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


marsh man
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2 hours ago, Fellside said:

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. 👍

Well….we’ll just have to take your word for that won’t we? Or maybe not. 
You’re welcome. Don’t forget, ducks are available from many good outlets, but that wouldnt be fun would it. 🙂

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43 minutes ago, marsh man said:

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 

We used to take our feet to the local office of NFU, Two feet= One cartridge,:lol:

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10 minutes ago, la bala said:

We used to take our feet to the local office of NFU, Two feet= One cartridge,:lol:

That was a very good exchange rate la bala , I would be very happy if that was still the norm , more so if you could find a buyer for the breasts  and then use the carcase for decoys , waste not want not don't they say in the Fens , round here I would say that would be a nice little earner :good: 

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A game dealer on the Wirral would give two cartridges for the feet of a woodpigeon, but  with the body still attached. Large numbers , or small numbers of game birds shot will all have to go somewhere. shooters on their own shoot will take what they shoot or are given. Some shooters will shoot the game and be handed a loaded gun to shoot the next one. If more pigeons and game birds are shot with no demand for them a solution is needed. The shooting organisations have been promoting game , still no demand. It seems on a commercial shoot dead game is the end product with not much outlet for. Care should be taken over the solution., 

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1 hour ago, Scully said:

Well….we’ll just have to take your word for that won’t we? Or maybe not. 
You’re welcome. Don’t forget, ducks are available from many good outlets, but that wouldnt be fun would it. 🙂

I have not a care in the world as to whether you believe me or not.  I don’t invent wacky stories just to wind up the volatile. I can’t be bothered to argue - I find the SPAT club futile. 
 

My ‘outlet’ has just produced a couple of teal and one mallard for a young guest. They certainly wont be wasted. 

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Do we really need a solution 

trawlers have been dumping massive amounts of perfectly good fish for years I believe it’s still going on 

there’s never going to be a perfect solution that would please everyone 

the crops are more important to the farmers than the pigeon at the moment 

If there was any good profit (better then the crops) he would be shooting them and selling them resulting in no shooting for most of the members on here 

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53 minutes ago, Old farrier said:

Do we really need a solution 

trawlers have been dumping massive amounts of perfectly good fish for years I believe it’s still going on 

 

We had a similar situation with over fishing in the 60s when the Herring drifters raced each other to get in the harbour to sell, or try and sell their catch , once the buyers bought what they wanted the rest were used for fish meal and the boats that were still waiting to unload just turned round and went back out to sea and dumped the lot , this went on for the next few years until the Scots boats called it a day and stopped coming down to Yarmouth which at one time was one of , if not the biggest port for Herring in the whole country , we will never see the like again .

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On 24/09/2021 at 21:01, Fellside said:

I have not a care in the world as to whether you believe me or not.  

So you keep saying. If you have evidence then why don't you present it to one of the shooting organisations who may be interested, rather than allude to it on here? I for one would be very annoyed if I knew commercial shoots were discarding perfectly good birds, which is why I phoned the NGO regarding the bloke with the digger. 

I don’t invent wacky stories just to wind up the volatile.

Perhaps not wacky, but you have offered a ridiculous non solution to a non existent problem, namely being that of guns on commercial days taking home the bag, or reducing the bag numbers on a day but increasing the numbers of days, and then merely ignoring the matter when questioned what difference that would make. 

I can’t be bothered to argue - Indeed, but like many others at this time of year, you're quite happy to trot out the same old rubbish and prejudices without even thinking it through, without offering an alternative or a solution, and then time after time after time I find myself having to defend shooters against other shooters who either because of jealousy or some other matter, criticise what others do, when they themselves do exactly the same, but go about it in a different manner. The end result is the same......dead birds killed for entertainment. I'm not volatile, just really tired at having to do it on a regular basis.

I find the SPAT club futile. How ironic, as you it was who started it. 
 

My ‘outlet’ has just produced a couple of teal and one mallard for a young guest. They certainly wont be wasted. 

