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My brother had noticed last Friday when he packed up another rape field on the same farm that was getting hit hard. I took a look Sunday evening to check if it had been shot over the weekend or not, as the pigeons where piling in it looked like a good opportunity and hadn’t been shot. I booked the Monday off with my boss, who agreed as long as I came in first thing and did some paperwork, so by 10 o’clock I was at the field. The easterly wind was perfect for this field as I set up with the wind at my back into some tall rape with a very large part of mowed rape in front. As it was a longish walk to the spot I took 2 dead birds for the rotory and 6 silosocks to try out. The only issue I had was a house quite close to my right hand side, so I couldn’t shoot to my right, I had already spoken to the young lady in the house and she was happy for me to get em!  With the house in mind I put the rotary and silosocks to my left and hoped it would make the birds decoy that side. First bird in and I missed and a few more misses , then I shot a couple , but they were very cagey and kept veering off, so I pulled the rotary and silosocks right into the edge of the tall rape, this helped and I started to get a few more customers. I put every 5 out on cradles until I got to 20. The more I put out the better they came in, but unfortunately the main flight line was to my right and I had to let a lot go through unsaluted. I was bang on 50% shot ratio up to the last box when the wheels fell off a bit , I had 88 on the clicker and I picked 82 for 185 shots with the Auto. ( I took this due to my bruised cheek from Friday) Three trips back to the truck and I was done. I was rather pleased, the left handed solo ton will hopefully be soon but I am getting more confident. The only downside today, when I took the birds into the game dealer and he informed me that it was his last day taking in pigeons, due to new regulations about bird flu !

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7 minutes ago, Spr1985 said:

Nice report muncher! Sounds like you had a great day. Did the game dealer divulge what these new regulation where? I’m intrigued. 

I think they have to prove where the birds came from and are free from flu. 

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1 minute ago, muncher said:

I think they have to prove where the birds came from and are free from flu. 

Oh I see, red tape then. And  not cost effective to prove fee from flu. Such a shame. Thanks for the answer 

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Another excellent day and to get a three figure bag before to long would be remarkable after changing shoulders with the same guns , with you getting more and more used to firing a right handed gun with your left shoulder , would you in time find it hard using a left handed gun after you have finally got used to your ole right handed guns :hmm:

If these bird flu regulations continued into this coming season I can see it causing all sorts of problems when it come to moving game on .

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16 hours ago, marsh man said:

Another excellent day and to get a three figure bag before to long would be remarkable after changing shoulders with the same guns , with you getting more and more used to firing a right handed gun with your left shoulder , would you in time find it hard using a left handed gun after you have finally got used to your ole right handed guns 

If these bird flu regulations continued into this coming season I can see it causing all sorts of problems when it come to moving game on .

I changed the shims in the auto and the safety to left handed. I’ve had the cast changed on the O/U as well. Times are changing and not for the better, you’d think with the cost of living going up there’d be a demand for pigeons and game. 

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Great bag on rape, well done! I’ve never managed to shoot good numbers over rape, mores the pity but they just don’t seem to hit it hard round here  like they do other crops.

The bird flu comment had me intrigued, as all my local game dealers closed the doors through Covid I was hoping to find another this year to offload on but this doesn’t sound good. I do wonder how some that shoot hundreds week in week out can get rid of them!?

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4 hours ago, muncher said:

I had three freezers full of pigeons, then they said we aren’t taking frozen anymore. I breast 20 out at a time and cook them for my dogs. I cannot and will not dump them. 

Mine along with crows, squirrels and rats go in the farms furnace/incinerator. The only exception are jays and I only had 1 last year. A friend takes them for the colourful feathers.

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9 hours ago, muncher said:

I had three freezers full of pigeons, then they said we aren’t taking frozen anymore. I breast 20 out at a time and cook them for my dogs. I cannot and will not dump them. 

Have you tried Bambridge of Watton , I took all mine up , they didn't pay a lot but at least they took all I had .

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2 hours ago, muncher said:

That’s where I went MM. 

As far as off loading frozen Pigeons is concerned that is really bad news Muncher , I have been dealing with them for well over 20 years and have seen the ( good ) times and recently the bad times but up until now they have always took frozen birds , due to the distance it is nigh on impossible to take fresh birds ,( a ) is we just don't get big enough bags and ( b ) the price of fuel wouldn't justify taking a small(ish) bag over 80 miles on a return journey , not only that with the weather due to get warmer over the coming weeks the shelf life for dead Pigeons is very limited and within a matter of day(s) they would have to go in the freezer .

This could well be the end of a era .

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