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Invented of the Pigeon Magnet ?


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5 hours ago, old'un said:

funny you should say that as I was a toolmaker before retiring and I also made a type of string operated flapper around 1980, made from a straightened clock spring and two pieces of string attached to each and those were attached to a single line witch was pulled to give the appearance of flapping wings, it worked sometimes but was a faff to set up, specially on standing crops. 

My version was pretty close to the one sold by Sid Seemark it had a sort of triangular frame which sort of represented the shoulder joints on which the wing arms rotated to make the wings flap backwards and forwards. The geometry of this was reasonably critical to get the right wing motion.  The actual thing worked very well , BUT there were a couple of downsides.  One was that if you didn't have a dead pigeon you had to get one to decoy birds in to shoot.  Second was that shot birds soon developed rigormortis and the wings were stiff and wouldn't flap so you had to break the wing bone and then the wing went all sort of wobbly and didn't give much wingspan.  I then went to a full bodied plastic decoy and made a pair of grey cloth wings with a white stripe painted on them.  That version worked pretty well. Except that with the mechanical load the operating string wore through.  This was cured by polishing the hook eyelet and greasing the pulling cord.  Latterly changing to a short lead length of lightweight throttle Bowden cable. After watching real pigeons landing in real pigeon pattern I decided on something really radicle. The Mk501 A. No decoy body at all and a horizontal rotating shaft with paddles painted white which wound up against a spring which recoiled the shaft and white painted paddles back to the start position.  This gave the required white flashes.  The son in laws grandad used slip flop soles as add on wings to a full body.  Somewhere Ive got pictures of his flip flop model decoys. Lots of things worked.  The main things are be where the pigeons want to come to and keep still.  Let them come into the kill zone.  let one land and shoot the second one in and then one taking off.  This was the same back in Archie Coates time.  All of this chasing birds about all over the sky is bad for the cartridge : kill ratio.

 

3 minutes ago, marsh man said:

I wonder how many of these devices were home made ? , I know the very early ones were operated by pulling a length of cord as I have got one in my garage that a member gave me a while back , moving to the next level with a battery operated device was quite a jump up from the basic cord pulled ones , I dare say that most mechanical mined Pigeon shooters had a dabble in making one up . 

 

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48 minutes ago, marsh man said:

I wonder how many of these devices were home made ? , I know the very early ones were operated by pulling a length of cord as I have got one in my garage that a member gave me a while back , moving to the next level with a battery operated device was quite a jump up from the basic cord pulled ones , I dare say that most mechanical mined Pigeon shooters had a dabble in making one up . 

Yep, first time I seen one was at the Weston park game fair, there was a fellow on the end of the main row with a little tent some camo netting and a chair, he had two magnets setup with two dead birds spinning round, I nearly missed him, I got talking to him and asked him if they worked..yes, they work like magnets, I had a good look at them and could see they were wind screen motors, a week later I was down the scrap yard looking for a suitable motor, witch I found and built my first magnet, couldn’t wait to try it, first outing was on some winter rape and I was amazed how good it pulled the pigeons in.

Strange thing is I never seen anything about them in the shooting times for a long time after I seen the one at Weston park…..then every pigeon shooter seemed to have one.

16 minutes ago, Minky said:

 

 

Mine was nowhere near that complicated and in the end it ended up at the back of the shed as I got feed up of setting it up, but the magnet I made was a game changer for me.

Edited by old'un
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21 hours ago, Minky said:

Does anyone know when the first commercial rotary was on the market.?  Back in 1987 on the eve of the hurricane (storm) I went to Maidstone and met the inventor of the flapper (Sid Semark).  A very clever man who was an engineer and inventor.  Back then I was a young bloke with a young family and all of this stuff was a lot of money. BUT I  was a clever engineer and I soon made a flapper that was  very similar to Sids.  The next thought was to motorise my flapper. I  spent many many hours finding stuff to make it out of.  The MK 500b did work but it used to shake itself to bits.  I decided that the motor driven flapper wasn't better than the string powered Jobby and dragging battery out to a field made my mind up and 500b was declared redundant.  When I went decoying I was loaded down like a donkey as it was without taking a battery along.  I  never ventured into a rotary for the same reason. I've still got and use the string powered flapper that I made back in 1987.  It has lured hundreds of pigeons into the pattern over those 37 years. 

I thought it was Phil Beasley who sold the original magnet commercially. I bought one from him when he lived near Bicester. It had four arms, two long ones and two shorter ones that Phil referred to as `Barley Arms`. I cannot remember ever using all four at once as it looked a bit crowded with 4 pigeons going round, but I did have success with it.  That was about 30+ years ago if I recall. It was pretty heavy and I only sold it about 8-10 years ago to a PW member and it was still going strong then. I then purchased a lightweight one at a game fair from UKShootwarehouse originally started by Phil I believe (Perhaps Will can confirm this.)

OB

 

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3 hours ago, old'un said:

Yep, first time I seen one was at the Weston park game fair, there was a fellow on the end of the main row with a little tent some camo netting and a chair, he had two magnets setup with two dead birds spinning round, I nearly missed him, I got talking to him and asked him if they worked..yes, they work like magnets, I had a good look at them and could see they were wind screen motors, a week later I was down the scrap yard looking for a suitable motor, witch I found and built my first magnet, couldn’t wait to try it, first outing was on some winter rape and I was amazed how good it pulled the pigeons in.

Strange thing is I never seen anything about them in the shooting times for a long time after I seen the one at Weston park…..then every pigeon shooter seemed to have one.

Mine was nowhere near that complicated and in the end it ended up at the back of the shed as I got feed up of setting it up, but the magnet I made was a game changer for me.

The Shooting Times and the Game Fairs were the only places where you could pick up anything to do with Pigeon shooting , nowadays you have got the laptop which cover everything to do with just about every type of shooting worldwide .

Our very first camo net was ex army from a advert in the back of The Shooting Times , this was the string and hessian type that was very heavy even when it dry , when wet you had a job to lift it , can't remember how much it was but I am sure it was under a pound , when it was delivered it was huge , we hung it up on my mums linen line and cut it in half which was enough for two decent hides , our poles were tile battens with two or three clot nails in the top so you could adjust for different heights , cradles we made ourselves out of fencing wire , decoys out of Grey guttering so you could stack them on top of each other , seat was a plastic five gallon oil drum and the sacks to put the gear in were Royal Mails postal sacks , , when we started to go to the game fairs we first splashed out on some Pinewood poles , these were light and some of the best we had ever used , then the nato nets improved both in lightness and concealment , the 5 gal oil drums were replaced with fold up seats and the decoys out of guttering were replaced with the flexi coy ones which I still use now , the cradles are still made out of wire along with the short lengths of wire to peg the dead ones out , my magnet was a job lot I bought off one of the members and seem indestructible and must be several years old , so I have splashed out very little in pounds , shillings and pence and what I have got will no doubt out last the user .:lol:

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