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martinj

December OSR pigeons

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Again I received an offer of a day's pigeon shooting In Hampshire just before Christmas, two of us would be shooting and my friend "the guide" would be pottering around doing a bit of maintenance locally.

We were to meet Michael, the other shooter, at 9:00am near his allotted area, when we arrived there were a couple of copses surrounding stubble fields plus adjoining hedgerows all adorned with pigeons in the tree tops. The chosen spot was a line of telegraph poles surrounded by a game crop in the middle of a large field on high ground, it was a fairly still day with a gentle breeze coming from the south. The hide was built at the base of a telegraph pole, 300 or so pigeons were walked off - decoys were a whirly and maybe 20 dead birds, some on cradles to make them stand out, no horseshoe or fancy pattern, just a natural looking group. Michael was told not to let pigeons settle in the copses and hedgerows as they would become a greater attraction than the decoys, he was to wave a sack around and if that didn't work fire a shot.

My spot was a couple of miles away, it was a field of stubble with sparse OSR a few inches tall, it didn't look that good at first but as we approached in the vehicle around 200 pigeons flew off, my setup was on the edge of the field with my back to a hedge near a sitty tree and looking north - a pigeon magnet and 11 birds were all I was given. I had to look out for birds landing in a far off copse and fire a shot if it became a distraction for the pigeons (which I did several times.)

It was about 10am when I was left to it, a few pigeons passed wide and I wasted a few shots before I started to connect, they were coming from the direction the main flock had been pushed to when we arrived. As the number of decoys built up the pigeons got bolder and it became a bit easier. Things were going well until 12am when it tailed off noticeably and I was getting around one target every 15 minutes. At 2pm it was decidedly gloomy, the birds had stopped coming and I could see headlights on the cars on a distant road, I called and said I was ready to quit when convenient.

The final tally was - me 36 and Michael 24 which was a good day considering it was probably the shortest day of the year.

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A fine report. Not many are having success on rape just yet.

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Thanks JDog, I wasn't sure if the target was Rape or the Barley stubble that it was planted in.

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16 hours ago, martinj said:

Thanks JDog, I wasn't sure if the target was Rape or the Barley stubble that it was planted in.

What was in their crops ?

OB

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12 minutes ago, Old Boggy said:

What was in their crops ?

OB

I think it's the same everywhere too warm and so much maize still in. Also a lot less rape this year with flea beatle problems.

We may have some better results when or if they can get on the maize.

 

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Locally we haven't seen any reduction in the amount of rape grown , some Pigeons have been going on certain fields but the majority of the rape fields have been Pigeon free , the only gas guns you can hear are down the marsh's to keep the geese off the winter crops that are laying in water .

As for the condition of the Pigeons , they are in nigh on perfect condition , fat and looking healthy , ( that was before a dose of Old Boggy's cartridges put paid to them ) :lol:

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1 hour ago, Old Boggy said:

What was in their crops ?

OB

Good point, I didn't tear any open but could feel a few grains, presumably barley in the one I did look at, let's say inconclusive.

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