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martinj

High pigeons on a mission

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I don't suppose there is a solution to my problem but it's worth asking if anyone has any ideas.

Saturday before last, there were pigeons on the oilseed rape and smashed maize where I shoot, a nice little flight line provided 33 pigeons over decoys, in a couple of hours in the afternoon. I turned up on the following Saturday, just gone, and it was a different story, the conditions had changed (not unexpectedly.) There were still birds around but they were 100 to 200 metres high, heading due south in large groups, from 20's to 250-ish. These birds were not impressed by my 25 artificial decoys plus pigeon magnet with dead birds, I got no takers at all. Occasionally a couple of birds in a group would set their wings as if to come in but they couldn't convince the rest of the group and they all flew on, time after time. I moved the decoys around and the magnet, to no avail.

This is the only place I have to shoot so I couldn't have moved, although I'd have liked to have followed the flight line to see where they were going.

Has anyone had any success under these conditions? any ideas?

I was thinking that 200 decoys might have been the answer (but impractical)

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I think even a very large decoy pattern would have only resulted in the odd bird peeling off for a look. In the situation you describe pigeons often know where they are going and nothing will convince them otherwise. Just wait for the foolish ones or those that are a bit lower and enjoy those.

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probably migrating south,i saw 1000,s pass over my house at around 09 30 on sat16th, im in st helens a friend was shooting a couple of miles away he watched tthem pass too.

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There was only one that was low enough and foolish enough :unhappy:

Hopefully not migrating too far south, otherwise the inhabitants of Cherbourg would be savouring our tasty woodies

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Local high birds are usually travelling to a feeding field and loose height as they approach it. Migrating birds are usually in larger flocks and stay high all the way. You can follow local flightlines to find pigeons and then ask permission.

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1 hour ago, martinj said:

I don't suppose there is a solution to my problem but it's worth asking if anyone has any ideas.

Saturday before last, there were pigeons on the oilseed rape and smashed maize where I shoot, a nice little flight line provided 33 pigeons over decoys, in a couple of hours in the afternoon. I turned up on the following Saturday, just gone, and it was a different story, the conditions had changed (not unexpectedly.) There were still birds around but they were 100 to 200 metres high, heading due south in large groups, from 20's to 250-ish. These birds were not impressed by my 25 artificial decoys plus pigeon magnet with dead birds, I got no takers at all. Occasionally a couple of birds in a group would set their wings as if to come in but they couldn't convince the rest of the group and they all flew on, time after time. I moved the decoys around and the magnet, to no avail.

This is the only place I have to shoot so I couldn't have moved, although I'd have liked to have followed the flight line to see where they were going.

Has anyone had any success under these conditions? any ideas?

I was thinking that 200 decoys might have been the answer (but impractical)

Jdog is the PW high flighting pigeon specialist!

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1 hour ago, pigeon controller said:

Local high birds are usually travelling to a feeding field and loose height as they approach it. Migrating birds are usually in larger flocks and stay high all the way. You can follow local flightlines to find pigeons and then ask permission.

I think this was the case (travelling to a feeding field.) I didn't have time to do a recce although I could follow them visually to the limits of my vision and think they were going down 2 or 3 miles away, this was just an afternoon session, I had to make the best of what was available locally.

I saw a huge flock of pigeons migrating north one beating day, they were about 50 metres high and the entire flock took literally 5 minutes to pass, there were so many we could hear the hissing of their wing beats.

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2 hours ago, pigeon controller said:

Local high birds are usually travelling to a feeding field and loose height as they approach it. Migrating birds are usually in larger flocks and stay high all the way. You can follow local flightlines to find pigeons and then ask permission.

Agreed.

2 hours ago, TIGHTCHOKE said:

Jdog is the PW high flighting pigeon specialist!

Thanks but patently not true.

21 minutes ago, martinj said:

I think this was the case (travelling to a feeding field.) I didn't have time to do a recce although I could follow them visually to the limits of my vision and think they were going down 2 or 3 miles away, this was just an afternoon session, I had to make the best of what was available locally.

I saw a huge flock of pigeons migrating north one beating day, they were about 50 metres high and the entire flock took literally 5 minutes to pass, there were so many we could hear the hissing of their wing beats.

Reports came in two years ago of 100,000 pigeons crossing the Bristol Channel to Somerset and Devon in one day.

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1 hour ago, JDog said:

Reports came in two years ago of 100,000 pigeons crossing the Bristol Channel to Somerset and Devon in one day.

I wouldn't doubt it, If someone had told me we had seen 50,000 on the day in question I would have believed it

Edited by martinj

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On 20/02/2019 at 12:38, pigeon controller said:

Local high birds are usually travelling to a feeding field and loose height as they approach it. Migrating birds are usually in larger flocks and stay high all the way. You can follow local flightlines to find pigeons and then ask permission.

Also agree.

you know through experience when pigeons have somewhere else in mind, and it doesn’t matter how many decoys or magnets you have out.

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I will be on the shoot again tomorrow, we have a vermin shoot in the morning and I can't get away until about 12:30. Again no time for reconnaissance on the day, just a quick afternoon session. I did a quick recce yesterday and the birds behaving similarly to last week except they are going down on neighbouring farms.

They are high up and in large groups, up to 200 or so. Our farm is the first they see as they come from non-cropped areas, they fly straight over our oilseed rape for a mile or so then drop into various OSR fields belonging to our neighbours. There was a pigeon shooter on one of the fields with a whirly and decoys so I couldn't tell where they would have gone if they had been undisturbed. We have about 90 acres of OSR but it's a drop in the ocean.

I can't shoot on the neighbours fields, shooting is jealously guarded by a pigeon guide and beaters on the surrounding shoots - so, we'll see what tomorrow brings. Historically I can sometimes shoot 30+ birds on days like these, the neighbours get the lions share because they are huge in comparison.

