Jump to content

Here we go again...

Recommended Posts

Time: 14:00 onwards

Location: Mid Norfolk

Conditions: Mild, mostly cloudy with light showers, moderate westerly winds with some gusts.

Yes, its the first Saturday of February and it was time to head down to the carr and lie in wait for some pigeons. Not all was right with the world however, as father was otherwise engaged on grandchildren duties, leaving me to tackle the 60 acre wood on my own. 

By the sounds of it, a good crowd was out on the estate, including new recruit Jonesy who was to be stationed in the neighbouring and usually empty belt to my immediate east across a still unharvested sugar beet field. I positioned myself and my trusty older dog in the release pen, slap bang in the middle of the carr for two reasons. Firstly I wanted to keep an eye on my car which contained my sleeping younger dog who I intended to do a bit of training with later, and secondly to make up for the lack of fathers presence on the far side of the wood. The most recent Intel on the movement and numbers of woodies suggested the half decent flocks of a few weeks ago had moved on or dispersed altogether, so I wasn't hopeful of a big bag, but on the beaters day a few days before I'd seen a few here and there so I wasn't totally distraught. 

My unusual position had me standing a good 20 feet lower down than normal in a dip, and the poplars and fir trees that surrounded the pheasant pen felt like they were towering over me in an attempt to intimidate. Undaunted, I raised my new winchester to salute the first pigeon I saw, a fast flying bird on a mission, and was delighted to see it flare and flinch as it ran into the edge of my shot pattern. It swirled around a bit before dipping out of sight behind me to fall on the parkland. Dog dispatched for a testing blind retrieve, and after a good few minutes she returned empty mouthed. One for later, I returned to scanning the skies, the horizon threatening heavy rain with its slate grey wall of cloud while above the sun was breaking through in places.

Many birds passed at what seemed like unreachable heights way above the tree tops, reluctant to commit to the sitty poplars on the riverside of the carr, but I stretched my barrels at a few that I felt might be in range. No luck there, but it sounded like Jonesy was enjoying himself as regular and frequent pops could be heard emanating from his wood. It seemed at least that the pigeon numbers were making this a worthwhile afternoon for some. 

Finally, they began to come in to land in ones and twos, high up in the tall poplars, and often out of reach, but I bagged a couple more that fell outside the pen wire, awaiting collection at the end. I moved further down to the Western edge of the pen in an attempt to take advantage of a stuttering and intermittent south-north flight line I had been observing and got some luck once more, but at the very limits of my ability on these high and fast birds being buffeted by the breeze.

With the light beginning to fade, I decided to pack up and get the young dog out for a training sweep of the area to retrieve the handful of birds still lying out in the wood. But first I took a look out on the park with the older dog, and had to admit defeat in looking for my early bird. It must have gone much further than I thought. Youthful exuberance unleashed from the boot of my car, not an inch of that wood was left untrod as she smashed and splashed her way through the undergrowth bringing forth four dead birds (only one slightly mouthed). I picked a fifth before taking her down to the river to practice water retrieves and crossing water courses until the light was almost gone. Steady rain began to fall as I made my way back to the road, so at least I dodged the weather. 

All the maize strips will be flailed during the week, so the chance of a bit of decoying next Saturday if time allows. Will continue bringing the young dog on in this manner, I may even have her with me while I shoot next time, loaning my old dog out to father once he is back. Total bag 6 (one not retrieved) for an embarrassing number of shots. Must do better. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Excellent report on what is a traditional Saturdays afternoon sport In February in our neck of the woods , I went and to be honest where I was allocated I would have done better in my back garden , twice I looked during the week and I did see a nice lot of Pigeons but today they had all done a vanishing act , I went a bit earlier than normal as I was hopping I was going to decoy a few on the well eaten rape but when it got to 3.30pm I had better things to do at home rather than keep looking into a blank sky , the only difference from where you were in mid Norfolk was we didn't get any rain , a mild afternoon with a slight breeze , anyhow a mate of mine who went on the other side of the estate did get some shooting and he got 18 that were mainly decoyed and he packed up at 4pm as it had gone dead although he said there was some scattered shots still going on .

So we have got some Pigeons and maybe next week they might give me a bit of shooting , but now it's the taking part that count rather than the size of the bag , well that's my excuse :lol:     MM

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I’ve had some reasonable success shooting a couple of roosting flight lines over winter, more so than usual. 
Have never managed access to any significant flailed game covers over the years but see many golden opportunities on them every year.
They certainly draw pigeons like nothing else at this time of year so I’m sure you’ll have much more success over the coming weeks. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...