Pigeon shooter with dead pigeons

Tom Payne makes a decent dent in pigeon numbers

Pigeon shooting is a sport that takes time to learn. Reconnaissance skills, fieldcraft, understanding the bird and decoying ability are key aspects of pigeon shooting that you need to master.

Top pigeon shooting tips (by Will Garfitt)

Making sure that you have the best spot in the right field is the most important element. You may build the perfect pigeon hide, set out a life-like decoy pattern or be the finest shot, but if you are not in the best place on the right field you will be unsuccessful.

Ideally you should carry out your reconnaissance the day before you are going shooting, so you can watch the pigeon movement to the field. If the farmer has phoned you to say where he has seen pigeons then you’re ahead of the game. Otherwise you could be looking out for flight lines or touring the countryside surveying fields.

The second thing to do is to work out which is the pigeon’s favourite area of the field to feed. Look out for natural features to place a hide so that it effectively covers the flight line or lines of birds arriving to feed.

It may be a tree in a hedgerow or clump of trees in the middle of the field, but if the birds are favouring the middle with no obvious feature you have to get out there and build a hide in the open.

Remember that an impromptu hide out in the field will probably be more effective than the perfect hide in the wrong place.  Do not make the mistake of building a hide convenient to where you park or it could mean you spend the rest of the day watching birds cruise in to feed at the other end of the field.

Have the right kit ready

You could be looking at a long day out when you’re off pigeon shooting so make sure you take everything necessary.

Depending on the season you will need a selection of camouflaged nets. Hide poles are conveniently telescopic these days and need strong kicker plates to help erect them firmly in the ground (guy-ropes may also be needed in a strong wind).

You’ll also need to make sure that you’re sitting comfortably, or it will be hard to concentrate and you may be inclined to cut your day shot. A light swivel chair works best.

As for pigeon decoys, there are plenty out there but the most natural are of course dead birds kept from a previous shooting day.

pigeon decoys

Dead pigeons from previous outings make the most natural decoys

What about a gun for pigeon shooting? And cartridges?

Here I would advise you to take any gun in which you have confidence and which is a good fit. That could be an over-under, side-by-side or semi-automatic. My favourite cartridge for pigeon shooting is the 28gram No.7½ shot, which kills longer birds well, as it produces a dense pattern of shot. This more than compensates for the reduction in penetration with the smaller shot size. The woodpigeon is a small bird with light feathers and is killed cleanly if hit by the dense pattern of No.7½ shot. The important thing is to concentrate on where you put the shot – you won’t kill if you miss, whatever cartridge you are using.

Other kit I judge crucial: ear defenders, sunglasses, a clicker to count shot birds and a radio. Also sacks for carrying the dead birds, water for the dog, an extra layer (sitting still can get cold) and waterproofs. (If you don’t take any then the weather is bound to turn inclement.) A folding saw and secateurs are useful for hide building and I have a pair of mini binoculars to watch distant pigeon or other interesting birds.

Keeping your energy up

Pack your favourite sustenance: tea, coffee and a packed lunch – something easy that you can hold in one hand and put down instantly should a pigeon come into view.

On the day

So we arrive on the field selected after careful reconnaissance. The month is March and the field has been drilled four days earlier with spring barley – a fact we gleaned from the conversation with the farmer. The pigeons would have perhaps taken two or three days to find it and build up on the field. Today they will hopefully return.

We stop at a vantage point to watch for a while. Though we did this yesterday, the wind has veered from southerly to westerly, so we need to observe how pigeons approach. The flight lines are similar but the birds are favouring the western upwind side of the field today. This is good because there is a tall hedge on that side in which to make our hide and also a single ash tree that makes for a good focal point (what Archie Coats would call a ‘sitty’ tree).

Before planing down to join the group birds often like to sit in trees by a chosen field, checking that the area is safe.

We decide to build our pigeon hide at one side of the tree so we can cover birds both over the decoys or coming to the tree. Our vehicle is going to be left in the gateway at the end of the hedge so we will need to carry out kit to our chosen spot. This is where the reconnaissance of the previous day pays off.

Building the pigeon shooting hide

We arrive at the spot in the tall but draughty thorn hedgerow. We need to erect a windbreak behind us to keep warm as there is a cool breeze. Therefore, we first set three or four hide poles to support an old canvas sheet I carry in the netting bag.

