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SuperGoose75

Has Wildfowling become too easy?

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    Hi all,Been off the forums for awhile now for various reasons,Namely my PC crashing and my wifes had been out on lone to her nephew and I find typing on a phone pretty tedious,although I write this from a phone but herself has got her PC back last night. 

    Anyhow I've been hanging about on FB this past number of months as it's more phone friendly with uploading pictures ect..!

    I know my question seems to somewhat  contradict my previous thread question regarding was Wildfowling  (Healthy or not?)

    I'm now asking people's opinion if they think that modern day Wildfowling  has become too easy and less arduous than it once was? 

    All opinions welcome and appreciated. 

     

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    How the birds are not all of a sudden stupid and land on your barrels.  I'm not sure what you mean by easy, you need to explain. if anything i believe it has become harder with lots less land available you cant always get under them when or where you want to. Then we are using steel and although good still is not as good as lead is. The only things that have got better is chokes and the gear you wear, decoys are a bit lighter easier to carry and pack and more realistic whether that makes a difference in near dark is debatable.

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    I think it's as arduous as you make it ... and that's the point ... it's now a choice.

    If folks see a blizzard outside and roll over and go to sleep ... :no:

    If you see a forecast like that and decide to do the 1 hour walk to stand nuts deep in the tide ... then that feels more like it, although modern clothing will no doubt help.

    I guess the main thing that's changed is that in days gone by, folks didn't have that choice if they wanted to feed their family or make some cash.

    One thing that is different .. I don't see many folks cycling 15 miles to the marsh like some of my old relatives used to .. one actually got knocked off his bike by a bus on the way back from a flight.

    You also get the phenomena of folks hearing when the geese are in how also .. in the good old days that was established by hard work.

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    True wildfowling by which I mean out on the shore not shooting over decoys on stubble is no different. Clothing is better so easier to stay warm and dry. Catridges are more reliable due to plastic cases; no more swollen paper cases that got damp. Travel too and from the shore is easier with modern cars.

    What is harder is getting under geese where there are no idiots screwing up the flight by high shooting. After that nothing has changed. Wildfowl fly as they always have. Shot from muddy gutters where you have crouched for hours in wet and cold they are challenging and no easier to hit. Not sure steel shot is such a disadvantage in heavy loads with appropriately choked guns.

    After 40 years of this I don't find any of it easy let alone too easy.

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    Now we have various people who disagree with our right to pursue wildfowl, that was missing in the past.

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    I think the term wildfowling has gotten confused. People will include flighting ducks on a pond or shooting geese over stubble as wildfowling, which to me it isnt. 

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    1 hour ago, ClemFandango said:

    I think the term wildfowling has gotten confused. People will include flighting ducks on a pond or shooting geese over stubble as wildfowling, which to me it isnt. 

    No, that's just shooting wildfowl.

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    I think it’s just the same as it was 35 years ago but we’ve a better understanding now . Transport links ( roads ) are better guns are better ammo is better so it has got a wee bit easier 

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    I would say it is easier to get a foreshore Pink, just by virtue of their sheer numbers,  you still need a bit of luck but the odds are improved when there are 15,000  sat on the mud flats as opposed to 1000 (my local estuary in 20 years). Like wise many estuaries have good number of non migratory Greylags.

    As for ducks, not at all easier, but that is my own experince on my local foreshore.

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    11 hours ago, Smokersmith said:

     

     

     

     

    One thing that is different .. I don't see many folks cycling 15 miles to the marsh like some of my old relatives used to .. one actually got knocked off his bike by a bus on the way back from a flight.

     

    I never got knocked off my bike , but I did once get fined for coming back from flight one night with no lights on my push bike , my mum had to take a morning off from work , we had to get a bus to a county court ,and by the time we got there our case was over , the fine was £1.50p  ( 30/0s ) , my mum lost a mornings pay and the bus fare was nearly as much as the fine , and to cap it all , I never had a shot at flight , it was certainly a dear ole blank :no:

     

    2 hours ago, scolopax said:

    I would say it is easier to get a foreshore Pink, just by virtue of their sheer numbers,  you still need a bit of luck but the odds are improved when there are 15,000  sat on the mud flats as opposed to 1000 (my local estuary in 20 years). Like wise many estuaries have good number of non migratory Greylags.

    As for ducks, not at all easier, but that is my own experince on my local foreshore.

