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On one large estate that I'm fortunate enough to shoot, as soon as the game season approaches (late July/August) pigeon shooting is knocked on the head over the whole estate. The result,  prime shooting time over stubble is banned. Is this the case on other estates/shoots? I appreciate that the landowner "calls the shots" but is it really necessary? Do game birds experience some sort of trauma at a loud noise? Surely they must get used to the discharge of guns on umpteen days of driven shoots? 

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Some estates do this, they don't want birds disturbed.

Some small shoots I know shoot all the time and the birds get used to it, good in a way as come shoot day the birds don't scraper at the first bang. Farmer gets his crop protected too.

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Yes it happens a lot

 

On our little shoot i have been shooting corvids on a ride next to the pen - the poults dont even flinch at a shot.

 

I think once they are out of the pens you are pretty safe to shoot near them but what the keeper says goes !

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I often have pheasant around whilst shooting. They take no notice of me and appear oblivious to the shots unless something other spooks them. I don't shoot them as folk are paying to come and shoot them.

I also have ducks regularly fly over between rivers, again oblivious to shooting.

On the same perm buzzards often soar high on the thermals above the decoys, nice to watch for a few minutes, especially if you're lucky enough to see one dive. But they seem to know they are safe no matter what's happening around them. 

I also see deer and just a few weeks ago despite my disturbance of its territory came almost nose to nose with one whilst setting up. My son managed a quick picture as it stood looking at us before it gave us a magnificent display of speed.

Edited by Centrepin
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We don't have any Partridge shooting now so our game season don't start till the end of October and they are only small days of walked up and a couple of duck drives. when we done a lot of Partridge days the first one was around mid September and the majority of Pigeon shooting would come to a close , when I say majority this would mean the stubble fields that had game strips and a release pen in , these were left alone from the beginning of August , you could still go on the outside fields around the estate , down the marsh on any crop fields and any field where pigeons could do any damage .

Now I  have a free hand from 2nd of February when the game season finish till the 1st of September , this don't stop me going after pigeons , all I need to do is to let the keeper know where I am going instead of going without letting him know like I do up till 1st of Sept, also as we issue out roost shooting permits for four Saturdays in February I leave the shooting alone till the roost shooting is finished , the main reason is I don't think it is fair if I shot a field of rape during the week beside a wood and somebody was looking forward in going in the wood on the Saturday as one or two like decoying from the edge of the wood , the other reason is I am not that keen in sitting about on a cold day in February to shoot a few pigeons , to be honest that is the main reason:lol:

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There are plenty of reasons why some (and only some) estates don’t want shooting activity - or indeed random people around - during poult rearing time. That’s their choice really - and I won’t let anyone near my pheasants either.
However, game rearing aside, there are good legitimate reasons for pigeon shooting over stubbles: 

1. Pigeons need thinning out when at peak population density (late summer) - prior to anticipated winter crop damage.

2. Pigeons, being very social birds and habit forming, will build up in a stubble area - and cause damage in the general locality to other crops. Thus their flight lines and habits needs to be disrupted. 
 

3. It’s only a couple of weeks or less between stubble and sewing. If pigeons develop a local feed/roost routine on stubbles, they are often still present to take any top seeds on newly sewn ground.

It is well recognised in the ‘spirit and principle’ of our general licences, that pigeon control has whole area relevance, and is not merely farm centred. 


Let’s not shoot ourselves in the foot here. Decoying over stubbles is entirely legitimate!
 

(This has also been much discussed on PWF recently)

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if noise bothered pheasants that much after the first drive all the other drives would be empty it’s give and take when it’s time to freeze on the rape the perms who’s stubbles i shoot seem to be the only ones who can get me on the phone lol 

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2 hours ago, Fellside said:

There are plenty of reasons why some (and only some) estates don’t want shooting activity - or indeed random people around - during poult rearing time. That’s their choice really - and I won’t let anyone near my pheasants either.
However, game rearing aside, there are good legitimate reasons for pigeon shooting over stubbles: 

1. Pigeons need thinning out when at peak population density (late summer) - prior to anticipated winter crop damage.

2. Pigeons, being very social birds and habit forming, will build up in a stubble area - and cause damage in the general locality to other crops. Thus their flight lines and habits needs to be disrupted. 
 

3. It’s only a couple of weeks or less between stubble and sewing. If pigeons develop a local feed/roost routine on stubbles, they are often still present to take any top seeds on newly sewn ground.

It is well recognised in the ‘spirit and principle’ of our general licences, that pigeon control has whole area relevance, and is not merely farm centred. 


Let’s not shoot ourselves in the foot here. Decoying over stubbles is entirely legitimate!
 

(This has also been much discussed on PWF recently)

What an excellent informative  and well measured post all of which makes perfect sense. The argument on my particular shoot is that game birds are in the stubble. This is difficult to understand especially when the the stubble seems to be ploughed almost immediately after harvesting. As for random people being around in the area that I shoot there are plenty of footpaths whereby walkers and dogs are within metres of pens.  

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4 hours ago, DOLLSEYES said:

Disturbance and shouldn't be shooting stubbles as not protecting crops.