Then we erect other poles on the field side to make a hide large enough from which to shoot comfortably and have cartridges, kit bag and space behind for the dog. Sit the dog behind you to protect his hearing from the muzzle blast. If two people are shooting then make the equivalent of two hides side by side to create safe arcs of fire and a physical barrier between you to ensure safety at all times, with nets in place on the poles at a height which covers you but allows you to shoot over the top.

If you like to stand when shooting, the front of the hide will need to be taller than if you were sitting down. Either way, position the top of the net so you can see birds through it so that you are not seen. A hide should do just what it suggests – Obscure you and enable you to take your first shot at a pigeon before it has seen you.

Use any nearby natural cover – grass, dead vegetation, leafy branches – outside your hide to help it be camouflaged into the landscape.

Using the pigeon decoys

As the wind is conveniently behind us we will start with our 15 dead pigeon decoys in two small groups about 20-25 yards out either side of the hide, leaving an area between where we hope the incoming birds will make for. A few decoys about 15 yards out between the groups will in effect produce a horseshoe shape. We will start without any of the toys we may need such as rotaries, flappers or floaters. All these can be important but more so when shooting over standing crops (like rape or peas) where static decoys are less visible. On the bare soil of a drilled field our decoys will show up very well and should be convincing enough to attract pigeons into our pattern coming well into range with confidence. As you shoot more pigeons we will go out and set them up to create a larger feeding flock but maintain the open killing zone in the middle that incoming birds will see as an easy place to intend to land.

How to behave in the hide

If you want to be successful in achieving a bag of pigeons then you need to approach the day’s pigeon shooting like a military operation.

So here you now are. Sitting comfortably in the hide with cartridges within easy reach on one side and kit on the other. You are looking out for birds to approach and are constantly alert but still. Pigeons have very sharp eyes and notice the slightest motion and anything unnatural, so make every movement slowly.

pigeon hide

Create the best hide you can – or the pigeon will spot you from a distance

A bird is coming from half left and looks as if it means to join the simulated feeding group of decoys. Its wings are set and you have slowly raised your gun so the muzzle is level with the top of the hide. You have gently moved your position on the seat so your hips are at a 45-degree angle to the position you anticipate taking the shot to ensure the optimum ease of movement of your body. The bird is in range and angles to aim at your open killing zone. You raise the gun to the shoulder in one smooth movement and with a timing of up, two, three, bang, the pigeon collapses leaving just a puff of silver feathers in the air. The perfect shot – no rush, no jumping – just a well anticipated and timed gun movement.

New arrivals

The stage is set, you have your eye-in and another two birds are stalling from high in the sky. An hour later there are dead pigeons all over the place and new arrivals are trying to land beyond the outlying dead birds. We nip out and collect all the birds beyond about 35 yards to ensure the new arrivals come within range.

Pigeon shooter

The pigeon shooter should dress both for the season and for the colour of the landscape

On a long day concentration can be lost which will result in the missing of easy birds. The key is to then throttle back on the difficult chances on doubles and focus intently on one. Make sure of that and then start to build up again as focus and confidence return.

When things don’t go as you want them to

Some days things just won’t go your way and so one of the most important attributes of a pigeon shooter is patience. The pigeons could be finding better feeding elsewhere. Somebody could have just shot your chosen field or one nearby. The weather could be wrong. So what do you do? Sit it out and wait or pack up and leave. It’s best to use your eyes and judge on the evidence. Archie Coats would sometimes sit it out swearing into the pigeon-less landscape. It was the pigeons in the wrong, not him!

Respect the birds

Use your clicker so you know how many shot birds you need to pick up. Always mark out-lying birds that collapse dead, maybe several hundred yards away, or those wounded birds in the ditch or the one that just manages to fly to a tree in the opposite hedgerow. Keep these pigeons in your mind for the end of the day when hopefully your dog will be able to account for them. Pigeon shooting is crop protection for the farmers but our sport and it is responsible and ethical to respect the birds.

At the end of the day’s pigeon shooting

You must empty the sack or sacks of birds so that they can cool. Ideally, they should be put into a cold store but in the absence of one, birds should be laid out on the garage or shed floor to cool overnight. Prepare those you wish to eat, put others in the freezer or arrange for the rest to get to a game dealer. In summer, pigeon will go off very quickly but in the cold of winter they will be fine in the cold store for several days. When shooting in the summer, always remove bluebottle eggs which are clearly visible in open wounds, under the wings, the vent area or in the beak.