    I agree with the above , I personally think geese are easier to put one or two in the bag  , but like scolopax  I put that down to the high numbers coming down our way , the knowledge built up over a lifetime chasing fowl , living close to the shooting area and having the time to go at a minutes notice to be in the right place at the right time .

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    6 trips to the marsh last season meant a total of 600 miles by car, several miles walking through stinking mud all for 1 goose, no I don't believe it's easier. ?

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    Surely the biggest change over the past 50 - 80 years is the clothing.   I started with a wax cotton jacket that went stiff as a poker when it got cold and wet and froze absolutely rigid in anything below 32 F.  It was the state of the art and cost me a small fortune.   My grandfather was a farm labourer and his wet weather clothing was a potato sack worn like a pixie bonnet.   His cold wet weather clothing was two sacks.   He wore three if it snowed....

    My waders were rubber and two pairs of socks inside did not cope with the winter weather.   They often split and wet feet were part of the job.   Grandad only ever wore leather boots and they always leaked because they were so old.

    Nowadays one is spoilt for choice in all departments with hand warmers and foot warmers and GPS's and mobile phones and gizmos by the score.   And my semi-auto pogo-stick only weighs half of what I used to carry around the marsh.

    However, one still has to get up at silly o'clock.   That has not changed.

    But overall, yes it has got easier. 

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    Wildfowling and duck shooting here in Northern Ireland has become harder theres been to much water the birds are going everywere plus some places to many inexperienced guns taking to many high shots not letting the birds settle That photo was best evening we had on are local lough

    0FA98AB9-47C7-4CBA-8431-B1A969C5E620.jpeg

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    Wildfowling is as easy or as hard as the wildfowler wants to make it , but what has changed has been the wildfowler. When I was a teenager I often used to cycle 10 miles from my parent's house to Kings Lynn marsh for the morning flight, followed by a tide flight and then curled up in a bin liner to sleep in a sheltered spot on the seawall until the evening followed by a 10 mile ride back. And do this for a week at a time. Today as an OAP at least I have a car to drive down for a flight on my N Norfolk marsh. But how many of today's young fowlers would cycle 20 miles a day for a flight. Very few I suspect. Today's many young fowlers want their shooting handed to them on a plate, to be shown the best spots , how to get to them. In contrast, I learned most of my wildfowling alone, watching the birds and learning the marsh. But the sport of wildfowling hs a problem. Many of today's young wildfowlers want instant success and if they do not get it move to another shooting sport, perhaps pigeon shooting or leave shooting altogether. And without those youngsters, the future of the sport is under threat. We need the numbers to influence BASC and stand up against bird protectionists. 

     

    Of course, geese have always been an important part of wildfowling, but with the main quarry populations rapidly increasing they have lost much of the magic that used to surround them. In my teens, I might manage half a dozen pinks in a good season. Every shot at the great birds was remembered and successes treasured. Today too many shoot many times that in a single flight and regard geese as little more than a pest they have no respect for. As the older generation of fowlers pass on to the great marsh in the sky the morals of many of today's fowlers are, to say the least questionable. Many aspects of the sport have become better, better decoys, reliable ammunition, good guns, quality clothing the old timers could only dream of. Access to fowling grounds via a club is a little harder in England and Wales, but a fowlers mobility has improved greatly. However, with those improvements have come with a cost. My shooting rent and club fees is well over £500 a season, something I could not have afforded as a youngster when it cost me £7.00 to join my first club. I can remember knocking on the door of Kings Lynn club sectary one morning, asking to join, paying the fee and I was in. As simple as that. No waiting lists, interviews, probations or tests. Its a lot harder for youngsters today, but perhaps that's not a bad thing with a reduced quarry list and health and safety to bear in mind.

     

    But on the bright side 50 years ago many fowlers doubted the sport would still exist today, but at least in my area most of the local clubs have bulging memberships and some waiting lists and for the future, the sport looks like continuing for some time yet.

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    As Grandalf stated ,clothing have seen major changes, from army surplus stores to the modern breathable clothing we can use now , as for water boots , the top of the notch were Bullseye , hard wearing but cold , you had to buy a size bigger to allow for an extra pair of socks , now I wear neoprene boots and I wonder how I ever managed without them as cold feet are now a thing of the past.