 

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29 minutes ago, Scully said:

 

Again, I haven’t read all of your shouty rant. I’m afraid I don’t engage line for line with this kind of material. Will not join the Silly Pointless Argument Tribe (SPAT). 
 

I will only say: we all know the discarding of game on a minority of commercial shoots has definitely occurred. Denying this is a little like joining the flat earth society. It’s because I’m concerned about the future of shooting that I recognise some areas need to improve / evolve. I don’t honestly see a problem with that.

Deep breaths Scully, think of a calm place…..etc. etc. 

 

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16 hours ago, Fellside said:

Again, I haven’t read all of your shouty rant. I’m afraid I don’t engage line for line with this kind of material. Will not join the Silly Pointless Argument Tribe (SPAT). 


 

I will only say: we all know the discarding of game on a minority of commercial shoots has definitely occurred. Denying this is a little like joining the flat earth society. It’s because I’m concerned about the future of shooting that I recognise some areas need to improve / evolve. I don’t honestly see a problem with that.

Deep breaths Scully, think of a calm place…..etc. etc. 

 

If I'd been shouting I would have used capital letters, I was merely trying to address points, but if you prefer I'll revert to the norm.

I'm perfectly calm thanks, I just find people who make throw away comments without giving them any thought, such as yours about guns on let days taking home the bag or reducing bag numbers by shooting the same number but over more days 🤷‍♂️ very tiring, especially when they simply clam up when asked to explain themselves. 

If you're so concerned about the future of shooting then perhaps you should consider taking to task those you claim you know of who are dumping game, because not to do so makes you part of it.

I sometimes think there are some on here who are on the wrong forum. 

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2 hours ago, Scully said:

If I'd been shouting I would have used capital letters, I was merely trying to address points, but if you prefer I'll revert to the norm.

I'm perfectly calm thanks, I just find people who make throw away comments without giving them any thought, such as yours about guns on let days taking home the bag or reducing bag numbers by shooting the same number but over more days 🤷‍♂️ very tiring, especially when they simply clam up when asked to explain themselves. 

If you're so concerned about the future of shooting then perhaps you should consider taking to task those you claim you know of who are dumping game, because not to do so makes you part of it.

I sometimes think there are some on here who are on the wrong forum. 

1. It would be refreshing if you would revert to ‘the norm’. Your often aggravating manner of address to myself and others on PW is far from normal I’m afraid. This is likely to be a function of PW being loosely moderated combined with the fact that not many have challenged your antics. However, we are all entitled to our free and honest opinions - decently offered. 
 

2. Re explaining myself. My proposal is simply about the concept of ‘scale down’.  In essence you simply end up with a similar number of shot birds / season divided by more gun/days. Demand certainly isn’t an issue currently. I’m doing a lot of planning / financial work for a large shoot as we speak (well…as I speak and you argue) - it’s a perfectly feasible model. 

3. Re talking to those who have dumped game - strange that you assume I haven’t done this? I’m certainly not prepared to divulge private conversations with names etc. We all know it has happened. Thankfully, not often however. 

4. As for suggesting I’m on the wrong forum….?! While this excluding / bullying tactic is often used on social media - I’m still here. You have been unsuccessful. I will continue to enjoy the chat and banter (politely and decently) along with the rest. 
 

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1 hour ago, Fellside said:

1. It would be refreshing if you would revert to ‘the norm’. Your often aggravating manner of address to myself and others on PW is far from normal I’m afraid. This is likely to be a function of PW being loosely moderated combined with the fact that not many have challenged your antics. However, we are all entitled to our free and honest opinions - decently offered. 
 

2. Re explaining myself. My proposal is simply about the concept of ‘scale down’.  In essence you simply end up with a similar number of shot birds / season divided by more gun/days. Demand certainly isn’t an issue currently. I’m doing a lot of planning / financial work for a large shoot as we speak (well…as I speak and you argue) - it’s a perfectly feasible model. 