Pigeon shooter Tom Payne advises: The right place for pigeon shooting

Being in the right position is the key to being able to decoy pigeon successfully. Being in the wrong position by 40 yards can completely change the way birds react to your decoys. Pigeon are very stubborn. They know where they want to go and where they want to feed, and if you are not in this spot you will have to work hard to get them to decoy with consistency, or even decoy at all.

Being in the right position comes down to reconnaissance and your ability to assess a possible shooting situation, evaluate what your options are and choose the right spot for the conditions.

pigeon shooting technique

Pigeon are stubborn and know where they want to feed so you must position yourself accordingly

Decoying

Once you have made the right decision about where to go, built the hide and set out your stall, next comes the placing of decoys.

The way I decoy is to represent what I see during my recon. If birds are feeding in small groups spread apart, I will copy this when I put out my decoys. Birds feed differently on every crop. This is due to the amount and density of food available and the time of year.

Pigeon shooting technique

Tom recommends decoying to reflect exactly what you have seen while doing your reconnaissance

Pigeon behaviour

Watching the behaviour of birds is so important, both during recon and during the day’s shooting. As a shooter, the more you can understand the bird, the easier it is to get to grips with decoying.

When it comes to choosing your hide position, there may be a particular sequence to arriving birds. For example, if the line arriving to the chosen field always heads to a small group of sitty trees before entering the field, don’t worry about where they are feeding. You need to encourage them off the trees, so get as close to the sitty trees as possible and decoy them before they sit up. If you choose to go to where they are feeding in the field, all that will happen is that the birds will sit up, assess a situation in which they possibly see danger and become difficult to decoy.

There is an optimum number of decoys you can put out and, in some cases, reducing the number on certain crops can work well, as this will provide more landing areas. It all comes down to watching the behaviour of the arriving birds. At the same time, if all is working well, stick with it and try not to leave the hide too much, except for tidying up during the quiet periods.

Pigeon shooting technique

Magnets can be effective, but pigeon may flare from one at the last moment if it is too close to your hide

Movement

Movement is important, but bear in mind that you can have too much.

Magnets can work well, but they need to be used correctly. Ideally, they should be placed upwind. I usually try to place them between 10 yards and 20 yards from where I want to shoot arriving birds. They should be used as an attractor but should not draw the attention from your main decoys. Placing one too close to the hide can make shooting tricky, since it causes birds to flare at the last moment.

When using a magnet, make sure that it is moving at speed. If it is too slow arriving, birds will work out that there is an alien object among their friends.

Flappers are great and you can use a few at a time. I would always favour a flapper over a magnet as I prefer the natural movement.

Have the confidence to create natural movement in your decoys by using cradles, for example, or canes. Breaking the wings of dead birds and leaving them hanging, for example, can create subtle movement in a light breeze or wind, but don’t do this with every bird.

Floaters can work well. I tend to place them about 80 yards from the decoys on the line, simply as a visual aid at distance. You are hoping for the arrivals to overfly and head to the decoys, but be careful in certain situations as sometimes it can turn them away too.

Bear in mind the rule that with all mechanical contraptions, if they are not working, stop using them.

pigeon shooting technique

Placing dead birds – in good condition – in cradles will help to create natural movement in your pattern

Dead pigeon decoys

In 90 per cent of all my decoying, I will only use dead birds. They are the “real thing” after all, and I have yet to see anything perform as well as one of these. This is not to say there are not some good alternatives, but dead birds are my chosen decoy.

If you are going to use dead pigeon, only use those that are in perfect condition. Their feathers must be in perfect order and they must have a well-pronounced neck and good wing bars.

Pigeon Shooting technique

Tom prepares a floater to add to the pattern

Pigeon shooting at different times of year

May and early June can often be the slowest period for pigeon shooting.

There is an abundance of food around and, in May in particular, there is such a mix to choose from that the birds can easily feed on all sorts. This makes locating their chosen food extremely tricky. At the same time, the trees are beginning to green up and will be in full leaf going into June, so locating moving birds becomes hard, even through your binoculars. What’s more, if the weather is poor at this time of year — such as a sudden drop in temperature — it can have 
a huge impact on where pigeons choose to feed.

How can I find pigeon shooting and what should the pigeon shooter be looking at?

In early May you may be lucky to have a couple of late drillings going in but generally farming is now so efficient that if the weather has co-operated everything will be drilled and in the ground. So as you come into the end of May and early June, all feeding will be on green crops.