    Quarry species have also seen big changes , shooting waders was like your apprenticeship to a fully fledged wildfowler , you learnt about the different species ,  used the tides to your advantage , concealment , using decoys or silhouettes and shot them on the estuary during the warm and mild days in September .

    Although a lot of fun at the time and something I am glad I done , now I would no longer wish or want to shoot any more waders , Curlew especially ,as nowadays I would prefer watching them .

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    I don't think it's too easy now. Yes we have better clothing but other things have changed. 

    Theres less understanding and tolerance towards people who shoot nowadays so you probably need to be more considerate maybe even discrete than in the past. 

    Locally there are now , no old experienced fowlers to pass on local knowledge so everything I learn is through trial and error .

    It's always been a challenge , against wild birds , the wind and tides. But that is the attraction and probably why only a few people are wildfowlers compared to the number pheasant shooters. 

    Dont know if it's arduous or maybe it's as arduous as you want it to be ? 

    It's still accessible but you need to work at and be patient and success isn't guaranteed and probably the reason that less people now are wildfowlers than in the past ?

     

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    SuperGoose, you didn't elaborate!

    Is wildfowling easier than in the past?  I don't know. I still end up out of breath at times, having to wade through deep mud or thick grass, and perhaps navigating the correct path to avoid deep and unpassable creeks. Laden with gear (and hopefully a few dead birds) makes this more challenging.

    I suppose I am relatively successful, but I do live in an area that has an abundance of 'fowl at times. Some say that you get out of your sport what you put in, and I do put in the time and effort. I did 51 foreshore flights in the season just gone. I know some would be wildfowlers aren't keen to put in the leg work required to gain success, and would prefer it handed to them on a plate, and usually rely on those in the know to tell them where to find the ducks/geese. I find learning the marshes and ways of the birds all part of the fun! Still so much to learn.

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    13 hours ago, motty said:

    SuperGoose, you didn't elaborate!

    Is wildfowling easier than in the past?  I don't know. I still end up out of breath at times, having to wade through deep mud or thick grass, and perhaps navigating the correct path to avoid deep and unpassable creeks. Laden with gear (and hopefully a few dead birds) makes this more challenging.

    I suppose I am relatively successful, but I do live in an area that has an abundance of 'fowl at times. Some say that you get out of your sport what you put in, and I do put in the time and effort. I did 51 foreshore flights in the season just gone. I know some would be wildfowlers aren't keen to put in the leg work required to gain success, and would prefer it handed to them on a plate, and usually rely on those in the know to tell them where to find the ducks/geese. I find learning the marshes and ways of the birds all part of the fun! Still so much to learn.

    About time you cut down on the pies then! 

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    On ‎17‎/‎05‎/‎2018 at 00:54, SuperGoose75 said:

    Excellent replies and most are in tune with my way of thinking. I will elaborate later as to why I asked the question as its late at present.:good:

    Well I'm still confused as why it's easier, I guess if you mean shooting fed ponds, lakes and loughs then maybe yes. The mud hasn't become anymore stable on the marsh in these modern times....

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    A couple of things that i think have Wildfowling a bit easier are being able to check out and plan trips using google earth i can look at where i might park my car and then use google earth to work out my route to the spot on the shore and the distances involved to walk there, you can also check out tidal pools at differing tide hights and see what might be worth trying out.

    Also tidal predictions can be checked up on the internet and outings can be planned to certain areas on tide levels that suit them. I have booked the day off work on opening day because the tide suits a certain stretch of foreshore on that day.

    And for the doom and gloom merchants i dont take tidal predictions as gospel i use them as a guide and dont  wade out to dodgy areas or take chances

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    On ‎16‎/‎05‎/‎2018 at 07:33, Dave at kelton said:

    True wildfowling by which I mean out on the shore not shooting over decoys on stubble is no different. Clothing is better so easier to stay warm and dry. Catridges are more reliable due to plastic cases; no more swollen paper cases that got damp. Travel too and from the shore is easier with modern cars.

    What is harder is getting under geese where there are no idiots screwing up the flight by high shooting. After that nothing has changed. Wildfowl fly as they always have. Shot from muddy gutters where you have crouched for hours in wet and cold they are challenging and no easier to hit. Not sure steel shot is such a disadvantage in heavy loads with appropriately choked guns.

    After 40 years of this I don't find any of it easy let alone too easy.

    Absolute  spot on reply !!

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