Edited by martinj

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You can only do what you can with what you have available within your permission , what is going on the places you cant shoot you cant really do much about .

Still if you can manage 30+ pigeons on your own ground then you are doing well , Good luck for tomorrow .

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hello, it has been  mentioned that sometimes the magnet whirlys  put off flighting pigeon coming to the decoys, this happen last year when i joined another PW member shooting over barley  stubble so we changed to 2 bouncers and that worked much better, worth a thought ??

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7 hours ago, oldypigeonpopper said:

hello, it has been  mentioned that sometimes the magnet whirlys  put off flighting pigeon coming to the decoys, this happen last year when i joined another PW member shooting over barley  stubble so we changed to 2 bouncers and that worked much better, worth a thought ??

You will only know on the day you try it , yesterday it might have worked , today it might have been a waste of time and tomorrow is another day .

In other words no one really know for sure what will work on the day you go and half the fun is trying what you think you know and the other half is trying what other people think they know :lol:

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1 hour ago, marsh man said:

You will only know on the day you try it , yesterday it might have worked , today it might have been a waste of time and tomorrow is another day .

In other words no one really know for sure what will work on the day you go and half the fun is trying what you think you know and the other half is trying what other people think they know 

hello marsh man, i know what you mean, last time i did some decoying on my friends farm over laid barley after they said was many about, so i went over and put out 10 shells/ 6 full body and 2 floaters right where they said were 100s, a few were there and moved to some oak trees, all looked good in the warm afternoon breeze, sat in the motor watching a while having a cuppa, got in the hide and waited, waited, a loner came but missed then noticed the flight line to the adjacent farm, oh happy days 

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This afternoon I stood under a high flight line. Goodness knows where the pigeons were going but some must have been 200m high. The ‘lower’ ones were 40 to 50m high and I shot ten of those out of a cloudless sky.

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13 minutes ago, JDog said:

This afternoon I stood under a high flight line. Goodness knows where the pigeons were going but some must have been 200m high. The ‘lower’ ones were 40 to 50m high and I shot ten of those out of a cloudless sky.

Your flight lines are more predictional than your recent drilling's , watching them coming down from 50 m high would have gave you time for a cuppa while waiting for them to hit the deck , today the agricultural landscape was changing before your eyes with tractors and sprays out in force and while the amount of drilling is going on I recon you will see less and less on the dreaded rape , :yahoo:

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For the last 3 weeks I have had limited sport under a line between two large areas of rape, but something changed last weekend, the 1000 or so birds virtually disappeared , I drove around the rape fields ( not on my permission but accessible by road ) but not a bird in sight, On Thursday I drove out to another farm where pigeons have been hitting the two large fields of rape but the same story, no birds.

I do have one theory about the rape, I noticed that most of the plants have changed colour from bright green to a purple , especially the older leaves, most of the damage has been done to the more tender shoots in the centre of the plants, we have had no frost around here to break down the fibre in the leaves so they are as tough as leather, perhaps the birds cannot digest these leaves so are looking for something softer like the barley.

If that is the case then only a severe frost or some spring growth on the plants will bring them back to the rape, once it has been sprayed, normally mid march it will really get going but for now it doesn't look too good.

The only ones I saw were on young barley , around 300 or so just moving between the barley and a small wood. perhaps all my birds have gone on their holidays to Devon and Cornwall with the rest, I guess we will just have to wait for them to return, they must start mating soon especially with this warm weather, so they should be splitting up to start nesting.

Perhaps we will see a few more then, just got to keep at it, watch and wait.😁

Edited by lakeside1000

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Not done any roost shooting this year so have no idea what sort of numbers are coming into the woods, but for those that have and are still roost shooting they will have some idea of bird numbers in your area, is anyone still seeing big flocks coming to roost? The biggish flocks I was seeing around rape fields have all disappeared this last week.

not sure if the disappearance of large flocks this week is pure coincidence or not, but this week or so there have been tractors/sprayers on nearly all of the rape fields.

Edited by old'un

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decoyed a grass field last Wednesday for 11 , 11/30 till 2/30 after a recci , that's  the  best I could find worth  a go  at didn't see many big bunches , these were in 3/4/and fives just flitting about here and there, still, got me out of the house.

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6 hours ago, old'un said:

Not done any roost shooting this year so have no idea what sort of numbers are coming into the woods, but for those that have and are still roost shooting they will have some idea of bird numbers in your area, is anyone still seeing big flocks coming to roost? The biggish flocks I was seeing around rape fields have all disappeared this last week.

not sure if the disappearance of large flocks this week is pure coincidence or not, but this week or so there have been tractors/sprayers on nearly all of the rape fields.

Today was our last Saturday in the woods and the previous three weeks we have saw good numbers , today there was a lot less shooting going on and I would imagine a lot of the woods didn't have a gun in , but the numbers seen the last three weeks look promising for the weeks ahead .

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why the last day in the woods today, i will be shooting in the woods for another 5 to 6 weeks.

Edited by mossy835

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46 minutes ago, mossy835 said:

why the last day in the woods today, i will be shooting in the woods for another 5 to 6 weeks.

We find four weeks is enough now that the days are getting longer , not only that the game keeper want the woods to settle back down for the game birds prior to nesting .

Also we had 33 permits taken out and not all the woods were covered , today I would have thought about 20 turned out and in the oncoming weeks there would be less and less each week .

The numbers shot in our woods from now on would be very low numbers and I dare say I could shoot more in a day decoying and causing less disturbance than people shooting in the woods .

The people who are let in the woods is a thank you for the help they have provided in various ways throughout the year and not purely to reduce pigeon and vermin numbers . 

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