3. Re talking to those who have dumped game - strange that you assume I haven’t done this? I’m certainly not prepared to divulge private conversations with names etc. We all know it has happened. Thankfully, not often however. 

4. As for suggesting I’m on the wrong forum….?! While this excluding / bullying tactic is often used on social media - I’m still here. You have been unsuccessful. I will continue to enjoy the chat and banter (politely and decently) along with the rest. 
 

I am equally aggravated by the 'antics' of those who make statements on here, usually by criticism, regarding how other shooters do things, yet while deeming it ok to criticise, are busy doing it themselves albeit in a different manner, yet are surprised and offended when they are challenged! 

If anyone makes ridiculous, illogical or hypocritical suggestions then I'll respond to either query it or point out the facts if they're known to me. Many on here are very critical of commercial and non commercial driven shooting, yet it often transpires they themselves are also involved, but whether involved or not, many believe that because they just shoot a handful ( at a height they perceive to be acceptable ) they consider it's ok! A single driven day with a 400 bird bag is unacceptable, but ask what the difference is between that and their four days of 100 bird bags and the response is either its strangely acceptable or I'm met with tumbleweed! 

You made the claim re' dumped birds, not me. Did you seriously expect me not to respond? As someone heavily involved in commercial driven shooting on a BIG scale, why would you think I should just let that comment pass by without comment? I have never witnessed the dumping of birds beyond the odd pillowcase, and as mentioned, the spurious claims of others broadly advertised as dumped bags, invariably turn out to be not quite what they are claimed to be. 

My comment about being on the wrong forum wasn't aimed at you personally, but applies equally to all those who appear ashamed of what it is they're involved in.

I'm very aware I am prone to 'go off on one' on a regular basis, but I'm not going to apologise. I am unbelievably passionate about guns and shooting in all its forms, and equally defensive and supportive of both in real life as I am online, but I'm also honest about why I do it, and also about it's shortcomings, and expect the same in return. I'm not on here to make friends, but am quick to share what knowledge and experience I have if I think it may help, and equally quick to jump down the throats of hypocrites and those who deem it ok to make derogatory comments they're not prepared to back up. If that's considered bullying then so be it; like I said, I'm not on here to make friends. 

 

 

 

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9 minutes ago, Scully said:

I am equally aggravated by the 'antics' of those who make statements on here, usually by criticism, regarding how other shooters do things, yet while deeming it ok to criticise, are busy doing it themselves albeit in a different manner, yet are surprised and offended when they are challenged! 

If anyone makes ridiculous, illogical or hypocritical suggestions then I'll respond to either query it or point out the facts if they're known to me. Many on here are very critical of commercial and non commercial driven shooting, yet it often transpires they themselves are also involved, but whether involved or not, many believe that because they just shoot a handful ( at a height they perceive to be acceptable ) they consider it's ok! A single driven day with a 400 bird bag is unacceptable, but ask what the difference is between that and their four days of 100 bird bags and the response is either its strangely acceptable or I'm met with tumbleweed! 

You made the claim re' dumped birds, not me. Did you seriously expect me not to respond? As someone heavily involved in commercial driven shooting on a BIG scale, why would you think I should just let that comment pass by without comment? I have never witnessed the dumping of birds beyond the odd pillowcase, and as mentioned, the spurious claims of others broadly advertised as dumped bags, invariably turn out to be not quite what they are claimed to be. 

My comment about being on the wrong forum wasn't aimed at you personally, but applies equally to all those who appear ashamed of what it is they're involved in.

I'm very aware I am prone to 'go off on one' on a regular basis, but I'm not going to apologise. I am unbelievably passionate about guns and shooting in all its forms, and equally defensive and supportive of both in real life as I am online, but I'm also honest about why I do it, and also about it's shortcomings, and expect the same in return. I'm not on here to make friends, but am quick to share what knowledge and experience I have if I think it may help, and equally quick to jump down the throats of hypocrites and those who deem it ok to make derogatory comments they're not prepared to back up. If that's considered bullying then so be it; like I said, I'm not on here to make friends. 

