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


marsh man
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1 hour ago, marsh man said:

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:

Yes agreed, all the above has a bearing for sure. Personally, I would be perfectly happy to see a return to the prominence of smaller bags. I really enjoy those little driven farm shoots, where the bag is couple of dozen birds. I like the pressure of trying to make every shot count. It makes that 40 or 50 yard screamer all the more special (particularly if you send it tumbling), as there isn’t a constant stream of them. 
 

Just my thoughts…..for what it’s worth. 

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9 hours ago, marsh man said:

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:

There is no law stating that game dealers can only accept game shot with NTS, nor one that prevents supermarkets from selling it.
I know I’m being pedantic continuing to bang on about this, but it’s important to get it right.  
Perhaps the swing from lead to NTS will reflect itself in reduced bags, but in my experience those guns buying driven days on commercial shoots can afford the increased cost of some of the more expensive NTS cartridges, so who knows? 

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15 minutes ago, Scully said:

There is no law stating that game dealers can only accept game shot with NTS, nor one that prevents supermarkets from selling it.
I know I’m being pedantic continuing to bang on about this, but it’s important to get it right.  
Perhaps the swing from lead to NTS will reflect itself in reduced bags, but in my experience those guns buying driven days on commercial shoots can afford the increased cost of some of the more expensive NTS cartridges, so who knows? 

Waitrose who are classed as the biggest sellers of wild game stopped selling lead shot game last season ( 2020 / 2021 ). 

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43 minutes ago, marsh man said:

Waitrose who are classed as the biggest sellers of wild game stopped selling lead shot game last season ( 2020 / 2021 ). 

That may be, but as far as I’m aware, that is policy created by consumer preferences, not law. 
 

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24 minutes ago, Scully said:

That may be, but as far as I’m aware, that is policy created by consumer preferences, not law. 
 

Even so , who ever supply Waitrose with their game would not risk letting game slip their fingers that have been shot with lead , far to much to lose .

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42 minutes ago, marsh man said:

Even so , who ever supply Waitrose with their game would not risk letting game slip their fingers that have been shot with lead , far to much to lose .

Quite. Commercial shoots will cater to demands of game dealers catering to policy created by Waitrose, who like I said, cater to preferences of their customers. None of which is created by law. 

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1 hour ago, Scully said:

Quite. Commercial shoots will cater to demands of game dealers catering to policy created by Waitrose, who like I said, cater to preferences of their customers. None of which is created by law. 

Last season was just a blur that never really took off and no organised game shooting took place from Christmas to the end of the season .

So the talk about super markets not accepting lead shot game was either in or before the 2019 /2020 season and I apologise if becoming law wasn't mentioned , or if it was it haven't materialized.

But we are now in the position where the consumer could create their own law , before last season the consumer couldn't get lead free game even if they wanted to , then last year Waitrose sold lead free game only so now they can and with Waitrose being the markets leaders , how long will it be before the others follow suit , as they say , if you can't beat them , then join them. .  

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The National Game Dealers Association (NGDA) has committed to buying non lead shot game from 1st July 2022. Their members can’t all be supplying Waitrose. However they probably see Waitrose as a key opinion leader - who are ‘setting the bar’ so to speak. 
 

Non NGDA membership are likely to follow. It doesn’t really matter whether it’s driven by legislation or not - as In a free market economy consumer demand is the law. 

1 minute ago, Fellside said:

The National Game Dealers Association (NGDA) has committed to buying non lead shot game from 1st July 2022. Their members can’t all be supplying Waitrose. However they probably see Waitrose as a key opinion leader - who are ‘setting the bar’ so to speak. 
 

Non NGDA membership are likely to follow. It doesn’t really matter whether it’s driven by legislation or not - as In a free market economy consumer demand is the law. 

P.S Apologies marsh man, for more or less repeating your point about market demand. I submitted my reply at just about the same time.

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8 hours ago, marsh man said:

Last season was just a blur that never really took off and no organised game shooting took place from Christmas to the end of the season .

