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I was under the impression that this time of year is the pigeon shooter's paradise. Today, there was not a pigeon on rape stubble or wheat stubble or in fact anywhere at all. And this is the same pattern over a fairly large number of farms and not just one area.  Have members any ideas of what crops they might be on? In the preceding weeks large flocks were on wheat but the birds seem to have vanished. Perhaps the modern harvesting leaves little spilled seed/grain for the the pigeons. 

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with the amount of food harvest time i go more on the flight line than numbers rape stubble plastered today hr later not a bird to be seen another rape stubble up the rd poor numbers but strong flightlines most of the day so tomorrow’s destination for me 

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It's surprising how many pigeons can be down feeding on wheat or rape stubble without being seen, especially if it is a large field.

I watched a wheat stubble yesterday with very little pigeon movement (no apparent flightlines to and from the field).

 I then drove across the field and put up between two and three hundred.

OB

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51 minutes ago, JDog said:

Time of day is a factor.

I think the time of the day might be a factor when setting up as setting up mid afternoon is only going to give you a couple or so hours shooting if the pigeons have been feeding on the field throughout the day , I pass some fresh rape stubble at 6 . 30 / 7 . 00 in the morning when taking the dog out and pigeons are already feeding at that time of the day, so by going mid afternoon a lot of the pigeons you put off have already got a fullish crop and are unlikely to return .

If you are just looking around then you should see pigeons feeding at anytime during the day , yesterday afternoon I went out to look at various fields , the first was some fresh cut Wheat with the round bails still on the field , no more than a dozen pigeons with very little going in or out , I then moved on to some rape fields that I shot last week and a friend of mine went Saturday and didn't do a lot of good , on these three fields the pigeons were spread about over a large are area and I guess around 200 , these are very difficult to shoot when you are by yourself with again very little movement and fresh cut grain fields everywhere .

Lastly I went and looked where I shot Saturday afternoon on some fresh rape stubble , Saturday there were a nice lot to start off with but movement started to ease up after a couple of hours and I packed up with 24 , yesterday when I pulled up I could see pigeons scattered everywhere , I walked them off which were easily 3 / 400 pigeons , getting back to the motor I could see what were coming back had no intention going on the rape they carried on and went across the hedge to what I thought was standing Wheat , well it was still standing Saturday , after a cup of coffee I went and had a look and low and behold it was all gone along with the straw , so Sunday it was cut , bailed up and carted off all the same day .

So yes we have got good numbers of pigeons in the area but farming is working seven days a week and with todays modern combine they can get through a lot of acres in a week, and when the conditions are right for one farm to cut it is normally the same for other farms in the area , so at the moment there is an unlimited amount of a food supply . 

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Area dependant in the first instance.....some areas hold huge numbers of pigeons seemingly all year round, making finding them much much easier! 
This time of year I’ll tend to look mid to late afternoon as if there’s nothing there by then there’s unlikely to be at all. 
Been pigeons in my area but in pockets so you need to really work at finding a decent field.....been a frustrating time of farmers plans colliding with ours, work has got in the way of timing days just right and now the stubbles are coming off every man and his dog is suddenly out pigeon shooting which ruins lots of good days you had planned! 

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Some interesting responses. I went out today on stubble from cutting yesterday. Quite a lot of pigeons the farmer told me. There were 30 or so which took off on my arrival. Stayed for about an hour and shot  zero. Clearly the mini-flock just moved elsewhere. The few that came over had no intention of decoying and it would have needed ack ack to have brought them down. It seems that a flock is no guide  as they just take off in a flock and just move somewhere else. And as one post commented there are plenty of fields for them. Another point is the area you shoot. I've come to the conclusion that Leicestershire is not the place to be. We have had good days on drilled beans but few and far between. Some shooters in this area claimed to have had huge bags. Either they got very lucky or the rose tinted glasses came into play. In my experience, this year has been pretty poor, so much so, does anyone want to buy my pair of consecutively numbered Purdeys which have been tastefully camo'ed - but you'd expect that judging from my name. 

