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It's not just Pigeons. During winter months I love to go round the farm shooting rats. Last year we had a lot of rats on a big muck heap near pheasant feeders. I could go out on a night and shot 25 - 30 rats. Yesterday I was talking to the game keeper  he said he shot 300 - 400 rats a night on it. What a load of BS

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Bags do vary enormously from one area to another etc. However, I find the biggest silly claims are about cartridge / kill ratio.

I was shooting over laid barley on a friend’s farm last year. I had been there most of the day and shot perhaps twenty odd - quiet really. At about 3 in the afternoon, there was a sudden a step change, and the birds came thick and fast. In no time the bag was fiftyish. Then two characters appeared and set up in the next field down wind. I still managed a shot now and then, but for the remaining 4 hours or so they had nearly all the shooting. Just for something to do I counted their shots. My numbers weren’t perfect as I stopped counting shots at circa 190 plus. Their shooting wasn’t steady - sometimes a barrage, sometimes a double pop etc. They were using  semi’s, so able fire a few. 

I met them on their way out the farm and chatted a while. They had  38 birds picked - and claimed to have only fired 60 cartridges...?!
I didn’t challenge - preferring instead to let them enjoy a moment of hero status. Incidentally, they weren’t invited back for all sorts of other reasons. 

I hear these wild claims sometimes in game shooting too. I have known people even count the number of birds in their ratio which they believe to have been hit - hilarious. 

I was once on a pheasant drive with a chap who did this often.  One day, after using both barrels at a fairly average pheasant said to his loader, “I think that’ll come down.’ The reply came, “aye....when it’s hungry sir.”

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14 minutes ago, Fellside said:

Bags do vary enormously from one area to another etc. However, I find the biggest silly claims are about cartridge / kill ratio.

I was shooting over laid barley on a friend’s farm last year. I had been there most of the day and shot perhaps twenty odd - quiet really. At about 3 in the afternoon, there was a sudden a step change, and the birds came thick and fast. In no time the bag was fiftyish. Then two characters appeared and set up in the next field down wind. I still managed a shot now and then, but for the remaining 4 hours or so they had nearly all the shooting. Just for something to do I counted their shots. My numbers weren’t perfect as I stopped counting shots at circa 190 plus. Their shooting wasn’t steady - sometimes a barrage, sometimes a double pop etc. They were using  semi’s, so able fire a few. 

I met them on their way out the farm and chatted a while. They had  38 birds picked - and claimed to have only fired 60 cartridges...?!
I didn’t challenge - preferring instead to let them enjoy a moment of hero status. Incidentally, they weren’t invited back for all sorts of other reasons. 

I hear these wild claims sometimes in game shooting too. I have known people even count the number of birds in their ratio which they believe to have been hit - hilarious. 

I was once on a pheasant drive with a chap who did this often.  One day, after using both barrels at a fairly average pheasant said to his loader, “I think that’ll come down.’ The reply came, “aye....when it’s hungry sir.”

A great post and a most enjoyable read. You're lucky to have seen the back of that duo. I suspect that the bag was exaggerated too - fits in with the rest of their claim. Probably tell porkies about being members of mensa. As for the loader, I suspect that he won't be invited back either!

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In my youth I was a very keen specimen fisherman concentrating on Eels, Pike and Zander. Travelling to the fens, north wales and Somerset fishing dawn till dusk. The Angling publications loves stories of big fish and I know of many exaggerated weights of fish. To this end I would not publicise my catches just photograph and return. 

Move forward forty years and yes I publicise my bags on this forum and did for a time on face ache until they required me to use my real name. In my photographs I lay the birds out so the geeks can count them if they want to check if my report in correct. I have found that sending the picture to the farmer has earned me respect and other shooters glibly talk of two and three hundred bags and the farmers are asking for a photo so they can show other farmers. 

The moral is if you are truthful in your numbers you will not get caught out, the exaggerator will have to keep exaggerating and eventually fall foul of the lies.

