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Paul123

Not much around

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Hi all  been watching my permission for quite awhile now over in the Oxfordshire area  haven’t seen many pigeons   But today as it’s a nice day I thought I’d take a walk with the dog   Walked in the woods shot two Woodies  had a look on the rape fields  One or two pigeons   And had a look on the cover crops  about the same  Spring drilling hasn’t started in my area yet   So I’m hoping the pigeons will get on that  as I am itching to get out shooting   Is anyone else struggling with the  pigeon situation or is it just me 🤯😱

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 Not a lot about in my neck of the woods either (mid Norfolk). Thought there would be some good sport on the flailed maize strips but very little activity when I have had time and my scouts tell me the supply of birds has dried up all around. Oddly enough, the only places I've seen any real numbers seems to be on rough grassy areas and field margins. Walking the dog early yesterday morning, I put 30 or 40 up off on the scoots of a big ploughed field. Closer inspection yielded no real explanation for them being there and not on nearby osr/drillings. Very odd. 

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5 minutes ago, adzyvilla said:

 Not a lot about in my neck of the woods either (mid Norfolk). Thought there would be some good sport on the flailed maize strips but very little activity when I have had time and my scouts tell me the supply of birds has dried up all around. Oddly enough, the only places I've seen any real numbers seems to be on rough grassy areas and field margins. Walking the dog early yesterday morning, I put 30 or 40 up off on the scoots of a big ploughed field. Closer inspection yielded no real explanation for them being there and not on nearby osr/drillings. Very odd. 

Could well be odd bits of clover on the grass headlands or seeds from the different over Winter weeds ?

We are now seeing more and more pigeons on the grass over the parkland where the Sheep have been taken off .

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6 minutes ago, adzyvilla said:

That was my best guess too, those pigeons are obviously seeing something I'm not! 

They may well have just been resting up.

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I travel extensively at the moment and have seen lots on patchy rape and few on drillings. Some on clover and a fair number on ploughed/cultivated stubble fields. 

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Had a wander over the rape fields today , few coming in over a small copse and straight over the field , stood under the trees to ambush them for an hour and bagged a dozen ,that’s the most I’ve had in a while , might trydecoying just in the field tomorrow, no cover and rapes knee high , set hide up and try and bring them in on the tram lines? Not very confident but will have a go 

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13 minutes ago, spurs 14 said:

Had a wander over the rape fields today , few coming in over a small copse and straight over the field , stood under the trees to ambush them for an hour and bagged a dozen ,that’s the most I’ve had in a while , might trydecoying just in the field tomorrow, no cover and rapes knee high , set hide up and try and bring them in on the tram lines? Not very confident but will have a go 

It don't matter how high the crop is if you are going to decoy the field your decoys need to show above the crop or at least level with the top of the plants , you can do this by putting your decoys on the top of a garden bambo cane , and a couple of extended floaters with dead pigeons , if the crop is not to tall you can extend the arms on your magnet , also if there are any low or bare bits in the middle of the field you can try setting up your hide against the tall plants in the tram lines where you wont be doing to much damage to the crop ............ GOOD LUCK

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14 hours ago, adzyvilla said:

 Not a lot about in my neck of the woods either (mid Norfolk). Thought there would be some good sport on the flailed maize strips but very little activity when I have had time and my scouts tell me the supply of birds has dried up all around. Oddly enough, the only places I've seen any real numbers seems to be on rough grassy areas and field margins. Walking the dog early yesterday morning, I put 30 or 40 up off on the scoots of a big ploughed field. Closer inspection yielded no real explanation for them being there and not on nearby osr/drillings. Very odd. 

Like us, the pigeons are looking for new drillings. Round here, they are still a bit flocked up but are acting like lemmings. I saw 100's of birds flooding down onto a nearby field and investigated. When I got there, it was a field that was well ploughed after the harvest and had no seed on it. Bird were flooding down on the "flock-string"  principal (ie just follow the birds in front) until it was blue with them  , when they got there they were not feeding but walking around in a puzzled way, as if to say "what's all the fuss about". Zero birds have returned in the next 2 weeks. They are also flooding onto cultivated, but not drilled fields for just a few minutes, never to return when they find they are too early.

I am almost tempted to try and decoy them onto such a field, but it would be a 1-shot wonder as you then kill the flock-string action.

Some are still on rape, very skittish but I'll give it a try this afternoon.

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Posted (edited)

Nothing doing here in North East Hampshire, the last I saw was 2-300 pigeons on a neighbours drilling two weeks ago.

