Training days! Exciting project for new shooters. 30/31 May 2015 and 27/28 June 2015

I’m running 4 training days on these dates for youngsters/adults who are new to the sport or just want to learn a bit more.

30/31 May 2015 and 27/28 June 2015

You will be shown everything, basic field craft, best kit to buy, setting up decoys in the field and finally preparing and cooking what you shoot.

To make it even better there will be a competition on the day!

25 bird (clay) simulated pigeon shoot. Sit in the hide and shoot simulated incoming pigeon to really see how well you shoot and where you need to improve. ( Hint: Load steady shoot well…don’t rush!)

First prize
A day pigeon shooting with Matt!!!!!

Second prize
250 Proper Cartridges!!!!!

Third prize
A pigeon magnet with battery!!!!!

All inclusive £100 for the day

Pm or call me, Matt on 07984 335124, for more details and to book.

This is a day to get new ideas, meet new people and to have a good time with other fellow shooters.

Remember 30/31 May 2015 and 27/28 June 2015, get it in your diary.

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Dove shoooting trips to Argentina from June 2015


Special price £2000

3 DAYS HUNTING 4 Nights accommodation in luxury lodges with all food and drinks included.


All ground transportations to/from airport and hunting grounds

Professional hunting guides

Deluxe double occupancy lodges with private bathrooms

All meals, breakfast, lunch (barbecue), and dinner included

All beverages, including selection of the finest Argentine wines (Malbec), local beers, champagne, and local hard liquor. Open bar.

One bird boys per hunter

Laundry, boot cleaning and gun cleaning

3000 shells

Hunting licenses

Rental gun

Can accommodate up to teams of 15

New price

PRICE £2000

Contact Matt for full details

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Crow pest control

Crows thrive around farms and farm buildings as well as in their traditional roost woods. If you are going to keep numbers down to a level the farmer can live with you will need to shoot them in the woods and the farm yard.

Crows are very smart birds, no really smart! You need good field craft to shoot them in the trees where they have to advantage of height to see anything within shooting range. Young birds newly fledged may be shootable for a few weeks after leaving their nests but the get wise very quickly.

Decoying can work well but you need to ring the changes in your set up as they soon realise where the threat is coming from. Shoot different locations each time, mix up your decoys methods too. Flocked crow decoys on hedges, on feed clamps or out in the stublle work well. Crows usually come to decoys because they know they are not their regular crow friends, they come to drive them out. Some shooters have great success putting out broken nests with a couple of real eggs in. Try a small stuffed fox cub too, crows hate them and soon dive in on them.

Remeber not to send you dog for wounded crows, they are very likely to injure you dog too. If in doubt give a crow a second barrel on the way down to make sure it is humanely dispatched.

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Who needs shooting insurance?

You do! I do. We all do.

Shooting in the UK is one of the safest activities you can participate in but it doesn’t mean it is free of all risks.

Anone can have an accident and anyone can be the subject of somebody elses accident.

If the worst happens you will be all on your own to deal with the consequences both legal and financial.

Landowners know this better than anyone and that is why they require shooters to hold their own insurance before coming on to their land. It is no good looking at your boots when asked about insurance and hoping you won’t be asked to show your insurance. That will get you barred from any shoot that finds out about it. Just do it, as the Nike ad says.

But why is it so important to get insurance and preferably insurance through a major body like BASC?

If somebody gets hurt and you played any part in the accident or everything that led up to the accident you could find yourself liable to a claim against you. It may sound unfair and you may not like it but that is not how things work. If someone is injured they make seek damages from you to compensate them for the injury and, more importantly, for the consequencs of any injury. If they can’t work or if they need assistance looking after themselves they will need finacial assistance and they will come looking for it from you.

Now, most of us aren’t worth millions of pounds so we couldn’t support a huge claim against us but we would struggle settling even a modest claim of a few thousand pounds plus the legal expenses for defending the claim. An important part of insurance is that if the injury is serious and the claim is huge then it may be settled from an insuance company from the thousands of policies it issues rather than from an unfortunate individual. Insurance helps you and it helps the injured party, it just works!

If you get your insurance though BASC you also get other huge benefits especially if you need advice on shooting related matters like Firearms Law or dealing with your landlord or FEO.

