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GingerCat

A few hours in the Wolds

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Yesterday I got a call from Jdog. It seemed that a field of peas was being eaten away by pigeons and despite various efforts to dissuade them they persisted in their intent. 

I met the dog in a small village in the Wolds, we drove a few hundred yards to a large field of peas around 2 inches high. It sloped steeply on the sides of a valley and it was clear that the birds were causing problems. Whilst we watched from the side around 70 or so birds took from the trees and about the same had gotten up off the peas towards a small wood some distance in up the valley. 

We clapped them off and  put up bags but the birds simply moved to the other end of the field, oblivious to our efforts (and those of the  farmer). With a tear in his eye Jdog said "we might have to shoot them".  

We drove to the top of the field by means of a dirt track and again walked the birds off. I remarked that I had a mechanical bird scaring device that rotates at speed. Without a moment to waste I set it up, a number of dead birds on spikes also joined it. Surely this would frighten them off and protect vulnerable crops? not for a second. They just kept piling in. 

I didn't have a chainsaw with me and neither did Jdog so the two sitty trees the birds were aiming for were to remain, we decided to set up under each one, overlooking the field as it sloped away below us. In the distance were a number of woods and 3 flight lines intersecting the field.  The sun was shining and the wind from our rear or there abouts. We hadn't been there 5 minutes before the first bird came in. Imagine my surprise as it headed directly towards the rotary that should have been scaring it away" Aghast I fired a warning shot and managed to scare it away. I fired a few more at 3 or 4 other birds and they also turned but still the birds came in. Truly welling up Jdog had no choice but to drop one at about 40 yards as it screamed into the young peas. 

I too felt nothing but sadness as I dropped a pair crossing from left to right at about the same distance whilst the dog added another to the bag. The birds were intent on this part of the field and often came from our extreme left before dropping into the decoys. A few headed straight up the field and some more along the track we drove before turning in from the right.  In times gone by I would have remarked how well they decoyed and what an excellent job my host had done in setting up in the correct spot with such fantastic scenery to boot. 

We both tried in vane with a few more warning shots but each time it had no effect, a couple more joined the bag and then there was a quiet spell for 20 or so minutes. I was starting to think we had done our job but the lines continued again but some veered away. Jdog decided we could capitalise on this if he changed the pattern around and scare them away permanently. Dutifully I assisted him, spreading the birds either side of the rotary but this only served to encourage them. More joined the bag, including a remarkable shot from the host at 50 of any ones yards (perhaps a touch more). 

I too tried to scare away a long bird quartering from the left but sadly it fell and Jasper was sent to fetch it in. A wonderful retrieve it was too. Kicking up the poor soil like a baseballer skidding to home just before being caught out. 

After 3 hours of it and with the bag very well into double figures and a good hour or so of plucking and breasting  ahead of me I headed home. most of the birds had empty crops, a few had pea shoots and all will be turned into burger at a ratio of 1 3rd minced pork belly to 2 3rds pigeon breast. It is BBQ season after all. 

 

 

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I don’t believe you, no bird in its right mind would fly near one of those scary devices.

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Posted (edited)

Pity about the lack of chain saws to cut down the sitty trees, but apart from that you complied with the GL31 requirements. Those rotary scaring devices as you found out, don't always work. I think perhaps highlighting the white wing bars and maybe using a pigeon distress call, would have had greater effect. :whistling:

OB

You just beat me to it TC with your observation on the lack of chain saws. 

Next we'll hear that, with all those pigeons about, JDog ran out of cartridges scaring the blighters away.

Edited by Old Boggy

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Well just goes to show that the only alternative is shooting,has anyone found a pigeon distress call yet been looking everywhere seems they're all out of stock. 

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Posted (edited)

A good report on how to deter feeding birds. I have a concern for JDog as he might require counciling due to the emotional stress of having to shoot  determined birds.

I await the next thrilling instalment.

Ginger Cat thanks for reporting, are you now JDogs biographer?

Edited by pigeon controller

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A droll report by GC.

Those who have been out with me know that I am amused by shouting 'doddler' when an easy bird heads to my shooting partner which usually results in a miss. The tables were turned yesterday and as a result GC was warned that if he ever uttered the word again he would never get another invite, such was the diabolical nature of my resultant miss.

We had a very nice time crop protecting and we picked 28 pigeons at the end amongst lovely scenery just outside my village.

I returned to the field two hours after we packed up to find at least 100 pigeons feeding hard. This morning at 05:15 whilst out with the dogs I saw a line back into the same field.

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I also hope you kept a written record of your attempts to dissuade the pigeons from the field? :rolleyes:

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33 minutes ago, GingerCat said:

The shouting of doddler instantly makes the bird 10 time harder to hit. Quite amusing. 

DB and I have a similar system, " Don't miss this one" , that work a treat.

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Sounds like that field will keep you busy in the coming weeks, speak up if you need a hand at any point:friends:

Good read Gingercat:good:

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Another high standard report from Gingercat that came just in time as I beginning to think everyone is still deciding weather it is still safe to carry on shooting pigeons as reports are now far and few between  .

Mind you , the small bags I have been getting lately wont exactly put the humble Wood Pigeon on the danger list .

We have got three fields of Peas , two are now in flower and the other one keep producing a few partly due to Rabbit damage when they reached 3 / 4 inches above the ground and that is still the height down that end of the field.

Last Saturday afternoon was one of these rare occasions when the bag was in the 20s and this was on a large area in the middle of a rape field that never took off , this might well be due to it being very wet when it was drilled and part of this area was under water .

One advantage is you can decoy in any wind direction by putting a hide up against the crop that is normal size , the pigeons seem to decoy well and my dog enjoy finding some hard retrieves , the downside is lugging the gear down a overgrown tram line and then the same routine when you call it a day , still a small price to pay in trying to bag a few pigeons ,especially after our way of life was put temporary on hold during N E disaster .

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