Pigeon Shooting – Know Your Ground

Team Wild TV Team Wild TV

Date: in Hunting

A good way to end April for my 3 French customers.

As a professional pigeon guide it’s my job to know the ground. I need to know what the pigeons are going to do… before they know what they are going to do!

This means that i can get my clients into an area or a position, where they will have the most success and the best sport.

Not everyone understands though, and with the language barrier involved with some of my clients, it can be hard work!

Day One

The French clients that book with me, absolutely love their pigeon shooting and want to be out at first light, and they would be happy to sit out all day until dark!

But from knowing my ground and crops and knowing how the shooting has been recently, all of the pigeons on my patch are moving in the afternoon.

After a big discussion and a lot of persuasion, I got my French client to the fields for 10 o’clock, and exactly as i thought there wasn’t a pigeon to be seen.

I explained the flight lines, checked the wind etc and off we went to get setup.

The boys got sat down and settled into their hides. I had placed out all of the decoy patterns and flappers for them. I was using the FF4 flapper from Flightline Decoys to give me that extra bit of movement in the pattern.

After about an hour, a steady number of birds started to trickle in and decoy. At around 1pm, I went to each hunter to give them their packed lunch and to see how they had been doing.

All of them had shot around 20 each and each of them had a big pile of empty cartridges in the hide . I left them to it and went to check on the fields for the next day.

As I arrived back at the fields I could hear a lot of shooting and sat and watched from my truck. Birds were committing to the decoys and dive bombing into the patterns.

Every now and again, i would see a puff of feathers and another one crash to the ground. After a very long pick up with my dogs the final bag was 155 and I had a team of happy hunters who were ready for their evening meal and a glass of wine.

My clients travel from all over the world to take on the crafty woodpigeon.
My clients travel from all over the world to take on the crafty woodpigeon.

Day Two

At this time of year even although there is plenty of fresh drillings in the ground, the pigeons will still be feeding on rape in the low patches on the head lands.

I have been watching these birds for a few days now and they are doing plenty of damage to the crops.

Not only am i out to provide sport for my clients, but I am also here to protect farmers crops from damage so when i see an area being affected, i do my utmost to clear the problem up.

The French team had shot well the day before and had their eye in ,so I knew they could knock a dent in the rape munching population.

We arrived at the fields at the same sort of time but the birds had caught me on the hop. The feeding area was blue with pigeons and all the trees were stuffed with fat pigeons.

The boys were really keen to get stuck in but I could see that the birds had gorged and had already filled their crops.

We got setup quickly but after a couple of shots there wasn’t a bird in the sky. It was a very warm day with no wind which was not helping us at all

We had lunch, and by 2pm there was not a bird dead…. 3pm, and still nothing.

Then as if someone flicked on a switch, the temperature dropped and the wind picked up. All of a sudden, the birds were hungry and they were coming into feed…No matter what!

At some points, the French trio couldn’t load quickly enough and the shooting was fast and furious. We stopped shooting at 7pm! and after another long picking up session with the dogs, we had 130 in the bag.

A great result, and my clients were over the moon, so much so that they booked up for next year…But i have to admit that until 3pm…My heart was in my mouth! 😉

My clients earn a late, but well deserved evening meal.
My clients earn a late, but well deserved evening meal.

Matt Cole is a professional pigeon guide based in the Leicestershire region. He offers fully guided pigeon shooting for all levels of clients, from the experienced, to first timers. Matt has grown up with hunting in his blood and his passion for pigeon shooting has now become a business. For more information on Matt’s services visit www.pigeonshootingleicestershire.co.uk

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