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Pigeon Shooting - Red Letter Days (Part 4) - Bob Laidlaw


Reg Letter Days (Part 4)

I’ve been shooting pigeons since I was a young man, now I’m an old man but still enjoy the thrill of decoying pigeons and out witting those crafty creatures that I’ve come to love and respect so much.

Pigeon Shooting

 

Red letter days (Part 4)

 

I’ve been shooting pigeons since I was a young man, now I’m an old man but still enjoy the thrill of decoying pigeons and out witting those crafty creatures that I’ve come to love and respect so much.

People who come to me for pigeon shooting fall, pretty much, into two categories. There are the ones who think that because they’re paying for a days pigeon shooting, I have some kind of magic wand that I can wave and make it all work as they would want. Then we have the other kind, who understand, that these creatures are wild birds and are not something that you can control. The best I can do is observe, then try to predict what they will do when we try to fool them with decoys. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.

Because I spend all my time looking for opportunities for clients, I rarely get the opportunity to shoot pigeons myself. When my nephew Stuart (he likes to be called Pigeon Stu) called and said, “Hey uncle Bob there’s loads of birds getting in on some barley stubble” up on the Norfolk coast where he has permission to shoot.

“Let’s get up there and do some crop protection” I could hardly say no.

Car loaded with gun, cartridges, decoys, whirly, gun dog, hide poles and netting. Me with camo clothing etc, etc…………..

Boy, I hope this is going to be worth the one hour drive to get there.

When I arrive there is good movement on the field of Barley stubble. There are round bales all across the field, I really love to see this as I always think the woodie being a tremendous flier loves to flit this way and that way between the bales making it so much more exciting for the pigeon shooter.

Stuart and I push a few bales together, then placing a couple of hide poles in the gaps, drape some hide netting across the gaps.

We set a good decoy pattern and set up two rotaries, one either side of the bale hide.

There is a good flight line of birds coming to the field from a neighbouring farm and the birds are coming to the decoys in good numbers.

The first birds that come to the decoys are doing just we want them to do and our “kill to shots” ratio is very good. I always think this is a crucial part of the day, as we’ll see if the flight line will continue or stop. Today it continues and we are shooting birds steadily from 11am through to 4.00pm. The number of doubles that we shoot is incredible. “Did you shoot both of them?” Yes, “OK, big head”

Loads of banter, great sport, knackered dogs and 150 birds shot from the one hide in five hours. The birds were not suicidal as they sometimes are, but it was definitely a Red Letter Day.      


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