Anything that needs a battery is in the advanced equipment class. It may be nice and it may be effective but it isn’t a necessity. All batteries are heavy and so they should justify being included because they take up a ton of weigh that you could either leave behind or replace with something more useful. Having said that most big bag days wouldn’t happen without something more than a few shell decoys.
Pigeon Magnets, Whirly-gigs, call them all sorts of things, certainly bring movement into your pattern but they don’t act like pigeon or look like pigeon. They add height in summer when the rape or wheat is high and create a draught under the wings of dead birds and all the designs of spinning and flapping decoys on offer. Some days they are enough to swing the balance in your favour other days they are a very good bird scarer which is good because that is meant to be your first line of attack against pigeons under the General Licence. If asked to justify yourself to an over zealous officer of the law you can legitimately point out your bird scarer and demonstrate its ineffectiveness and hence the necessity to shoot the mountain of pigeons at your feet. Some days magnets work all on there own and are essential equipement but I can’t tell you which days they are so put it in the car but don’t always lug it across the filed.
Flappers and Turbo flappers are the same thing only one goes faster than the other! These are much lighter than magnets and add the effect of a pigeon flapping it’s wings to take off, land or just flap about. These are pretty realistic especial when used with a foot switch or random timer. Flocks of pigeon fidget and generally flap about to find the best feeding and these flappers mimic they rather well. Unfortunately they only flap one bird in the flock unless you cheat by tying a thin thread from the flapper to a few decoys mounted near by on wobbly sticks. When the flapper flaps a ripple of movement spreads out around just like one pigeon disturbing it’s neighbours for a few seconds.
Always use a randon timer on flappers and a digital speed controller on a rotary unless you want to drain your battery very quickly or lug a big car battery across the field. Random timers now come with 2 and 3 independant circuits so you can control several flappers going on and off at random intervals all off one battery.
Whenever possible use dead birds on all these devices or at least start with foam decoys and switch to real birds as you shoot a few early birds. Don’t forget to wipe off the spikes on your bird cradles at the end of the day as you know where they have been don’t you!by