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Can you eat the decoys...?


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Guys,

I am new to pigeon shooting so please forgive me if this is a stupid question.... 

I was out the out the other day and started off with a few shell decoys and a pair of pro-flaps on a magnet. As I shot birds I was added them to the magnet, then flapper & cradles etc to build the pattern as most people suggest.

When I came to pack up i noticed that the birds on the magnet (which had been out for 3-4 hours) where stiff compared to the others, which has been shot later in the day, and it got me thinking; can you still eat the dead birds that you use as decoys?

Again sorry if this is a stupid / obvious question but I just want to make sure that any meat I use is safe and that pigeons are not wasted unnecessarily.

Many thanks     

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23 minutes ago, Westley78 said:

Guys,

I am new to pigeon shooting so please forgive me if this is a stupid question.... 

I was out the out the other day and started off with a few shell decoys and a pair of pro-flaps on a magnet. As I shot birds I was added them to the magnet, then flapper & cradles etc to build the pattern as most people suggest.

When I came to pack up i noticed that the birds on the magnet (which had been out for 3-4 hours) where stiff compared to the others, which has been shot later in the day, and it got me thinking; can you still eat the dead birds that you use as decoys?

Again sorry if this is a stupid / obvious question but I just want to make sure that any meat I use is safe and that pigeons are not wasted unnecessarily.

Many thanks     

I wouldn't advise it, especially in warm weather. Most will be fly blown. 

 

Edited by steve_b_wales
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I used to cut off 1 leg of any decoy birds and then freeze them, bringing them out the night before I was going shooting again. I have frozen/defrosted birds many times like this TO ONLY USE AS DECOYS. Hence cutting off one or both legs , to avoid any mix ups.

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I agree with Steve-b-wales, the flys are on them as soon as you peg them out, eggs in all the orifices and a lot you cant see, 

I have a small tarp which I cover the dead birds I want to keep for the table so the fly's cant get to them, allowing them to cool off naturally, the rigor mortis sets in about an hour after death and they will stay stiff for some time,

The rest I use over and over again until I cant stand the smell in the car, then I freeze and bin the stinky ones on bin collection day, then set up with a fresh batch on the next outing, I like to start with 10 or 12 and will only add to them if the birds need a bit more prompting to get them interested, I keep mine separate at home by using a cold fridge for the decoys and my big chest freezers for the birds going to the dealers.

I only go back to plastics if I dont have any dead birds to fall back on.

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I take a cool bag with ice packs (frozen Capri Suns) and some plastic bags.

As birds are shot, either crown or breast them (goes into the cool bag) and use the carcass as a decoy.

Personally wouldn’t touch anything that isn’t retrieved almost immediately, unless it’s really cold weather.

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Just now, Ultrastu said:

Sticking a rod up the jacksie all the way through the guts and into the meat and the head isnt a great way of perserving the edible parts .

I see no problem in eating any of the decoy birds, whether fly blown or not.

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12 hours ago, motty said:

I see no problem in eating any of the decoy birds, whether fly blown or not.

 

8 hours ago, Balotelli said:

If the decoys are on a "rotary" no fly should be able to catch the decoy birds on the magnet. Unless the flies like Waltzers

Thanks for the input guys 👍🏻

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Must agree with motty, I see no reason not to eat any birds that have been used as decoys, the only thing I would say is that on very hot sunny days the dead birds that are out in the sun for hours can become very blue, fly blown birds have no health risk as what you see on the birds feathers are eggs, not maggots.  

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1 hour ago, old'un said:

Must agree with motty, I see no reason not to eat any birds that have been used as decoys, the only thing I would say is that on very hot sunny days the dead birds that are out in the sun for hours can become very blue, fly blown birds have no health risk as what you see on the birds feathers are eggs, not maggots.  


Interesting old’un, I would have assumed that as soon as they were fly blown that they wouldn’t be good to eat. Thanks for the advice...😉

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2 hours ago, old'un said:

Must agree with motty, I see no reason not to eat any birds that have been used as decoys, the only thing I would say is that on very hot sunny days the dead birds that are out in the sun for hours can become very blue, fly blown birds have no health risk as what you see on the birds feathers are eggs, not maggots.  

I am also of the same thinking , I hate wasting anything , after all the time spent searching and the amount of work in getting a bag the last thing I want to do is chuck them away because they have got some fly eggs around the beak or under the wing joints , most of my shooting only last up to a maximum of 4 / 5 hours and I find not that many are affected by blow fly eggs , when I get home they are laid out on my garage concrete floor or stacked in trays and covered by a old sheet , the next morning they are inspected and then straight in the freezer , then thawed out when needed , or kept in the freezer until they are taken to the dealer , very few are ever binned and any ropey ones are used as decoys until they become past the sell by date .