So the talk about super markets not accepting lead shot game was either in or before the 2019 /2020 season and I apologise if becoming law wasn't mentioned , or if it was it haven't materialized.

But we are now in the position where the consumer could create their own law , before last season the consumer couldn't get lead free game even if they wanted to , then last year Waitrose sold lead free game only so now they can and with Waitrose being the markets leaders , how long will it be before the others follow suit , as they say , if you can't beat them , then join them. .  

I’m not disputing the reason why game dealers won’t accept lead shot game, but that reason is driven by consumers and not legislation. 
It is perfectly legal to shoot game with lead, but by doing so your chances of being able to sell it through a dealer are slim. 
I will be using lead throughout the season on our little syndicate and rough shoot, but we never sell any of it, we either give it away or eat it ourselves. 
There is no lead shot ban and it isn’t illegal to shoot game with lead, although I’ve no doubt time will see both enshrined in law. 

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1 hour ago, Scully said:

I’m not disputing the reason why game dealers won’t accept lead shot game, but that reason is driven by consumers and not legislation. 
It is perfectly legal to shoot game with lead, but by doing so your chances of being able to sell it through a dealer are slim. 
I will be using lead throughout the season on our little syndicate and rough shoot, but we never sell any of it, we either give it away or eat it ourselves. 
There is no lead shot ban and it isn’t illegal to shoot game with lead, although I’ve no doubt time will see both enshrined in law. 

I take part in two shoots , on one we used to sell the game ( we don't now ) and on the smaller one it did used to sell the surplus of the days bags but as the prices started to fall it wasn't worth the running about so the bag was split amongst the people involved and the landowners ect.

On the bigger one we complied with all the requirements to sell game , such as a purpose made game larder with air flow going through the wire mesh windows , brass hooks spaced out so no bird touch each other when hanging up , for the hygiene certificate we had to provide  stainless steel worktops to lay the game on , hot water to wash your hands and one or two other things like having a drain nearby when we washed the floor down .

This wasn't that much of a problem as we already had most of what was required , it started to get a problem when the game dealer no longer came to pick the days bag up so someone off the estate had to take the bag to them , which was normally me , the keeper would go through the bag and discard any damaged ones , then when I got to the dealers they then done the same and I would often bring back 10% of what I took up which in those days were mainly Partridges , so if I took up say 100 they would buy roughly 90 at 25p each , with it taking two hours of my time and fuel for the motor the estate was selling them at a loss.

So as you can see it is not that straight forward even selling the game to the dealer as I thought you had to have a hygiene certificate to move game on , weather this is law or not I cannot say .

 

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2 hours ago, Scully said:

I’m not disputing the reason why game dealers won’t accept lead shot game, but that reason is driven by consumers and not legislation. 
It is perfectly legal to shoot game with lead, but by doing so your chances of being able to sell it through a dealer are slim. 
I will be using lead throughout the season on our little syndicate and rough shoot, but we never sell any of it, we either give it away or eat it ourselves. 
There is no lead shot ban and it isn’t illegal to shoot game with lead, although I’ve no doubt time will see both enshrined in law. 

I think we are all in agreement really Scully - as you rightly say, lead is still perfectly legal. What we are actually dealing with is an unstoppable societal trend here. Anyway, I have a lot of lead cartridges to get through. I bought a heap of them before the Covid disruption….?! Like you I am using lead this season. However, where we are heading is pretty obvious- we will all need to grasp the nettle at some stage. I’m considering experimenting with some steel / non plastic wad, probably the Eley Ecowad type. I’ve had positive reports, but need to see for myself. 

