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EHK-312

Starting Out Decoying Pigeons

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Help Please !

I`m still relatively new to the shooting world and have been lucky enough to enjoy some driven & walked up days however I`m very keen to get involved with decoying Pigeons.

I`ve had a couple of amateur days in the hide where we haven`t surpassed double figures (due to lack of pigeons decoying and also poor shooting) however this hasn`t dampened the spirits. I`ve got the decoys, poles, net and most importantly permission however I`m looking for a bit of general knowledge/advice as to how I can improve my chances to have a more productive day in the field.

Any advice is appreciated so please feel free, fire away.

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Have a search throughout this fine Forum. Read what you find and contribute to some of the threads.

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Me and a friend decided last Saturday was going to be our first attempt this year in the hide and we had some seriously strong winds in the South East of the country so we thought all the better for it. We had finally unloaded the car and set everything up by 10:30ish, the hide was set up backed up in to a tree line over looking a relatively freshly drilled field and so the birds would be landing in to the wind just in front of us, the decoys in an roughly placed L shape to offer some sort of a landing spot in the pattern for the pigeons.

And we were off, the day started well with a Pigeon committing beautifully and a fair shot be taken to have our first bird in the bag. Two more then came in which unfortunately were not taken due to a safety catch not being flicked up for the first and a miss on the second bird. Based on this we thought we`d be in for a good day however the birds then turned out to be very few and far between and although we managed to add another pigeon for a snack that evening we were restricted to watching the birds we did see have a good look and then decide it wasn`t for them before getting in to range or taking shots at bird just on the edge of our range who weren`t fully committed.

Never the less it was an enjoyable day in the field albeit a tough one, however it left me and my friend who are both relatively new to shooting a little bemused as to why the birds just didn`t want to seem to commit fully to the pattern after early success. I understand that there are a number of reasons why this could be however if anyone could shed some light on why they think this might be and what we could possibly do to enhance our chances next time out (this Sunday).

Edited by EHK-312

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Well done for getting out and having a go,  this time of the year is always a bit difficult, unless you are on a regular feeding spot like a bald patch in the rape, or newly seeded ground, 

There is so much for them to go after, tree buds, emerging crops, fresh rape growth and so on, whats more they are now thinking about mating and are looking for a mate so what I call 'fly past's' are very common, 

Once the larger flocks have broken up they will be easier to decoy, flying around in small bunches they are always on the lookout for other groups, but its no done deal.

Best times for larger numbers are winter rape before it has been sprayed, any new drilling's especially where seed is spilt on top, any pea and bean fields either at drilling, young shoots emerging or immediately after harvest, and for me the absolute best is stubble field shooting, rape, barley and wheat will draw good numbers as soon as the combines are off and its the warmest time of the year, so long sessions are a pleasure.

Getting out in the hide is ideal for watching the birds , getting to know their ways, and practising decoy patterns, testing different shapes and trying out equipment like floaters, flappers,magnets, lofters etc.but keep it simple and real, when birds are feeding hard they will come in to just a few dead birds on cradles.

I am shooting a new drilling area on one of my perms at the moment with just 3 lofters in a sitty tree, and 12 dead birds on cradles which I scatter over a very large area, no pattern, just heads into wind , birds are coming straight in and landing between decoys anywhere from 20 yards out to 50 yards but with a decent cartridge through a 1/2 choke they are all good targets. average bag for 3 or 4 hours is only 25 or so but it is good sport and better than sitting at home. best of luck, 😁

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