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Old Boggy

Mad Dogs and Englishmen

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Posted (edited)

Not having used a gun since lockdown, I just couldn`t wait for a field of Triticale near me to be cut to enable a shot or two at pigeons.

The field was cut on Tuesday/Wednesday for biofuel and there were plenty of the wheat/rye ears left on the ground. The pigeons found them pretty quickly so my plan was to spend a couple of hours yesterday in the hope of supplementing my now pigeon breast free freezer with some new breast meat. My last outing on what was the hottest day in 2019 proved to me that I vowed never to venture forth in such extreme conditions. However, the outing last year was planned in advance in an attempt to provide Wooder on PW with a few shots. In that, it was reasonably successful, but a lesson learnt, but alas forgotten.

Such was my eagerness to get out once more that I just couldn`t wait for the current hot spell to change, so took a chance and advantage of a few hours break from domestic commitments. This `window` of opportunity was to be between 11am and 2 pm, the hottest part of the day ! This time frame however was postponed having had a chat with Andy, one of the farm workers who coincidentally was to cut round the hedgerows of my chosen field. He said that he would be starting at 12 and would be done by 2.pm, so that`s when I finally ventured out.

Whilst the 55 acre field is in walking distance of my house, it was pleasant to be able to drive to my proposed hide position without the winter slog of several hundred yards on foot with full gear to shoot over rape. Thus I was able to take all manner of equipment, whether to be used or not. 

The pigeons had been feeding predominantly on an area of the field near a busy lane, so normally I would have bagged this off as this was not where I proposed to shoot. However, the bamboo canes from my flags were currently forming a wigwam and supporting runner beans in the garden, so as I was only out for a few hours, I hoped that the rotary would divert a few pigeons to allow at least a few  shots.

Despite a cooling breeze at my hide position it was still pretty hot when I set up. 

With the breeze going from right to left, the rotary was set slightly up `breeze` to my right with a dozen flocked half shells in a random but fairly spread out pattern again slightly to my right. The theory being that birds approaching would be from left to right thus giving this left, sinister and often cack-handed shooter a natural swing from left to right. The rotary was armed with two thawed out breasted pigeon dug out from the thermofrost at the bottom of the freezer the previous day , but none the worse for that. My theory was that as the pigeons had not seen a rotary for several weeks, they may not be put off by it, but I had brought a flapper just in case.

By this time, pigeons seemed to be landing all over the field and it was only a matter of time before one was attracted by my set up. I didn`t have to wait too long before my first shot for over three months brought a pigeon bouncing onto the stubble. This first shot put up about two hundred birds from all over and a mad ten minutes ensued where I managed a further six including two satisfactory right and lefts. Such was their attraction to the rotary, I was able to allow the first bird to land, shoot the one behind and then get the first bird as it departed all in text book style. This is something that I always tell myself to do but in practice never have the patience or perhaps the opportunity to achieve.

It was getting hotter by the minute and certainly hotter than the mid-day temperature.

Within an hour and a half, the heat was getting the better of me so I decided to up stumps, but with 15 on the clicker by this time, I was well pleased with my short time out and was happy to pack up.

All fifteen were easily picked which is another bonus of shooting over stubble.

Now I realise that fifteen is not a great bag by comparison to those made in Norfolk/Lincolnshire etc. but nevertheless, I was more than happy with the outcome.

Within fifteen minutes I was home, had a cold shower and within the hour had cleaned the gun and breasted out my pigeons which are now in the freezer along with two breasted pigeon ready for my next trip out. I was pleasantly surprised not to have encountered any blow flies on any of the pigeons, always a pain in such situations.

As my field will be left for a few weeks undisturbed, it will hopefully give me a few more days out once the mercury has dropped a tad and perhaps I will stay out for a slightly longer period.

The rape on the other side of the lane prior to the cutting of the Triticale was attracting a few pigeons, so with an early harvest forecast, perhaps it will be sprayed off some time soon and then the harvest proper will be under way and provide continuous shooting. 

Having now found some pigeons to shoot, which until now have proved very evasive, I am now a happy bunny and my wife can no longer refer to me as `That miserable old B******d` that she lives with.

Happy days indeed.


Edited by Old Boggy

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A fine and detailed report. Good effort.

I was just about to put up a post with the exact same title when I noticed your report.

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Well worth the wait for your detailed report after a few weeks of inactivity amongst the pigeons , always nice to go on the first cut field after what seem like ages since the last time we shot over stubble fields , our first stubble field should be later on next week when the Peas should be cut , looking around yesterday I didn't see any good numbers and the ones I did see were on just about everything including the rape fields that are becoming ripe .

P S ..... I was looking to see what goodies were in your lunch box, but we will no doubt find out as the summer wear on when you shoot with your friend .:good:

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A very good report of your long awaited adventure. Thanks for posting, looking forward to the next instalment.

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