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Will The Poor Demand For Pigeons Affect The UK Pigeon Population ?


marsh man
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Pigeon numbers in my area have increased- most notably since the first lockdown which as we know occurred at the beginning of the drilling season, where many pigeons would have been shot.

My local game dealer was not taking pigeons for quite some time as the restaurants and pubs were closed. After restrictions eased I did begin shooting again, and enjoying some sport on a pea field where I chose to shoot no more than I could process for personal use.

It was more important to me to be out shooting a limit of 20 pigeons than not being out at all.

That was my choice and I have no problem with anyone shooting and dumping the bag if a crop is being destroyed- as we all have the privilege to shoot pigeons for  pest control/ crop protection purposes.

Hitman

 

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1 hour ago, Scully said:

Like you say, they are a very sporting bird, which if we’re honest, is why we do it. We enjoy it. 
They are a pest species, which is why we are allowed to shoot them. We are only allowed to shoot them as part of pest control, and not for sport. But of course you know all that. 

Not having an outlet for the meat has absolutely nothing to do with pest control, whether it’s pigeons, corvids rabbits or rats. 

Hi Scully,  over here we actually have a season for wood pigeon running from 1st of Nov to 31 of Jan. But they are put into a "derogation" because they cause serious crop damage, basically the same as your general licence. So can be shot all Year round. Although last year our minister  for signing the derogation at the Time, DIDN'T!! It caused uproar with the shooting and farming fraternity. So she had to  put her own anti hunting/shooting biased views to one side, reel in her neck, swollen with power and reverse her decision and put the wood pigeon into the derogation. And now the minister we have  in charge is a anti out and out we were waiting on tenderhooks this year what stunt he was going to pull. but he signed off, but now wants to look at duck /game seasons.. Couldn't write this stuff..  gone slightly off track. Any way every day we get sit in a hide for a pigeon, hunt our dogs for a pheasant or woodcock, stand at a flight for a duck is a good day. Because I have never seen as much pressure on shooting as now, and when there's people in power doing their best to push their own agenda, we have a battle ahead.

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1 hour ago, the hitman said:

Pigeon numbers in my area have increased- most notably since the first lockdown which as we know occurred at the beginning of the drilling season, where many pigeons would have been shot.

My local game dealer was not taking pigeons for quite some time as the restaurants and pubs were closed. After restrictions eased I did begin shooting again, and enjoying some sport on a pea field where I chose to shoot no more than I could process for personal use.

It was more important to me to be out shooting a limit of 20 pigeons than not being out at all.

That was my choice and I have no problem with anyone shooting and dumping the bag if a crop is being destroyed- as we all have the privilege to shoot pigeons for  pest control/ crop protection purposes.

Hitman

 

A very sensible approach to limit yourself with what numbers you can handle , you get your sport and you are showing your face , to be fair the majority of Pigeon shooter don't get enough to dump and can easily manage to dispose the bag amongst friends and keeping the rest for themselves .

A couple of years or so ago when 2 / 3 people came out of nowhere and stopped our Pigeon shooting virtually overnight and all the shooting organisations were left stranded when the old G L wasn't been complied with , when the G L was back to some form of normality it was touch and go weather we would be able to shoot any pigeons apart from the place where they are doing the damage and that was after trying other methods of control in the first place, now we are talking about shooting pigeons on a non crop and dumping them as so called pest control , how many used non lethal methods of control before putting the decoys out , :hmm: 

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10 hours ago, Krico woodcock said:

Hi Scully,  over here we actually have a season for wood pigeon running from 1st of Nov to 31 of Jan. But they are put into a "derogation" because they cause serious crop damage, basically the same as your general licence. So can be shot all Year round. Although last year our minister  for signing the derogation at the Time, DIDN'T!! It caused uproar with the shooting and farming fraternity. So she had to  put her own anti hunting/shooting biased views to one side, reel in her neck, swollen with power and reverse her decision and put the wood pigeon into the derogation. And now the minister we have  in charge is a anti out and out we were waiting on tenderhooks this year what stunt he was going to pull. but he signed off, but now wants to look at duck /game seasons.. Couldn't write this stuff..  gone slightly off track. Any way every day we get sit in a hide for a pigeon, hunt our dogs for a pheasant or woodcock, stand at a flight for a duck is a good day. Because I have never seen as much pressure on shooting as now, and when there's people in power doing their best to push their own agenda, we have a battle ahead.

