Pi­geon pri­or­i­ties

Sporting Shooter - - Ask The Experts -

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.

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