I’ve never shot over this crop before and wondered if i) pigeons will be attracted to it and ii) is it as difficult to decoy as winter rape and iii) when’s the best time of year to decoy it?

PIGEON SHOOTING

Peter Theobald

You should get down on your knees right now, and thank the pigeon shooting gods for your good fortune!

I have never had a field of spring rape on any of my farms where I have not killed at least one bag of 100 plus.

Let’s examine the reasons why it is so much more productive than its winter relative.

Top of the list is its availability.

As it yields less than the winter variety, it is not so popular with farmers, therefore acreage is much smaller in any given area.

The big winter flocks will have dispersed by the time pigeons start hitting the spring variety in early May.

Last, but not least, because the crop grows very quickly, exposure to pigeon damage is sometimes only a few weeks, meaning farmers are often unaware, or are not too bothered about scaring regimes.

Almost certainly, you will need to cover both fields when you shoot, as pigeons will quickly learn where to go for a peaceful feed.

Also, on the downside, stubble shooting on the spring variety is less successful, probably, because it is harvested later, other food choices are available.