 

 

 

Your assumption that 4 x 100 bird days is equal to one 400 day is numerically correct of course. However, you may have overlooked something: the 4 different gun parties are more likely to take the birds home - than the group shooting 400. Also, it’s about emphasising the value of quality birds - rather than tree toppers all day long. 
 

As for the rest of your piece - I’m afraid it only serves to emphasise the points I made earlier. I do wonder whether I’m corresponding with an entirely rational individual. 

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1 hour ago, Fellside said:

Your assumption that 4 x 100 bird days is equal to one 400 day is numerically correct of course. However, you may have overlooked something: the 4 different gun parties are more likely to take the birds home - than the group shooting 400. Also, it’s about emphasising the value of quality birds - rather than tree toppers all day long. 
 

As for the rest of your piece - I’m afraid it only serves to emphasise the points I made earlier. I do wonder whether I’m corresponding with an entirely rational individual. 

It wasn’t an assumption.
You may have overlooked the fact that a team of 8 guns ( usually the case on our commercial shoot ) is 12 shots each if they all shoot an equal number of birds on a 100 bird day, consisting of let’s say four drives of 25 birds per drive before the horn is blown, if every hit bird is counted.
I realise of course that would entail a ratio of 1:1, which isn’t likely to happen, and whilst I don’t know about the guns on the shoots you attend, I don’t know of any who would pay top price for a day such as that. It would be all over before the average shots had their eye in! 

The smallest bags offered are outside days of perhaps 350, ( where there aren’t many tree toppers, although they can be offered on a different part of the estate ) and apart from a couple of brace apiece the guns have no interest in taking birds home, and I can’t see why they should. It’s a commercial shoot.
The guns can buy oven ready birds cheaper from a supermarket if that’s what they’re after; they’re on the shoot for the shooting…..just like the rest of us. 🙂

Rational enough for you? 
 

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10 minutes ago, Scully said:

It wasn’t an assumption.
You may have overlooked the fact that a team of 8 guns ( usually the case on our commercial shoot ) is 12 shots each if they all shoot an equal number of birds on a 100 bird day, consisting of let’s say four drives of 25 birds per drive before the horn is blown, if every hit bird is counted.
I realise of course that would entail a ratio of 1:1, which isn’t likely to happen, and whilst I don’t know about the guns on the shoots you attend, I don’t know of any who would pay top price for a day such as that. It would be all over before the average shots had their eye in! 

The smallest bags offered are outside days of perhaps 350, ( where there aren’t many tree toppers, although they can be offered on a different part of the estate ) and apart from a couple of brace apiece the guns have no interest in taking birds home, and I can’t see why they should. It’s a commercial shoot.
The guns can buy oven ready birds cheaper from a supermarket if that’s what they’re after; they’re on the shoot for the shooting…..just like the rest of us. 🙂

Rational enough for you? 
 

Thank for explaining your rationale. Let me explain why I think improvements are possible. First of all, 100 birds a time is just plain and simply easier to deal with. I know that some drives are ‘busier’ than others, but this can be accounted for in overage.  Secondly, any surplus trickles in to the local game dealer at a rate they can more easily cope with. Thirdly, the beaters, pickers up and guns are likely to be taking away a higher percentage of the bag. Its a fairly straight forward concept really. By the way, you’re not uniquely placed - in terms of your involvement Scully (?!).
 
Also, ‘it’s a commercial shoot’ doesn’t wash. There is nothing wrong whatsoever with commercial shooting - I am perfectly happy to sell days. I would however like to see a return to more sensible numbers, as it’s less likely to generate a surplus (which an occasional shoot here and there can’t manage). I have found this can work and I’m perfectly entitled to express that preference. This is not an attack on commercial shooing -  more a recognition that it could evolve in to something better in the future…..hopefully. 

