Wood Pigeon Shooting
The Woodpigeon (Columba palumbus) is both Britain’s major agricultural bird pest and one of the most popular species for sporting shotgun shooting. It is legal to shoot the bird all the year round and we have many clients from all over Europe who visit to enjoy the sport this testing bird provides.
We work with professional pigeon guides who have proven their worth over many years and give our clients access to some of the most consistent areas to which pigeons, in large numbers, can be found.
The best times are in late winter / springtime when the pigeons are feeding on winter rape and newly sown fields or in the late summer when they feed on newly harvested fields.
The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 has had a big effect on increasing and maintaining the wood pigeon population in our country. According to the terms of the act, shooters are legally allowed to shoot wood pigeons all-year round as a result of an open license issued by the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), as decoying and roost shooting are both considered to protect the crops the wood pigeons like to feed on.
Through our network of guides we are able to provide shooting over seasonal crops during much of the year.
The majority of our guides use ‘decoying’ to provide the sport for our clients, this is the art of building a hide on a field where pigeons are feeding and using artificial or dead bird decoys and / or rotary’s to attract pigeons to within shotgun range (20 to 35 metres). Shooting them requires considerable reconnaissance by the guide and much patience and field craft to achieve the right results. Hides are generally built with camouflage nets, straw bales or natural cover and the client can expect to spend the majority of the day in one with only a packed lunch for company!
When the winds are right we can get under pigeon flight lines and during the winter months shoot the birds as they come ‘home’ to the woods to roost. This can be very exciting on a stormy night!
We recommend that you come prepared and dress in camouflage and face veil, or at least a cap to cover the face. These birds are wily and have excellent eyesight.
Pigeon shooting is renowned for having long periods of no activity, then suddenly change to an hour of ‘hot barrels’. So patience is a virtue.
We never sell our pigeon shooting by the bird and the bag can vary depending on many circumstances. This is a wild bird and very unpredictable, however, an average day should present at least 50 to 100 shots. Although we are able to provide / hire weapons we would always recommend that you bring a gun that you are familiar with and a minimum cartridge of 30g/ size 6 shot or larger is recommended for Woodpigeon.
We are trade members of the BASC and work to the BASC Code of Practice for woodpigeon shooting, copies of which are available on request.