I’ve always thought that September can be a very productive month for pigeon shooting.
I’ve always thought that September can be a very productive month for pigeon shooting. There are plenty of wheat stubbles available, the bean harvest starts around mid September and there is an abundance of young woodpigeons around.
"If they’ve seen it all before it’s hard to fool them a second time"
The juvenile woodpigeon is so much easier to decoy than the wily old bird that is so often wise to our decoy patterns, rotaries, floaters and flappers. If they’ve seen it all before it’s hard to fool them a second time. If on the other hand they are a little wet behind the ears, it makes things much easier.
Mid September 2013 was booked for two French guys who wanted to decoy pigeons for four days. I know these two men from old and their average “shots to kills” ratio tends to start badly but improves as they get into swing of things. This year didn’t buck the trend at all as Day 1 produced a combined bag of around 50 birds for a lot of shots!
Day 2 produced a combined bag of 43 birds, but again they made lots of noise getting there.
On Day 3 they asked to share a hide and make the day more of a social occasion. I love sharing a hide with a pal as I enjoy the banter and it helps break the boredom of those quiet spells. I would say that you have to be very disciplined most importantly from a safety point of view. Secondly, you need to take turns to shoot. If you don’t do this in an organised fashion you’ll both be trying to shoot the same bird and worse still, you’ll be trying to beat each other to pull the trigger first, this will result in you taking birds out of range and often end up with someone getting the hump as “you keep scaring them off before I’m ready to shoot”.
Although my two Frenchmen remained good friends, I suspect that they were shooting at the same birds as they managed to blast their way through 400 cartridges for around 90 birds.
Day 4, their last day would be spent on separate but neighbouring fields of wheat stubble.
There was a good stiff breeze blowing and the birds were moving in good numbers.
The first hide was up and decoy pattern set so I moved to the second field to repeat the process. As I put the second hide up, Frenchman number one was already getting steady shooting and things are looking good.
The second hide and decoys are set and as I leave the field, hide number two is getting some shooting. I’m wondering if I have enough cartridges.
As always, I keep in touch throughout the day and each time I visit the fields I’m greeted by big smiles from both hides. This must be my lucky day because birds are decoying to both set-ups in similar numbers and both men are having similar numbers of shots.
"The guys have shot virtually the same number of birds each to make a grand total of 142 birds for the day"
The birds continue to decoy all day and by 6.00pm when things do finally quieten down, the guys have shot virtually the same number of birds each to make a grand total of 142 birds for the day.
Happily their “shots to kills” ratio was right on the money with a little over 300 shots fired.
Their best bag ever and a definite Red Letter Day with two very happy Frenchmen.