 

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I use everything i shoot , hunt trap apart from foxes I've 3 x6 foot freezers and i fill them to fed my 12 ferrets over the summer and its a good year if i don't have to buy in food for them . My mates a beater at a big shoot and he called me and said you can go up and clear out the chiller i took 300 birds filled the freezers and had a fortnights fed supply hanging on the rafter the next Wednesday he called and said there's the same again help yourself but leave the ducks we are getting £1.25 for them .I didnt get any last year and this year ive had a few partridges which the family have eaten but if i get pheasants i will breast them giving me more room to store the breast and dispose of the carcasses 

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I'd like to pick up on a point mentioned previously which hasn't really had any further discussion.

I'm wondering if there is a viable, as yet untapped market to supply pigeon meat to falconers.   I wonder, are there any members on here who are falconers and could shed some light on a few things?

  • What are the most commonly kept species of hawk?
  • How much weight of meat per week would those typical hawks consume?
  • Can you feed a hawk solely on one meat such as pigeon or does it need a more diverse diet?
  • Do you just chuck a dead pigeon into the hawk's kennel? (I know 😁)  Or do you have to breast it out?
  • I'd presume meat that's been frozen then defrosted is OK for hawks?
  • What is the usual way currently that falconers supply food to their birds?  And at what sort of cost per week/month?

Obviously pigeons for this purpose need to be shot with non toxic ammo.  I wonder if there's not really much supply of pigeons into falconry simply because 99% of us still prefer to shoot with lead.   Or if the market simply isn't there so nobody bothers?

With the dwindling number of outlets for pigeon going into the human food chain, something's got to change.

Another random thought, I seem to remember reading the ingredients on a can of dog "meat" and it basically only contains about 5% actual meat!  I'm sure the "meat" is all the waste etc after the prime cuts are taken for human consumption, but could there not be a market for pigeon here too?  Why not for pretty much all kinds of "meat" based pet food?

Maybe the sticking point is that if you buy shot birds from people on a commercial scale, you can't always rely on them being truthful saying they're taken with non-toxic?  Birds given from one friend to another as a favour or in exchange for beer tokens is a completely different kettle of fish - you wouldn't risk poisoning your mate's harris hawk by telling lies about the ammo you used, but once the dosh has changed hands at a dealer's you're off down the road with it.

What's the major obstacle to getting pigeons into the animal food chain?

 

(this is branching off into another topic of discussion but I haven't got time to go there at the moment....)

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4 minutes ago, Jim Neal said:

I'd like to pick up on a point mentioned previously which hasn't really had any further discussion.

I'm wondering if there is a viable, as yet untapped market to supply pigeon meat to falconers.   I wonder, are there any members on here who are falconers and could shed some light on a few things?

  • What are the most commonly kept species of hawk?
  • How much weight of meat per week would those typical hawks consume?
  • Can you feed a hawk solely on one meat such as pigeon or does it need a more diverse diet?
  • Do you just chuck a dead pigeon into the hawk's kennel? (I know 😁)  Or do you have to breast it out?
  • I'd presume meat that's been frozen then defrosted is OK for hawks?
  • What is the usual way currently that falconers supply food to their birds?  And at what sort of cost per week/month?

Obviously pigeons for this purpose need to be shot with non toxic ammo.  I wonder if there's not really much supply of pigeons into falconry simply because 99% of us still prefer to shoot with lead.   Or if the market simply isn't there so nobody bothers?

With the dwindling number of outlets for pigeon going into the human food chain, something's got to change.

Another random thought, I seem to remember reading the ingredients on a can of dog "meat" and it basically only contains about 5% actual meat!  I'm sure the "meat" is all the waste etc after the prime cuts are taken for human consumption, but could there not be a market for pigeon here too?  Why not for pretty much all kinds of "meat" based pet food?

Maybe the sticking point is that if you buy shot birds from people on a commercial scale, you can't always rely on them being truthful saying they're taken with non-toxic?  Birds given from one friend to another as a favour or in exchange for beer tokens is a completely different kettle of fish - you wouldn't risk poisoning your mate's harris hawk by telling lies about the ammo you used, but once the dosh has changed hands at a dealer's you're off down the road with it.

