Would it help if I used a whirly decoy machine in these conditions?

Peter Theobald
It is an unexplained fact that pigeons appear to suffer from snow blindness, meaning they do not react to our static layouts, but as you rightly point out, live birds fluttering about draw them like magnets.

So let’s examine the facts. We all know that during winter pigeons flock up to ensure that as many of their number as possible find the easiest available food, and because the weather is often cold, they will not waste energy unnecessarily by flying far from the feeding ground.

What this leads to is what I call a ‘follow-my-leader flightline’ whereby birds locate the flock by visual means only, so what they are looking for is a continual movement on the ground.

We can replicate this to some extent by employing rotaries and flappers but as soon as we fire at incoming pigeons, the flightline is instantly broken, and they immediately head elsewhere.

If only someone could invent a totally silent shotgun!