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Are dead birds better than plastic for pigeon shooting?

Am I never going to get the best out of a field by using them?

Peter Theobald
In a word, no. Whilst I will always add shot birds to the pattern, I have never started a day out pigeon shooting solely with dead birds.

Artificials are so much more convenient and easily stored and transported.

Also, pigeons saved from a previous trip never look quite as bright and fresh as birds shot on the day, quite apart from the fact that I often start the day with 50-60 plastics, a number that would weigh 60- 70lbs were they dead birds.