By The Ole Hedge Creeper
Well I left off in part 2 a couple of years ago now, thinking I had pretty much covered most parts of the art of wood pigeon decoying/hunting etc, but it appears either I was not clear on what I had written before or some of you had not bothered to read my previous articles or just chose to ignore my advice.
You see just of late I have been receiving a great many emails and messages from the same people I had given this advice to before, through The Countryman’s Diary Magazine or my website or on social media and indeed also on our stands at game fairs etc, almost every single one has been about how to get big bags what's the best and latest gadget or why I am so successful in all my hunting when others fail.
The answer was simple its the same answer I give every time, to be a successful hunter of any quarry you have to understand your quarry, by this I mean you have to live breath and think as your quarry, it matters not weather you are fishing/hunting/shooting/trapping or flying a bird of prey or working a dog, you cant just turn up in mother nature and expect to be successful, alas some folk get lucky and think that’s it all you have to do is turn up with the latest gadget and hey presto you will have a 100 bird day.
In reality you could not be further from the truth, so for this article I will just pic on pigeon shooting I may cover other disciplines in some future articles, now here is a bit of a rant especially to the dime bar who decided to write on one of my videos having a pop at a kid who was trying to learn, wind your neck in boy for what you proved you know about field sports and field craft my 6 month old grandson would have forgotten in the womb, anyway rant over and that was dealt with very quickly as I do not suffer fools gladly, deleted and blocked as arguing with a fool only proves there are two.
I still now just go out with 6 shell decoys a gun and a bag of cartridges, go to a small field I have been watching just me and the dog tuck myself down into a natural hide put the decoys out in a staggered pattern and test myself, I will talk about patterns later on in this article or go have a look at advanced decoying 1 and 2 or another of mine called flight lines and decoys, the first bird shot I make into a floater, I do this by cutting a hazel stick about 3ft long not to thick a stick, then I cut another about 18” long, the first stick I put up the pigeons rear end until its in its head, I have already sharpened a point on it so the head stays stretched out, then the smaller thinner stick I sharpen each end and cut a slit in them, I press this through the underside of the pigeon near the wing joints then put the end of the wings into the slits, so there you have a natural floater, no expensive heavy and a dead bird always works better than any plastic decoy, make your own gear starting off learn your craft then and only then with all the gadgets coupled with proper field craft edge your bets against this worthy of a quarry.
Now going back to the kids etc I wont stand by and let anyone have a pop at a kid who is trying to learn, like the lad on my video he asked a question what he was doing wrong all this other fellow did was jump down his throat and try to tear strips off of him, he had no one to show him so knew no better, but with my guidance the lad now has a signed permission and using his air rifle is now making good modest bags and by this I mean 10 birds or less even, he uses everything nothing goes to waste and I enjoy his reports of hunts and sending us pics at The Magazine, So remember that with guidance and education our sport will live on in the young sports as we once were young sports ourselves, also remember as our past King said: The wildlife of today is not ours to dispose of as we please, we have it in trust and must account for it to those that come after us, that used to be inside the front cover of the Shooting Times Magazine I memorized that when I was 5 years old and still to this day recite it when I give a talk etc.
Now it was a good job I let Nik do most of the shooting as I thought I broke my ankle, there I was setting up the hide just carrying the guns in that were still in their slips as I slipped on some loose stones and promptly fell over, my instinct was save the guns which I did but from that I severely sprained my ankle, Nik had to help me up and wanted to call it a day, NO was my answer put me on my swivel seat I will be fine much to Nik not being happy with that as he said he hear the snap and thought I had broken my leg, it was just the tendons I had done worse on the ruby pitch and nothing gets in the way of my sport unless it drops and knocks me out cold now that’s dedication for you.
You see there are lots of little fields around my way what I call bandit territory for pigeon shooting, plenty of woodland and places the pigeons can get a drink, so if your on your own no other guns in the area shooting they can just up sticks and bugger off to another field and that’s exactly what they did, I set up on a further two fields that day and moved my decoys more times than I care to mention as the wind kept changing, don’t just sit there like a dime bar if the birds wont commit they are telling you that you have it wrong is it the decoys or the hide are they seeing you, well as a last resort I set up under a tree my family calls Pappy’s tree, the reason we call it this was Dad had a 300 bird bag under that tree 15 years ago thus my son Ryan called it Pappy’s tree.
Chasing The Flocks
By The Ole Hedge Creepers