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Winchesters Grand day out.

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With the help of mates tractor we set up with some bales on the edge of one of his barley fields the other day as the birds had been showing an interest. 

I discovered a while ago that my Winchester 8500 which I thought was choked at full and extra full is in fact a tight half and 3/4's. It's obvious I was duped at point of sale as this was advertised at full and extra and sold as such.

Anyhow, I've always shot well with this gun at clays; it's great fun on that high tower at Westlands, but suspected all wasn't as it is marked on the flats, and after getting over my initial disappointment I patterned it to see where it was printing and was really impressed with the patterns it threw, but this was its first day on the decoys. Mate had his Winchester Grand European, fixed at quarter and half. 

I only have a few shells, one full bodied and a bouncer.......ordered two of the latter from Jack Pyke but only one works as the collet doesn't tighten at all on one of them and I can't be ***** with the hassle of returning it....I'll figure something out. 

There was a strong breeze coming from the west behind us, and I was glad of the bales at my back as it was quite a cool breeze. The birds were coming in quite well in two's and things got off to a promising start for mate but it took me a few shots to get to grips with things, missing the first half dozen or so on the trot until I realised I just want swinging through fast enough; same old same old! And then it rained....none forecast but that didn't stop it; a real good shower which soaked us both from the waist down, and waterproof seats are grand unless you're sitting in one! We sat there looking miserable for a few minutes and then it did it again, another heavy shower. 

Anyhow, we were wet but happy, and perked up a bit when mate killed two birds with one shot as they set to land in the decoys! I've seen it with rabbits and clays but it was a first for me regarding pigeons.

Despite not being as consistent as I would have liked, and missing opportunities due to my own lack of alertness ( one prime example being jumping over the bales to retrieve an overturned bird only to see two get up from the pattern.....annoying  ) I started to connect with some longer range birds, and there were a few screamers as they jinked high and wide of the hide after I moved too soon....I love that puff of chaff as they are hit with a good pattern, and I am more than impressed with that tight half and three quarters; they certainly deliver if I do my bit. Highlights were a stratospheric crow which I considered to be out of range....but wasn't, a left and right as they dropped into the pattern, and several high fast crossers which exploded feathers as they flew into my pattern. 

I finished with 59, and mate carried on after I left; I haven't been in touch as yet so don't know what the total was. My backside was still wet when I got to the pub at around 6.30. 


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Posted (edited)
10 minutes ago, Old farrier said:

Thanks for posting interesting reading 😊

how high was the out of range crow? And did you shoot it 

I really have no idea. I put my gun up when it approached, then down again thinking it was out of range, then swapped over to the tighter barrel and decided to have a go. 
Yes, I shot and killed it. We both looked at each other in surprise. 
Thanks for the comments all. I’ve been out two or three times recently to calls of ‘there’s thousands of ‘em! ‘ only to find there wasn’t when I got there. First trip I shot 30 corvids and 4 pigeons, and just over a week ago I managed 7; where the birds had gone I have no idea, but there’s a lot of food about at the moment I suppose.  🤷‍♂️


Edited by Scully
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