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First time out since November

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I am one of the 'vulnerable' group of over 70's and have been locked down since well before Christmas, the only exception was Christmas dinner with my youngest son and his family, My shooting has been on hold and very frustrating for me but yesterday I was asked to go out to a large area of rape ( no human contact likely ) and the sun was shining so I loaded the car and went full of expectation and enthusiasm.

The green lane to the fields was flooded and my little Suzuki Vitara struggled to get through, but managed it eventually, the rape looks like it has been mown to soil level, the last time I saw this area it was getting up to 4 to 6 inches high. You would have expected to see hundreds of birds on it but no, just a few small groups moving around or sitting up in the few trees that fringe the land.

I set up under some fir trees to take advantage of the wind break, although it was only a light breeze but very cold, 10 dead birds and a dozen half shells, I put the magnet out to start but the first few birds veered away, so took the magnet in for the rest of the session. Starting around 12.30 in bright sunshine with a few fairly high birds coming over but by 2.30 it had clouded over, the birds didn't come as I would have expected especially with all the crop damage evident,  but there was a slow trickle and I managed to take a couple of high birds and at least two very fast down wind crossers, along with the usual much easier birds that decoyed well to the centre of the pattern.

At 3.0 the sea mist rolled in , visibility went from infinity and beyond down to 50 yards in a few minutes, all the birds disappeared back into the trees, so I cleared away and picked up, just 8 woodies and one very large feral pigeon with no rings ( probably from the town centre, very well fed fat bird ) I believe I had a couple more that dropped some way out but as the  wellies were now twice the size with mud and I could barely see in front of me I had to give up on trying to find them.

So home by 3.30 with a few in the bag, and looking forward to some better days on this area once it dries out a bit, I have only ever been stuck once on muddy tracks like this when I went front end down into a grass covered run off dyke , the farmer was very understanding and pulled me out with his tractor, but I am always aware of the risks when I am out on my own in some quite remote areas. 



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Nice report and glad you got out for a little while I know what's it like at moment because I'm in same boat ,shielding at present so it's nice to *** owt an stretch the old legs .mind what ya upto bor ,big number pigeons next time?

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Thanks for posting your detailed report and glad that you managed to get out for a few hours.

it`s not about big numbers, it`s the getting out there that counts.

I bet that you cannot wait to go there again, when hopefully drier conditions prevail and there are still pigeons on the rape.


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Well you are doing better than most of us so well done in getting a few.

I do find this year odd, ok we have had a bumper crop of wild food for the pigeons to go at but most of that as gone now, apart from Ivy berry's, so with a lot less rape being sown why we are not getting reports of some big numbers showing on what rape there is?, rape is well down in this area but I have about five fields to go at but I have seen very little on them since Oct/Nov when I did a bit of early morning flighting, in a normal year I would expect to see some big numbers either sitting in the trees around the fields or down feeding but I think the most I have seen on any field was around 20, so where are they?

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Alans ( Lakeside 1000 ) great report is the reality of rape shooting , very rare will it come up to expectations , seeing pigeons is a vast difference with shooting pigeons although you need to see numbers before you can start to shoot any , on top of that the weather conditions are not the best conditions when the blood start getting a bit thin and you have been drawing the state pension for a few years .

Now the game season is over, this is a very good time of the year for the up and coming pigeon shooter to find some new perms as rape shooting in cold , wet weather is not every ones choice of good sport and a lot of fields tend to get left alone by the older shooter , this is a good time to knock on a few doors if pigeons are seen working the rape fields .

I have got six fields to look after that are close to my home , these are in two blocks of three and are placed a good mile or so apart , I have been keeping a eye on them both at least once a week and to be honest I am glad I haven't seen enough to get excited about and for the farm boys not to put a gas gun on , every week it seem nearly non stop rain and the fields are getting saturated , this make it hard to walk around with just a stick let alone a load of gear on your back that is unlikely to bring you a sack full of pigeons  .

Still having said all that I will be with the boys tomorrow trying to get a few in the woods , mind you , according to the weather man , we are in for some really heavy snow over the next few days and if this is right what they predict , then I know one person who wont be tucked away in a wind swept hedge trying to get that elusive pigeon , roll on the warmer weather is what I say

GOOD LUCK anyone who is out over the weekend , you might well need it :lol:

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Hi Marsh man, I checked the forcast in the week and it was good for today (Saturday) for a first chance at roost, but we went off to the doctors for our covid jabs this morning and it was horrendous, freezing cold, almost horizontal rain with a wind that would freeze a brass monkey.

So it looks like the roosts will have to go on as normal for this week, as I for one most certainly will not be disturbing them. maybe next week will be better.

If you are looking for somewhere to go where you can drive, the gate access along the river bank through the skip yard, is ok, good track as far as the ruins, a lot of crows about. as well as a few pigeons. yard is open weekdays up till 4.30.

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