The home of Shooting Times and Sporting Gun

What’s the maximum kill range for pigeon?

PETER THEOBALD says: It’s not so much about killing birds cleanly at whatever range, but more about the ability of the individual to centre his pattern consistently on the front edge, ie the head, of a bird.

Much is made of certain individual’s claims to be able to kill birds consistently at ranges of up to 90 yards.


Leaving aside the obvious ballistic flaw in these claims – and the ethics of shooting at live birds at such ranges – I would have failed as a decoyer if I resorted to firing at pigeons beyond 50 yards.

At this range, any bird fairly hit will be killed instantly, without having an army of pickers up stationed half a mile away ready to massage my ego with handfuls of birds.

For me, decoying is about luring a truly wild bird into such a position where killing it is almost a certainty, and I think everybody owes it to the quarry to limit the range at which they take their shots to match their ability.