A change of venue turns a disaster into a success.
One of my regular pigeon shooters is Geoff from Essex and over the years he’s enjoyed great success here in Norfolk. I can’t recall exactly how many times he’s hit the magic 100 + total here with me and has shot 50 + far more times than I can remember, but whenever he brings his shooting buddy Guy with him it all goes pear shaped. Guy was beginning to think he was a jinx and I was wondering if Guy thought that Geoff and I were exaggerating when we talk about the 160 bag on set-aside or the 100 + bag on spring rape etc., etc..
Both Geoff and I were getting desperate to show Guy a good day on the pigeons so when they both decided to come again in late June the pressure was on. Loads of recci was the order of the day and I wanted a Plan A and a Plan B, a kind of belt & braces thing.
"One field of clover in particular catches my attention with wonderful pigeon movement right across the field and birds in the air coming and going continually"
This time of year you will generally find the birds on peas, clover or set-aside. With this in mind I spend my time looking around the farms with livestock for clover meadows or farms that I know are growing peas.
One field of clover in particular catches my attention with wonderful pigeon movement right across the field and birds in the air coming and going continually and all wanting to get into this particular field.
This field has got to be Plan A, however we have a problem – I don’t know the farmer! I do however know a man who knows the man. So frantic phone calls and text messages are flying fast & furiously, but to no avail. We can’t get hold of the man who owns the field. I do have a Plan B as another local clover field has good numbers of birds feeding there and a good flight line crossing the field.
As Geoff and Guy arrive at my front gate I tell them of my dilemma and that Plan B will now have to be Plan A. As we arrive at the field things are looking good as good numbers of birds take flight from the clover and the woodland that borders the field.
Guy does the hide while Geoff and I do the decoys and rotary. All looks good and the birds start to decoy – for a while!!!
I do a look-about around the local pea fields and other clover meadows but all looks very quiet apart from the field of clover that would have been my first choice. This field is just alive with birds and I have that feeling that tells me I’ve got to get these two men on this field come hell or high-water.
I start texting again and by lunch time two things have happened. Firstly the curse of Guy has struck again and the boys have not had a shot for an hour. Secondly, my man says “go for it” on the busy clover meadow and he’ll make it right with the man that owns the field.
By 1:30pm the lads are set up on the busy field and while Geoff is parking the truck under some big oak trees, Guy has shot one bird over the decoys and one high driven pigeon that any game shooter would be proud of.
Birds are now continually coming to the field and they love the decoys, which are a mix of dead birds and plastics with three birds lifted just above the clover on fibreglass rods to simulate birds moving amongst the decoys.
Every time I phone to check progress I’m told it’s working just great and each conversation is punctuated by “bang – bang” and “on your right” and “birds decoying in front” Boy, do I wish I was in that hide.
"By the end of play the lads have shot 100 + birds during a frantic afternoon of real quality pigeon shooting"
Finally the curse of Guy has been broken - HOO-RAY!!! As I make my last visit to the field the birds are still decoying like crazy and Guy has a smile on his face that I’ve been waiting to see for far too long.
By the end of play the lads have shot 100 + birds during a frantic afternoon of real quality pigeon shooting.
It took God knows how many phone calls and text messages to get the lads on that field but the resulting afternoons sport was worth every bit of it.
Well done lads, see you again soon.