PETER THEOBALD says: The simple answer here is that without someone else covering the fields next door… you can’t.

Unless birds are really committed to a field they will naturally move on to quieter – and safer – pickings after being disturbed by the sound of gunshots.

If the next door farmer doesn’t have anyone shooting birds over his rape then it’s certainly worth making an approach and asking if you – or a friend or two – can set up in the hope that you can keep the birds moving.

Holes in standing rape always prove a big draw to pigeons at this time of year and it’s much easier to shoot them because they are channeled into such small areas. For once they are being concentrated, rather than getting free rein over a wide acreage as they do during autumn and winter.

Remember, however, that woodies soon get the message when they hear gun fire so try and pick a day when there’s a good wind blowing to muffle the sound of your shots.

I don’t know what you use in your decoy set up but holes in oilseed rape really do cry out for a whirly decoyer in some shape or form. Birds on the wing certainly won’t be able to spot pigeons already down on the ground – and feeding – but they will see these moving decoys standing clear of the crop from a long way away.

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