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16 hours ago, Westley78 said:


Interesting old’un, I would have assumed that as soon as they were fly blown that they wouldn’t be good to eat. Thanks for the advice...😉

Like I said, what you are looking at are fly eggs, these take around 48 hours to hatch into maggots which then migrate into the flesh, as most people de-breast their birds there will be no harm done by eating fly blown birds so long as you can either de-breast or freeze your birds before the eggs hatch.

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13 hours ago, Shotkam said:

Does your dealer take them in the feather after they have been frozen ?

Yes , all mine that end up at the dealers are in the feather , cool them off then straight in the freezer until you have enough to make it worth taking , this day and age you are talking about well into three figures rather than under 100 , unless your dealer is just down the road from where you live and little travelling is involved .

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6 hours ago, marsh man said:

Yes , all mine that end up at the dealers are in the feather , cool them off then straight in the freezer until you have enough to make it worth taking , this day and age you are talking about well into three figures rather than under 100 , unless your dealer is just down the road from where you live and little travelling is involved .

Wow, I havn't sold some for quite some time and they used not to.

Is the going rate still around 30p?

If anyone knows any dealer in Devon who will take birds it would be great to know.

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28 minutes ago, Shotkam said:

Wow, I havn't sold some for quite some time and they used not to.

Is the going rate still around 30p?

If anyone knows any dealer in Devon who will take birds it would be great to know.

It have been quite a few years since I got 30p for a frozen pigeon , last year they were 25p fresh and 20p frozen , this year the demand was a lot less due to the virus outbreak , our main dealer is still open but I am not sure what they are paying, not a lot I would have thought , if there are any dealers around your way you want to check first to see if they are accepting frozen pigeons as a lot now only want fresh . GOOD LUCK

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I guess the big question for all who shoot pigeons in any numbers is, will you still shoot them if you get the call from your farmer but have little or no outlet for your dead pigeons?

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5 minutes ago, old'un said:

I guess the big question for all who shoot pigeons in any numbers is, will you still shoot them if you get the call from your farmer but have little or no outlet for your dead pigeons?

The days when you could get a good return and if you were a decent shot make a few quid on top of your cartridge money are long gone and never likely to come back , we got 40p fresh and 35p frozen when cartridges were £40 a 1000 ( Baikal ) , which I think worked out a 4p a cartridge .

Now hardly anyone could cover costs let alone make anything on top of your expenses , that don't really matter as we don't shoot pigeons to make money , although having a outlet and getting most of your cartridge money back is a big help and if that ever stopped I don't think , in fact I know I couldn't bring myself to shoot something I have shot for the last 50 odd years and chuck them away when the day is finished , if it came to that I would certainly consider in calling it a day .

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Marsh man hi how are you keeping well and safe I hope , you know I think we may be in a minority here but I’m the same as you , it would break my heart to see a load of pigeons just thrown in a ditch at the end of the day !!! I’m lucky that all of what I’ve shot for a good number of years ends up on the table , be it mine , family or friends , never really gone for big bags so never really gone the dealer route I’ve let a few go to a mate to freeze then go to dealer if numbers are high , if I’ve been lucky ! 

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Thanks guys this is really useful stuff 👍🏻

As I’ve said I am only just starting out so I am not expecting (or interested) in shooting huge bags, for me it’s more about being outdoors, protecting valuable crops and the bonus is getting locally sourced, fresh food for me to eat.

Personally, I wouldn’t want to shoot pigeons and then waste them, as it seems completely unethical to me.

 

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On 10 August 2020 at 21:46, spurs 14 said:

Marsh man hi how are you keeping well and safe I hope , you know I think we may be in a minority here but I’m the same as you , it would break my heart to see a load of pigeons just thrown in a ditch at the end of the day !!! I’m lucky that all of what I’ve shot for a good number of years ends up on the table , be it mine , family or friends , never really gone for big bags so never really gone the dealer route I’ve let a few go to a mate to freeze then go to dealer if numbers are high , if I’ve been lucky ! 

I'm of a similar mind as yourself and John (Marshman), as my excesses that are not taken home for our own or friends/family consumption go to a local dealer friend in the next village who takes small amounts from me when necessary, normally in exchange for pheasants, partridges or ducks. I have a tab system so that when I've built up sufficient, we then either agree a cash sum or some game. He knows that any pigeons taken to him have been shot that day and therefore are fresh. I too would consider giving up if the pigeons that I shot did not somehow go back into the food chain.

OB

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