A mate and I set up on ploughed maize strips surrounded by oilseed rape on Saturday, we shared 40+ decoys and a whirly hoping to entice in any passing birds, there are always a few crossing over. There was next to nothing in the way of passing birds and those that did cross over were not in the least bit interested in our offerings.It was not a complete blank, I shot one pigeon and a rat, my mate shot a rat too, it was unusual to see them in the middle of the day.

This pigeon behaviour happened around the same time last year, we assume they are on tree buds, I was watching about 10 birds feeding on an ash tree that I could see from my garden last week.

We have about 30 acres of sparsely planted Oak trees on the shoot and it's worth sitting under them just as the buds burst. In previous years it has provided about six pigeons in an afternoon for maybe a box of cartridges, not that I ever count my empties, it's about fun not numbers, the point is that it's not as easy as decoying. These Oak trees provide about two or three Saturday afternoons worth of shooting which shortens the gap between now and the first ripening cereal crops. Typically I would arrive about 1:00pm after doing some work on the shoot, I sit where I have previously found a flight-line which seems to work from one season to the next, I'll bang away all afternoon, the numbers of birds seem to build up as the afternoon progresses.

Edited by martinj

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All on clover down this way, but still in large flocks, walked about 500 off a field last Sunday set up and sat there all afternoon for 12. Tried again this weekend same scenario for 7, but its all about enjoying yourself and getting out !

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Odd sort of afternoon, set up twelve decoys one floater and a magnet , some pigeons came over decoyed into the pattern yet others same flight path just ignored It and flew on ? Had couple hours out and come away with eighteen, most I’ve had for a while , least there was a few about hopefully things will start to pick up 

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Posted (edited)

My boy found a few today. He had a call from the farmer yesterday saying a field had been rolled after drilling. The boy being keen went straight out for look, nothing. He looked again early evening, nothing. This morning he arrived at the field around 8am hoping to see a few flitting about, the field was completely devoid of pigeons. Now we have all been there, do you stay or look somewhere else. He decided to go back later. He arrived back at the field around 10am, the situation hadnt changed much but there did seem one or two having a reccy. He decided as it was a nice sunny day he would give it a go. Well he made the right choice as more birds were having a look and soon joining his decoys. He did have a major problem, he hasnt shot for almost a year, and his words were, I was shooting like a complete idiot. He told me it was almost noon before he got back into the swing of things. All this time pigeons were coming to the decoys as we a like them to. Well as his shooting returned to normal the decoy pattern grew which pulled in more and more birds. It sounds like the afternoon got pretty hectic as he had already set his limit when he had shot a certain number. At 4 oclock he reached his target of 150 birds. A good day I would say and well worth returning to the field. He thinks he may have seen Muncher drop by for a look. Well its ok shooting a good size bag, its something else to move them on, he rang two of the game dealers he normally uses and they didnt want them. Lets hope if the pigeon market gets going again we can all get together and set the prices and sort these dealers out. Anyway after a few phone calls, with the exception of some breasted ones a very happy ferret man had his freezer filled FOC.

Capture stu today.PNG

Edited by la bala

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Yes i did pop by to check the field out, looked like he had about 70 ish down when I looked.Well done to him .

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29 minutes ago, la bala said:

My boy found a few today. He had a call from the farmer yesterday saying a field had been rolled after drilling. The boy being keen went straight out for look, nothing. He looked again early evening, nothing. This morning he arrived at the field around 8am hoping to see a few flitting about, the field was completely devoid of pigeons. Now we have all been there, do you stay or look somewhere else. He decided to go back later. He arrived back at the field around 10am, the situation hadnt changed much but there did seem one or two having a reccy. He decided as it was a nice sunny day he would give it a go. Well he made the right choice as more birds were having a look and soon joining his decoys. He did have a major problem, he hasnt shot for almost a year, and his words were, I was shooting like a complete idiot. He told me it was almost noon before he got back into the swing of things. All this time pigeons were coming to the decoys as we a like them to. Well as his shooting returned to normal the decoy pattern grew which pulled in more and more birds. It sounds like the afternoon got pretty hectic as he had already set his limit when he had shot a certain number. At 4 oclock he reached his target of 150 birds. A good day I would say and well worth returning to the field. He thinks he may have seen Muncher drop by for a look. Well its ok shooting a good size bag, its something else to move them on, he rang two of the game dealers he normally uses and they didnt want them. Lets hope if the pigeon market gets going again we can all get together and set the prices and sort these dealers out. Anyway after a few phone calls, with the exception of some breasted ones a very happy ferret man had his freezer filled FOC.

