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I know many people relish harvest but I have found it is often a time of massive disappointment.

Let me expand.

I have been out a few times recently, latterly on rape stubble, including some which was the only fields cut in the area. 

But every time, though I enjoy being out, the day has been marred.

First outing on some stubble, only fields harvested in area. Not shot. Looked good. Lots of birds. Next day, set up in the right spot, great wind. Pushed off a lot of birds. Birds came back for a while, had some shots. Then birds started on a line over the fields to some uncut rape. Every bird followed. Why they would prefer uncut rape I am not sure. Hey ho, the farmer was happy for me to have a shot a few.

Second outing with a pal who hasn't been shooting with me for a long time, so I wanted to try and find him something good. These rape fields I have been shooting all winter and spring, they are close to a town and always have good numbers on them. During the time before harvest I haven't bumped into anyone for months. Field harvested mid week, we arrive Saturday.....and guess what? Another shooter and his cousin already there. They said this was there first time out in ages and this was the only field harvested. The silver lining with these two was that since they had been there since 7am (who does that?) by 3pm they packed up because they were tired. That left it clear for my pal and I to set up.

We picked a spot each and did get some shooting. Though my pal didn't  get many shots at all, despite moving twice, he always seemed to be in the wrong place.

Third outing on a large area of cut rape. Now I know a couple of other lads who shoot this land and they are always out (retired), so I spoke to them and suggested we all shoot on the same day to cover as much of the land as we could. Good idea, they said. I said we would be there by 2pm, expecting them to meet us so we could plan how to tackle the fields. We arrive 1.45pm and they are both already set up, shooting. No phone call, no message. That's fine, plenty of land, but it would have been useful to know what they had seen so we set up in the right spots. No answer on the phone, so we take a punt on two spots. Turned out wrong. We packed up after an hour and went searching elsewhere, finding some on some disced rape. I set up in what I thought was a good spot, only to discover it was an ants' nest. Nice. I moved. We eventually shot a dozen between us.

So, at least I have been out, which I am thankful for, but I sometimes think I am due some luck in this game as fate always seems to throw something at me.

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I am not too surprised that the retired gentlemen were already set up. Where I am, some very good shooting could be missed by setting up that late. 

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On 07/08/2020 at 13:34, Mightymariner said:

I know many people relish harvest but I have found it is often a time of massive disappointment.

Let me expand.

I have been out a few times recently, latterly on rape stubble, including some which was the only fields cut in the area. 

But every time, though I enjoy being out, the day has been marred.

First outing on some stubble, only fields harvested in area. Not shot. Looked good. Lots of birds. Next day, set up in the right spot, great wind. Pushed off a lot of birds. Birds came back for a while, had some shots. Then birds started on a line over the fields to some uncut rape. Every bird followed. Why they would prefer uncut rape I am not sure. Hey ho, the farmer was happy for me to have a shot a few.

Second outing with a pal who hasn't been shooting with me for a long time, so I wanted to try and find him something good. These rape fields I have been shooting all winter and spring, they are close to a town and always have good numbers on them. During the time before harvest I haven't bumped into anyone for months. Field harvested mid week, we arrive Saturday.....and guess what? Another shooter and his cousin already there. They said this was there first time out in ages and this was the only field harvested. The silver lining with these two was that since they had been there since 7am (who does that?) by 3pm they packed up because they were tired. That left it clear for my pal and I to set up.

We picked a spot each and did get some shooting. Though my pal didn't  get many shots at all, despite moving twice, he always seemed to be in the wrong place.

Third outing on a large area of cut rape. Now I know a couple of other lads who shoot this land and they are always out (retired), so I spoke to them and suggested we all shoot on the same day to cover as much of the land as we could. Good idea, they said. I said we would be there by 2pm, expecting them to meet us so we could plan how to tackle the fields. We arrive 1.45pm and they are both already set up, shooting. No phone call, no message. That's fine, plenty of land, but it would have been useful to know what they had seen so we set up in the right spots. No answer on the phone, so we take a punt on two spots. Turned out wrong. We packed up after an hour and went searching elsewhere, finding some on some disced rape. I set up in what I thought was a good spot, only to discover it was an ants' nest. Nice. I moved. We eventually shot a dozen between us.

So, at least I have been out, which I am thankful for, but I sometimes think I am due some luck in this game as fate always seems to throw something at me.

Frustrating isn’t it? 
I was once decoying a field of laid barley at the request of a farmer.

There had been plenty of birds on it the previous day, but only a few when I arrived, but at his encouragement that there would be ‘ loads later on, just you watch’, I set up. 
I watched many fly over out of range, onto a part of land I couldn’t access, and packed in after three hours having only shot four....I’m always loathe to pack in thinking ‘it’ll pick up in a minute!’ 😀
When I drove past the part I couldn’t access on my way out, hundreds and hundreds of pigeons and corvids erupted from it! Turns out the farmer had spilled some feed! 😭

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Of course I will be out again but I doubt my own sanity at these times.

As a postscript, I popped out on Saturday to a nearby rape stubble where the afternoon before I had seen a lot of birds feeding.

I stayed an hour as it was obvious they were intent on feeding over the boundary. I went home and started decorating my daughter's bedroom instead.

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It can be very frustrating at times, and things just don’t go your way. 
I think most of us struggle with other shooters getting there first etc at some point or another......your luck will change if you keep at it! 

Edited by Wilts#Dave
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10 hours ago, Mightymariner said:

Of course I will be out again but I doubt my own sanity at these times.

As a postscript, I popped out on Saturday to a nearby rape stubble where the afternoon before I had seen a lot of birds feeding.

I stayed an hour as it was obvious they were intent on feeding over the boundary. I went home and started decorating my daughter's bedroom instead.

At one time I used to shoot a lot of Pigeons down on the marshes , these fields were often left alone for ages , the straw was chopped up behind the combine and the stubbles would be left till well into the Autumn , as I rented these marshes along with two others who wernt that interested in shooting a lot of Pigeons I could leave them from one week to the next .

Now everything is done in a matter of hours , last night I had a walk round a fairly large Wheat stubble field that was cut on Saturday , as I started on my walk two tractors pulled on the field with huge bailing machines on the back , they started to go in convoy and missing the next row of straw for the following tractor to bail up , when I had walked round they were on the last rows and tonight when I went past they were all gone and the field left empty , then on the way home the farm next door had just finished ploughing his stubble field and look all ready to drill next years crop.

So as already said , sooner or later your luck will change , but even so , a day in the countryside in this weather is got to be better than painting your daughters bedroom , or is it with this on going heat :hmm:

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