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An afternoon of two halves


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My shooting buddy and I had decided to have an afternoon covering two fields of wheat stubble, one already disced, the other just stubble, or gratten as it`s known locally. He gave me first choice as he knew that over the last few weeks I had not got a bag reaching double figures, whilst he, going out for longer periods, had some quite reasonable bags recently. I therefore chose the undisced field where I had previously seen pigeons dropping in and a small flightline heading towards a small shave of trees where it was my intention to set up. This not only gave me shade from the sun but the wind was from behind. Ideal I thought. 

I had just set up and heard my pal was having some shooting in his field about a quarter of a mile away, when I spotted coming into the field a tractor with a set of discs in tow. Knowing all of the tractor drivers pretty well, I thought that as it was a fairly large field (120 acres) he would take some time to get near me and at least would possibly keep birds from settling in other parts of the field. When he got a little closer, I could see that he had a small drill on the back and was direct drilling rape. We had a little chat and I learnt that shortly the drilled part would start to be rolled within about half an hour. He very kindly offered to keep clear of the stubble in front of me until the last possible moment and that I had two hours before he would be near my set up. However, I felt as though I was getting in their way and decided to up stumps on this particular field after about an hour with just 4 pigeons in the bag and drove off the field avoiding the drilled section.

A quick call to my pal and we decided under the circumstances that there was plenty of room on his field for me to set up against a hedgerow with the side wind coming slightly over my right shoulder and as before, out of the sun. I therefore quickly set up about 100 yards from my pal, who by this time had around twenty down. The whirly was quickly put into operation upwind with a few dead birds on cradles set out in front of my hide. Whilst there were a few pigeons about, none really decoyed, so I took in the whirly as it appeared to be have an adverse effect. I`d just brought the whirly in and was laying it down at the back of the hide when two pigeons came in confidently to the decoys catching me off guard and without the gun in my hand. Once sorted with the odd one coming to the decoys, I noticed that they were flaring away from my pal`s whirly and coming in my direction. Quite selfishly, I let this happen on a few occasions as I was getting more of the action before suggesting that he also took his in to see what happened. This he did with similar results and thereafter we were both getting the odd bird decoying as they should.

As he was down wind of me and the birds were generally flighting from left to right (I was 100 yards to the right of him), quite unselfishly he left a few that he could have shot but were heading in my direction for me to get a few more shots. as he already had 20 odd down.

I must admit that they weren`t the hard shots in the book but it made a pleasant change for me to finally, after a few weeks of five or six fro my short trips out, to get into double figures. He ended up with 34 and I had 12, which I was more than happy with. 

Perhaps another session will be on the cards before this field too is drilled with rape and driving over a non starter. The other alternative would be my first choice of field already drilled with rape as that is still attracting pigeons to the wheat stubble and it is less of a stomp to get to my hide position with all the gear.

OB

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2 minutes ago, TIGHTCHOKE said:

Sounds marvellous.

Must have been busy as no mention of the picnic!

Different buddy that time Dave. The picnic/shooting was yesterday with Stour boy where we had chipolatas, pork & pickle pies and current buns, but not many pigeons. It did allow us a bit of a catch up though. There was one instance when two came in for a perfect right and left but unseen as we both were tucking into marmalade sandwiches. More to do with the craic than the catch 👍.

OB

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Excellent write up OB and it sound like an enjoyable day had by all , all bar one of the pigeon shooters I have spoken to recently have all said the same thing when they have been using a magnet , they start off putting it out , watch the pigeons flair off when about 70 yds out and either move it and a short time later bring it in or bring it in from the start , the exception was a chap who I was talking to said he started off with a good spread of static decoys and the pigeons never showed any interest and when he shot the first two he put the magnet out and it was then non stop shooting and if it wasn't for the amount of flies tormenting him he would have shot a three figure bag , as it was he shot more than enough and called it a day after about four hours .

What I have noticed lately is how much earlier you start packing up compared with say the end of June , we were out last Saturday and from about 4pm the action came to a stand still and hardly a Pigeon was seen on the move , Summer have certainly started to draw the curtains in . 

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2 hours ago, marsh man said:

Excellent write up OB and it sound like an enjoyable day had by all , all bar one of the pigeon shooters I have spoken to recently have all said the same thing when they have been using a magnet , they start off putting it out , watch the pigeons flair off when about 70 yds out and either move it and a short time later bring it in or bring it in from the start , the exception was a chap who I was talking to said he started off with a good spread of static decoys and the pigeons never showed any interest and when he shot the first two he put the magnet out and it was then non stop shooting and if it wasn't for the amount of flies tormenting him he would have shot a three figure bag , as it was he shot more than enough and called it a day after about four hours .

What I have noticed lately is how much earlier you start packing up compared with say the end of June , we were out last Saturday and from about 4pm the action came to a stand still and hardly a Pigeon was seen on the move , Summer have certainly started to draw the curtains in . 

Amazing and interesting how things seem to differ between areas etc. 
I’ve used the rotary to good effect on all of my outings so far this summer and rarely find the shooting better without it. 
With the exception of one afternoon I’ve also had good shooting all through July/August so far late on with 5-7 o clock giving a ‘second wind’ of birds. This was the case yesterday in fact when I hastily set up on a pea stubble at 15:30 thinking I may only shoot a handful as there was someone else set up where I wanted to be but after a steady start shot and picked 85, shooting the last one just before 7 o clock. 
The rotary worked a treat pulling birds off of the line going over/around me at height to the next field enough to get a shot with some decoying superbly! 
I’ll never understand why some days they just won’t have any of it whatever you put out / take in though. 
 