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If shooters are paying a business to shoot pigeons or game I don’t think they would be to interested in what happens to the dead birds. If it’s done on a commercial scale and if a cost is involved to dispose of the carcasses the cost will be passed on to the price of shooting the birds.The shooters will just pay more . It’s a business , just supply and demand. A few years ago BASC wrote a article regarding game dealers selling wild duck shot with lead. No one named the game dealers or asked were the duck came from and if correct the law was broken. My friend enquired to BASC at the time as to who bought the duck and did the report l don’t think he got an answer, l will ask him about it when I see him. Shooting commercially to succeed is having something to shoot at  it’s not shooting to profit from what is shot. The payment is for a day shooting at birds. If it was profitable to breed pheasants or pigeon for the supermarkets it would have been done. Maybe it has. If there is no demand for pigeons then no one wants them. If there is no demand for game then no one wants it. Pigeons aren’t shot to be sold and game isn’t shot to be sold. The lack of demand for pigeons shouldn’t effect the shooting of pigeons, it could effect the commercial shooting of pigeons. No one knows how many pigeons or game birds are killed each year. The use of lead or non lead to shoot pigeons or game is down to the individual shooters. A certificate is required to sell game and pigeons for the food market.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Gas seal said:

If shooters are paying a business to shoot pigeons or game I don’t think they would be to interested in what happens to the dead birds. If it’s done on a commercial scale and if a cost is involved to dispose of the carcasses the cost will be passed on to the price of shooting the birds.The shooters will just pay more . It’s a business , just supply and demand. A few years ago BASC wrote a article regarding game dealers selling wild duck shot with lead. No one named the game dealers or asked were the duck came from and if correct the law was broken. My friend enquired to BASC at the time as to who bought the duck and did the report l don’t think he got an answer, l will ask him about it when I see him. Shooting commercially to succeed is having something to shoot at  it’s not shooting to profit from what is shot. The payment is for a day shooting at birds. If it was profitable to breed pheasants or pigeon for the supermarkets it would have been done. Maybe it has. If there is no demand for pigeons then no one wants them. If there is no demand for game then no one wants it. Pigeons aren’t shot to be sold and game isn’t shot to be sold. The lack of demand for pigeons shouldn’t effect the shooting of pigeons, it could effect the commercial shooting of pigeons. No one knows how many pigeons or game birds are killed each year. The use of lead or non lead to shoot pigeons or game is down to the individual shooters. A certificate is required to sell game and pigeons for the food market.

 

 

Hopefully the large scale commercial shoots will end up offering smaller bags - but more of them. I also think that there should be a let day precondition - namely that all guns take the bag home. In other words, if you shoot it, you take it away. If some guns (and they are a minority) only value pheasants as a ‘target’ and want to heap them high, they should consider clays for big volume shooting instead. 
 

I talk about my shooting quite openly to people I meet - socially, at work etc. Usually in that, “what did you do at the weekend?” type of chat. I hardly ever get any objections. Only one crops up occasionally though - that is killing pheasants for sport which are then dumped. There seems to be a level of uncomfortable awareness amongst some of the public. I must say it sits uncomfortably with me too. 

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3 hours ago, marsh man said:

I take part in two shoots , on one we used to sell the game ( we don't now ) and on the smaller one it did used to sell the surplus of the days bags but as the prices started to fall it wasn't worth the running about so the bag was split amongst the people involved and the landowners ect.

On the bigger one we complied with all the requirements to sell game , such as a purpose made game larder with air flow going through the wire mesh windows , brass hooks spaced out so no bird touch each other when hanging up , for the hygiene certificate we had to provide  stainless steel worktops to lay the game on , hot water to wash your hands and one or two other things like having a drain nearby when we washed the floor down .

This wasn't that much of a problem as we already had most of what was required , it started to get a problem when the game dealer no longer came to pick the days bag up so someone off the estate had to take the bag to them , which was normally me , the keeper would go through the bag and discard any damaged ones , then when I got to the dealers they then done the same and I would often bring back 10% of what I took up which in those days were mainly Partridges , so if I took up say 100 they would buy roughly 90 at 25p each , with it taking two hours of my time and fuel for the motor the estate was selling them at a loss.

