Setting out a pigeon decoy pattern isn’t as easy as it sounds.
The aim is to entice the pigeons close enough to your hide, so that you can have a good chance of bagging one of these clever birds.
If the decoy pattern is set wrong, the birds will fly over and land out of range. Alternatively the pattern can be too close, and the birds will come around the back of the hide, providing you with a day full of tricky shots!
Even before you decide where to set your hide up, you must consider the wind and how it will affect the birds. Pigeons like to fly and land into the wind, but will also use the wind to curl around, gather speed and shoot off into the distance.
Ideally, you want the wind on your back. This means that the birds will be coming ‘head on’ to your hide.
You need then to create a ‘Kill Zone’, one of the most common patterns being the ‘Horseshoe’ as in the diagram below.
Sometimes though, no matter how well you plan the day, mother nature kicks in and throws you a curve ball! This means that you have to reconsider your pattern and adjust the horseshoe so that it brings the birds within reach. The diagram below shows you one of the ways you can achieve this.
No matter what you go for in the end, it’s always a case of trial and error, but the two diagrams above show the most popular set ups.
When it comes to pigeon shooting, there is a great deal of information on the internet to look up. One great site is the B.A.S.C site who have articles by some of the countries leading experts.
John Batley is widely renowned in the field of pigeon shooting and has shared some great articles. Click on the link below to read some of Johns work.