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Invited to shoot


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I was invited (via my wildfowling club) to assist with coordinated wood pigeon control on the farms forming the main shoot on the land around my house. Turning up blind always feels weird but the keeper put me out at 0930 where pigeons were dropping into a failed patch of wheat in a hollow at the edge of the field. 

The wind quartering into the hedge, so not ideal but as I was shooting over standing crops it was the lesser of two evils. Right or wrong this was pear control, the instruction was to shoot as many birds as possible and not worry about picking them. 

I set my hide up on a diagonal to the patch with decoys to the far side and tried to drop them over the patch. The strong winds and tall hedge made it an awkward approach for the birds, they had been dropping in from a small sitty tree. The majority of the birds were flighted rather than decoyed. As the day wore on I stood atop of my stool to take the birds approaching rather than steaming away. Being stood out like a sore thumb did not put the birds off at all and it was wonderful to have a 360° view for once. Highlights were a very long crow that folded after a lucky punt; a very quick smooth ‘left and right’ on a high and fast pair of wood pigeons that had been flying tightly; 3 kills off the bat with the moderated .410 when I fancied tanning my ears.

I shot 62 pigeon, 2 crows and picked 42 from the patch without disturbing the crop. Very enjoyable morning. 

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