" over the open valley here. Clear skies in every way. A few years ago it would be unusual not to see half a dozen. Farmers are spreading less slurry and there are more sheep - something that might put the woodcock off?

    Commercial shooting of woodcock should be banned - along with SW "friends and family" shoots that start at dawn and end at dusk with a hoped for bag of 100 plus. I must be getting old!

    I did try eating one once - that's when I gave up shooting them!

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    Last season had an invite with Mac to have a dedicated walk round for Woodcock and it was an eye opener to see such numbers compared to what we have on our small bits.

    Ended up with 12 in the bag and an outstanding few hours with some great eating.

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    I'm with kennet and Aled, walking the sides of Welsh Hills with a couple of viszlas took some beating (no pun intended:lol:) we also used to visit northern Scotland once a year and the same again, working pointers. Great sport.   I am not against shooting woodcock....lets face it, geese and some ducks migrate ... our shoot rule is the same as for hares. If you want it to eat then fine.

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    On 12/12/2017 at 21:00, CaptC said:

    Yes, I just raise my hat at them. There are still some die hard woodcock shooters around here who must shoot them. I do my best to change their ways!

    Yep. It's just nice to see them. Apart from that, where they are seen is such that if you raised the gun there's a distinct probability that you're more than likely going to end up with some funny shaped barrels.

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    We started the season not shooting them until we saw just how many there were. 

    We are shooting them now and one of my smoothest shots this season was on an unusually high and curving Woodcock. 

    Ive never eaten it as it doesn’t appeal to me but one of the guns takes them for his Dad ( an ex member ) whose wife turns them into pate for him. 

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    To date this season I have seen very few woodcock and to date I have shot as far apart as Norfolk, North Lincs, Northants and the Midlands. So I think reports of a poor breeding season were correct..  I normally would harvest woodcock but this season so far have held back and let them by.  Pity because I and my wife enjoy roast woodcock and will ask for a brace rather than pheasant if they are available.  We worry about woodcock but should also berate those guns who shun taking at least a brace of pheasants or partridge home, which these days is becoming only to common. Guns happy to use them as targets but not put them on the plate. I came home on Saturday with five brace of pheasants as a result.

    We often serve pheasant breast done in orange juice and strong cider to friends and there is never any left over.

    Edited by Walker570

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    I have just returned from two days shooting on the edge of the Lammermuirs and there were woodcock everywhere. Once I had shot my self imposed two brace limit I packed in shooting at them.

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    We saw 11 on our yearly rough shoot. Not as many as we have seen I the past, but more than we've seen in recent years. Bagged 2 in total. The ground where we usually see them was very very wet, and we wonder if that kept them away. My pal who shoots in another corner of Wales, he stated there were a fair few about in his neck of the woods.

    Cheers

    Aled

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    A Keeper friend of mine said that in his experience in his area woodcock preferred to sit on the 600ft line around the hills which was our experience when we shot the moors north of Abergwesyn, above Llangatock and then Aberedew and the Black Mountains back in the 80s. Happy times.

    Pleased to hear there are some about. Awesome bird.  

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    was beating on a shoot in Cheshire on sat and one large wood with a stream through the middle which had not been shot as a drive all season until sat produced in excess of twenty woodcock. I think only one was shot but not sure of the reason why. Anyway it was good to see so.many of them in a relatively small area.

    I have only ever shot at one, I hit it, my cocker picked it, my wife cooked it...job done for me 👍 

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    I used to regularly see them whilst I was driving home from work at dusk, saw one for the first time this winter tonight.

    Cheers

    Aled

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    I decline shooting them as I they are migratory and in few numbers.

    Today, I took a gun on a driven day and let two go by, only to be shot by neighbours-to be honest they weren't the most sporting of birds but they were shot.

    Come the end of the day,the woodcocks lay unclaimed on the grass amongst the bag-the shooters declined to take them home-personally if you're going to bag a bird outside of the usual game-do it some justice and take it home.

    mind you, same guns shot some driven mallard that flew past me as low birds only to get shot.

    Sadly dismayed with the 'see and must shoot to get moneys worth' attitude.

     

    f.

     

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