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A couple of hours out


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Further to receipt of the lofting pole spreader bar very kindly and expertly made by Tightchoke, I was anxious to give it a go. However, a few weeks ago the wife and I were struck down by Covid which restricted us to home and garden while we tested positive. The symptoms that we endured were not too bad, consisting mainly of a sore throat, cough and a slight head cold, but leaving us completely lethargic with no enthusiasm to do much at all. Unfortunately, even after testing negative for a few days, the sore throat, cough and lethargy continued up until the day before yesterday, so I had very little inclination to venture forth into the fields with gun and lofters.

I did have a go decoying about two weeks ago with my pal Stour-boy where we went fully equipped with rotary, hide poles, nets, floaters etc etc. without even reaching half double figures and the outcome was that I came home absolutely knackered and felt worse the next day. Clearly the symptoms were still affecting me, so I vowed not to venture out until I felt much better and certainly travelling a lot lighter.

It was not until yesterday that things improved and I decided to have a couple of hours in a little wood just with lofters, gun and cartridges where I had only a short walk from the car to the wood, so don`t expect at the end of this to see a report of 30 plus shot or anything like the bags recently obtained by PC, Muncher etc. It just wasn`t going to happen.

I have written previously of the advantages of 2 lofted pigeons raised to a height of 40 or so feet over the normal lofting kit of 5 decoys on hooks raised to just 25 feet (the latter being fine for bushes and short trees, but not taller trees), and noted that it took me just 6 minutes to loft the two decoys and 4 minutes to retrieve them. This in comparison with around 20 minutes to put up the 5 decoy set and sometimes longer to retrieve, especially when windy, is a no brainer.

On approaching the little wood, I put out around 20-30 pigeons which were `resting and digesting` from having fed on a field of rape some 600 yards away downwind and my hope was that one or two would return during my short stay to give me a few shots. There was a fairly strong Westerly wind directly from behind, but I was shielded from this by the wood behind, so any birds approaching should theoretically come directly to my position in a ready made and permanent hide on the Eastern and leeward side, with the lofters slightly to my right. The wood is fairly thick behind so my plan, being without my pal`s dog, was to shoot well in front so that any shot birds could be easily retrieved in the scrub in front of the wood. That was the plan anyway. All it now needed was a few to return. 

Back to the shooting, a few did return immediately after my arrival but before I managed to get the gun out of the slip and loaded. I was really just out for a bit of fresh air and didn`t expect to have many shots as my pal set up on the aforementioned rape field at the weekend and in 4 hours had just one shot and one pigeon.

However, I was surprised that quite a few came back to the wood which gave me some shooting during my short spell out, but my shooting was not up to par and I managed just 7 for about 20 shots, plus 1 magpie on a long crossing shot which I was pleased with and also included a couple of shots in the air to disturb the pigeons on the rape field.

Apart from the many buzzards I see when out now, I did see a red kite which is still quite a rarity in our area, although I know that these are very numerous further West.

All in all a thoroughly enjoyable few hours out and an absolute and well needed tonic and thanks again to Tightchoke for the lofting pole spreader bar which I`m sure made a difference to the birds coming directly into my position, if not, due to my bad shooting, the overall bag.

OB

 

 

 

 

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What a great acount that was OB.

Good on you for getting out and for myself, 7 birds for 20 shots would be very respectable. A bonus on the magpie also.

Cheers for posting up. Nothing better than a 'impromptu' outing for blowing the covid away. Hope you improving soon.

atb

7diaw

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Well done for getting out, four out of my last five outings I have used my two lofters , these consisted of two telescopic fibre glass flag poles, 13 meters, plus two extendable window cleaning poles 4 meters. These allow me to thread themselves through the branches to support them on the way up. Last week the decoys were above me and I had two birds sit in with them . 
Thanks for reporting and allowing feedback.

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Great report. 👍

I was shooting pigeons in Africa and each of us was given a large branch to tie to the hide pole to provide shade. A mate was sitting maybe 100m to my right and after 1/2 an hour or so there were three pigeons sitting in his shade branch. I called him on the radio to find that he had fallen asleep. 🤣

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Further to my short session on the pigeons the other day, I attach a photo of part of the crop of one which clearly has been eating the emerging flowers of some already stunted rape, the rest of which is at full height and in full flower. It just goes to show that they will endeavour to eat the heart of the crop at all stages of its growth.

OB

IMG_2748.JPG

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As already stated ,a good read and a great detailed post .

Hope you are both feeling better and just getting out in the fresh air after the flu like syptoms is as good and often better than most forms of medicine, and you would normally come home feeling a bit better than before you went out .

These short spells are ideal and you can observe the countryside at the same time such as crops being planted and any pigeon activity around your permission .

You done well to avoid the heavy showers we had both yesterday and today , bright sunshine then heavy rain mixed with hail , April showers or so they tell us .

 

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12 hours ago, marsh man said:

As already stated ,a good read and a great detailed post .

Hope you are both feeling better and just getting out in the fresh air after the flu like syptoms is as good and often better than most forms of medicine, and you would normally come home feeling a bit better than before you went out .

These short spells are ideal and you can observe the countryside at the same time such as crops being planted and any pigeon activity around your permission .

You done well to avoid the heavy showers we had both yesterday and today , bright sunshine then heavy rain mixed with hail , April showers or so they tell us .

 

Hi John,

The forecast was for a windy but rainless day and so it turned out to be. Like yourself, I can chose when to go and this I decide by the very accurate (I find )Met Office forecast. We are both fully recovered now, but I did find my short session out was an absolute tonic and just what was needed.

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