I quite agree we’re up against it, but I’m not too concerned. There have always been those who oppose what we do, and no doubt always will be, but look on the bright side; when the vegans eventually get their way and domestic farm animals are extinct, there’ll be nothing but crops growing in our countryside, and the pigeon population will rocket…….but there’ll be no outlet! 😉

 

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I’ve currently 1200 birds in my freezers and I’ve had them for two months with no takers, I’ve not been out while the freezers are full. My current outlet is full with all the “ butterfly Shooters” who come out in the summer stubbles when they can drive to the pitch , they disappear when the sun goes in and it gets cold!!! Rant Over.

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Hi it takes a lot of time and effort to get your pigeons from the field into a freezer.  It goes against the grain for them to be wasted if its been part of the shooting of them for a long time. Pigeons are increasing in numbers and the damage caused by them is increasing. If more pigeons are shot and if there is  less demand for them ,for what ever reason ,will mean more dead pigeons to dispose of. The numbers of pigeons increasing will mean the numbers shot will increase. Shooters will pay by the day, or by the number of shots fired to shoot pigeons, what happens to their shot pigeons at the end of the day. We shoot pigeons because we want to, and we are allowed to shoot them. Shooting pigeons even when they are breading hasn’t reduced the numbers. Pigeons are protected birds and shot under license ,and they can be sold, it doesn’t say they have to be sold . There are conditions for the sale and disposal of dead pigeons. It’s a good  pigeons are used for food . I was told not to eat too many or you will get gout . I think shooters will just keep shooting them or someone else will. 

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13 minutes ago, Gas seal said:

Hi it takes a lot of time and effort to get your pigeons from the field into a freezer.  It goes against the grain for them to be wasted if its been part of the shooting of them for a long time. Pigeons are increasing in numbers and the damage caused by them is increasing. If more pigeons are shot and if there is  less demand for them ,for what ever reason ,will mean more dead pigeons to dispose of. The numbers of pigeons increasing will mean the numbers shot will increase. Shooters will pay by the day, or by the number of shots fired to shoot pigeons, what happens to their shot pigeons at the end of the day. We shoot pigeons because we want to, and we are allowed to shoot them. Shooting pigeons even when they are breading hasn’t reduced the numbers. Pigeons are protected birds and shot under license ,and they can be sold, it doesn’t say they have to be sold . There are conditions for the sale and disposal of dead pigeons. It’s a good  pigeons are used for food . I was told not to eat too many or you will get gout . I think shooters will just keep shooting them or someone else will. 

So what's the difference between shooting 150 blacks and dumping them and 150 pigeons and dumping them?

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6 minutes ago, old'un said:

So what's the difference between shooting 150 blacks and dumping them and 150 pigeons and dumping them?

One tastes good - the other doesn’t….🙂 Only real difference.
 

I must admit - had to ‘dispose’ of approx’ 100 pigeons during a heat wave in July. They were fly blown and just went off in the high temp’s very quickly. 

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1 hour ago, Gas seal said:

Hi it is wasteful to dump pigeons, but if they are not wanted there would be no difference. 

Many moons ago I used to shoot a lot of pigeons and had two six foot freezers in the garage, I would take the frozen birds to a local dealer who would take as many as I could shoot, then that came to an end about 25 years ago (he retired) so I had to find another outlet, which I did but it was a 30 minute ride up the M5, but he stopped taking birds about 7 years ago so I was left with trying to move birds on, I got rid of the two freezers and bought a 4 foot freezer and although I try my best to move bird on, you can only eat and give away so many, fortunately I have about half a dozen people who regularly take 15 or 20 birds each and a lad who takes about 30 at a time for his ferrets, I have thought about moving over to steel shot and approaching a couple of falconry centres, we will see.

Think we will see more dumping of pigeons as the outlets are just not there anymore plus the prices are so low its just not worth keeping big freezers running, but to do the job the farmers ask of me I do have to reluctantly dump pigeons if the freezers full or no one wants them.

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Not had to throw any away yet but my freezers full and demand from friends and family is waning, no game dealers left round me so a problem is going to raise its ugly head. This year I have 5 farms growing rape 4 more than last year so demand for my services will be high, and hopefully a few good bags had, however disposal of the birds will be a problem. 

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53 minutes ago, dead eye alan said:

Not had to throw any away yet but my freezers full and demand from friends and family is waning, no game dealers left round me so a problem is going to raise its ugly head. This year I have 5 farms growing rape 4 more than last year so demand for my services will be high, and hopefully a few good bags had, however disposal of the birds will be a problem. 

You could always stop shooting them?

