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An unexpectedly busy couple of hours

Old Boggy

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Having carried out a little reconnaissance the previous day, there were three possible options for my short session out to bag a few pigeons on Wednesday.

My first option and plan A was a small 20 acre wheat stubble where I saw a few down feeding. This has been a good provider of pigeon in the past being fairly close to a village where a steady flightline can build up. However, being close to a farm house, I choose only to shoot it when there is a Northerly or Easterly wind taking the noise of the shots away from the house. The forecast had been for an Easterly wind, hence my first option. However, the wind changed on Wednesday to more South Easterly, so I decided not to shoot there.

My next option was a field of newly cut (two days previously) spring barley (Plan B), but on the way to view this and suspecting that few birds would have found it anyway, I had a look at my third option (Plan C) a wheat stubble where I had seen a few down feeding but no significant flightline to the field. Wednesday was different and a good flightline had developed but bypassing `my` field and on their way to other pastures. I didn`t even bother looking at option 2 as I thought that as there seemed to be quite a few about and may offer me the odd shot or two. In my younger days with more time to spend in the field I would have followed this flightline to see where the pigeons were feeding, but these days my time out is limited to a few hours so I am content with a few in the bag and no chasing round the countryside.

The easiest and more comfortable option was to set up on the opposite side of the field to the flightline with the hope of enticing a few into my pattern. Again, a younger person would have set up immediately under the flightline but this would mean sitting in bright sunlight facing the wind. I chose a spot with a dyke behind me and the cooling wind from behind. These days I would much rather sit in comfort and have a few shots than sit in uncomfortable conditions and shoot loads. It`s an age thing I`m sure.

Anyway, against my own better judgement to use the whirly and rely just on fieldcraft, I set the whirly out to my right with the hope that it might just attract a few off the flightline and towards my position. I also had two floaters, a dozen flocked half shells and half a dozen dead birds set up on cradles.

I didn`t have to wait long before the first  pigeon came within range having spotted the whirly and headed for my position. It collapsed to my first shot. This shot put up a small bunch from further afield which then came back over my head fairly high and I shot a fast overhead bird which fell in the field behind, easily to be retrieved later. Another came right into the pattern and was dealt with accordingly. I thought that if they continue like this I will be in for a larger bag than usual. They did continue, however my shooting turned from pretty good to positively abysmal. I was bringing down the occasional pigeon but my form just would not return. I was however, getting plenty of practice !

An easy opportunity was missed when two landed within range, but I was preoccupied with a large slice of gipsy tart courtesy of my daughter and didn`t spot them coming in. 

The pigeon were still being attracted off their flightline by the whirly so I decided to keep it out. On occasion a young bird would land amongst the decoys, but was left to attract older birds. I did shoot a few youngsters as can be seen in the photo which flew over high. My attention was distracted for a while watching seven buzzards above me circling on the thermals. It`s common now to see four or five, so seven was a little unusual. 10 years ago, one in this area would be an absolute rarity and a talking point locally, but not so now.

I ended up my short 2 1/4 hour session with 21 pigeons picked with 3 lost, two in a wide dyke that I couldn`t retrieve and one which flew on and dropped out in the middle of a field of maize. The photo shows those picked before retrieving the ones on the field behind which required a drive round headlands to gain access to the field.

I don`t normally count my empties, but on this occasion I was interested to see just how badly I had shot. When I got home I counted 62 empties cases. Perhaps normal if roost or flightline shooting, but decoying and I must say most were reasonably easy shots, I was a little disappointed with my accuracy, or lack of it. Regardless of that, it didn`t worry me unduly and I had a thoroughly enjoyable and busy time during my short time out. I evaluated this into roughly 2 shots per minute, but as quite a lot were second barrel shots, the time between shots can be misleading.

Wouldn`t allow me to upload photo as saying `1 file larger than 4.88MB and was skipped`, which I find strange as I`ve just posted something elsewhere on the forum with no problems.

Thanks for reading and apologise if it`s a bit long winded.




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That was certainly some write up O B , write ups of that quality are far and few between on the forum lately and you might have just spurred other members to relate theirs day sport to the P W massive , I think at our ages the last thing we think about is a poor average on a day out , we are just glad we can still take part and enjoy the time we are in a hide , starting off the session I often start off with my eye in but like you today it don't last throughout the afternoon .

Today my mate went mid morning as he had to be away by mid afternoon , I told him go where he want on the Bean stubble and I will see him around 12 . 30 , when I got their I more or less knew where he was when I saw his motor , I drove up to hide to see how he was doing and to let him know where I was going for a couple of hours , I got out to have a yarn and while I was in full view a Pigeon came in to the decoys which never went anywhere else , I let my dog out of the motor as it flapping about outside the decoy pattern , I could understand if it was a young one but when my dog brought it back it was a old en , then two minutes later another one came in and ended up with the same result as the previous one , my car was outside his hide , I was standing their with a Blue short / sleeve shirt on and my dog was standing their as well , and yet two pigeons both came in as though we wasn't their.

Anyhow I moved two fields over and set up on some Wheat stubble , I like decoying well out to give me a bit more time and the first one was dispatched with the first shot , the next three were also shot with the first shot , this couldn't last and the next one was dropped with my second shot , I then got three more before my mate rang to say he was packing up and he will leave his Pigeons he don't want near my motor , he left his motor near mine and came down to my hide to have a yarn before he went home , when he came down he said any good and I had eight laying outside my hide as I let my dog bring em back , he came and sat in my hide and a nice one crossed over the hedge and I dropped that one , when Rob said your shooting well today John, it was a bad omen as I missed the next two that were fairly easy , and that was it as I was going to pack in at 3.30 myself , I had a bit of sport for a couple of hours and the dog had a few retrieves ,   two or three hours is now enough and I would sooner have two short sessions rather than a long spell , a sure sign that old age is here to stay :lol:

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3 hours ago, marsh man said:

old age is here to stay 

Don't worry, it's only temporary 😱

12 hours ago, Old Boggy said:

Thanks for reading and apologise if it`s a bit long winded.

No apologies needed, it's always interesting to hear accounts of other peoples' exploits.  I haven't fired a shot for 6 months; in recent years my path has taken me away from pigeons more towards involvement in my game syndicate.  My only pigeon shooting now is a bit of roost shooting and the odd time I'm lucky enough to get invited out decoying, I wish I could do it more!

Keep up the reports 👍

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