Last year, 2012, was the wettest July on record in much of the UK, this year it is probably going to be the hottest! Germination of wheat and rape crops were poor due to a cold wet spring with a few fields virtually failing to show a viable crop.
A strange side effect of the low yield of rape plants is a flush of red poppies in fields where farmers are spraying less to lower their input costs making much of England like the fields of northern France which should have made our French visitors feel very at home on their recent trip to Leicestershire.
Organised in conjunction with the French outfit Plaisir-Chasse-Pêche.com our four shooters, and a very supportive spouse, spent 3 days hunting wood pigeon over mixed crops and also put a sizeable dent in the local crow population.
Visitors from France shooting wood pigeon and crow
Shooting a total of 426 cartridges our French shooters downed a total of 91 wood pigeon and 28 crows on thier first UK outing. The bag shown is in-complete as the dogs were yet to collect some birds from crops and deep cover but a great bag all the same.
Our guns and thier 59 woodies on the second day
Wood pigeon don’t flock at this time of year so these pigeon were shot as the transitted through the corn fields going to and from clover and other mid summer food sources and thier lay-up areas in the woods you can see in the background. Classic fast shooting!
A day for the farmer who wants the crows around his building thinned out a bit.
This is a job that gets you brownie points with the all important farmer, crow bashing.
It is also good for the song bird population which takes a real battering from all corvids at this time of year. Eggs and chicks are a quick morsel for a big crow who will wipe out a nest in one visit. Partridge chicks are very vulnerable at this time of year too so keep at the corvids!
These crows fell to simple decoys on the rotary. Any convincing crow decoy will look like an intruder that needs to be chased away. Crows are very smart and very wary of humans but they seem to throw caution to the wind to chase away strangers so use this tactic to get them closer and distracted so you can hit them hard.
Crows fallen to simple decoy tactics and some good shooting.
Organisers of shooting trips to the UK for pigeon advise a bag of 20 to 30 birds a day on average so our visitors did well with over 50 pigeon per day plus the corvids.
Looking forward to many more visitors from France!