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Friday 1st in the deepest shires. Catching without wetting a line.


Andy135
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The estate that the dog and I work on during the shooting season has planted crops of summer wheat over much of our shooting land and this summer we're seeing an unusually high influx of wood pigeon which are feeding heavily on the growing wheat. The gamekeeper asked if we could discourage the pigeons and of course the dog and I accepted.

Not long after work we set up a handful of shell decoys on the edge of one of the pheasant pens on a flight line between two woods.

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The plan was to draw the birds in as they flew from one wood to the other. The prevailing wind was from right to left in the photo, so the decoys were arranged facing into the wind - pigeons like to keep the wind in their faces when feeding so it's important to set up your decoys facing the same way or the birds will smell a rat.

I could see plenty of pigeons moving around in the distance so I felt reasonably confident we'd see some action. However, getting the dog to sit still for long enough to not spook the birds was a challenge. Such is life with a spaniel 🤣

After 20 mins or so we had our first customer, a bird who dropped into the decoy pattern at the last minute - I thought he would fly over the wood we were sitting in but he banked low and became an addition to the pattern.

Pigeons two and three followed at similar intervals, both dropping in directly in front of the hide. The dog couldn't believe her luck - three retrieves in sixty minutes, and in the off-season too! Dad is actually shooting straight!  Oh to be a spaniel... and covered in burrs no less! 

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Before we knew it, it was time to head home to prep the pigeons and sink a well earned beer. Not exactly a catch report, but still good to be out bagging a meal. Pigeon korma will be on the menu this weekend I feel.

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If there is an unusually high number of them how come you only managed to get three? 

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2 hours ago, JonC said:

If there is an unusually high number of them how come you only managed to get three? 

If you are insinuating that I can't shoot straight you'd be right. But on this occasion only these ones came into the decoy pattern in the hour I had available. Like with fishing, you can't catch/shoot what's not there.

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2 hours ago, Saintly Fish said:

Sounds like the dog would have had more fun with a tennis ball! 

You should have seen her - she was fizzing with anticipation and could barely sit still in the hide. Tennis balls are good, but don't come anywhere close to things with feathers as far as she's concerned.

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33 minutes ago, Andy135 said:

If you are insinuating that I can't shoot straight you'd be right. But on this occasion only these ones came into the decoy pattern in the hour I had available. Like with fishing, you can't catch/shoot what's not there.

Aren’t there easier ways to scare the birds off that don’t involve killing them? All the farmers around here have the kites on poles that seem to work. Murdering the poor things seems a bit cruel to me. 

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33 minutes ago, JonC said:

Aren’t there easier ways to scare the birds off that don’t involve killing them? All the farmers around here have the kites on poles that seem to work. Murdering the poor things seems a bit cruel to me. 

I seem to remember you posting on the old forum about murdering rats with an air rifle...

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3 hours ago, Andy135 said:

I seem to remember you posting on the old forum about murdering rats with an air rifle...

I shot a few rats in self defence, rats are disease carriers that are classed as vermin. 

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4 hours ago, JonC said:

Aren’t there easier ways to scare the birds off that don’t involve killing them? All the farmers around here have the kites on poles that seem to work. Murdering the poor things seems a bit cruel to me. 

Kites, flashers, bangers etc only work for a while. I've seen rape and peas absolutely ravaged by woodies. At least you can eat woodpigeon without risking your life. 

Nice shootin' Tex! My fave shooting along with wildfowling and stalking, did you not have any bouncers out?

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11 minutes ago, Malc said:

Nice shootin' Tex! My fave shooting along with wildfowling and stalking, did you not have any bouncers out?

Thanks. I only had an hour to spare so just threw a few shell decoys in a rucksack. They have springy mounting rods though so they were nodding enticingly in the breeze.

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I used to have a 4x4 to get me most of the way and then a trolley like the puddle pig chasers use to get the kitchen sink etc there.

3 in an hour 👍 I've sat for a full day for less.

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It's definitely easy to get carried away with all the pigeon paraphernalia, and yes, it's frustrating when you set up the hide and nothing wants to visit.

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Here's how Thomas's dinner turned out. Pigeon Korma with rice and cashews.

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Followed a couple of hours later with mine. Salt crusted pan fried pigeon breasts with red wine sauteed mushrooms, spinach & ricotta pasta parcels and pea shoot salad.

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9 hours ago, Andy135 said:

Here's how Thomas's dinner turned out. Pigeon Korma with rice and cashews.

in2G5zH.jpg

 

Followed a couple of hours later with mine. Salt crusted pan fried pigeon breasts with red wine sauteed mushrooms, spinach & ricotta pasta parcels and pea shoot salad.

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Yours looks good, Thomas's looks like it's missing the pigeon. 
Nice dinosaurs though! 

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8 minutes ago, Saintly Fish said:

Yours looks good, Thomas's looks like it's missing the pigeon. 
Nice dinosaurs though! 

They're in there buried under everything else.

And the dinosaurs are the best 🤣

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Like mine pink, soon as they get grey it tastes like liver. Makes really nice mince with a bit of bacon added into the mix 😋 

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Thanks, I'll give that a try with bacon.

If you haven't tried it already, diced pigeon breast instead of beef makes a mean cornish pasty. 😋

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Popped out again this evening for an hour. Had birds into the decoys from the start.

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Three stone dead and one that made it over to the next copse, so I sent the dog in after it - she earned her keep by finding it deep in a bed of nettles. Good girl!

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5 hours ago, JDP said:

Are those lead pellets in the pigeon meat 🤪

They were roadkill so no lead to worry about. 

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6 hours ago, JDP said:

Are those lead pellets in the pigeon meat 🤪

Yep, I dig them out and melt them into fishing weights 🤣

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