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1 hour ago, muntbac said:

Now that tier 4 has been placed upon most of the UK, and game shooting has has been given an early bath.

Will shooters be heading for early roost shooting this season. 

Depends, some keepers might not want you in their holding woods as they will be catching up come Feb/Mar.

There is also the fact that there is likely to be plenty of birds left in the woods that they may try to hold in the hope of some wild broods.

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2 hours ago, old'un said:

Depends, some keepers might not want you in their holding woods as they will be catching up come Feb/Mar.

There is also the fact that there is likely to be plenty of birds left in the woods that they may try to hold in the hope of some wild broods.

We wont be having our roost shoots any earlier this year than normal which is the first Saturday in Feb , last year the 1st of Feb was on a Saturday which was also one of our clear up days so we didn't start till the second Saturday in Feb .

Either a good thing or a bad thing depending on how you look at it , is we have got a lot of woods that hold Pigeons so if only the odd gun is shooting they will be more or less wasting there time , we can easily let at least 40 guns and still leave the odd wood in peace.

Overall , the first week is the most productive , this can sometimes change due to weather conditions from a calm first week to a rough second week , but overall it slip down each week until we call it a day on the forth week , by then the days are pulling out and the excuses like shopping , football and anything else come into play when the enthusiasm wear a bit thin .

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3 hours ago, marsh man said:

We wont be having our roost shoots any earlier this year than normal which is the first Saturday in Feb , last year the 1st of Feb was on a Saturday which was also one of our clear up days so we didn't start till the second Saturday in Feb .

Either a good thing or a bad thing depending on how you look at it , is we have got a lot of woods that hold Pigeons so if only the odd gun is shooting they will be more or less wasting there time , we can easily let at least 40 guns and still leave the odd wood in peace.

Overall , the first week is the most productive , this can sometimes change due to weather conditions from a calm first week to a rough second week , but overall it slip down each week until we call it a day on the forth week , by then the days are pulling out and the excuses like shopping , football and anything else come into play when the enthusiasm wear a bit thin .

My enthusiasm for it never wears thin but as you rightly say, I start breaking curfew after the end of February due to longer days, and I've had a fair few rollockings in the past when I "come skulking in"!  Doesn't stop me doing it again though, you'd think she could just accept it by now!  I am lucky enough to be able to free up time for a quick roost shooting sortie on days other than Saturdays, so I tend to save up and use a few brownie points going onwards into the first couple of weeks of March, by which time I'm turning my attention back to working on the pens & drives and I think it's time to leave the woods in peace for nesting anyway by then.

It is very unlikely any woods on a game shoot will let roost shooting go ahead early.  We simply don't know what's happening over the next month.  We might end up actually  being able to have driven days in the last week or so of the season, so it would be stupid to drive all your birds out of the wood then come back to shoot them and they're gone!

Catching up doesn't happen anywhere near as much now as it used to, and any keeper knows the likelihood of leftover birds producing wild broods is very slim.  However, it would be foolish not to give them a chance.  It's the only choice a lot of shoots have been left with: try to hammer the foxes and corvids more than ever this spring to give the abundance of leftover pheasants a fighting chance of bringing off a few broods.  I know I'll be doing everything I can.

A moderated shotgun is the answer, you can shoot away to your heart's content as long as your physical presence isn't a problem such as being in pheasants' roosting areas around sunset.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have been roost shooting once a week for several weeks now, I just get out in the woods next to some mature spruces and in they come. I usually do a bit of Pheasant feeding first and get to my spot around 1:00 to 1:30pm. There is usually enough activity at that time, it peaks about 3pm, last week I left at 4pm when they stopped coming.

Bags are not huge, averaging six to ten, although my hit rate could be better.

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Last February I decided to try some local woods on the invitation of the gamekeeper, I got in place around 2.00 and found a good spot, Took a couple of early birds but by 3.00 there were around a dozen guns within 500 yards of my position, it seemed like every time I had a bird in my sights someone else would take a shot and scare off mine, it sounded like world war 3 had broken out, by 4.00 I was so angry I just packed up and went home.

I wont be wasting my time there again , no attempt to control the numbers or placement of guns, 

I have a few options this year but may just stick to my hide and decoys instead.

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