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Video: Shooting pigeons from a high tower

I’ve been very lucky to shoot pigeons in many different situations. Some of the most enjoyable afternoons of sport that I’ve had have been in pigeon towers, which present an entirely different challenge. In the right conditions, it can be fast and furious, and it’s great shooting among the treetops. It’s the last place pigeons expect to see you.

Shooting from a high tower is very much like a grouse shooting situation with every low level angle being covered from crossers to birds coming straight at you, also on the odd occasion if the tower allows you to do so, pigeons below the tree tops.

If you are in a situation where shots can be taken lower than tree top level, make sure it is safe to do so. Don’t shoot blind. Being at tree top level in a strong wind is challenging and you will require full concentration to make the most of the challenging speeds and angles provided by the arriving pigeons. It is a strange feeling being among the birds in the tree tops.

This video was filmed on 6 February, and the weather had been horrendous – rain across the country, flooding everywhere and gale-force winds. With the gales, of course, came an irresistible urge to have an outing in Steven’s tower. There had been a break in the rain so Steven, Mikie Bell (a good friend and a local underkeeper) and I headed out for an afternoon’s shooting in 60-70mph winds.

It was amazing. Steven and I were up the tower and Mikie on the fringes of the fir wood. This tower’s location – on the edge of the firs with a young hardwood in front – is perfect. There’s good cover from behind and superb shooting angles. We had a couple of short spells of rain, but on the whole stayed dry. The shooting, as you can imagine, was superb. I will admit a shaky start for the first couple but quickly got into them. Mikie shot some fantastic birds on the edge of the firs and we managed to keep our end up in the tower. We finished on a very memorable 46 picked. My thanks go to Steven for a great afternoon’s sport.