Pigeon shooting expert

PETER THEOBALD

There are times of the year, notably in November and December, when pigeons are spending a lot of time in the woods eating acorns.

There is no doubt that lofting a few decoys in prominent trees at this time, can be really effective, but the problem is the hassle of getting decoys high enough to be seen.

Most lofting sets become really unstable once you try to go above 30ft, nowhere near high enough in the average wood.

You can try to catapult a line over higher branches, and haul the decoys up, but unless you have the patience of Job and the skills only honed by a misspent youth, you will end up exploding with frustration and in no fit state to shoot pigeons.

Add to this you may have spent an hour getting two decoys up there, only to find the flightline has changed and you are now 200 yards in the wrong place.

Having said this, a friend of mine took the trouble to set up half a dozen permanent lines in a small wood that he knew very well, and when wind conditions were right, would simply tie the decoys on, and pull them up.

Five minutes, job done. His bags were always bigger than mine on any given evening, or when woodies were feeding on beechmast or acorns.