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I was umming and arring all of Friday night about whether to take my Silver pigeon 12 bore or 20 bore... on the saturday morning I instead picked up the old spanish master side by side, it's rough as hell, but I had it off my mate who passed away. Its choked 1/2 and FULL and I filled up my pocked with about 20 clear pigeon 30g 6's ... 

First drive of the shoot, I missed a woodcock, another flew past but I left it go as a bit low, followed by a third which twirled through the air, one of the other guns had 2 shots at it but it spun around on him, doubled back and came across me about 35 yards out in front, I give him a few feet lead and dropped it from the air with the 1/2 choke... My first ever woodcock :D ... Very sadly however when the dog went to pick it, it got up and ran into thick hedgerow. 4 different dogs and 2 beaters went into the hedge but could not find the bird 😞


On one of the next drives I did not fire a shot (it's only a small syndicate) however after that I was lined up and a big cock bird got up high in the air, I shot at him out front coming towards me with the 1/2 choke but he kept coming. I waited as the gun to my right had a shot (which he missed) after which I gave him the old FULL choke as he was directly overhead, a lovely high bird he was and what a sight to see him fold up in the air and come down stone dead. 


On the next drive we were missing a gun as someone was unable to make it. One of the other guns suggested we spread out to cover the gap. Last time I shot here the birds pulled through a gap between two trees so I went and stood covering that. Only one good size cock bird came past me and the other gun on this drive, and the ****** flew right through where I would have been standing :lol:  just my luck! 


Onto the final drive, I was lined up on the bottom end of the wood and have been told this was the best drive last time. Once the beaters started pushing through three birds lifted and headed towards us. I noticed the one on my left was low so swung through to the other two, however noticed that they were pulling across me and the other gun who hadn't shot much yet was lifting his gun as they were headed to him... not to be greedy I left them for him to have a go at, yet also swiftly noticed that the low bird that I originally saw had shot up in height and was a good shot now, I swung up onto him, however he crossed directly through the low sun and I could not see a bloody thing, so missed! (That's my excuse, I'm sticking to it!) 

The next few birds however, were not so lucky, as I had learned from the error of my ways, and simply waited for them to get past the sun before lining them up. One came through afterwards which dropped lovely with the 1/2 choke and down she went folded in the air. Following this a bird got up and came towards me but turned away quickly, it was a long shot at around 45 ish  yards but I had lined it up expecting it to come in, now this is why I love the side by side at times, as I was able to just slip my finger back to the second trigger and give the FULL choke a bang, and my god it didn't half work. The bird folded up lovely in the air and came down hard. I was later told by several beaters and guns what a shot it had been :yay: 

I finally bagged one more hen coming past which I dropped with the 1/2 choke, which for some reason almost pillow cased. Not ideal, and I thought a bit odd as it was the almost exact place as the other one I shot that was fine 🤷‍♂️ ... followed by a fast crossing woodcock... which I missed completely... We also must have seen 4-5 other woodcock come over us but they were low and we left them go... 


Overall a nice little day out, sadly I left my dog at home as we need more training and I wanted to concentrate on the shooting and not him going wrong etc. I hope to be able to bring him in future :) 

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Nice report Lloyd ..... Pity about the Woodcock and more so with it being your first one , these things happen and if I come away knowing I have done my best to find then you can't do no more than that , I got a soft spot for Woodcock after I went to look for one in the bracken , after a lot of searching my dog finally got wind of it and it jumped out in front of me , his or her tail went into a complete fan to make itself look bigger than it is , or that is what I think the reason is why they do it .

Apart from that , your day sounded like the days I enjoy the most , we have 2/3 at the back end of the season when the big days are drawing to a close and it give the helpers a few days out .

All the best for the rest of the season .

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