 

thats my two pence on the subject.

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Reference the comment about ‘exaggerated claims’. You can judge a pigeon shooting day, be it decoying, roost shooting or flight lining, in three ways, how many birds you pick, how many birds you click ( on counter) and how many empties are in your net bag.

Decoying on stubbles ( unless standing crops adjacent to field) should produce within ten percent picked to clicked, flight line shooting and roost shooting about fifty percent unless you have a good pigeon picking dog.

If you can genuinely pick half as many birds as the number of shots fired then join the majority of pigeon shooters, therefore two or three hundred birds in a day would mean around six hundred cartridges fired. Now I always have two slabs with me but I’ve NEVER fired more than one slab for around 125/130 picked (3 times last year but only once so far this year and that was on crows.

Most of the guys I know couldn’t afford to cart three or more slabs of half decent carts around with them!

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2 hours ago, Manymissedpigeon said:

Reference the comment about ‘exaggerated claims’. You can judge a pigeon shooting day, be it decoying, roost shooting or flight lining, in three ways, how many birds you pick, how many birds you click ( on counter) and how many empties are in your net bag.

Decoying on stubbles ( unless standing crops adjacent to field) should produce within ten percent picked to clicked, flight line shooting and roost shooting about fifty percent unless you have a good pigeon picking dog.

If you can genuinely pick half as many birds as the number of shots fired then join the majority of pigeon shooters, therefore two or three hundred birds in a day would mean around six hundred cartridges fired. Now I always have two slabs with me but I’ve NEVER fired more than one slab for around 125/130 picked (3 times last year but only once so far this year and that was on crows.

Most of the guys I know couldn’t afford to cart three or more slabs of half decent carts around with them!

If I was decoying, I would be embarrassed to fire 300 cartridges for 150 birds, unless they were not decoying at all.

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13 hours ago, motty said:

If I was decoying, I would be embarrassed to fire 300 cartridges for 150 birds, unless they were not decoying at all.

I would be delighted with an average of 1 in 2😁

 

13 hours ago, JDog said:

On any particular day the worse my average is the better the shooting has been.

That sort of sums it it.

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13 hours ago, JDog said:

On any particular day the worse my average is the better the shooting has been.

That’s true. I like shooting flaring pigeons. Killing them dropping into the pattern for me is pest control, but hitting a bird that has flared off at pace is great sport. 

With a dog you should be able to pick most birds, some get tangled in trees or bushes and are not retrievable but generally you should get most. I pick up runners or outliers as I go along. On flightlines I tend to pick as I go. 

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On 28/08/2020 at 18:29, WalkedUp said:

That’s true. I like shooting flaring pigeons. Killing them dropping into the pattern for me is pest control, but hitting a bird that has flared off at pace is great sport. 

With a dog you should be able to pick most birds, some get tangled in trees or bushes and are not retrievable but generally you should get most. I pick up runners or outliers as I go along. On flightlines I tend to pick as I go. 

That's why shooting a pigeon a minute or in some reports, an even higher average, seems an extraordinary feat. I've yet to see pigeons queueing ready to be shot. Maybe a left and right now and again. But this will be offset by sending out the dog,  picking up runners, if, without a dog, a bit of tidying up periodically and dare I say it, the odd miss.

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I’ve had days when you don’t even look at the bird you’ve just killed because the next one is on its way. And it can stay like that for hours, as if on a conveyor belt. You go out into the decoy pattern and they are still trying to land around you. 

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8 hours ago, Balotelli said:

That's why shooting a pigeon a minute or in some reports, an even higher average, seems an extraordinary feat. I've yet to see pigeons queueing ready to be shot. Maybe a left and right now and again. But this will be offset by sending out the dog,  picking up runners, if, without a dog, a bit of tidying up periodically and dare I say it, the odd miss.

A pigeon a minute really isn't that much. I have recently had shooting where you could easily shoot 6 a minute at times.

If you haven't experienced pigeons coming in thick and fast, then that is a shame. 