Favourite pigeon feed

spring rape crop

This small patch of spring rape has grown well but it is a less common crop now due to costs

Spring rape

Birds will start feeding on spring 
rape as it appears but usually only once the plant is showing true leaf. When it has got going, rape grows 
up very fast, so you must keep 
a close eye on it. Pigeons will destroy a crop of spring rape incredibly quickly. There is much less spring rape around, which is a great shame for pigeon shooters. Rape seed is expensive to produce and in general it yields so poorly that farmers are tending not to plant it as a spring crop.

Crop of peas

Shooting over peas from a hide can result in some excellent bags as pigeons adore this crop

Peas

A crop that in many areas ceased 
to be grown at one point, peas have made a comeback — much to the delight of many a pigeon shooter. It offers all-round shooting from drill 
to harvest and around now there will be activity of some sort. It is important that you don’t over-shoot the crop. Space your outings correctly and you will be more effective. As the crop starts to thrive you don’t want 
to be a walking bird-scarer, pushing birds on to other parts of the crop.

Focus your recon from around noon onwards, though if it is a very still and warm day, start watching from later on. Pigeons operate like clockwork on peas so once you have identified where to set up, beat the birds to the field.

clover crop

Before winter rape, clover was the pigeon’s staple diet.

Clover

Clover is often overlooked by the modern pigeon shooter but before 
the introduction of winter rape, it was the staple diet of the woodpigeon. 
It is rare to shoot big bags over clover now but even so, it can still provide some good outings. If you drive past any grass fields on a sunny evening and you see small gangs of pigeons, it will be clover that they are feeding on. They tend to prefer a really warm sunny afternoon, with the main period from 4pm onwards.

If you only see a few birds feeding, don’t shrug off the opportunity to shoot. There is every chance that more will be coming and going 
and there could be good numbers sitting around the surrounding woods that you will be unable 
to see due to heavy leaf.

Birds tend 
to decoy over clover very well and you can walk away with bags of around 30 to 40 — 
a great afternoon’s sport. Regarding decoys, I never use a magnet over clover and find that static dead birds, in good condition, work beautifully, with a possible flapper added into 
the mix. Birds tend to leave clover 
if weather has been wet or there has been a drop in temperature.

Failed rape

Throughout May, failed rape can provide some good outings. Areas where the crop has struggled to get going provide an attractive feeding option for pigeons. Shooting will normally be in the latter part of the afternoon. During your reconnaissance do watch carefully, 
as it is easy to miss birds heading out to feed and it will be almost impossible actually to see feeding birds due to the height of the good crop.

When placing your decoys, make sure you show them off. Raise them slightly higher than the failed area. Floaters placed in the taller parts 
of the crop can act as a real draw 
for approaching birds.

Mustard crop

Mustard can be wrongly identified as rape but it decoys well

Mustard

Mustard is usually drilled as 
a nitrogen-fixing crop and can provide some great outings but it is another rare crop that many shooters might not think to shoot over. Again, late afternoons in warm weather always provide the best sport.

It is often wrongly identified from a distance. It has a yellow flower and is fairly open in density. Birds tend to decoy well as they are left undisturbed. A magnet can work 
on the slightly taller crop and you can use cradles to show off dead birds. Pigeons will behave very much the same as they would on spring rape, filling up the surrounding hedges and trees before feeding. Once they have arrived they will hang around the feeding area, so you must beat them to the crop.

Laid crops

Come the middle of June, keep your eye out for the first-laid crops. You don’t see laid barley any more, as farmers are being more controlled with the amount of nitrogen that is used but also because stronger-stemmed varieties are being grown. Having said that, last June there were more laid crops than I’ve seen for quite a few years and this can only have been down to the varieties used.

How does the wind affect pigeon shooting?

The strength and direction of the prevailing wind will be a contributing factor to a day’s successful decoying. Most decoyers would agree that a certain amount of wind is necessary for a decent day.

Pigeons like plenty of room when they pitch into feed, particularly on a windy day when there’s a greater chance of them colliding with one of their mates as they swoop in to land.

So set up in a position that gives them maximum time to get in safely. This will often involve drawing them up the field rather than setting up directly under the line as it enters the field.

Pigeons are not keen on appearing over a hedge and having to drop in straight away, they much prefer to carry on up the field a little way before committing to come in.

How much wind do pigeon like?