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Exhalent report, and yes I too have found that the magnet no longer has the effect it used  to have, and so have just made a riser a pigeon on a 3ft rod going up and down. I have a remote control that can do 3 rises and stop or 6 rises and stop, or stop and start as required, I've had this out twice now and find that combined with an ff5 it is deadly.  Pigeons decoy from long distances strait in like thy did in the first days of magnets, I've just made a 4 ft long rod to try out today. No picnic required as will be too busy shooting. ----------------- I hope! 

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30 minutes ago, dead eye alan said:

Exhalent report, and yes I too have found that the magnet no longer has the effect it used  to have, and so have just made a riser a pigeon on a 3ft rod going up and down. I have a remote control that can do 3 rises and stop or 6 rises and stop, or stop and start as required, I've had this out twice now and find that combined with an ff5 it is deadly.  Pigeons decoy from long distances strait in like thy did in the first days of magnets, I've just made a 4 ft long rod to try out today. No picnic required as will be too busy shooting. ----------------- I hope! 

That sounds an interesting bit of kit Alan. I do like the thought of making things myself. I have found that a flapper spooks the birds far less than a magnet and whilst I always take the magnet, invariably take it in after a while if only to see the effect (or not) it has.

Any photos of your bit of kit?

OB

 

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53 minutes ago, dead eye alan said:

Exhalent report, and yes I too have found that the magnet no longer has the effect it used  to have, and so have just made a riser a pigeon on a 3ft rod going up and down. I have a remote control that can do 3 rises and stop or 6 rises and stop, or stop and start as required, I've had this out twice now and find that combined with an ff5 it is deadly.  Pigeons decoy from long distances strait in like thy did in the first days of magnets, I've just made a 4 ft long rod to try out today. No picnic required as will be too busy shooting. ----------------- I hope! 

Nick Tait (ff5 man) already makes such a contraption, did wonder if it would be any good! 

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14 hours ago, Wilts#Dave said:

Amazing and interesting how things seem to differ between areas etc. 
I’ve used the rotary to good effect on all of my outings so far this summer and rarely find the shooting better without it. 
With the exception of one afternoon I’ve also had good shooting all through July/August so far late on with 5-7 o clock giving a ‘second wind’ of birds. This was the case yesterday in fact when I hastily set up on a pea stubble at 15:30 thinking I may only shoot a handful as there was someone else set up where I wanted to be but after a steady start shot and picked 85, shooting the last one just before 7 o clock. 
The rotary worked a treat pulling birds off of the line going over/around me at height to the next field enough to get a shot with some decoying superbly! 
I’ll never understand why some days they just won’t have any of it whatever you put out / take in though. 
 

Hi Dave   .... That was some very good shooting in the time frame and an excellent bag to finish up on .

Like you say , it can and more than likely do vary from area to area , our estate is 5000 acres and the harvest can take up to six weeks , Peas are long gone and forgot about , all the Winter barley is now in store along with the Rape , the Winter wheat have only just been started on along with the Rye , Beans are now turning Black and are about two weeks away from being cut , we still have a fair bit of Spring wheat and barley and also a block of Maize , this might sound ideal to a Pigeon shooter by having a lot of land to shoot over , it is up to a point but so have the pigeons to feed from , we sometimes have three combines cutting at the same time as some of the farms are run by tennants , we have got good numbers of pigeons but every time a combine start up it then give them even more choice , I like to leave a field if possible for 4/5 days , by that time you might get say 150 / 200 pigeons build up , if I /we go on the Saturday just before dinner and put whatever is on the field off , some will certainly come back and some will go to another field without being disturbed for the rest of the afternoon , throughout the afternoon we will get dribs and drabs homing in on the field we are on , from late afternoon most of the pigeons have found another field to there liking and our sport is beginning to dry up , this is when we ring each other up and decide on a time to call it a day . over the next day or two I have a scout around and find another likely field and the same process start all over again , tell yer Dave, retirement is not all what it's cracked up to be :lol:

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On 19/08/2021 at 11:04, Old Boggy said:

That sounds an interesting bit of kit Alan. I do like the thought of making things myself. I have found that a flapper spooks the birds far less than a magnet and whilst I always take the magnet, invariably take it in after a while if only to see the effect (or not) it has.

Any photos of your bit of kit?

OB

 

Sorry OB not able to load photos, but will try an explanation. The wiper motor comes on a small frame with 2 arms that connect to spindles to work the wiper blades, removing the longest 1 leaves you with a short arm that moves the spindle back and fore. I welded a short bit of square metal with a wing bolt in on to the spindle then made a sort of bouncer bit of kit to hold a breasted out dead bird about 3 feet long to slot into the square bit. the electrics are mostly kit I already had to operate other equipment, 12volt 7amp battery, sped controller used on magnet for corvids, the remote control from eb-- about a £8. Forgot to mention a spike fitted to the frame to push into the ground to hold it upright. On operation the pigeon rises up 90 degrees and then drops to the ground like a landing bird, or you can stop it half way and have an angel this you can then drop to the ground if you see a bird that is loosing interest and some times brings it in. Hope you can understand this long winded explanation. Alan.

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