 

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9 hours ago, WalkedUp said:

I’ve had days when you don’t even look at the bird you’ve just killed because the next one is on its way. And it can stay like that for hours, as if on a conveyor belt. You go out into the decoy pattern and they are still trying to land around you. 

Wow, you sure are a lucky guy. I guess that you are in East Anglia which seems a pigeon fest. I had a look around some newly drilled fields today and not a pigeon to be seen. 

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20 minutes ago, motty said:

A pigeon a minute really isn't that much. I have recently had shooting where you could easily shoot 6 a minute at times.

If you haven't experienced pigeons coming in thick and fast, then that is a shame. 

 

Well, Motty, I haven't experienced anything like that and as I commented to WalkedUp, if you are in Norfolk it seems to be a completely different kettle of pigeons.  At the moment what few pigeons there are in my neck of the wood seem to be on berries. It seems that East Anglia is a heck of a draw and Norfolk in particular. It would be interesting to know why that is the case. It seems either I'll have to move to a pigeon friendly area or have a word with Prince Andrew and arrange a weekend stay in one of the houses on the Sandringham Estate. He'll put me onto the birds I'm sure.  

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16 minutes ago, Balotelli said:

Wow, you sure are a lucky guy. I guess that you are in East Anglia which seems a pigeon fest. I had a look around some newly drilled fields today and not a pigeon to be seen. 

What were the fields drilled with? If it was rape it isn’t surprising that there were no pigeons.

18 minutes ago, Balotelli said:

Wow, you sure are a lucky guy. I guess that you are in East Anglia which seems a pigeon fest. I had a look around some newly drilled fields today and not a pigeon to be seen. 

I have shot four or five pigeons in a minute several times but never in Norfolk.

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15 minutes ago, Balotelli said:

Well, Motty, I haven't experienced anything like that and as I commented to WalkedUp, if you are in Norfolk it seems to be a completely different kettle of pigeons.  At the moment what few pigeons there are in my neck of the wood seem to be on berries. It seems that East Anglia is a heck of a draw and Norfolk in particular. It would be interesting to know why that is the case. It seems either I'll have to move to a pigeon friendly area or have a word with Prince Andrew and arrange a weekend stay in one of the houses on the Sandringham Estate. He'll put me onto the birds I'm sure.  

There are many good areas all over the country that will give good shooting. What area are you in?

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51 minutes ago, Balotelli said:

Wow, you sure are a lucky guy. I guess that you are in East Anglia which seems a pigeon fest. I had a look around some newly drilled fields today and not a pigeon to be seen. 

I have never had that sort of day on drilled fields, none of my perms shoot well at drillings - partly because I’m out of the loop too much when it’s to be sown to plan ahead (even the one that’s literally at the back of my garden), then the crops are wrong, and even the beans are direct drilled so very little waste for the birds. My big days have always on stubbles or laid wheat when warm and sunny. All the land is Cheshire and North Wales, not exactly wood pigeon central. One of my perms is at over 1000ft above sea level and produces birds! The yield must be poor for the farmer but he only uses the barley as fodder for his dairy herd. 

I wouldn’t say I’m lucky, I put in 5-10 bad days for each good one ... as ever you make your own luck. I don’t have enough land to be picky about where to shoot but have 13 (small) permissions that I share so try and get to the right place. It’s a 3 hour round trip to drive past all my perms, one is on my doorstep.

One farmer called to say he was having crow issues in his silage clamps at 5pm. I went down at 6am the next day and shot till 9am making a decent dent into the blacks. He rewarded me with a new permission. On that perm was lots of wheat but no birds. I knocked on the door, well spoke to a man in the yard, of a neighbouring farmer as I had spotted lots of pigeons battering what I thought was his wheat. It wasn’t his land but he pointed me in the right direction. Found the other farm house 15 mins away and spoke to the farmer’s wife then found the farmer on the lane. He was really nice but it’s a shooting estate so the keeper will not allow shooting on the field I had seen was being hit bring adjacent to a release pen. Fair enough. The fields near to his farm house must had been cut that morning (combines sat idle) but he said if I was a few days earlier I could have had shooting on them because the pigeons had been causing havoc. However he didn’t want those stubbles shot to put birds onto his standing wheat unprotected, fair enough. Next year I will go and call in again a few weeks earlier.