What's the major obstacle to getting pigeons into the animal food chain?

 

(this is branching off into another topic of discussion but I haven't got time to go there at the moment....)

Someone mentioned supplying pigeon to a bird of prey center somewhere on this forum - I seem to remember. Sorry I can’t pin point the post Jim, but it obviously happens. 
 

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15 hours ago, Fellside said:

Thank for explaining your rationale. Let me explain why I think improvements are possible. First of all, 100 birds a time is just plain and simply easier to deal with. I know that some drives are ‘busier’ than others, but this can be accounted for in overage.  Secondly, any surplus trickles in to the local game dealer at a rate they can more easily cope with. Thirdly, the beaters, pickers up and guns are likely to be taking away a higher percentage of the bag. Its a fairly straight forward concept really. By the way, you’re not uniquely placed - in terms of your involvement Scully (?!).
 
Also, ‘it’s a commercial shoot’ doesn’t wash. There is nothing wrong whatsoever with commercial shooting - I am perfectly happy to sell days. I would however like to see a return to more sensible numbers, as it’s less likely to generate a surplus (which an occasional shoot here and there can’t manage). I have found this can work and I’m perfectly entitled to express that preference. This is not an attack on commercial shooing -  more a recognition that it could evolve in to something better in the future…..hopefully. 

 


The 100 bird days may work for the average bloke ( I’d be quite chuffed if our syndicate shot that amount each day! ) but they won’t wash ( as you put it ) in my experience, for guns who pay top prices to shoot. It isn’t what they want.  They want lots of shooting, that’s what they’re there for and what they’re paying for, and that’s what commercial shoots provide. 

Yes, beaters and pickers up can also take home birds, but in my experience after the third day ( and our commercial shoot sometimes shoots three or four times a week )  no one wants anymore birds as they can only use so many and you can’t even give away birds in feather. 
Our small syndicate produces bags on a good day of around 45 birds, which gets lower as the season progresses, and even we struggle to move them on.  
I often take more than I really need , and process and freeze them, giving odds and ends to the ferrets or the dogs. 
A relative whom is a chef, can’t take them from me anymore because of regulations, but once saw pheasants piled high in a gamedealers a few seasons ago, and was told they were bound for pet food as there was no outlet. 🤷‍♂️
Our shooting orgs are trying to create a market where hardly any exists ( hence their attempts to faze out lead ) to save driven shooting, because love it or loathe it, if the commercial shoots go under, then there’s a very good chance driven shooting in general will go too, as the suppliers will possibly fold also due to a huge drop in poult sales, and if driven shooting goes, then bang go our shooting organisations also. 
While I applaud your attempts, to shoot less numbers but more frequently amounts to the same number being shot in total, so I really can’t see how that will alleviate the problem of a lack of demand. Game dealers have never been short of birds, just customers. We need to create a demand, and our best bet for that is abroad. There is too much of a stigma in the UK nowadays, surrounding shooting, to generate a meaningful market for pheasants, partridge and grouse, which brings us neatly back round to the fazing out of lead to generate sales abroad. If pheasants tasted like chicken I doubt there would be a problem…..but they don’t, far from it.🙂

Its not an easy problem to solve, and one the big commercial shoots currently seem indifferent to. 


 

8 hours ago, Jim Neal said:

I'd like to pick up on a point mentioned previously which hasn't really had any further discussion.

I'm wondering if there is a viable, as yet untapped market to supply pigeon meat to falconers.   I wonder, are there any members on here who are falconers and could shed some light on a few things?

  • What are the most commonly kept species of hawk?
  • How much weight of meat per week would those typical hawks consume?
  • Can you feed a hawk solely on one meat such as pigeon or does it need a more diverse diet?
  • Do you just chuck a dead pigeon into the hawk's kennel? (I know 😁)  Or do you have to breast it out?
  • I'd presume meat that's been frozen then defrosted is OK for hawks?
  • What is the usual way currently that falconers supply food to their birds?  And at what sort of cost per week/month?