So as you can see it is not that straight forward even selling the game to the dealer as I thought you had to have a hygiene certificate to move game on , weather this is law or not I cannot say .

 

There is all manner of regulations/legislation regarding the selling and or processing of carcasses/meat bound for consumption, none of which regard lead shot. 
It is NOT illegal to shoot game with lead shot. It isn’t even illegal to sell it …….if you can find someone to buy it, that is. 🙂

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38 minutes ago, Scully said:

There is all manner of regulations/legislation regarding the selling and or processing of carcasses/meat bound for consumption, none of which regard lead shot. 
It is NOT illegal to shoot game with lead shot. It isn’t even illegal to sell it …….if you can find someone to buy it, that is. 🙂

I never said it was illegal to shoot game with lead shot , I was saying if the supermarkets stopped selling game that had been shot with lead then the game dealers would only accept n t s game which no doubt some have already done just that , 

Like you say , your small shoot and many others up and down the country can easily off load the days bags between the guns , beaters and whoever , the big boys around these parts are shooting in the hundreds most days of the week , one alone had 84 days booked before Christmas , I know once when we had a agent running the shoots we had two full teams on the same day as they had over booked , luckily enough we had more than enough drives where they could do that .

When we had the last full season their was a huge amount of game floating about everywhere , their was talk going on where the game dealer was charging the shoots to come and collect without paying a penny for the birds , the big boys could no doubt afford to do that and they didn't have to get rid of them by other means .

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On 23/09/2021 at 09:13, marsh man said:

 

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 

I know you didn't state it was illegal to shoot game with lead! The above is what you said, implying there was a 'new law' pending whereby game dealers can ONLY accept game shot with NTS, and that supermarkets can NO LONGER sell game shot with lead. It is untrue and misleading. 

Any such 'new law' stating such as that you describe above, would make it illegal for game dealers to buy lead shot game and for supermarkets to sell it, but there is no 'new law' stating such, and therefore nothing for guns to comply with! Now do you see the point I'm trying to make? 

It's similar to all those who bang on about the lead shot ban.....there is no lead shot ban. This is also untrue and misleading.  

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3 hours ago, Fellside said:

Hopefully the large scale commercial shoots will end up offering smaller bags - but more of them. I also think that there should be a let day precondition - namely that all guns take the bag home. In other words, if you shoot it, you take it away. If some guns (and they are a minority) only value pheasants as a ‘target’ and want to heap them high, they should consider clays for big volume shooting instead. 
 

I talk about my shooting quite openly to people I meet - socially, at work etc. Usually in that, “what did you do at the weekend?” type of chat. I hardly ever get any objections. Only one crops up occasionally though - that is killing pheasants for sport which are then dumped. There seems to be a level of uncomfortable awareness amongst some of the public. I must say it sits uncomfortably with me too. 

Here we go again! So tell me, what is the difference between ten days of 250 birds and five days of 500, for example? Or at the other end of the scale, one day of 100 and four days of 25? 

The suggestion that guns on commercial days should take home the bag is ridiculous! It's up there with 'why don't you buy your pheasants, partridge, grouse etc etc at Waitrose rather than going out and killing them for sport' ? 

Guns pay top dollar to shoot driven birds on commercial shoots. It is a huge social occasion for which they pay for the convenience of walking away from it at days end. It isn't 'one for the pot', it is BIG business. What effect do you think it would have on not only commercial shooting but for shooting in general ( that's the rest of us ) if your suggestion was taken seriously? What effect would it have for shooting in the UK if we were all obliged to take home everything we shot? 

If you have evidence of pheasants being killed for sport ( although I am struggling to think of another reason why they are killed ) and then dumped, please post it on here. The usual criteria exists.....no out of focus pics from donkeys years ago, of the same few breasted birds taken from different angles and claiming to be 100's in number, or the  bloke on the digger burying breasted carcasses........because despite what some may claim, it wasn't the disposing of those breasted carcasses which was in contravention of current legislation, but rather the manner in which those carcasses were processed prior to burying. I have this information on good authority from the NGO themselves. 

