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Confessions of an ever hopeful pigeon shooter


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Now I know that the purists out there in PW land will say that the hide has to blend in almost invisibly with its surroundings, so no doubt many will be aghast at my permanent hide comprised of an upturned potato box. The far off photo shows just what a blot on the landscape it is and how it sticks out even above the now full height rape. This has now been named by me as `The Confessional Box`. The other photo shows how convenient it can be, out of the wind and with handy shelves to hold coffee cups, sandwiches and cartridges etc. It currently faces a fairly large area of very poor, if not non existent rape.  However, the down side is that it does limit the area of fire, but due to the height and impenetrability of the rape, it is important to drop birds in the open bit in front anyway as retrieving is virtually impossible. I do hang a bit of netting over the front but it wouldn`t allow me to upload the photo. It has been in position now for several months and has provided some reasonable bags over the field of rape, not so on this occasion, but it had not previously deterred the pigeons despite standing out like a sore thumb.

My previous mistake of setting up and returning to the hide and then getting the gun out of its slip and being caught out by an early visitor was not, on this occasion repeated, so once settled in the hide, saying 3 Hail Mary`s, I was ready for action. There were no such early arrivals. With the wind over my right shoulder (not that I could feel it due to the snugness of the box), my hope was that any birds taking an interest in my pattern would come from my left giving this southpaw left to right shots, my preference.

There was a flightline into this 100 acre field and a favoured feeding spot which wasn`t near my hide, so an attempt to divert any pigeons was made by a couple of flags set in this area. Whether this worked, I had to wait and see.

Annoyingly, a few were sitting on the telegraph wires at the top end of the field and dropping in on its edge. The odd shot fired in the air during the many quiet spots, whilst it disturbed them, did not send any in my direction. Also, the bagging off appeared not to make any difference whatsoever.

One or two decided to pay me a visit arriving from behind unseen resulting in a few snaps shots which seemed to be pretty effective from my 16 bore with open chokes (IC & 1/4) using 28 gram fibre wadded 6 shot. All of the shots were taken within the area of the pattern in front being careful not to have any drop in the thicker rape further out. They weren`t particularly difficult shots but having to restrict to a limited area I had to leave many, that in normal circumstances would have been shootable, so discipline was the order of the day. Not many came my way and my total for my late two and a half hours out were just 6 pigeons with none lost. 

Obviously, no confessional box would be complete without its priest and today was no exception albeit it was the inanimate type not human. I am pleased to say that it was not needed on this occasion.

I`m sure that it will come into its own once more with better bags after harvest on the stubble.

OB

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That's a damn good idea for a semi-permanent hide that is, nice and snug 👍 But your account does highlight the need to be mobile and adaptable on any given day, to be able to get yourself in the right spot and keep mobile.  Nice report, thanks :)

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8 hours ago, Jim Neal said:

That's a damn good idea for a semi-permanent hide that is, nice and snug 👍 But your account does highlight the need to be mobile and adaptable on any given day, to be able to get yourself in the right spot and keep mobile.  Nice report, thanks

You are quite right Jim, the right place is more important than ease of setting up, but at the time of positioning the box, it was on a fairly good flightline from a small wood but this has since changed so now not so productive. 

It was a thoroughly enjoyable few hours out and I did exceed my hopeful bag of a fifth of Marsh Man`s previous bag, so all in all a great day.

I now attach a photo of the net in front.

OB

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I good synopsis and a great read sir.

Two days ago, I was finished and packing everything into the bus and giving the dog some water and as he was drinking I saw 2 pigeons heading my way in the distance, so had time to reload and shot the 1st one and missed the 2nd but all camo was removed, included cap etc so was standing there next to a shiny car, pink face and they still came in. . . . .  I can't work it out all the time and it's the same when I go fishing, we deal with nature and it's unpredictable at best

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A well thought out and interesting report OB , I dare say as the years advance we look at Pigeon shooting and shooting in general entirely different than we did in our younger days when the bag was top on the agender , now when we are past the old allocated life span we still get a lot of satisfaction getting out with our gun but the bag is now a lot lower down in the priorities , we accept that there will be a certain amount of exercise and not every days  weather is going to be to your liking, but like Old Boggy, we can make life easier by siting a permanent or semi permanent hide at a remote site to save a lot of walking at a later date when by past experience you know it could , or will produce some sport , also by having more time on our hands we don't have to go when the weather is at it's worst , yes we will get caught out in the odd heavy rain shower and days when we need to put on another layer of clothing, but we don't have to go when they forecast heavy rain moving in and gale force winds , so by being not entirely fine weather shooters and by using a bit of common sense we will continue to pursue our sport for several years to come .

As for your bag , you done well to refrain from shooting at the ones that would be un retrievable , you still finished up with enough for a meal or decoys for a later date , time marches on and the combines will soon be out in force and life will become a little easier when you can drive up to your hide ( house ) for a few hours shooting , bring it on .

 

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Posted (edited)
On 24/06/2021 at 09:49, marsh man said:

A well thought out and interesting report OB , I dare say as the years advance we look at Pigeon shooting and shooting in general entirely different than we did in our younger days when the bag was top on the agender , now when we are past the old allocated life span we still get a lot of satisfaction getting out with our gun but the bag is now a lot lower down in the priorities , we accept that there will be a certain amount of exercise and not every days  weather is going to be to your liking, but like Old Boggy, we can make life easier by siting a permanent or semi permanent hide at a remote site to save a lot of walking at a later date when by past experience you know it could , or will produce some sport , also by having more time on our hands we don't have to go when the weather is at it's worst , yes we will get caught out in the odd heavy rain shower and days when we need to put on another layer of clothing, but we don't have to go when they forecast heavy rain moving in and gale force winds , so by being not entirely fine weather shooters and by using a bit of common sense we will continue to pursue our sport for several years to come .

As for your bag , you done well to refrain from shooting at the ones that would be un retrievable , you still finished up with enough for a meal or decoys for a later date , time marches on and the combines will soon be out in force and life will become a little easier when you can drive up to your hide ( house ) for a few hours shooting , bring it on .

 

Long gone are my full days out hoping for a large bag and I now restrict myself to just a few hours at a time but more frequently and like you MM, I can suit myself when to go and when the weather permits. I have only experienced two 100 plus days many years ago and have no intention of repeating such events, let alone carry the bag off the field. Of course it is great to get a decent bag, but for me these days 30-40 is plenty good enough.  I have now 3 permanent hides (plus the confessional box which can be resited after harvest) and these certainly make things easier with less gear to be taken each time but nothing beats the ability to be able to drive right up to the hide position with whatever gear, plus more than is needed,

 The combines will be rolling in the next couple of weeks around here taking off the Triticale (for biofuel) with the stubble, if the last three years have indicated, giving some good shooting, so that is where my attention will lie in the ensuing weeks ...... hopefully and if I`m spared as MM rightly points out, some of us are on borrowed time, although I`m told that 70 is the new 60. Hope so. ???

OB

Edited by Old Boggy
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Looks grand, especially with the net in front. 👍 I too was also of the opinion that a hide needed to blend in, but a mate persuaded me to set up a hide of big bales he erected with his tractor for us on the brow of a hill on one of his stubble fields last year. 
It worked very well indeed and we had a great day out as I posted back then. 
I think movement above all ( as we all know) is the greatest deterrent to birds, and you must be as snug as a bug in there with no movement seen at all, until you can also see them. 
A bag of 30 or 40 is a good day out as far as I’m concerned, and anything more a bonus. 
Good read. 👍

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