It all started back in early march when a couple of the Pass It On Young Sports parents (completely non Fieldsports families) wanted me to take their kids under my wing and teach them further what they had learnt on the ranges our taster days.
Thus the Young Sports training started first they were taught all about the crops we were protecting i,e their uses why they were planted the times they planted crop rotation animal feed human consumption etc.
Then they were taught the importance of good and proper field craft and recognisance, I have said it before and I will say it again if you do not get this right you will fail more than you succeed, The old adage failing to prepare is preparing to fail and my ole Pappy and Dad taught me well so I now pass these teachings onto the novice or Young Sport or in part here in my articles.
So after a few months of training with air rifle and shot guns and a multitude of different hunts and scenarios we head out on the standing crops and indeed the icing on the cake for a pigeon shooter the stubbles themselves.
I let the Young Sports plan the entire days shooting from recce to equipment to hide positions to decoy placement to gun choice and cartridge choice etc, This was a set of days to see how much they had learnt and how I had transformed complete novices into well taught and rounded pigeon shooters.
Well I will say these four Young Sports have really absorbed what they have been taught and with a standard decoy pattern out using recognisance and field craft they have proved you don’t need every gadget under the sun to achieve a good day, Although all the whirly gigs flappers and floaters etc have their place you must learn the traditional ways first or you will never fully understand your quarry or how to hunt them.
And by this I don’t mean the size of the bags I mean they achieved good solid hunts and enjoyed every moment of them whilst doing a great service of crop protection and vermin control at the very same time.
Its mid-August the wheat had just been cut and the pigeons and corvids alike were building up on the crops, So Dad and I got right into them after watching the fields for a few days we had the flight lines marked and what can I say whilst I awaited the arrival of my Young sports we had some great sport.
Hide set decoys out time to start shooting as the first of the birds dropped in to our decoy pattern, First Jacob got to shoot then Connor whilst Tyler and David not forgetting Brook my hard working black lab did all the retrieving and tidying the decoy pattern up and a fine job they did too.
The boys took it in turn to shoot and soon got their eyes in taking birds with ease from 25 to 45 yards, I telle that lesson the boys had from Robert Eaton at a Pass It On Young Sports taster day really was worth it, If you want to book a lesson with Robert his email is firstname.lastname@example.org I can whole heartedly recommend this to get you shooting straight I telle.
Well very late afternoon the rain came in and stopped play with a good pile of pigeons and corvids on the ground and some wet soggy and hungry but happy Young Sports we decided to call it a day, As it was the only bit that was wet was the outside as the boys were all kitted out with the simply brilliant Jack Pyke (www.jackpyke.co.uk) clothing range of hunter suits and were literally bone dry and warm as fresh buttered toast underneath, I truly cannot praise the Jack Pyke brand high enough and has The Ole Hedge Creepers thumbs up.
Day 2 we had just finished cutting the maize and so I took Young Sports Jake and Tyler out on a small piece of barley stubble, We had not cut the maize alongside this 8 acre field of stubble yet so we did not need a hide as we could use the standing maize as a hide, I let the boys choose position and recce the field first, I telle I have taught these lads to have the eyes of a countryman and think like their quarry.
I had a little go for an hour and showed the boys some shooting skills on longer range birds and I was quite happy with 4 right and lefts on the trot right over the decoys, I am glad to say I still got when I have to shoot, Shooting is something that has always came quite natural to me, I don’t really have any talent’s but being out in the field since I could walk and being taught by some of the old masters I just seem to ease right into using a gun, I guess I was blessed really as it matters not weather it is a rifle shotgun air rifle or pistol I have always found shooting quite a pleasure.
So if you take anything away from this article or indeed any of my articles to be good at what you do it takes field craft/ knowledge of your quarry its habits and habitat and the crop you are protecting etc, If you want any advice drop us line at the diary and we will try our best to help you were we can.
Advanced Decoying III
By The Ole Hedge Creeper
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