Incorrect. Head of NE has confirmed this ok in front of a parliamentary select committee, despite the wording in the general licences being less than clear on the issue.  This is formally minuted.  Can't find it at present but in meantime BASC's formal advice is:

Quote

Defra’s general licences allow preventative action to be taken and there is no restriction on using decoys, shooting on stubbles, roost shooting etc.

(Above applies to England)

 

Back on topic, in my limited experience phessies can be disturbed by gunshot, but on the whole aren't actually that bothered.  On our DIY syndicate we don't take the risk of disturbing them. 

I've been using a Mossberg 20b Hushpower if necessary, and this appears to occupy the 'goldilocks' sweet spot between stopping power and noise, when used with suitable subsonic carts, but only as far away from the pens as possible, and only then if there's a clear need for vermin control

 

Edited by udderlyoffroad
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17 hours ago, Balotelli said:

On one large estate that I'm fortunate enough to shoot, as soon as the game season approaches (late July/August) pigeon shooting is knocked on the head over the whole estate. The result,  prime shooting time over stubble is banned. Is this the case on other estates/shoots? I appreciate that the landowner "calls the shots" but is it really necessary? Do game birds experience some sort of trauma at a loud noise? Surely they must get used to the discharge of guns on umpteen days of driven shoots? 

I don't really know why. I may have disagreed with the OP's other post about pigeons and the "old boy". But I have to agree with him here.

As others have said there's maybe some belief that it'll cause birds to wander? But food is food and if you feed then I can assure you those pheasants aren't going to go far! I can see there might be good sense in it with regard to partridge that you don't want the smell of man or dog over the stubbles coming up to September but pheasant? And no roost shooting until 1 February (and ceasing that roost shooting in March) I can see the sense of also..

But I sometimes shoot on the Normanton Gun Club clay ground at Thurlaston in Leicestershire. You can actually see the pegs set out come October for the pheasant drives and (save two Saturdays each month in season when the actual pheasant day is conducted) the clay ground operates Tuesday to Saturday inclusive each week throughout the year. So if there were a problem of gun noise five days a week it'd be obvious as it's been such so for four decades now.

An old school "partridge manor" it may make sense over. But on a shoot of pheasants poults put down to woods? I can't see any good reason.

Edited by enfieldspares
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2 hours ago, kenholland said:

I just went into hushpower mode not a problem, shot more crows aswell this way.

That's very interesting and I'm currently looking at sub-sonic cartridges and an A-TEC silencer (quite a good video on youtube). At the moment I'm really at the early stages of judging just how effective either one is or both are. If Forum members are interested I'd be happy to report my findings. What I have discovered is that the silencer has little effect on a ported barrel and that Hull 28g subsonics will not cycle an auto. I'll give Fiocchi cartridges a try as they have a heavier load.

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On ‎26‎/‎08‎/‎2020 at 15:56, Balotelli said:

On one large estate that I'm fortunate enough to shoot, as soon as the game season approaches (late July/August) pigeon shooting is knocked on the head over the whole estate. The result,  prime shooting time over stubble is banned. Is this the case on other estates/shoots? I appreciate that the landowner "calls the shots" but is it really necessary? Do game birds experience some sort of trauma at a loud noise? Surely they must get used to the discharge of guns on umpteen days of driven shoots? 

The case I offer to the landowner/keeper is that I will never shoot anywhere near game cover or roosting woods and will ONLY set up around the perimeter of the game shooting area. That way, IF my activities have any effect on gamebirds, it will be to stop them wandering away, sort of dogging in. Often convinces the landowner, although I was once turfed off a farm because "The pheasants will be coming in next week and I want it to be quiet"

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Mmm..... I'm starting to come to the conclusion that these gamebirds aren't quite the delicate flowers that we are led to believe and that some old wive's tales persist.  Perhaps similarities to the close season for fishing. It seems that if pigeon shooters adopt a sensible approach then both could co-exist with pigeon shooting halted on driven days.  After all, crop protection is surely a requirement whether gamebirds are present or not.

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I actually have suspected that it's less about disturbance and more about the worry that the gun shots being heard aren't Mr X or Master Y shooting pigeons but actually the guns shots of an unknown actually shooting the pheasants. So that the estate prefers no shooting so that if gun shots are heard then it's known it is a trespasser there who has no permission to shoot during those weeks in question.

Edited by enfieldspares
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35 minutes ago, enfieldspares said:

I actually have suspected that it's less about disturbance and more about the worry that the gun shots being heard aren't Mr X or Master Y shooting pigeons but actually the guns shots of an unknown actually shooting the pheasants. So that the estate prefers no shooting so that if gun shots are heard then it's known it is a trespasser there who has no permission to shoot during those weeks in question.

I did consider that myself and nearly included that thought in my previous post. My reason for not including that idea is that poaching seems to be bit of a thing of the past. Most supermarket goers/public have little idea of what a pheasant is let alone cope with a pheasant in the feather or anything else that is not in a packet. Poaching for the pot seems to belong to a bygone era, bit like scrumping. With pheasants being given away after shoots or sold for pence, the sale price of a pheasant would barely cover cost of a poacher's cartridge. 

