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It's still virtually devoid of pigeons in my usual roost shooting haunts, so I had a look round a couple of other woods on our shoot yesterday.  The most likely option I thought of turned up trumps, with 50+ in several batches leaving the trees upon arrival as I drove alongside the wood at just after 15:00.

I shot here last year, late February when we had some very strong winds and it was exhilarating - not only due to the birds coming in from all angles at speed but also I don't "know" the trees in this wood... and didn't trust they wouldn't start shedding their limbs or fall on me!  Keeps you on your toes and gives you a good reason to keep looking over both shoulders.

So I'm back again, armed with the knowledge gained previously regarding the trees the pigeons like to come in to, and the expected lines.  Calmer wind thankfully, but this time I've got company.  Due to home-schooling plus other things, when it gets to the weekend my other half needs a break from our darling 4 year old.  He's a lovely kid but a bit challenging with his behaviour!  I've been slogging away for the last few weeks getting my empty rental property ready for the next tenant, so my much needed "me-time" chasing pigeons around for a couple of hours on a Saturday ended up a compromise in the form of "me and son" time.

Having turned 4 last July, I've started to encourage my boy to accompany me on a few shooting outings which has been no problem because he loves being outdoors and running wild.  I've taken him on a couple of our syndicate days, plus he's been with me on several armed dog walks where I've just let off a shot or two at a passing pigeon.  The trouble is, he can't stand still.  Or shut up.  His waterproof suit is also bright blue so although it's easy to spot where he's run off to it kind of alerts every bird in the parish to our presence.  And he keeps chasing the dog.  It's hard enough to get a springer to sit still when you're roost shooting but when the poor beast is being harassed by a 4 year old with the attention span of a gnat it's just an impossibility.  Watching incoming birds flare away has become something of a speciality of mine.

So I shot 6 pigeons in the end, which I thought was a miracle, considering I spent most of the time shouting at a boy or a dog to stand still, shut up or come back!  That was probably a 20+ bird session on my own but hey ho!  At least I've found where a few pigeons are roosting on the land I can get on.

So that's the way it looks for the rest of this year's roost shooting.  Just need to fit a radio tracker in my son's waterproof so I don't have to spend half my time going looking for him when he wanders off.....

Crop contents, still plenty of ivy berries plus wheat from pheasant feeders and a bit of greenery.  We've got virtually no rape round here now.

(sorry no photo but you know what 6 dead pigeons look like)

 

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I’ve got a wood I go to, as I go there all leave, must be 50+ only for them to not come back 🤷‍♂️ 
 

I also go there early and they don’t seem to come in 🤣🤣 must know when I’m about! 

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Some kids can be a real challenge to involve in our ways. I really feel you when you talk about behaviour, both my kids(son 8 and daughter 6) are autistic and my son especially can be hard to handle. I'm hoping over time to involve them more and more in my outdoor activities, my daughter shows promise as she's dog mad, just have to wait til we get another gundog! I'm hoping to tempt my son in the better weather with a few reactive targets and moderated .22lr to see if I can spark an interest.

Oh and I don't know what 6 dead pigeons look like anymore....I'm never that lucky these days!!! 🤣

9 hours ago, Jim Neal said:

It's still virtually devoid of pigeons in my usual roost shooting haunts, so I had a look round a couple of other woods on our shoot yesterday.  The most likely option I thought of turned up trumps, with 50+ in several batches leaving the trees upon arrival as I drove alongside the wood at just after 15:00.

I shot here last year, late February when we had some very strong winds and it was exhilarating - not only due to the birds coming in from all angles at speed but also I don't "know" the trees in this wood... and didn't trust they wouldn't start shedding their limbs or fall on me!  Keeps you on your toes and gives you a good reason to keep looking over both shoulders.

So I'm back again, armed with the knowledge gained previously regarding the trees the pigeons like to come in to, and the expected lines.  Calmer wind thankfully, but this time I've got company.  Due to home-schooling plus other things, when it gets to the weekend my other half needs a break from our darling 4 year old.  He's a lovely kid but a bit challenging with his behaviour!  I've been slogging away for the last few weeks getting my empty rental property ready for the next tenant, so my much needed "me-time" chasing pigeons around for a couple of hours on a Saturday ended up a compromise in the form of "me and son" time.

Having turned 4 last July, I've started to encourage my boy to accompany me on a few shooting outings which has been no problem because he loves being outdoors and running wild.  I've taken him on a couple of our syndicate days, plus he's been with me on several armed dog walks where I've just let off a shot or two at a passing pigeon.  The trouble is, he can't stand still.  Or shut up.  His waterproof suit is also bright blue so although it's easy to spot where he's run off to it kind of alerts every bird in the parish to our presence.  And he keeps chasing the dog.  It's hard enough to get a springer to sit still when you're roost shooting but when the poor beast is being harassed by a 4 year old with the attention span of a gnat it's just an impossibility.  Watching incoming birds flare away has become something of a speciality of mine.

