Pigeon shooting

PETER THEOBALD

There?s every chance that they will, so keep a very close eye on it. Some years back autumn sown linseed was grown by quite a few farmers and birds used to pour onto it right through winter.

Reason was it stayed short ? and this is exactly how woodies like it.

It was probably due to an unacceptable level of pigeon damage that the crop eventually fell out of popularity.

Spring sown linseed, however, is a different kettle of fish because it grows so quickly.

Pigeons will be drawn to it as soon as the tender new shoots chit and will feed on the shoots for a couple of weeks before the plant toughens up and loses its appeal.

Once this stage has been reached and pigeons are no longer drawn to it there?s a natural tendency for the shooter to take his eyes off the field and look elsewhere for birds.

This can be a mistake because any gaps in the linseed crop will be taken over by tasty weeds – which in turn will draw back the birds in decoyable numbers.