Well some would say the windier the better, and certainly in winter when pigeons have gathered into huge flocks, I wouldn’t even think about going out unless the wind was blowing force five or so.

The reason for this is that the flocks get fragmented when the wind blows and the sound of your shooting is disguised.

Birds use natural features such as hedgerows and belts of trees to shelter them from the full force of a strong wind – so predicting flightlines can be a lot easier.

But in the summer, though, when pigeons tend to be more committed to a given field, a really strong wind can be a nuisance.

Do pigeons feed in wet weather?

Will pigeons feed in the rain? They prefer not to, but certainly will if they have to.

Like all birds, pigeons are more sensitive to air pressure than humans, so they can predict upcoming weather better.

In the UK low pressure generally indicates rain, so if the sun is shining but the air pressure is dropping, it generally means rain is on the way.

As such, the pigeons are likely to feed harder, knowing what is on its way.

Conversely, if it’s raining but the pressure is rising, pigeons are quite happy to sit around in the trees, happy in the knowledge that the rain will soon stop.

It’s amazing how quickly pigeons will move as soon as there’s a break in the clouds.

If they know the rain will continue all day, there’s a likelihood that the birds will at least attempt a quick feed during it.

Shooting pigeons in the snow

A thick covering of snow will only allow pigeons to feed on the fields which have plants tall enough to poke through, so vastly narrowing down their choice of field.

You can still get windy days after a covering of snow, so if you have the only bit of green crop showing on one of your fields, it will be worth the effort to give it a go.

Assessing a pigeon flightline

Why do pigeons follow invisible paths in the sky?  Well, they like to feed with their flock and because they cannot communicate verbally they rely on visual stimulation to locate their companions.

That’s why they have the white wing bars; visible from long distances whilst the bird is in flight, and the white neck flash that indicates when a pigeon has found food.

A pigeon will be able to tell just by looking at another pigeon in flight, whether that bird is going out to feed, going back to roost, or simply looking for a mate.

If it’s flying out to feed, then in due course, it will follow the same line until it reaches the field where the rest of its mates are feeding.

The further away from the target field you are, the more fragmented the line will be, but as you get closer, every bird will be on the ‘motorway.’

If you are really lucky, you may get two or sometimes three ‘motorways’ – multiple flightlines servicing one field.

These are the fields that tend to yield the really big bags.

pigeon shootoing

Only leave the hide to pick dead birds or tidy up the pattern if woodies start veering away in fright.

When decoying we need to keep these ‘motorways running so that a steady stream of birds keeps arriving.

Firstly, clear any feeding birds from your chosen field as soon as you arrive, far enough away so that returning birds cannot hear your shooting.

Try not to fire straight down the flightline – noise travels much further downwind – and on a windy day it’s quite likely to disrupt the line for more than half a mile if you are shooting straight down it.

Just by adjusting your position so that you shoot across the wind can have a huge effect on birds coming up the line.

pigeon shooting tips

Don’t faff around outside the hide, either picking dead birds or fiddling with the pattern, because this will also kill a flightline, if only for a few minutes.

The pigeon spots you in the open right in the spot where he was hoping for a quiet feed, and naturally veers off in alarm, invariably heading back from whence he has come.

Stay hidden

Pigeons get used to noises in the countryside, whether it is from gas guns or farm machinery, but they never accept human activity near their feeding ground, so if a wounded bird is walking away from your layout and you have no dog with you, shoot it again.

If the pigeons are still responding to your decoys, don’t worry about picking up shot birds every two minutes. Nothing will kill the flightline faster than the sight of you scurrying around outside the hide.

Flightlines tend to stay consistent over time. When pigeons are feeding on a field the line can be around 10 or even 20 years old. However it can vary depending on the time of year.

Once pigeons gang up into the huge winter flocks, it can be incredibly difficult to predict reliable flightlines.

Time for decoying

In the spring and summer, when flocks of pigeons disperse to start breeding, decoying is more successful because more individual birds live on the minor flightlines, so have to watch for their pals joining the main ‘motorway’ lines leading to the best feeding areas.

As pigeon populations have become more urban so have their flightlines to feeding groundings, originating from many sources including back gardens and municipal parks.

flock of pigeons

Avoid firing at large bunches of woodies as they come to the decoys. Best bags are made when they come in two or three at a time.

By the time they join the ‘motorway’ close to the field in question, it is likely to be in the form of a constant procession of ones and twos, exactly what us decoyers require to make large bags.