Nothing is by accident. 

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1 hour ago, JDog said:

What were the fields drilled with? If it was rape it isn’t surprising that there were no pigeons.

I have shot four or five pigeons in a minute several times but never in Norfolk.

Well, JDog, you are spot on it was stubble drilled with rape. But there has been no pigeons on fields and fields of stubble, whether freshly cut or not,  standing crops etc etc. Clearly, I'm looking in the wrong places. Maybe I need to invest in a drone! Save an awful lot of pointless driving about. It's odd that the farmers very seldom say that there is a pigeon issue and leave it to the shooters to find them.  

1 hour ago, motty said:

There are many good areas all over the country that will give good shooting. What area are you in?

Leicestershire/Derbyshire border

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Balotelli 

I missed either the humour or faux pas in your earlier post. You probably meant Prince William rather than Andrew. The latter may fix you up with birds alright but they may be off limits due to their age.

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You just have to laugh.

I mean to say, where's all the feathers for a start. Come on, if you shoot ??, there's bound to be a few. But it won't wash as oppo was leaning over a gate watching. He admits he did lose count somewhere through what would have been a second box, but estimates there were as near as damnit 50 shots fired for the pigeon he saw hit. All things being equal then these two clowns fired 38 boxes of ammo in an afternoon.

Do not let the coincidental fact that variety is adverised as a food for life detract from the fact that the above being perfectly true. You don't need to be Archimedes to work it out

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1 hour ago, wymberley said:

You just have to laugh.

I mean to say, where's all the feathers for a start. Come on, if you shoot ??, there's bound to be a few. But it won't wash as oppo was leaning over a gate watching. He admits he did lose count somewhere through what would have been a second box, but estimates there were as near as damnit 50 shots fired for the pigeon he saw hit. All things being equal then these two clowns fired 38 boxes of ammo in an afternoon.

Do not let the coincidental fact that variety is adverised as a food for life detract from the fact that the above being perfectly true. You don't need to be Archimedes to work it out

I think that some of these pigeon shooters are so thick they cannot separate fact from fiction. They don't seem to work out that some of us can approximate the number of cartridges fired and the number of birds shot: and as wymberley comments, where are the bags full of corpses? I had a quick look around a shooting estate today to be told  by an individual that yesterday his mate had shot the best part of a 100 pigeons in the evening session. Quite a feat considering that there is not a pigeon to be seen on any of the fields. Time to join the porky club. For those who remember Monty Python, " That's nothing, I shot 286 in the morning, had a two hour lunch break, collected a pallet load of cartridges, shot 626 in the afternoon, went home had a nap and shot 194 in the evening". 

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I was recently talking to a chap who shoots on a shared permission and he told me that somebody had shot a stubble field recently and that he had heard well over 500 shots fired. When he went for a look the next day there were hardly any feathers on the ground!

The people shooting were in fact JDog and myself. We fired exactly 130 cartridges and picked 50 pigeons losing a couple in some standing Barley behind us. Not sure where the other 370 shots came from or we are both lying about how many shots we each fired.😀

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6 hours ago, JDog said:

Balotelli 

I missed either the humour or faux pas in your earlier post. You probably meant Prince William rather than Andrew. The latter may fix you up with birds alright but they may be off limits due to their age.

Actually, no faux pas, that would have been rather clumsy of me.  I did mean Prince Andrew as he arranged a private shoot for his late departed friend Epstein and Ms Maxwell on the Sandringham Estate. You probably recall he also arranged private tours of Buckingham Palace. So a humble pigeon shoot would well be within his gift.

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