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8 hours ago, Balotelli said:

Some interesting responses. I went out today on stubble from cutting yesterday. Quite a lot of pigeons the farmer told me. There were 30 or so which took off on my arrival. Stayed for about an hour and shot  zero. Clearly the mini-flock just moved elsewhere. The few that came over had no intention of decoying and it would have needed ack ack to have brought them down. It seems that a flock is no guide  as they just take off in a flock and just move somewhere else. And as one post commented there are plenty of fields for them. Another point is the area you shoot. I've come to the conclusion that Leicestershire is not the place to be. We have had good days on drilled beans but few and far between. Some shooters in this area claimed to have had huge bags. Either they got very lucky or the rose tinted glasses came into play. In my experience, this year has been pretty poor, so much so, does anyone want to buy my pair of consecutively numbered Purdeys which have been tastefully camo'ed - but you'd expect that judging from my name. 

No Complaints from my area of Leicestershire more than enough to keep me busy the last 50 odd years. Year round. 

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6 hours ago, bwana said:

Half the resident population will be nesting.

With pigeons known to nest every month of the year and can bring up to three broods off throughout this period I don't think a shortage of pigeons in the ops area would be purely down to half of them sitting on a nest .

Some places just don't hold big numbers and for those places that do hold a good amount are normally in a good farming area with plenty of roosting woods , if they have got somewhere safe to roost and a good supply of food then they are happy to stay where they are and have got no reason to move elsewhere , mind you , if they are getting a lot of stick then they might move on to somewhere a bit healthier  

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Just been watching 3or 4 hundred pigeon and crow's on a field of flat spring barley but he won't let me shoot it as he has someone go. Can't even shoot them heading to the field as they fly well past were I have permission. 

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i shoot on a farm and one year i was shooting on rape, the field next door was on another farm and the pigeons were all ways on it,so ask the farmer could i shoot it, he said no iv got a chap that shoots it, i never saw any one shooting it all winter,

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35 minutes ago, mossy835 said:

i shoot on a farm and one year i was shooting on rape, the field next door was on another farm and the pigeons were all ways on it,so ask the farmer could i shoot it, he said no iv got a chap that shoots it, i never saw any one shooting it all winter,

when you have a pigeon shooter everyone can see your the smartest farmer in the village but if all you have is fat pigeons they  can also see your a fool. there’s no helping some farmers lol

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I have seen no shortage of pigeons. Leicestershire is a good county for pigeons, so I understand. Maybe you have an inexperienced eye, or you don't look over a big enough area.

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Thanks, Motty, please tell the pigeons it's a good area. Had a spin round today. Nothing on laid rape, most fields have been combined, both rape and wheat. A couple of fields had a group of about 20. As soon as you set-up they'd be off to another field.  And I have covered a heck of a lot of territory and I think that my inexperienced good eye would spot a decent crop of pigeons. Quite frankly, I'm at a loss. What I haven't done is to go out at the crack of dawn - about the only thing that I haven't explored. In my experience, it was so much better last year. What would be interesting is to see how these organised pigeon shoots at about £100 a day can guarantee any pigeons unless they throw down a shed load of grain, beans or peas to guarantee a half decent day's shoot.

 

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14 hours ago, Balotelli said:

Thanks, Motty, please tell the pigeons it's a good area. Had a spin round today. Nothing on laid rape, most fields have been combined, both rape and wheat. A couple of fields had a group of about 20. As soon as you set-up they'd be off to another field.  And I have covered a heck of a lot of territory and I think that my inexperienced good eye would spot a decent crop of pigeons. Quite frankly, I'm at a loss. What I haven't done is to go out at the crack of dawn - about the only thing that I haven't explored. In my experience, it was so much better last year. What would be interesting is to see how these organised pigeon shoots at about £100 a day can guarantee any pigeons unless they throw down a shed load of grain, beans or peas to guarantee a half decent day's shoot.

 

The thing is, Leicestershire is a large area and you might just be unlucky and be in a part that doesn’t hold good numbers. 
it’s the same where I am, not an amazing area compared to some but some of our farms just produce better numbers than others for reasons seemingly unknown sometimes but it’s just how it is. 
You might need to start searching a different area! 

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3 hours ago, Wilts#Dave said:

The thing is, Leicestershire is a large area and you might just be unlucky and be in a part that doesn’t hold good numbers. 
it’s the same where I am, not an amazing area compared to some but some of our farms just produce better numbers than others for reasons seemingly unknown sometimes but it’s just how it is. 
You might need to start searching a different area! 

Totally agree. If one was lucky to be able to shoot at Sandringham, just outside Kings lynn, you would have some of the biggest numbers of birds in the county. Move to other areas of the county and you would struggle for such consistent numbers.

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