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Clodhopper

A field of two halves

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Friday afternoon saw me heading to a very large field of peas that JDog and I had shot a few weeks ago. I had watched the field on Thursday evening and having seen the birds using the flight line we had shot before I made my mind up to shoot the same position as the last outing. 
 

My cousin Giles was invited to join me, he loves his pigeon shooting but has been very busy on his farm of late and has had little chance to get out. The plan was to meet at 4.30 pm. I had no dead birds for the magnet but as I called in to my brothers, on the way to shoot, we noticed a bird with a broken wing in his garden. This was duly dispatched and put in the decoy bag. 
 

The weather forecasters had got it spot on with a heavy sky and occasional showers being pushed along by a westerly breeze gusting up to 30 mph. 
 

The field itself is around 110 acres and had been drilled in two halves about 3 weeks apart. Having glassed the field on arrival, it became immediately apparent that plan A was not going to work as the line had changed and the pigeons were now entering the field across an old railway 600 yards from where I saw the line on Thursday. They were skimming in low and dropping down in the shelter of the boundary  hedge. This spot was where the two different stages of growth met. Having watched this field for the last month or so I was questioning what I was seeing, was it a false line? Would the birds revert to the old line when we started shooting? In the end we decided that we had to go with what we saw and so made the 400 yard walk across the field to where we had seen the line.

The set up was both of us shooting over the same pattern, with Giles just to my left. The wind was from behind and the birds should enter the field from behind and curl back round into the decoys. And this they did in spectacular fashion. Whistling over our heads, banking round on the wind and coming into the pattern, battling the wind 3 feet off the ground. 


The shooting was sporadic, when the showers came the birds stopped but as soon as the last drops where falling the birds came out again. Giles has 4 memorable doubles where the first bird was dropped over the decoys and the second was taken flaring high and fast on the gusting wind. We took it in turns to shoot and where both pleased with the way we shot, managing ever so slightly better than 2:1, which is not the norm, certainly for me.

After 2 and 1/2 hours of great sport we packed up with 47 picked and 3 that dropped over the railway that we didn’t managed to pick.

On  the walk back I think the clay soil clinging to my boots was as heavy as the bag of birds on my back.
 

Thanks for reading.
 

 

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Good report, good bag, good company, good countryside.

Doesn't get better than that.

Thanks for posting.

OB

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Well done chaps....nice to see Giles out.

You did better than me yesterday, I got six before the rain got the better of me.

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Very good. 

Had you plumped for a spot on the previous day’s line you would have been out of it. That just shows how lines change on a daily basis.

Your forum name would have been appropriate in those conditions.

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Great report with photos to match , how things vary up and down the country , our Peas were cut last Sunday and the stubble is now turning Brown , the ground is still rock hard and irrigating is still going on everyday even though we have had some rain during the week , at the moment we are a long way off from getting mud sticking to your boots , with our Winter barley due to be cut from next weekend , our harvest will be well underway time your Peas are vined .

Looking at them you should get a few more days shooting over the coming weeks .

GOOD LUCK

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44 minutes ago, JDog said:

Very good. 

Had you plumped for a spot on the previous day’s line you would have been out of it. That just shows how lines change on a daily basis.

Your forum name would have been appropriate in those conditions.

Far Welted would also have been apt as after taking a shot I had inadvertently knocked my seat over. Sitting down without looking resulted in me upside down in the hedge bottom, brambles round my neck and nettles in my ears! Luckily my gun was unloaded and broken. My ankles above my head and tangled in the hawthorn completed the farce. Giles came over and took my gun whilst I ever so elegantly riled around and freed myself. He did not laugh, much!!

2 minutes ago, marsh man said:

Great report with photos to match , how things vary up and down the country , our Peas were cut last Sunday and the stubble is now turning Brown , the ground is still rock hard and irrigating is still going on everyday even though we have had some rain during the week , at the moment we are a long way off from getting mud sticking to your boots , with our Winter barley due to be cut from next weekend , our harvest will be well underway time your Peas are vined .

Looking at them you should get a few more days shooting over the coming weeks .

GOOD LUCK

Quite right, these peas are a long way off harvesting. The grower is vining some of early sown peas. The Barley round here still has some green in the tram lines so is a little way off yet.

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1 hour ago, Mightymariner said:

Well done chaps....nice to see Giles out.

You did better than me yesterday, I got six before the rain got the better of me.

We were lucky really, the showers were not too bad in the evening but we could see some very dark patches passing around us and out to sea.

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I noticed your block type hide didn't put the birds off, I do try and use a v pattern if possible , but hey If it works it works , well done.

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13 minutes ago, kenholland said:

I noticed your block type hide didn't put the birds off, I do try and use a v pattern if possible , but hey If it works it works , well done.

I tend to use a V shape but not for for the reason of scaring birds but that it gives me a better space to open and close my gun. In this instance there was a deep furrow at the edge of the field which I wanted to avoid and I wanted to be as tight to the hedge as possible to keep out of the gusting wind.

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Nice report, had a similar session on peas the same size on tuesday and many of the birds had green wheat and barley in their crops. I feel bags on the peas may become lighter from now.

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37 minutes ago, aga man said:

Nice report, had a similar session on peas the same size on tuesday and many of the birds had green wheat and barley in their crops. I feel bags on the peas may become lighter from now.

We had the same conversation last night, I have seen a few landing on top of the ripening rape which will, I suspect, draw them away from the peas.

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nice job there boys i’m struggling very few on any of my peas think we have rain because three of my farms are waiting to cut rape 

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Great report.

That field is a whopper!

Surprised of the reports of continued solid dry ground, we have had some real wet spells the last two weeks. 

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4 hours ago, 7daysinaweek said:

Great report.

That field is a whopper!

Surprised of the reports of continued solid dry ground, we have had some real wet spells the last two weeks. 

Had a go on our Pea stubble this afternoon , the ground was rock hard and you had a job to get the spike of the magnet in the ground , the field next door was spuds and the irrigation was going non stop and during the week they were cutting hay down the marsh , wrapping it up and carting it off the same day , still very dry down here although we did have some heavy showers on odd days .

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I'm about 30 miles north of you as the crow flies-all my peas were harvested 9 days ago after standing about 18" tall-I've only got the stubble's and remaining  un-harvested growth to go at.

I spoke to the pea vining that were tasked to pick the crop-amazing how they timed it down to a few hours for the optimum period for harvesting.

shot 55 over the stubble so will get back again this week

f.

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5 hours ago, Fuddster said:

I'm about 30 miles north of you as the crow flies-all my peas were harvested 9 days ago after standing about 18" tall-I've only got the stubble's and remaining  un-harvested growth to go at.

I spoke to the pea vining that were tasked to pick the crop-amazing how they timed it down to a few hours for the optimum period for harvesting.

shot 55 over the stubble so will get back again this week

f.

It must be one hell of a task organising the drilling and harvesting schedule to ensure a constant flow into the factory.

Whilst at university I spent my summers working in a frozen pea factory. I seem to remember that there was a lorry tipping peas every 7 minutes from the beginning of June through to the end of August.

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