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Old Boggy

Yet another day or two on the maize

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    I am writing this to give a bit of hope and encouragement to Getthegat to highlight that all is not lost if he cannot get out immediately to his field of maize. My particular field was cut some weeks ago and has been disced and drilled with wheat, but is still drawing pigeons to the maize   remaining on the surface. This field has now been the subject of approximately 7 or 8 visits between my working pal at weekends and Stourboy and myself midweek and is still producing reasonable bags. The latest being by my working pal on Saturday with 28 picked before rain stopped play. The total taken so far from the field and from the same permanent hide is in excess of 300 pigeons.

    Stourboy and myself ventured out last Tuesday afternoon for one of our short sessions, sharing our usual small 'dugout'  hide which was not big enough for both to shoot from so taking it in turn to shoot for about 15 minutes each. The wind was not ideal being slightly from the front and left, meaning that any birds would be coming from behind, making for snap shooting. The rotary and half a dozen flocked shell decoys were set well out and to our left.

    There were large flocks of ferals about which kept us on our toes as they swooped down to the decoys with sometimes a woodie among their numbers. However, by the time one was identified, it was normally out of range. Such are our slowing  reactions. We avoid shooting ferals at all costs and concentrate purely on wood pigeons.

    Unusually, we both shot pretty well and in our short session lasting just 2 1/2 hours, we picked up 34 pigeons. These were taken to the gamedealer accordingly.

    We were out again yesterday on the same field and I had strict instructions from the wife to bring home some of the pigeons as our freezer was almost devoid of packs of frozen breasts. We try to eat pigeon at least once a week but I also give some to friends and family and obviously had overdone my generosity bit along with taking some to the gamedealer, so had depleted our stocks. 

    Our usual plan was adopted that I go out to our chosen permanent hedgerow hide and set up with rotary and a few flocked half shell decoys and Stourboy would plod along later laden with just gun, cartridges and a seat. Oh plus the ever faithful and retriever of runners his Labrador Decker. This may sound an unequal sharing of the load but he has got a few years on me and does more than his fair share on the way back. The rotary and decoys were arranged to account for a slight wind variation from last week and also started off with two silo socks on the rotary due to me forgetting to thaw out the breasted and frozen pigeons from the previous session.

    Things were slow to start as the birds were feeding later and later it seemed. We (or should I say I) was set up by 1pm and normally have a couple down by the time Stourboy arrives, but not yesterday. They didn't really start coming in until about 2pm. We took it in turns to shoot and had a series of good shots and poor misses between us. Stourboy was shooting with his 132 year old Samual.B.Allport side by side, one of a pair handed down from his Grandfather. Whilst we both missed our fair share, Stourboy did excel on some cracking shots which was good to watch and gave me as much satisfaction as shooting myself. Decker did some great retrieves on the runners. There were, as last week, large flocks of ferals constantly decoying and we did well not to shoot any by mistake. No point in shooting that cannot be eaten in my view.

    We had previously agreed to 'draw stumps' at 4.30 due to evening commitments but could easily have shot more as they continued to decoy even as we were out picking up. The final tally was a mere 23 pigeons. Not a great amount by some standards, but plenty for us and another good day out that cannot be taken away. Perhaps another day next week is still on the cards, even though the wheat is coming on apace, but still plenty of maize on the surface. We will venture out a bit later next time.

    So, Getthegat, please take heed that not all is lost on your field of maize and I wish you good luck and plenty of shooting.

    OB

    A footnote to add that the field that we shot over and the subject of this and previous posts is known locally by just a few older residents as `The Landing Strip` as it was used during WW2 by Spitfire pilots to practice their landing and take-off skills from the nearby Manston airdrome. Just a bit of forgotten history.

     

    Edited by Old Boggy

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    Another great report, makes great reading. interesting note about the landing strip.

    still not finding any birds over my way.  

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    13 hours ago, Wooder said:

    Another great report, makes great reading. interesting note about the landing strip.

    still not finding any birds over my way.  

    We did try sending them over your way but the wind's been in the wrong direction :no:

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    Another good afternoon out,well reported .Some fields just seem to keep attracting birds no matter what,don`t they .

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    3 hours ago, dead eye alan said:

        Thy taste exactly the same just a little smaller. 

    And also part of the job of pest control? If i left the ferals my farmers would get another shooter 🙂 

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    1 hour ago, oowee said:

    And also part of the job of pest control? If i left the ferals my farmers would get another shooter 🙂 

    If requested to shoot ferals, I would and have done in the past, but very rarely see them on rape in the winter and drilling in the autumn/spring. They seem only to go onto stubbles, where it`s debatable that they are doing any damage. On the occasions where I`ve been asked by my farmer friends to shoot them has been on wheat stubble undersown with rape and the farmers think that they are eating the young rape, whereas all the ones I shot had wheat in their crops and not a trace of rape. Interesting to hear others views, as I stand to be corrected.

    I would also be interested to hear how many on here actually eat them.

    OB

    Edited by Old Boggy

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