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Winter barley


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Landowner called to say some of his barley was attracting pigeons, so after a day on the crows at another farm, we called round. 
We could see from the farm yard out to a hilltop at least 500 yards away, birds dropping into his crop; little black silhouettes zipping and diving about like midges from a couple of trees in the hedge line. It’s land we’re familiar with,  so having a plan in mind we arranged to meet the following morning.

It was going to be another hot one. We left the vehicle a good hundred yards away and carried all our gear to the hill brow and set up in a margin on the edge of the crop where we could see the laid barley. We had a panoramic view of almost 360, with the MOD ranges on the Fells to our left, heading towards Stainmore, Wild Boar Fell straight ahead and the Lakes Fells a hazy blur to our right. 
Mate set up his rotary and we spread about a few half shells atop the crop. There was a very welcome breeze coming straight at us which made the sun just about bearable really, but even so the full bottles of water we’d put in the freezer the night before were a great relief. 
I started off with a right and left….a pigeon and crow, the former sweeping into the pattern while the latter drifted over, which perked us up no end hoping this was going to be a sign of things to come. 
The morning settled into a bit of everything really, from pigeons screaming over in singles, doubles and small groups, to the same trying to commit, so it was very varied shooting. 
A big ash about 60 yds down the slope to our right was attracting a lot of birds, but we decided against moving as even though we thought the canopy would shade us, it would also prevent us getting shots at birds, but we may try it next time. 
Anyhow, although birds in the tree were out of range, we found that if we shot them as they flew around our side to settle in it, they were killable. 
We had some spectacular shots and more than a ‘how the **** did I miss that?!’ including the most spectacular miss of all when I gave a bird too much time to commit before standing up, when if flared about 20 yds away looking as big as a Christmas Turkey above my muzzle as it presented its belly, and I missed….twice, by which time it was out of range. 
We had six left and rights between us, and there were many examples of white feathers exploding like confetti bombs against a brilliant blue sky, and we got to 79 before the battery in the rotary died. 
It was a hot and sticky day, and even though the quieter spells seem to grow longer, we decided to stick it out, and ended the day with 104 pigeons and two crows. 
My Benelli was flawless, with some older shorter 65mm Clear Pigeon and the newer 70mm. I used up all my remaining few Pigeon Power and broke into the Eley Select. I have really grown to like the latter, which I’m especially pleased about as they are more readily available to me locally, than any other make. They hit hard and kill well way out there; mate and me often exchanged glances at some of the birds we were surprised folded up in the air. 
Mate had with him his 1301 Comp Pro; it is simply the dogs danglies in my opinion. I want one. 
I did intend to photograph the views as they were fabulous, but forgot! My apologies. 
Farmer was well chuffed. He is cutting it this weekend, in fact they started on another field way below us while we were there. I asked him to let me know when it’s done as I’ll return to collect any empties we will undoubtedly have missed, but he wasn’t too concerned. He has invited us back when it’s stubble, so if work allows we may get to do it again yet before he turns it over. Fingers crossed.  🙂

 

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23 minutes ago, TIGHTCHOKE said:

Sounds lovely, hope you get out again and get the images to show.  :good:

Thankyou. Will try a bit of video if we get the chance. 
The carrier bag full of empty cartridges was worthy of a photograph itself! God knows how many there were! 

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That is a good score for your part of the world which is not known for huge numbers of summer pigeons. It just shows the draw of laid barley. 

Thanks for posting an excellent write up.

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16 minutes ago, JDog said:

That is a good score for your part of the world which is not known for huge numbers of summer pigeons. It just shows the draw of laid barley. 

Thanks for posting an excellent write up.

Thanks JDog. Yes, it’s not often we get to those numbers, although my nephew and a mate hit a 161 the day before around Cliburn somewhere. They were out at first light and stayed until early evening. 

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Just now, mossy835 said:

thats a very good bag you had.and a good right up. glad you had a very good shoot,on cut barley i had 43 today,.

 

Any bag is a good bag. 👍

I would rather decoy than shoot driven if the birds were there. It truly is the best!

I was wedged in my seat yesterday in a very cramped position, simply because of the slope if the land ( in future I will be taking a small fold up shovel ) and today the tops of my thighs are aching from all the getting up and sitting down! 