Excellent report and what a way for your boy to come back after a year away from pigeon shooting .

I am surprised he had a problem getting rid of fresh pigeons , I can understand if they were frozen as the demand is still rock bottom , the last time Lakeside1000 rang them up they were still paying 10p for frozen , fresh would have been more but you would need a good few to make the 80 odd mile return trip worth the trouble in taking them to the dealer .

I wonder how many people will still shoot big numbers if there is going to be no outlet in off loading them ?

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1 hour ago, la bala said:

My boy found a few today. He had a call from the farmer yesterday saying a field had been rolled after drilling. The boy being keen went straight out for look, nothing. He looked again early evening, nothing. This morning he arrived at the field around 8am hoping to see a few flitting about, the field was completely devoid of pigeons. Now we have all been there, do you stay or look somewhere else. He decided to go back later. He arrived back at the field around 10am, the situation hadnt changed much but there did seem one or two having a reccy. He decided as it was a nice sunny day he would give it a go. Well he made the right choice as more birds were having a look and soon joining his decoys. He did have a major problem, he hasnt shot for almost a year, and his words were, I was shooting like a complete idiot. He told me it was almost noon before he got back into the swing of things. All this time pigeons were coming to the decoys as we a like them to. Well as his shooting returned to normal the decoy pattern grew which pulled in more and more birds. It sounds like the afternoon got pretty hectic as he had already set his limit when he had shot a certain number. At 4 oclock he reached his target of 150 birds. A good day I would say and well worth returning to the field. He thinks he may have seen Muncher drop by for a look. Well its ok shooting a good size bag, its something else to move them on, he rang two of the game dealers he normally uses and they didnt want them. Lets hope if the pigeon market gets going again we can all get together and set the prices and sort these dealers out. Anyway after a few phone calls, with the exception of some breasted ones a very happy ferret man had his freezer filled FOC.

Capture stu today.PNG

 Well done mate glad to hear someone is getting some shooting  Great bag  my spring drilling hasn’t gone in yet  I hope I get some good results like that  Will be going out on the weekend  to have a look getting desperate 🤣

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1 hour ago, la bala said:

My boy found a few today. He had a call from the farmer yesterday saying a field had been rolled after drilling. The boy being keen went straight out for look, nothing. He looked again early evening, nothing. This morning he arrived at the field around 8am hoping to see a few flitting about, the field was completely devoid of pigeons. Now we have all been there, do you stay or look somewhere else. He decided to go back later. He arrived back at the field around 10am, the situation hadnt changed much but there did seem one or two having a reccy. He decided as it was a nice sunny day he would give it a go. Well he made the right choice as more birds were having a look and soon joining his decoys. He did have a major problem, he hasnt shot for almost a year, and his words were, I was shooting like a complete idiot. He told me it was almost noon before he got back into the swing of things. All this time pigeons were coming to the decoys as we a like them to. Well as his shooting returned to normal the decoy pattern grew which pulled in more and more birds. It sounds like the afternoon got pretty hectic as he had already set his limit when he had shot a certain number. At 4 oclock he reached his target of 150 birds. A good day I would say and well worth returning to the field. He thinks he may have seen Muncher drop by for a look. Well its ok shooting a good size bag, its something else to move them on, he rang two of the game dealers he normally uses and they didnt want them. Lets hope if the pigeon market gets going again we can all get together and set the prices and sort these dealers out. Anyway after a few phone calls, with the exception of some breasted ones a very happy ferret man had his freezer filled FOC.

Capture stu today.PNG

A very nice bag. I think pigeons are still fetching 25p at certain dealers (fresh), but I don't think that is enough.

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11 minutes ago, GingerCat said:

Great bag. You could always turn them I to sausages and burgers. Bbq season is nearly upon us. 

Thats food for thought GC, if you will pardon the pun.

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9 minutes ago, la bala said:

Thats food for thought GC, if you will pardon the pun.

just a thought ........................."if" we exit the EU.............will it affect pigeon prices ?

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6 minutes ago, ditchman said:

just a thought ........................."if" we exit the EU.............will it affect pigeon prices ?

It will all depend on where the pigeon originally came from.:lol:

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53 minutes ago, la bala said:

It will all depend on where the pigeon originally came from.:lol:

wally.........................isnt it that most of the frozen birds end up going to France.........or they used to......

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