All of us on this forum participate in the killing of birds and animals for entertainment, sport, recreation, whatever you want to call it. The only exceptions are those who are professional pest controllers and gamekeepers, and some landowners, and one or two who have given it up from what I gather. You don't need to do it, but you enjoy it, just like me. You pay for that entertainment with your hard earned cash, through the guns you buy, the ammunition for those guns and  the clothes you wear to shoot . Some of us buy vehicles for the purpose, and an endless array of equipment and related paraphernalia so we can go out and shoot things for recreation. 

Our sport isn't perfect or ideal in many ways, and there are many ways in which we could improve things, but what we all have in common, is a love of live quarry shooting, and that ladies and gentlemen, involves killing. We are surrounded by many who are vehemently opposed to what we do, and we don't have to look far to find them.....oddly ( and sadly ) you'll find many on this forum. 🤷‍♂️

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On 15/09/2021 at 21:01, marsh man said:

We know a lot of the members on P W manage to eat or give away most if not all the pigeons they shoot , but their are several that shoot large numbers and offload them at the game dealers , now if you are lucky to find a dealer that are are taking frozen pigeons then you would need to take well into three figures just to cover your fuel , as far as I know we have only got one dealer in the whole of Norfolk that are taking frozen pigeons and the returns are very poor to say the least , at the moment they are making 10 pence for both fresh and frozen .

Now I can't really see the people who make big bags are going to continue shooting big numbers and haven't got a outlet or if they have got one they could end up losing money by taking them , when the same question was put out awhile back, one of the top big bag boys ( Pigeon Controller ) said on here he would not shoot big bags of Pigeons if he didn't have a market for them and I think that would be the same for most of us who sell the bag . 

So will this lack of demand and very poor returns when you do find a buyer make a difference to the pigeon population ? , it was always stated in the past that a very cold Winter kill off more pigeons than all the pigeon shooters put together , now with milder Winters and a never ending food supply the chances of the weather alone killing off large numbers of pigeons are very remote .

So in our wildest dreams , could we ever see the day where the ministry of agriculture bring back the cheap , or free cartridges like they did in the Rabbit Clearance Society days ? , or could the numbers rapidly get out of control and costing farmers a fortune ?

Remembering those days marsh man, we only handed feet in for the cartridges. We would would still be left with the rest of the bird.

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37 minutes ago, Scully said:

Here we go again! So tell me, what is the difference between ten days of 250 birds and five days of 500, for example? Or at the other end of the scale, one day of 100 and four days of 25? 

The suggestion that guns on commercial days should take home the bag is ridiculous! It's up there with 'why don't you buy your pheasants, partridge, grouse etc etc at Waitrose rather than going out and killing them for sport' ? 

Guns pay top dollar to shoot driven birds on commercial shoots. It is a huge social occasion for which they pay for the convenience of walking away from it at days end. It isn't 'one for the pot', it is BIG business. What effect do you think it would have on not only commercial shooting but for shooting in general ( that's the rest of us ) if your suggestion was taken seriously? What effect would it have for shooting in the UK if we were all obliged to take home everything we shot? 

If you have evidence of pheasants being killed for sport ( although I am struggling to think of another reason why they are killed ) and then dumped, please post it on here. The usual criteria exists.....no out of focus pics from donkeys years ago, of the same few breasted birds taken from different angles and claiming to be 100's in number, or the  bloke on the digger burying breasted carcasses........because despite what some may claim, it wasn't the disposing of those breasted carcasses which was in contravention of current legislation, but rather the manner in which those carcasses were processed prior to burying. I have this information on good authority from the NGO themselves. 

All of us on this forum participate in the killing of birds and animals for entertainment, sport, recreation, whatever you want to call it. The only exceptions are those who are professional pest controllers and gamekeepers, and some landowners, and one or two who have given it up from what I gather. You don't need to do it, but you enjoy it, just like me. You pay for that entertainment with your hard earned cash, through the guns you buy, the ammunition for those guns and  the clothes you wear to shoot . Some of us buy vehicles for the purpose, and an endless array of equipment and related paraphernalia so we can go out and shoot things for recreation. 

