QI am looking forward to the rape being harvested near me and getting at the pigeons. What is the best strategy?
AANDY CROW replies: I’m always looking for the earliest fields to come off. The pigeons will be concentrated in a smaller area – once large acreages are off, they will have lots of feeding options. If you can, let the birds build up before you shoot, although I know that this isn’t always possible.
The other thing to be aware of is that rapeseed can germinate very quickly. A shower of rain and a couple of days will see the seeds shooting and they will be much less attractive to the pigeons. So keep in contact with your landowner. Target those early fields and watch the weather forecast.
When shooting on stubbles in the early season, I like to get there to start around 11am to 12 noon. There’s no great benefit to starting earlier in my experience. I’d then usually shoot through until around 7pm.
In terms of picking a spot, I’d focus on the flightlines and set up underneath the best ones, or where a couple converge. Even if that means building a hide out in the middle of the field.