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To Much Of A Good Thing

marsh man

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Last week I predicted by the end of this week there would many fields of Barley cut , now that prediction would be a under estimate , on our estate they started last Sunday and have been going non stop , and so have just about everyone else , with our area being flat you can see plumes of combine dust going up everywhere and for some of the smaller ones they could be finishing there Winter barley harvest over the next few days , this must also be one of the best starts weather wise they have had for a good few years , with this hot dry weather now going to run into next week the countryside is going to look a lot different than it do today , even when I took my dog out before tea there was two big balers going up and down the rows of straw hell for leather .

How will this affect us Pigeon shooters ? , if you are in a area where the odd field is cut and you are lucky enough to still have the bales on then you could do well , if you are in a area like me then you could really be up against it with the rape and wheat fields getting very close to being ready .

A bit like waiting for a number 6 bus , you wait ages and then two come at the same time , one advantage we have is on some of the fields that are baled up they could be left for a while , while other fields that have contractors having the straw they could be baled up by say 10 in the morning and at dinnertime they could all be removed , these boys really do get a move on .

Still it's a lovely time of the year and what better way could you spend the afternoon sitting in the middle of a stubble field with the hide set up against a giant square bale , lovely ole job and something I hope I will be doing over the next few days before the next heat wave hit us early next week . Hopefully YOU will be as well :drinks:

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14 minutes ago, Walker570 said:

Have fun whilst it lasts because these days stubbles do not last long. 

We have both seen many , many changes in the farming world in our lifetime and with you being a few years older than me you have no doubt seen a few more than me .

One farm where I have had the shooting on for the last 50 odd years all started with me and my brother loading up the trailers with th small oblong bales , the farmer paid us ten bob an hour but the shooting we have had over the years have been priceless .

You only have to look at the sizes of a modern combine , the one on the estate is on tracks and can cut 34 or 36 feet at a time with sat nav so they can cut in the dark .

The baling machines are now like lorries and can bale a field before you can walk round it , I wander what it would be like if we could come back in 50 years time :hmm:

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Yes, as you say I am 'of age' so to speak and remember the backache even as a ten/11 year old tying up battens of scythed wheat/barley and oats as my grandafather cut a swath clear around the headland so we coukd get around with the tractor pulled binder. We still had two working shires back then but the shaft for rhe horses had been converted to the old Fordson tractor on spade lugs.  Great sport back then was standing around a field of corn and shooting the rabbits as they bolted for cover or occasionally on the last few turns maybe a fox.   Pigeon shooting back then was from a covered hide with a small peephole 30yrds or so from a sitty tree and a single wooden decoy would be placed out in the field.   One shot one sitting pigeon and my grandfather wanted to see the empties to check against bodies !!!  This was late 40s early 1950s.

I was very fortunate to be brought up on a farm because farmers had extra rations so with what we shot and trapped we never went short, a big herd back then of 28 shorthorn dairy cattle meant we always had home churned butter. 

From my first catapult at 5yrs through air rifle at 7yrs  410  12th birthday and big enough at 14 to shoot my grandfathers BSA 12 gauge and 220 acres of our farm and 160 acres next door belonging to an uncle you can see life was good back then.

We grew about 50 acres of potatoes and root crops(mangols swedes) si there was always some stubbles throughout winter which would be lathered with cow muck and ploughed in Jan/Feb ready for planting in the spring. The potato ground would go down to winter wheat and oats with some barley.

The M42 now runs through nearly all of this and the rest under bricks and mortar.

Edited by Walker570
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