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1 hour ago, Balotelli said:

Mmm..... I'm starting to come to the conclusion that these gamebirds aren't quite the delicate flowers that we are led to believe and that some old wive's tales persist.  Perhaps similarities to the close season for fishing. It seems that if pigeon shooters adopt a sensible approach then both could co-exist with pigeon shooting halted on driven days.  After all, crop protection is surely a requirement whether gamebirds are present or not.

 

56 minutes ago, enfieldspares said:

I actually have suspected that it's less about disturbance and more about the worry that the gun shots being heard aren't Mr X or Master Y shooting pigeons but actually the guns shots of an unknown actually shooting the pheasants. So that the estate prefers no shooting so that if gun shots are heard then it's known it is a trespasser there who has no permission to shoot during those weeks in question.

 

6 minutes ago, Balotelli said:

I did consider that myself and nearly included that thought in my previous post. My reason for not including that idea is that poaching seems to be bit of a thing of the past. Most supermarket goers/public have little idea of what a pheasant is let alone cope with a pheasant in the feather or anything else that is not in a packet. Poaching for the pot seems to belong to a bygone era, bit like scrumping. With pheasants being given away after shoots or sold for pence, the sale price of a pheasant would barely cover cost of a poacher's cartridge. 

Yes in all cases, which for crop protection i keep going. Stop day before and generally day after too.

If im on the land, it "may" keep off others but having said that recently we had a red 4x4 drive on, shoot from the windows in several places on the land then leave, no visible plates. Not a day I was shooting fortunately. 

I'm always wary of confronting trespassers as I'm the one who's armed despite having permission to be so. Easier for a quick phone call to the farmer or the guy who owns the shooting rights and let them deal with it.

Right to roamers are of course different and often pointing out its unsafe to roam without the farmers express permission is not only dangerous but rather rude and disrespectful is enough along with showing them a map is enough to keep them away.

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19 minutes ago, Balotelli said:

I did consider that myself and nearly included that thought in my previous post. My reason for not including that idea is that poaching seems to be bit of a thing of the past. Most supermarket goers/public have little idea of what a pheasant is let alone cope with a pheasant in the feather or anything else that is not in a packet. Poaching for the pot seems to belong to a bygone era, bit like scrumping. With pheasants being given away after shoots or sold for pence, the sale price of a pheasant would barely cover cost of a poacher's cartridge. 

Leading up the first shoot of the new game season it would be a very stressful time for the keeper and the last thing he want is worrying about people shooting on the stubble , not only that if I was shooting Pigeons a few days prior to the shoot day and things didn't go as well as could be expected on his first day I am sure I could be part of the blame game .

As for crop protection during the shooting season , apart from Rape plants I can't think of any crop we would have left that need protecting , if pigeons were posing a problem on the rape I am sure I could go after any shoot day until a few days before the next shoot .

Nowadays it is not about shooting a few for the pot it is more of a worry if they they know where the release pens are and get in these overnight and clear the live ones out , these make far more money on the Black market than a few brace of dead ones . 

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57 minutes ago, Balotelli said:

With pheasants being given away after shoots or sold for pence, the sale price of a pheasant would barely cover cost of a poacher's cartridge. 

Ah...but! That pheasant, now dead, sold for pence by the poacher is...at current prices I see on "Guns on Pegs" £40.00 (per bird) alive and flying to be shot by paying guns. So whilst five dead pheasants may a packet of twenty fags from his lorry driver or coach driver mate down the road that's £200 lost to the estate's accounts. 

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3 hours ago, enfieldspares said:

Ah...but! That pheasant, now dead, sold for pence by the poacher is...at current prices I see on "Guns on Pegs" £40.00 (per bird) alive and flying to be shot by paying guns. So whilst five dead pheasants may a packet of twenty fags from his lorry driver or coach driver mate down the road that's £200 lost to the estate's accounts. 

True, the Estate has lost out.  But equally you could argue that the poacher has saved our gun £40. You'll probably say that the "gun" may not return next season despite being £40 better off. But as so often said on this Forum, time time again,  shooting the birds is incidental just so long as you have a nice day out.

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Well I've shot on estates where pheasants and pigeon shooters co-existed for the past thirty years and from my observations shooting pigeons doesn't disturb birds released to a wood if the pigeon shooter is set up one hundred yards or so from that wood. Now if partridge are in the mix then yes I'd agree that there shouldn't be shooting over those stubbles, or roots (turnips and etc.) or other where those partridge frequent. But in truth most estates now simply release pheasants and pheasants only. The days of old school partridge manors are mostly past.

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13 hours ago, Balotelli said:

True, the Estate has lost out.  But equally you could argue that the poacher has saved our gun £40. You'll probably say that the "gun" may not return next season despite being £40 better off. But as so often said on this Forum, time time again,  shooting the birds is incidental just so long as you have a nice day out.

So you would be happy having paid your £400 for 10 pheasants that you never had a opportunity to shoot at to pay the agent the money at the end of the day 

when he says poachers had 80 birds last week that’s 10 each but your out and had a good ride around the countryside 

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