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1 hour ago, Krico woodcock said:

Does anybody know why the demand is gone so low for woodpigeon from game dealer's? I know obviously with COVID-19 would have a big affect, but most things opening up  pubs, restraunts, would be a demand again. And I know alot of woodpigeon were 

 

I have heard that following brexit there is friction at the borders. The paperwork required is being rejected at different stages. I am wondering if this will deter some game dealers from exporting…..?! I must confess I’m far from being an expert on game export, but this may be a factor. 

 

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49 minutes ago, Fellside said:

 

I have heard that following brexit there is friction at the borders. The paperwork required is being rejected at different stages. I am wondering if this will deter some game dealers from exporting…..?! I must confess I’m far from being an expert on game export, but this may be a factor. 

 

Tastes have gone to the bland with regards meat (partly through rising popularity of chicken and pork, partly due to slaughtering and processing) but the stronger gamey tastes simply over power people's palate as they are not used to it they therefore then dislike and won't purchase.

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32 minutes ago, Stonepark said:

Tastes have gone to the bland with regards meat (partly through rising popularity of chicken and pork, partly due to slaughtering and processing) but the stronger gamey tastes simply over power people's palate as they are not used to it they therefore then dislike and won't purchase.

I have prepped ready for the pan or oven, pheasant, partridge, rabbit, pigeons and other game and offered it to people only to be told “thank you, but I dont know how to cook it, so we will leave it, thanks” or “we dont like the taste of game” and most will faint if you offer it in the fur or feather.

But as you say most peoples palate as got used to bland meat, I like Hogget or Mutton but its not to everyone taste.

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1 hour ago, Stonepark said:

Tastes have gone to the bland with regards meat (partly through rising popularity of chicken and pork, partly due to slaughtering and processing) but the stronger gamey tastes simply over power people's palate as they are not used to it they therefore then dislike and won't purchase.

I’m sure your right there Stonepark re domestic market.  Although most larger scale game dealers that I know are focused on exports - mainly France and Belgium. 

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5 hours ago, Krico woodcock said:

Does anybody know why the demand is gone so low for woodpigeon from game dealer's? I know obviously with COVID-19 would have a big affect, but most things opening up  pubs, restraunts, would be a demand again. And I know alot of woodpigeon were exported?

When the first lockdown reared it's ugly head our game dealer was still taking pigeons at a reduced price , as the pubs and eating out places shut overseas the selling market more or less dried up overnight , then the home market was also affected with all the buyers shutting up and the dealers storage place was getting less and less , this is when when some of the smaller dealers and also several of the bigger ones had to call it a day .

Now the market have begun to open it's doors again the demand from the public for Pigeon meals seem to get less and less , so this problem we have at the moment isn't going away overnight and for the foreseeable future it is here to stay , and sadly the game market will going the same way .

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1 hour ago, Stonepark said:

It's not just Pigeon or Pheasant, the venison market has also tanked with prices for neck shot deer (no meat damage to carcass) as low as £0.90p per kilo, in some areas.

Don't really make sense , when we were in Waitrose a couple of weeks ago we bought some Venison burgers and they  came from New Zealand, and like you say that in this country you cannot hardly give it away :hmm:

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I think it was New Zealand that turned from shooting to farming the (venison) . Instead of control they found it easier to farm. Selling game is just a by product of commercial shooting . I don’t know how much game is shot each year in the UK , it must be many thousands. Most of the pigeons went to the Continent, l don’t know were the game went to. Was it up goes a pound down comes a shilling. When paying to shoot game when it’s shot who does it belong to. With more pigeons and game shot the problem is what do we do with it all. 

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9 hours ago, Gas seal said:

I think it was New Zealand that turned from shooting to farming the (venison) . Instead of control they found it easier to farm. Selling game is just a by product of commercial shooting . I don’t know how much game is shot each year in the UK , it must be many thousands. Most of the pigeons went to the Continent, l don’t know were the game went to. Was it up goes a pound down comes a shilling. When paying to shoot game when it’s shot who does it belong to. With more pigeons and game shot the problem is what do we do with it all. 

All down to supply and demand , the demand for game shooting seem to be never ending , with a few shoots calling it a day after the turmoil of the last 18 months the people who ran them are finding it easier to buy a day ( if they can find a day ) rather than go through all the uncertainty and hard work trying to run a part time shoot .

Not sure if the new law have started yet with game dealers can only accept game that have been shot with non toxic shot as the super markets can no longer sell game that have been shot with lead , this alone will have a huge impact with commercial shoots who have to make sure that the guns on the shoot have been using non toxic shot , not that easy to comply with when the guns have paid top money to shoot , so if the days bag is a big day, say in the low hundreds and the guns have been using lead then where do the bag end up with ? :hmm:

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