Thursday, February 28, 2008

pigeon shooting tips

Now you know how to set up your decoy in most winds here is another important point: always make sure your decoys heads face into the wind, not in regimental fashion but so that the majority face into the wind and the rest are semi sideways.

Get a good seat or folding stool (fishing chairs are good) to sit on. You may also want to use a cushion as comfort affects your shooting and also means that you don't end up with sore knees or bum at the end of the day.

Often on a bright day many want to reach for the sunglasses when they are going out shooting. However this can have adverse effects. This is because the lenses and frames glint - alerting birds to your presence- and black glasses on a white face is even more menacing to a woodie than just a white face on its own. If you must shade your eyes, then wear a wide brimmed hat as this will also disguise your face just make sure that it is in a dull colour.

Everyone knows that the best decoys that you can get are the 'real McCoys' but if you have to use decoys to get the ball rolling . I recommend sticking on wings, tail feathers and even normals feathers as this obviously prevents glinting and makes even shell decoys look more impressive. Read the crops to watch section as this tells you what crops the pigeons 'should' be feeding on!

When you have shot birds you need to prop at least 50% of their heads up to look natural like a feeding flock. Instead of searching for a forked twig instead go to your local supermarket- you can buy 100 kebabs sticks for £1, and they are perfect for the job!

In the summer or during a spell of hot weather it isn't possible to simply put the pigeons down in the garage. Otherwise ovenight they will all become 'fly blown' and will rot in the warm weather anyway. If you've got a large number and can't be bothered to pluck them all then stack the pigeons in bread tray breast upwards then cover the whole thing with damp sack cloth. Then take them as soon as possible to your gamedealer or pluck and freeze them a.s.a.p the next morning to stop the meat from going bad.

A covering of snow is a mixed blessing with pigeon shooting. It channels all the pigeons into a few fields where the crop is still poking through however the white covering makes it very difficult for them to see decoys. For this reason it is better to try and get under a flightline instead. Another trouble is that you and your hide will stick out like a sore thumb you can wear a cheap pair of cotton overalls to stop this problem and for the hide simply use one or two dust sheets draped over any suitable objects.
Next the blueing of your gun (the black barrels) is a dead giveaway so you can buy camo/realtree tape £6.00 ish to cover the barrel. Also use scrim to berak-up the hard lines of your rifle.

Place a few woodies in a "V" shaped pattern with the tip of the "v" facing in to the wind remembering to put them "head down" as if they were eating. Don't do too many like this as it could have the opposite affect ,making the woodies coming in think the flock is already too big and they may turn and fly away. I have found that 20-30 deeks are fine if arranged correctley but use the same "v" pattern.

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