The Countryman's Weekly

Pigeon Shooting

Pigeon Shooting
August 21
08:06 2019

Everything falls into place for red-letter day’s shooting

By Adam Hart.

TWO birds approached low over the golden stubble, flashing their wing bars into the wind as they approached the decoys. Letting the first land, I shot the second as it came in, and then locked back onto the first as it started away, dropping it too. The decoy pattern must have numbered more than 100 birds by now. I was midway through my eighth box of cartridges. It was three o’clock.

My dad, whose hide was on the opposite side of the disused quarry, sent me a text saying ‘shoulder hurting now’! Fast forward a few hours and we were slumped in the front seats of the car, gulping down water, rubbing our sun-strained eyes. An uncontrollable smirk came across my smug face as I turned to speak to him: “I told you so.” We both smiled.

Nine days ago, we had checked the field to see if the barley had blown over or been cut and discovered it had been baled that morning. Already, close to 1,000 birds were feeding on it, a serious stack of pigeons in anyone’s book, especially in West Wales. We searched the calendar for the nearest available date we could shoot. Due to work and family commitments, we did not have a free day until Friday, almost 10 days away.

Dad, ‘a glass half-empty’ man when it comes to shooting, despaired. He began listing the uncontrollable variables that could snatch away this potential red-letter day. To make matters worse, cycling back from work one evening I stopped in the gateway to check if birds were still using the field and there was a suspicious 4×4 parked down the lane.



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