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After The Lord Mayor`s Show

Old Boggy

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After having been spoilt shooting a field of maize stubble over the last few weeks with bags of between 30 and 40 which exceeded my normal few hours shooting, the field has now been cultivated. Sometimes as we know a disced field still provides some shooting, but this time heavy cultivation meant that the pigeons had deserted it for pickings elsewhere.

Another plan had to be put into action for my couple of hours out yesterday. 

The local pigeons were now feeding predominantly on the vast acres of wheat drilling in my area but were spread over several fields. With modern drills leaving very little on the surface, decoying wasn`t really an option as too few were feeding on any one particular field. 

The wind yesterday was a brisk Easterly, so my choice was on the Westerly edge of my favourite wood which is on the edge of a 130 acre field of drilling. I have two permanent hides on the Eastern edge of this wood for use in the winter when the birds are feeding on ivy berries and the prevailing South West wind is fairly strong.

Knowing that very few would decoy and also knowing that they use this small wood to `rest and digest`, I decided to ensconce myself in the edge of the wood with just gun, cartridges and a seat. It was bright sunlight but I was in the shade under the canopy of a large beech tree. I knew that I might have the occasional shot as one or two might come into the wood during my time out. First one in was missed in classic style as I was a bit slow and should have taken it earlier before it was lost from sight above the tree canopy. After my first shot, it was apparent that there were quite a few pigeons feeding on the field but spread over a large area which reinforced my assumption that decoying was out of the question. I was quite happy watching and listening to the wildlife around me and was pleasantly surprised when a small charm of goldfinches decided to have a feed on the teasels just to the left of my position. The `mewing` of an overhead buzzard didn`t seem to worry them and they continued to feed. Another pleasant surprise was a hare lolloping across the field. A much rarer sight these days than a few years ago, in this area.

As I`d hoped, one or two did come in towards my position and one or two fell to my shots once I`d talked myself into taking them early and were easy retrieve out to my front on the drilling.

I ended my short session of two hours with just 5 in the bag, but had thoroughly enjoyed my time out.

I had hoped to pick a bag of sloes as there are many blackthorn bushes alongside the wood but this year they were virtually devoid of fruit. Other areas where I pick are similar, so I presume it has not been a good year for them, in my area anyway. Have others found the same?

Thanks for reading.



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