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Pigeon Shooting - Best month for pigeons?


"Which is the best month to shoot pigeons" thats a hard one to answer !

The fact is that any and every month can produce great bags as well as disastrous ones.


I have been shooting Woodpigeon for around 45years, for the last eight years I've worked as a full time pigeon guide. I must have shot pigeons in every month of the year on every food source imaginable. I've killed pigeons on rotting potato's, oilseed rape, beans, peas, wheat, barley, oats, maize, clover and just about every kind of spring or autumn drilling you can think of. I've even shot the birds on cows muck heaps and spreadings, but when I'm asked a simple question like "Which is the best month to shoot pigeons" I give the same answer every time, "I haven't got a clue"
The fact is that any and every month can produce great bags as well as disastrous bags. I would say that January and February are perhaps the hardest months to shoot a good bag, unless of course you find a freshly harvested field of sugar beet on a freezing cold morning or a freshly chopped maize strip that the pigeons have been hitting, then the shooting can be awsome.
March and April can be great months to shoot pigeons unless the winter drags on and on - like this year. If it's wet and cold the spring barley and beans wont get drilled and even worse, the pigeons will hold together in the big winter flocks making it almost impossible to make a good bag.
May is just a disaster with the birds nesting and feeding on the new buds and leaves just opening in the woods and hedge rows. Unless you've got some nice clover meadows to entice the birds away from the trees and hedges, in which case you may get some excellent sport.
June can produce some brilliant shooting on weeds and clover if you're lucky enough to have access to meadows where the weeds and clover grow. If you haven't,  it's going to be a hard month.

 

Pigeons and rooks shot on clover in June

"Pigeons and rooks shot on clover in June"

Pigeons shot on wheat stubbles in August

"Pigeons shot on wheat stubbles in August"

Late June and July can provide some great shooting on laid patched of wheat and barley, providing we've had plenty of wind and rain to produce the flat patches in the crops. If it's been dry without much wind, just forget it as the birds will be dropping into the tram lines in the crop, here, there and everywhere and you won't be able to get to them and anyway they are too spread out.
Late July and August will see the harvest start in what is probably my favorite time of year for pigeon shooting. We can shoot some wonderful bags on the rape, barley and wheat stubbles. Unless it's too damn hot in which case the birds will take shade in the trees until evening and feed very late. By this time you've sat in the hide for hours in the sweltering heat covered in flies and almost certainly lost the will to live.
Never fear, September and October can be fabulous months with lots of stubbles to shoot over, the bean harvest is happening now and autumn drillings of Wheat, barley and beans will surely attract the pigeons in. Yes, of course just so long as there's not a big crop of acorns in the forests of Britain. If there is, you can say goodbye to the woodie for around three to four weeks while he stuffs his crop full of acorns in the woods.
November ? maybe, but they are starting to get on the rape!
December ? Ditto
January and February are perhaps the hardest months - hold on, we've already done that.

Please don't ask me "Which is the best month to shoot pigeons"

Pigeons shot at roost in February

"Pigeons shot at roost in February"


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