So I shot 6 pigeons in the end, which I thought was a miracle, considering I spent most of the time shouting at a boy or a dog to stand still, shut up or come back!  That was probably a 20+ bird session on my own but hey ho!  At least I've found where a few pigeons are roosting on the land I can get on.

So that's the way it looks for the rest of this year's roost shooting.  Just need to fit a radio tracker in my son's waterproof so I don't have to spend half my time going looking for him when he wanders off.....

Crop contents, still plenty of ivy berries plus wheat from pheasant feeders and a bit of greenery.  We've got virtually no rape round here now.

(sorry no photo but you know what 6 dead pigeons look like)

 

 

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23 hours ago, Lloyd90 said:

I’ve got a wood I go to, as I go there all leave, must be 50+ only for them to not come back 🤷‍♂️ 
 

I also go there early and they don’t seem to come in 🤣🤣 must know when I’m about! 

To me that says they must have a decent alternative available nearby - can you pin it down, and can you shoot that location if so?  The windier it is the more determined they seem to be to come back if you put them out of the trees upon arrival.  Windy season is upon us....

14 hours ago, Centrepin said:

Buy a nerf gun for the lad, tell him to help you shoot pigeon 👍 

 

13 hours ago, pbutd said:

Centrepin took the words right out of my mouth. Toy gun .." see how many pigeons you can shoot with Daddy"... might work?

I've been pondering such a thing, but I fear it won't exactly go to plan due to his lack of ability to stand still, focus and concentrate.  Plus he's a smart cookie, he'll know he's not really shooting them.  Also, I'll quite likely spend more time trying to retrieve the nerf gun ammo than I spend telling him to shut up, stand still and come back! :D

14 hours ago, Rob85 said:

Some kids can be a real challenge to involve in our ways. I really feel you when you talk about behaviour, both my kids(son 8 and daughter 6) are autistic and my son especially can be hard to handle. I'm hoping over time to involve them more and more in my outdoor activities, my daughter shows promise as she's dog mad, just have to wait til we get another gundog! I'm hoping to tempt my son in the better weather with a few reactive targets and moderated .22lr to see if I can spark an interest.

Oh and I don't know what 6 dead pigeons look like anymore....I'm never that lucky these days!!! 🤣

Yep, totally understand you mate.  We've always known our lad was a bit different.  After about 6 weeks of his first term at school his teacher called us in for a meeting to discuss his behaviour and "special educational needs" - she basically said what we already knew, that she suspects he may be a little bit "on the spectrum" as they say.  We have thus far opted not to go down the route of seeking a diagnosis but if this lockdown goes on much longer or they chuck another one at us in the near future we might have to re-evaluate that situation.  And start going to AA meetings.

The thing with autistic kids is that they are incredibly focussed on the things that interest them, and generally are very intelligent so I guess it's just a case of playing to their strengths.  Like you, I think my lad will be great when I get my next pup (seeking one soon if anyone has a litter coming and not after extortionate money).   I'm really looking forward to getting him involved in training a pup because he's highly motivated by results and positive outcomes from his effort.  He's keen to come with me when I do my keeping work in the summer as well, helps feeding up etc.  I'll make a keeper out of him yet!

14 hours ago, JDog said:

Jim Neal, I greatly enjoyed your post.

Thank you Sir :)

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2 hours ago, MrsMerton said:

In the past I have been involved a little in education and Special Needs. Children grow up and many successful people are autistic so don't let that worry you too much. It's difficult to get young children to sit while their parents shoot or fish. This will probably come later so be patient. You might see if your son or daughter could engage with some basic drawing or painting. When they are famous artists you can be shooting in the hide while they are producing works of art which will pay for your matching Purdeys. The attention span of most children is short so don't ask too much. Give it time. I wouldn't recommend toy guns just yet. If they show an interest in shooting let it happen at their pace. The key is to find something that interests them, jigsaw puzzles,  etc.  One particularly difficult and violent child that I was involved was totally engaged in chess. It improved his social skills and cognitive development no end.

Thank you (and welcome to the forum :) ).  Honestly, I am really nonplussed by the prospect of my son being autistic.  As you say, there are many people with autism to a greater or lesser degree who have achieved great things.  Also, I don't see autism as an "affliction" as such... I think if we all are honest with ourselves, we all maybe display some sort of autistic behaviour.  It's not a disability, more a character trait!

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Welcome to my world Jim. Jacks 11 and no better than teddy but I still love taking him out. Now he’s shooting it’s even worse as he just wants to pull the trigger, no patience at all so he’s still only shooting clays.

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2 hours ago, johnny said:

 

 

Welcome to my world Jim. Jacks 11 and no better than teddy but I still love taking him out. Now he’s shooting it’s even worse as he just wants to pull the trigger, no patience at all so he’s still only shooting clays.

He'll get there mate, the same as mine will.  We just have to endure the frustration along the way, but I suppose it's a rite of passage in the father/son relationship!

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