At the ripe old age of 73 years and fast approaching 74, I am trying to reduce my workload and stress levels, easier said than done when you have a regular client base, many of whom have been coming to Norfolk for guided pigeon shooting with me for many years.
Two such clients/friends are Ari and Olli from Finland. These two brothers have been making regular trips to me here in Norfolk, often twice a year for over 14 years.
Both brothers are very good shots and will normally achieve an average better than one pigeon for two shots. This year against my better judgement I agreed to accommodate them during spring and summer each trip being for three days shooting.
The spring trip would be shooting 1st, 2nd & 3rd April. This trip produced a total of 320 birds shot with birds being shot on spring drillings of wheat, barley and game cover/maize
The summer trip (first week of August) was equally successful with 84 birds shot on day 1, 98 birds on day 2 and a bag of 140 birds on day 3 giving a total of 322 over the 3 days, birds being decoyed onto rape and wheat stubbles, making a grand total of 644 birds shot over the 6 days in 2022.
I love these two guys “in a manly way” and find it very hard to say “leave it out guys, I want to retire” but 2023? Well, who knows!!!
When you have this kind of success decoying pigeons it makes one ask yourself, am I setting the benchmark too high? If we get a couple of days with bags of 25 or 30 birds (still a respectable bag) will it feel like a failure? Pigeon guiding can become very stressful when the clients come with very high expectations. When they come from overseas the expense is massive with flights, car hire, cartridges, hotel/accommodation and the fees charged by the shoot guide.
I’m getting stressed out just thinking about it! Mind you, it helps if the guys holding the guns can shoot well and these two certainly can.