Home > Hunting > Wood Pigeon Shooting

Wood Pigeon Shooting

By: Sally Aquire - Updated: 25 Feb 2013 | comments*Discuss
 
Wood Pigeon Shooting

In rural areas, the wood pigeon is a big pest. Because of this, wood pigeon shooting is growing in popularity. Wood pigeons are also shot for game purposes, as it is a cheap and filling food source. Wood pigeon shooting is often more demanding than other types of game shooting (such as Grouse shooting), as the birds can be very acrobatic in the air, making them challenging to shoot accurately.

Decoying

This involves building a field hide near to where the wood pigeons feed. Artificial or dead birds can be used as decoys to encourage the wood pigeons to come close enough to be shot comfortably (the typical shotgun range is between 20 and 35 yards). As you might expect, it can be quite a long day, so patience is needed!

The hides can be built from a range of materials, including camouflage nets, straw bales and natural cover. The main idea is to blend in with the natural environment as much as possible so that the wood pigeons are not aware of your presence. If you go with the straw bales option, you will need to have the farmer's permission to move the bales to their desired location. For the natural cover option, use materials that are readily accessible in the local area and remove them at the end of the shoot. Sizes vary, but they should be big enough to comfortably house yourself, a hunting dog of some description (to retrieve game after it has been shot) and the necessary shooting equipment.

Flighting

This involves shooting wood pigeons on flightlines, and is getting increasingly popular. The guns are hidden in hedgerows or at the edge of woodland. The wood pigeons are shot as they fly past, and decoy birds are not used to attract them.

Roost shooting

In the winter months, this involves the guns being put in position before dusk falls so that the wood pigeons can be shot whilst they are preparing to roost. Darkness will be falling very quickly by the time the shoot is over, so you should gather up the fallen game as quickly as possible.

The legal situation

The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 has had a big effect on increasing and maintaining the wood pigeon population in the UK. According to the terms of the act, registered 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 that the wood pigeons like to feed on. Note that if a racing pigeon is mistaken for a wood pigeon and shot, you can be fined.

Tips to avoid scaring the birds whilst shooting

Sunglasses are not advisable, even on a very sunny day, as they easily make you obvious to the wood pigeons because of the reflected glare. The contrast of dark sunglasses against your skin is also very alarming for the birds, who are likely to immediately fly away if they spot you. To avoid this, a wide-rimmed hat is the best shading option, and you should avoid looking at the sun as much as possible.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Hi i m a bit confused , can someone please tell me if i am allowed to shoot pigeons with a shot gun with the farmers permission all year round ? and if i cant do this!, what dates/months aren't i allowed to shoot them . thanks
Sy - 31-Jan-13 @ 10:33 AM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Topics
Latest Comments
  • Mr. S
    Re: Shooting Rules and Regulations
    I have a neibour who thinks it’s ok to use a shotgun at 9.30 am on a Sunday within 50mts of my house, time the law was changed !
    24 November 2019
  • Nippy
    Re: Shooting Seasons
    Hi i live on a estate in the country side, they have many shoots going on and shot keeps coming down on us while ion the garden ,is there anything…
    13 September 2019
  • prof.LC
    Re: Types of Riding
    There are many styles of riding including english and western however my absolute definite favourite is bearback this is a style where you ride…
    2 June 2019
  • prof.LC
    Re: Types of Riding
    Horse riding is a great sport or/and fun activity for pretty much any age.
    2 June 2019
  • help
    Re: Arguments Against Hunting
    I ran over a fox in my 2002 Nissan on the way to the church so then I picked it up and give it to my cussion robbet he took it back to…
    21 May 2019
  • i am stuck in the ge
    Re: Arguments Against Hunting
    help me to decied what gender I am plz because I don't know if I am male or female
    21 May 2019
  • MrC
    Re: Shooting Rules and Regulations
    It's pretty obvious from these comments and my own experience that the law regarding shooting in the countryside needs updating.…
    7 May 2019
  • mr happy
    Re: Arguments For Hunting
    i will find all you fox hunting stuck up pricks
    29 April 2019
  • Nana
    Re: Shooting Seasons
    Is it illegal to shoot on a Sunday in scotland?
    11 November 2018
  • Jackass
    Re: Arguments For Hunting
    I’ve lived in a city all my life but I support the hunters simply because the saboteurs are such as self righteous bunch of virtue…
    10 October 2018