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A days sport out of the top drawer Scully , apart from protecting the land owners crops one of the main reasons we spend a good part of our life chasing Pigeons about is the sport we get out of it , it is often down to our own doing and at a fairly low price into the bargain . by the way , once again a great wright up :good:

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35 minutes ago, marsh man said:

A days sport out of the top drawer Scully , apart from protecting the land owners crops one of the main reasons we spend a good part of our life chasing Pigeons about is the sport we get out of it , it is often down to our own doing and at a fairly low price into the bargain . by the way , once again a great wright up :good:

Thanks MM. No cartridge to kill ratio today as I’m sure it was abysmal! 🙂But we had a great day! 
We had a good laugh at each other’s faces at days end, as we had the burnt rosy red cheeks and noses of alcoholics, but white stripes and circles where our sunglasses had been! 😎

Mate has forgiven me for blowing a hole in his net! 😂

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24 minutes ago, muncher said:

Very nice write up and a very good bag as well, pleased for you both. 

Cheers Muncher. 👍🏻

20 minutes ago, FOXHUNTER1 said:

Great day , I was shooting laid barley yesterday too. 174 birds shot 88 woodies 86 corvids. Couldn't shoot to my right or would have had more but still a great day.20210724_165306_copy_600x1234.jpg.8db5ee117325643afab5087576e10f71.jpg

That must have been a grand day! 👍

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33 minutes ago, old'un said:

Enjoyed your write-up Scully, well done :good: …..think those fields being cut deserve a day off work :hmm:.... good luck.

Cheers Old’un, pleased you enjoyed it. 👍

Thankyou. 

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33 minutes ago, Lsto said:

Nice write up, I enjoyed the read. Well done and I hope you all continue to have days like this, I look forward to your next report.

Thankyou. 

9 minutes ago, Old Boggy said:

I am enjoying your recent write ups Scully, so please keep them coming. The odd photo of those wonderful views would certainly be a bonus and most welcome. Thanks for posting.

 

Thanks OB, will do. We have an early morning (5am has been suggested! 😳) farm yard corvid shoot coming up sometime this week hopefully, and again hopefully a day on the stubbles. 

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5 hours ago, Scully said:

Thanks MM. No cartridge to kill ratio today as I’m sure it was abysmal! 🙂But we had a great day! 
We had a good laugh at each other’s faces at days end, as we had the burnt rosy red cheeks and noses of alcoholics, but white stripes and circles where our sunglasses had been! 😎

Mate has forgiven me for blowing a hole in his net! 😂

Being out in the sun for long periods can and do takes it toll Scully , it can have it's good points as well , this time of the year I spend a fair amount of time looking through a camo net that my face have got different shades in roughly two inch squares :lol:

Yesterday was like a Winter Barley stubble's shooters convention as just about everyone was out on the many cut fields , normally we can be shooting on a Saturday and don't hear another shot , yesterday the normally absent gunners were out in force , this only last for a few weeks and then they return back to there eleven months of the year hibernation duties .:shoot:

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A great day and a great report…..nice read! Glad you had some good sport, it’s the days like that we all wait for! 
Strangely I’ve always had a 100 plus day on barley every year but this year only shot once for a 40 odd bag. 
Strange how every year is different as I’ve had all my 100 plus days this year on peas! 
Hopefully you’ll be in for a good day when that barley is cut 👍🏼

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11 hours ago, Wilts#Dave said:

A great day and a great report…..nice read! Glad you had some good sport, it’s the days like that we all wait for! 
Strangely I’ve always had a 100 plus day on barley every year but this year only shot once for a 40 odd bag. 
Strange how every year is different as I’ve had all my 100 plus days this year on peas! 
Hopefully you’ll be in for a good day when that barley is cut 👍🏼

Thankyou. Pleased you enjoyed it. Yeah, we’ve got into the 60’s several times, on both crows and pigeons, but neither high numbers or opportunities are that regular as we just don’t grow the crops around here. Spring and winter barley and the subsequent stubbles are all the opportunity we get. There is a bit of rape grown, but I’ve never had the opportunity to shoot over it. 
Rain is forecast this week so we’ll see if we get a chance on the stubbles. 

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