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Mad dogs and Englishmen


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Having stated previously that I have no inclination to go shooting in extreme heat, the fact that the rape had been cut and the pigeons were down feeding in good numbers on the stubble literally 500 yards from my house, the temptation was too strong to resist. The forecast was for the temperature to drop slightly for yesterday (Friday), so egged on by my pal to go out for a couple of hours, we decided to set up on each end of the field, me in the shade (for a while) and him in full sun. He being a few years younger than me it was his suggestion that I go in the most shaded part of the field.  In reality, I don`t think he relished the thought of me suffering from heat exhaustion and having to carry me off the field:lol:.

It was a joy to be able to drive to the hide position and so I went prepared and took a cooler bag loaded with ice blocks to put the shot pigeons in. I did also have a wet hessian sack, but found that it wasn`t needed.

On driving onto the field I put up about 200 pigeons, so was quite looking forward to a few shots not having been out for a several weeks, or so it seemed, but in reality was only three weeks. The harvest seemed a long time coming, with no peas to shoot over and the pigeons having deserted the standing milky wheat.

The only bit of equipment I forgot was a mallet as the ground was rock hard and the rotary was nigh on impossible to push in, but was eventually in far enough to secure it sufficiently. A dozen flocked half shells were lodged on top of the rape stalks and stood out reasonably well. For the first hour I was in the shade but this then turned from semi shade to full sun for the last half hour, so was just about bearable. Being tucked into the hedge I was shooting from a sitting position and didn`t shoot particularly well, much preferring to rise to the shot, but my position in the shade of the hedge was preferable to being in the sun for the duration. 

After 4 consecutive misses, I started to connect with a few and after shooting two or three, went out to collect them and put them straight into the cooler bag to prevent the blow flies getting to them. I could see that my pal was getting some good shooting and both of us shooting, kept the birds on the move. He was more on the flightline into the field so had more opportunities, but being in full sun, I didn`t envy his shooting at all and was only too grateful of fewer shots myself but in far more comfort. 

We had agreed to only be out for a maximum of three hours, but after just over two hours, the sun was now full on to both of us so we decided to up stumps and leave them for another day when the temperature would be more bearable.

I ended up picking 17, with 2 lost and my pal got 23 with 2 also lost. Had we both had the stamina to continue, I think that we could have shot a hundred between us but decided enough to be enough for one day.

The decision to take a cooler bag was a good one as all the birds were quite cold and in good condition when I got home and completely free of blow flies. The odd young bird was seen (no white neck bar) but none were added to the bag.

One highlight was a red kite viewing our operation from on high, something we don`t see very often in these parts.

Thanks for reading.

OB

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Excellent write up and well done for getting out. I was going to get out this weekend but I decided to brave the heat with the kids in the pool instead...

Well done and keep them coming 

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Well done Chris . Its hard going in this heat mate 👍.

I had an early crow session,  and a later pigeon session,  planned for today . I was relieved when I had to spend the day repairing an industrial sewing machine instead.

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15 minutes ago, mel b3 said:

Well done Chris . Its hard going in this heat mate 👍.

I had an early crow session,  and a later pigeon session,  planned for today . I was relieved when I had to spend the day repairing an industrial sewing machine instead.

Not only have you stayed out of the heat, you`ve earnt some brownie points there then Mel.

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A report that was well worth waiting for Chris and a very good bag under the unusual conditions , up till now I haven't seen a single rape field that have been cut so although you dipped out by not having any Peas you have been rewarded with some early Rape stubble's , with this day after day hot weather we have had more crops that are now ready to be cut than the combine can cope with , they have been cutting barley every day for the past week and we have got a few Pigeons on virtually every one that is stubble , with the tennant farms these must add up to over 20 fields with either the bales still on , or the contractors carting them off .

It was saying in the paper this morning that the Pea campaign is well below average as the Peas have only got a 12 hour window to be cut and the hot weather is bringing them on all at the same time .

The Rape is now drying out to quick with the pods beginning to split open and it will soon be a race to get them cut before a big percentage is lost.

The early signs with this years barley harvest is average to slightly above average , but it is early days and a lot can happen over the next few weeks.

Good Luck when you are tempted out again when it cool off a bit . 

All the best    MM

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Excellent write up - thank you for posting.

Nothing worse than getting baked in a hedge with the sun full in your face.

Good that you braved the heat and at least got a couple of hours shooting and with pigeons for the pot.

No harvesting yet in my patch unfortunately.

My old mum had a stroke last week and is in hospital in Newcastle which is an hour drive from my home- so my days are spent visiting rather than shooting at the moment.

Its going to be very hot almost everywhere in the coming days- so look after your elderly relatives and gun dogs .

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10 hours ago, the hitman said:

Excellent write up - thank you for posting.

Nothing worse than getting baked in a hedge with the sun full in your face.

Good that you braved the heat and at least got a couple of hours shooting and with pigeons for the pot.

No harvesting yet in my patch unfortunately.

My old mum had a stroke last week and is in hospital in Newcastle which is an hour drive from my home- so my days are spent visiting rather than shooting at the moment.

Its going to be very hot almost everywhere in the coming days- so look after your elderly relatives and gun dogs .

Sorry to hear this

Keep your chin up best you can

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13 hours ago, the hitman said:

Excellent write up - thank you for posting.

Nothing worse than getting baked in a hedge with the sun full in your face.

Good that you braved the heat and at least got a couple of hours shooting and with pigeons for the pot.

No harvesting yet in my patch unfortunately.

My old mum had a stroke last week and is in hospital in Newcastle which is an hour drive from my home- so my days are spent visiting rather than shooting at the moment.

Its going to be very hot almost everywhere in the coming days- so look after your elderly relatives and gun dogs .

Sorry to hear about your mum's illness and hopefully she will make a full recovery and both of you will soon get back to some form of normality.

Good advice about keeping your dog's cool and to keep an eye on your elderly relatives , although I am now part of the latter , this mornings walk was just a nice morning to be out , 19% when I went out and 21% when I got back home , no higher than a normal warm Summers day , tomorrow and Tuesday could be the ones to worry about as last night the weatherman was saying it could get to 30% during the night , and that would be a new one for the U K , not long to wait :hmm: 

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14 hours ago, the hitman said:

Excellent write up - thank you for posting.

Nothing worse than getting baked in a hedge with the sun full in your face.

Good that you braved the heat and at least got a couple of hours shooting and with pigeons for the pot.

No harvesting yet in my patch unfortunately.

My old mum had a stroke last week and is in hospital in Newcastle which is an hour drive from my home- so my days are spent visiting rather than shooting at the moment.

Its going to be very hot almost everywhere in the coming days- so look after your elderly relatives and gun dogs .

Sorry to hear of your Mum`s stroke and I sincerely hope that as MM said above, that she makes a full recovery.

OB

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Thank you for your kind message- it is appreciated-sorry I didn’t mean to hijack the post.

Mum has limited speech but decent mobility- just waiting for social care (4 times a day ) to be put in place before she can come home for a trial run to test how she can cope.

Having a pendant alarm system fitted at her house on Thursday as she would be unable to use the phone to call for help.

The social care package might take some arranging as there are simply not enough care workers.

Now let’s get back to the shooting reports.

 

 

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