If you really watch pigeons on the wing you can learn how to think like one, and recognise when it is going out to feed, and more importantly where.

Tips on shooting pigeons

  • Use a pair of binoculars to pinpoint a flightline by following pigeons after they fly out to feed from their roosting wood.
  • Always clear birds from a field before setting up your hide and decoys. Make sure the flock is well away before you start to shoot the first returning woodies.
  • Don’t let the sound of your gunfire ‘kill’ a flightline. You can lessen the disturbance by firing across the wind, rather than down it.
  • Only leave the hide to tidy the decoy pattern/pick dead birds when it is absolutely necessary. The sight of you on a field will turn approaching birds and ‘break’ the line of traffic.

Q: When is the best time for pigeon roost shooting?

A: Traditionally, February is the month to start roost shooting, but this is purely because that is when the gameshooting season has ended, and the woods are opened up to the pigeon shooter.

The beauty of roost shooting in October or November is that the birds tend to arrive in smaller flocks, often even ones and twos, affording much better shooting. The best bag I ever made in my wood was in November, as pigeons were feeding on maize stubble and constantly flighted back to the wood, enabling me to pick off 82 in one blustery afternoon.

Q: How can I keep my roost shooting wood active? I go pigeon shooting in a big wood on my own in February and March. Shooting it alone has the advantage of not having other people firing at mile-high woodies, but being so large, birds often pitch in elsewhere, and stay put. Is there any way I can keep them on the move? Any suggestions would be gratefully received.

A: You could try placing rope bangers on the upwind side of the wood, but while they would certainly prevent pigeons settling there, there is no guarantee the noise would push them back to you. More likely, they would clear off completely, and if you did it on a regular basis, the birds might even forsake the wood entirely.

Personally, I would only shoot the wood sparingly, picking afternoons when the wind was blowing at least Force 6, and share the experience with a trusted friend. That way, the pigeons will continue to use the wood as a roost, and you should, with decent reconnaissance, get a few exceptional flights.

Q: I have just gained permission for pigeon shooting over three adjoining farms that grow a good variety of crops. In all there’s about 1,700 acres to cover. There isn’t much woodland apart from a 100 acre forestry block which holds a lot of pigeons. I would like to roost shoot this on a regular basis with a couple of friends but will I damage the prospects for decoying birds on outside crops if the wood gets disturbed by shooting?

A:  I have a small 15-acre wood on my farm. On occasion there will often be in excess of 2000 pigeons roosting in it, but I shoot it very sparingly, probably no more than two or three times a year.

Whilst roost shooting can be superb sport, it is not a reliable way of killing a decent bag. Over the year, I might shoot 150 birds coming into roost, but I often get that in a day with a decoying situation.

I would much rather have a settled population roosting securely in my wood, knowing I can usually track them down when they flight out to feed. In this way, it would not be unusual for me to shoot more than a thousand birds in a year, all coming from my wood.

In your case, I would only roost shoot the wood during the winter, when good bags are hard to come by in the fields, and roving flocks are likely to move on anyway.

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Pigeon shooting days

Pigeon shooting influenced by Syd Barrett?

There are two difficulties for me in writing this story. Firstly, while readers love tales of everything going wrong, this happens to be an unashamed success. Secondly, while it is immodest to write about one’s own performance, this was so extreme that, like an out-of-body experience, it was not me but someone in my dreams shooting in my…

Will Garfit chooses dream pigeon shooting team

Will Garfit’s dream pigeon shooting team

The first would have to be the late Archie Coats, father of modern pigeon shooting. He was like a sporting father to me as friend, tutor and influence, for better or for worse. He was a superb shot using his Webley 700 boxlock, side-by-side, with nimble footwork, fast reactions and intense concentration for the opportunity of a safe shot at whatever quarry entered…

Pigeon shooting days

Pigeon shooting days – how they have changed!

Shooters of my age often lament that things were better in “the good old days”, when all you had to do was throw an old stuffed grey sock out on a likely looking field and pigeons would swarm to their doom. They would recall flocks of woodies leaving the roosting woods that were so big it would take 20…

Secrets of successful winter pigeon shooting

Due to the mild weather, this year’s autumn drillings went well, the best they have for a few years — it was more like shooting over spring drillings. With the new farming schemes, there have been a lot of over-wintered stubbles, which is encouraging, and mustard has been the crop of choice for the green cover crop schemes in…