Obviously pigeons for this purpose need to be shot with non toxic ammo.  I wonder if there's not really much supply of pigeons into falconry simply because 99% of us still prefer to shoot with lead.   Or if the market simply isn't there so nobody bothers?

With the dwindling number of outlets for pigeon going into the human food chain, something's got to change.

Another random thought, I seem to remember reading the ingredients on a can of dog "meat" and it basically only contains about 5% actual meat!  I'm sure the "meat" is all the waste etc after the prime cuts are taken for human consumption, but could there not be a market for pigeon here too?  Why not for pretty much all kinds of "meat" based pet food?

Maybe the sticking point is that if you buy shot birds from people on a commercial scale, you can't always rely on them being truthful saying they're taken with non-toxic?  Birds given from one friend to another as a favour or in exchange for beer tokens is a completely different kettle of fish - you wouldn't risk poisoning your mate's harris hawk by telling lies about the ammo you used, but once the dosh has changed hands at a dealer's you're off down the road with it.

What's the major obstacle to getting pigeons into the animal food chain?

 

(this is branching off into another topic of discussion but I haven't got time to go there at the moment....)

Most of the falconers I know keep Harris Hawks, amongst others, but HH account for the majority. 
They usually buy day olds from chicken farms etc, as they’re guaranteed lead shot free. 
Personally I think pet food for all manner of surplus game would be a good way to go. 

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1 hour ago, Scully said:


The 100 bird days may work for the average bloke ( I’d be quite chuffed if our syndicate shot that amount each day! ) but they won’t wash ( as you put it ) in my experience, for guns who pay top prices to shoot. It isn’t what they want.  They want lots of shooting, that’s what they’re there for and what they’re paying for, and that’s what commercial shoots provide. 

Yes, beaters and pickers up can also take home birds, but in my experience after the third day ( and our commercial shoot sometimes shoots three or four times a week )  no one wants anymore birds as they can only use so many and you can’t even give away birds in feather. 
Our small syndicate produces bags on a good day of around 45 birds, which gets lower as the season progresses, and even we struggle to move them on.  
I often take more than I really need , and process and freeze them, giving odds and ends to the ferrets or the dogs. 
A relative whom is a chef, can’t take them from me anymore because of regulations, but once saw pheasants piled high in a gamedealers a few seasons ago, and was told they were bound for pet food as there was no outlet. 🤷‍♂️
Our shooting orgs are trying to create a market where hardly any exists ( hence their attempts to faze out lead ) to save driven shooting, because love it or loathe it, if the commercial shoots go under, then there’s a very good chance driven shooting in general will go too, as the suppliers will possibly fold also due to a huge drop in poult sales, and if driven shooting goes, then bang go our shooting organisations also. 
While I applaud your attempts, to shoot less numbers but more frequently amounts to the same number being shot in total, so I really can’t see how that will alleviate the problem of a lack of demand. Game dealers have never been short of birds, just customers. We need to create a demand, and our best bet for that is abroad. There is too much of a stigma in the UK nowadays, surrounding shooting, to generate a meaningful market for pheasants, partridge and grouse, which brings us neatly back round to the fazing out of lead to generate sales abroad. If pheasants tasted like chicken I doubt there would be a problem…..but they don’t, far from it.🙂

Its not an easy problem to solve, and one the big commercial shoots currently seem indifferent to. 


 

Most of the falconers I know keep Harris Hawks, amongst others, but HH account for the majority. 
They usually buy day olds from chicken farms etc, as they’re guaranteed lead shot free. 
Personally I think pet food for all manner of surplus game would be a good way to go. 

Agreed - pet food would be a good solution. 

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12 minutes ago, welsh1 said:

Gentlemen, this is a thread about Pigeon bags in the Pigeon section, might i suggest you start another thread in the relevant section if you wish to continue your "chat"

That was my fault, went off on one! 
To get back on topic, no, the lack of demand for pigeons as a food source should have no effect on pigeon populations, because the official reason they are shot is one of pest control, which is why they are on the GL. 
 