You can get some insurance cover though other bodies like the Gamekeepers Association, CLA, CA and other smaller trade associations. You may also feel you can get insured very cheaply though some other policies but make sure they are not insurers of last resort. Some insurance seem very cheap but when you call them they will try to find out you are covered, either fully or partially, under someother policy BEFORE they will help you! Not the response you want if you are worried and feeling under pressure.

BASC can offer you immediate cover if you apply online at so join now and support your sport as well as protect yourself and your shooting buddies.

Get the best!

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Just a perfect day

It doesn’t always happen, far from it, but sometimes it all just comes right.

Our shooter yesterday enjoyed the most beautiful summers day, gently breezes with the occassional  drop of rain but mostly big summer skies with a few nice clouds so we didn’t cook and a constant stream of birds in small flurries.. perfect!

Sitting under a lone oak tree in the midst of about sixty acres of fallen barley Don Davidson bagged himself at least 120 pigeon on his first trip out with Matt.

Dons big day out on the pigeons

Great day in virtually perfect conditions

In standing crops it can be difficult to pick all your birds and it was too warm to work the dogs all day so we called in a local friend and his dogs to help pick up at the close. Alan Cox brought an experienced dog and a youngster over in the late afternoon to work the crop in addition to Matt’s own enthusiastic Cocker.

Always consider inviting picker-uppers to get some valuable out of season working time for their dogs, it is another Win/Win deal for pest control pigeon shooters. Farmers don’t want their crops trampling by pest controllers nor do they want to be combining hundreds of rotten pigeon in a couple of weeks time.

Pick up whatever you can

Young and old dogs get some great experience

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French shooting success in tough February conditions

The weather this February has been dreadful, it has also been very unpredictable. Wind and rain, rain and wind or just an awful lot of both! With widspread flooding in some counties the pigeons are concentrating on crops that are holding their heads above water.

Our French shooting parties are had to learn to shoot turbo charged pigeons this month!

With gale force winds the pigeons have been screaming over the guns rather than coming into the decoys but our visitors have shown themselves to be up to the task.

French visitors tackle turbo charged pigeons

French visitors tackle turbo charged pigeons

133 pigeons and 2 crows for a serious amount of shots but considering the conditions, great shooting.


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The thrill of the walked up day

We can’t all be farmers or the landed squire who can stroll thier fields at their leisure picking off pheasant, partridge, snipe or the odd hare but we can feel the experience during a walked up day. For many shooters this is a special kind of shooting day, a treat, something to savour.

Bring a small group of friends and your own dog, perhaps a youngster, add a couple of beaters with local experience and then walk!

Being free to walk hundreds of acres of mixed arable and woodland in search of seasonal quarry in the beauty of the English countryside is one of life’s true pleasures, make sure you experience it soon.

Call Matt for availabilty of dates. If you don’t have a party but would be interested in joining others on a day let Matt know about your experience level and he will see about getting you a suitable place on a day.

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April 2013 crop protection

The horrendously wet autumn of 2012 and the late snow in the early spring of 2013 have hit arable farmers hard. Seeds sowed into cold and wet ground have failed to germinate in many places but re-drilling has been delayed by muddy conditions followed by deep snow. Radio 4’s Farming Today reported, on April 23rd 2013, that Weetabix were unable to make breakfast cereals because of a lack of quality British wheat for the first time ever!

Now that expensive re-seeding is virtually finished farmers are keen to protect these expensive replacement sowings from ravenous flocks of pigeons that are equally determined to feed on them.

April crop protection

April 2013 crop protection in Leicestershire by shooters organised by Pigeon Shooting Leicestershire

A mixed bag of wood pigeon, feral pigeon and corvids shot over fresh drillings in some fine spring weather.  Larger groups of shooters can cover several fields and this increases the effectiveness of shooting to control pigeon numbers. Once disturbed from one field pigeon will often circulate for a few minutes before attempting to land again fairly close by.

Solitary shooters can be frustrated when they set up where pigeon are feeding well only to see them disappear completely once a shot is fired. Organised groups, like this one, offer many advantages to farmers when controlling pigeon and have more long term impact on pigeon numbers than lone shooters offering to keep pigeon numbers under control.

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Advanced pigeon shooting equipment

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!

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