Our sport isn't perfect or ideal in many ways, and there are many ways in which we could improve things, but what we all have in common, is a love of live quarry shooting, and that ladies and gentlemen, involves killing. We are surrounded by many who are vehemently opposed to what we do, and we don't have to look far to find them.....oddly ( and sadly ) you'll find many on this forum. 🤷‍♂️

I understand how it all works more than you obviously think! I wasn’t disagreeing or contesting the opinions of others. Just chatting and chewing the fat really. 

I could provide evidence of game being discarded, but for pretty obvious reasons will not do so. 

That’s my response to the first few lines of your inappropriate tirade - forgive me if I have not read much of the rest, I am rushing out to take a young chap duck shooting this evening. 

Sometimes I think we all have a decent reasonable discussion on this forum. Then at times like this, I think that Pigeon Watch should be renamed the ‘Silly Pointless Argument Tribe’ ….or SPAT for short. 

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1 minute ago, Fellside said:

I understand how it all works more than you obviously think! I wasn’t disagreeing or contesting the opinions of others. Just chatting and chewing the fat really. 

I could provide evidence of game being discarded, but for pretty obvious reasons will not do so. 

That’s my response to the first few lines of your inappropriate tirade - forgive me if I have not read much of the rest, I am rushing out to take a young chap duck shooting this evening. 

Sometimes I think we all have a decent reasonable discussion on this forum. Then at times like this, I think that Pigeon Watch should be renamed the ‘Silly Pointless Argument Tribe’ ….or SPAT for short. 

I couldn’t agree more with your last paragraph! I am heartily sick and tired of trying to fend off criticism , not from antis but from other shooters! Unbelievable! 
Whether my tirade was inappropriate or not is a matter of opinion, and once again, If you have evidence of birds being dumped enmasse, then post it on here. 

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1 minute ago, Scully said:

I couldn’t agree more with your last paragraph! I am heartily sick and tired of trying to fend off criticism , not from antis but from other shooters! Unbelievable! 
Whether my tirade was inappropriate or not is a matter of opinion, and once again, If you have evidence of birds being dumped enmasse, then post it on here. 

And once again re evidence - not on your Nelly! Can / worms etc. 

I know what I know and that’s good enough for me. I don’t honestly mind whether you believe me or not Scully…. with respect. 
 

Have a pleasant evening. 

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2 minutes ago, Fellside said:

And once again re evidence - not on your Nelly! Can / worms etc. 

I know what I know and that’s good enough for me. I don’t honestly mind whether you believe me or not Scully…. with respect. 
 

Have a pleasant evening. 

I thought not! You made the accusation on a public forum, and there will be those all too ready to believe you, so damage done anyhow! 

Have an enjoyable evening killing ducks for fun! 👍

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13 minutes ago, Scully said:

I thought not! You made the accusation on a public forum, and there will be those all too ready to believe you, so damage done anyhow! 

Have an enjoyable evening killing ducks for fun! 👍

Not an accusation - just recognising truthfully that it has happened. 

Thank you - I will enjoy helping the young chap hit some ducks (hopefully) and we will enjoy eating them. 👍

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2 hours ago, la bala said:

Remembering those days marsh man, we only handed feet in for the cartridges. We would would still be left with the rest of the bird.

Believe it or not , I cannot for the life of me remember handing in the feet of what I take to be a Wood Pigeon ? to receive free cartridges , our old head keeper had several R C S , ( Rabbit Clearance Society ) cartridges that never killed many Rabbits , Pigeons yes but not Rabbits.

Moving on to the Coypu days , we used to get a shilling in subsidy for the last inch of the tail off the ministry , no way could we get more than one off a Coypu , mind you it wasn't through lack of trying :lol:

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