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3 hours ago, Scully said:


The 100 bird days may work for the average bloke ( I’d be quite chuffed if our syndicate shot that amount each day! ) but they won’t wash ( as you put it ) in my experience, for guns who pay top prices to shoot. It isn’t what they want.  They want lots of shooting, that’s what they’re there for and what they’re paying for, and that’s what commercial shoots provide. 

Yes, beaters and pickers up can also take home birds, but in my experience after the third day ( and our commercial shoot sometimes shoots three or four times a week )  no one wants anymore birds as they can only use so many and you can’t even give away birds in feather. 
Our small syndicate produces bags on a good day of around 45 birds, which gets lower as the season progresses, and even we struggle to move them on.  
I often take more than I really need , and process and freeze them, giving odds and ends to the ferrets or the dogs. 
A relative whom is a chef, can’t take them from me anymore because of regulations, but once saw pheasants piled high in a gamedealers a few seasons ago, and was told they were bound for pet food as there was no outlet. 🤷‍♂️
Our shooting orgs are trying to create a market where hardly any exists ( hence their attempts to faze out lead ) to save driven shooting, because love it or loathe it, if the commercial shoots go under, then there’s a very good chance driven shooting in general will go too, as the suppliers will possibly fold also due to a huge drop in poult sales, and if driven shooting goes, then bang go our shooting organisations also. 
While I applaud your attempts, to shoot less numbers but more frequently amounts to the same number being shot in total, so I really can’t see how that will alleviate the problem of a lack of demand. Game dealers have never been short of birds, just customers. We need to create a demand, and our best bet for that is abroad. There is too much of a stigma in the UK nowadays, surrounding shooting, to generate a meaningful market for pheasants, partridge and grouse, which brings us neatly back round to the fazing out of lead to generate sales abroad. If pheasants tasted like chicken I doubt there would be a problem…..but they don’t, far from it.🙂

Its not an easy problem to solve, and one the big commercial shoots currently seem indifferent to. 


 

Most of the falconers I know keep Harris Hawks, amongst others, but HH account for the majority. 
They usually buy day olds from chicken farms etc, as they’re guaranteed lead shot free. 
Personally I think pet food for all manner of surplus game would be a good way to go. 

I understand the points you make - and appreciate your non aggressive approach this time.

We will just have to agree to differ, as I think ‘scale down’ is possible without too much pain. I buy poults from a local man, who supplies a lot of local shoots of a smaller scale than the one you’re connected with. He has created a decent livelihood for his family. I would advocate more local smaller scale suppliers - rather than fewer super-scale poult farms feeding in to big commercial shoots. 

Re demand, gradual smaller intakes to dealers seems to be their preferred option. I do agree that there needs to be a better down-stream solution however. There you go - I’ve agreed with you on something. Frame it and put it on the wall😀

Re driven shooting and orgs collapsing - I don’t think scaling down would cause this apocalyptic outcome. The vast majority of driven shoots (and shooters) are not involved with the big commercial scene…which only caters for a smaller minority….purely in terms of sector size. The orgs tend to survive by catering for the whole shooting population - many of whom have their ‘pet org’ so to speak. There are also many syndicate memberships etc. All food for thought anyway. Have a good season!

38 minutes ago, welsh1 said:

Gentlemen, this is a thread about Pigeon bags in the Pigeon section, might i suggest you start another thread in the relevant section if you wish to continue your "chat"

Apologies Welsh1, I don’t know how to move our “chat” to a new thread. Quite happy for it to be placed elsewhere if that’s poss’. I’m just not techy enough.  I would ask my 11 year old - but he’s at school….🙂

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37 minutes ago, scolopax said:

I no longer have an outlet for woodpigeons so I no longer go pigeon decoying. Simple as that, I will not dump them or feed them to dogs so I do not shoot them (in numbers).

What do you have against feeding pigeons to dogs?

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