The most commonly asked question I get asked is, “How many birds will I kill?” Well, it depends on many things, primarily how well you shoot, how well you can hide, your eyesight and reaction speed and the feeding habits of the birds on the dates you are shooting. The weather plays an enormous part in how willing the pigeons are to feed and fly. In general, a day with a breeze is 10 times better than one without!
Something else to bear in mind is that by booking a days shooting you are actually paying for 2 days work. Firstly, I spend the day before your booking finding places to shoot for you. This entails getting in the Land Rover with a pair of binoculars and using my knowledge of the birds feeding habits at that time of year to look for suitable fields, which can mean on average up to a 100 mile round trip.
We try and supply you with the highest chance possible to shoot pigeons and although we try our very best, we can never guarantee any bag numbers or the amount of cartridges you will fire on your day. One important thing to remember before you book is that the Pigeon is a wild bird. If a guaranteed target is what you are looking for then perhaps a visit to a clay shooting ground might be more suitable!
All days are pre-booked and full payment in advance is required to act as confirmation of booking. Places go fast because we're very popular, and during the peak season (from the end of February until the end of April and then again during harvest time in July until the end of October). We can be fully booked sometimes as much as 3 months in advance. During the winter months we require much less notice.
Although our land bank spans several counties it is impossible to book a specific area/county for a specific date as we cannot control where the birds will be feeding on the day you want to book for! The decision on where the shoot location and best sport will be obtained for your booking will depend entirely on the results of our reconnaissance sortie the day prior to your booking.
All paid up bookings are considered firm and no refunds will be issued in the event of a cancellation at any stage. If a day is cancelled due to bad weather a mutually agreeable alternative date will be sought. To book a date/dates then simply complete the online booking form or email me if you have specific requirements and I can then check availability for you.
Having been established since 1996 we have worked very hard to build up relationships with the owners of the farmland that we shoot over. This good relationship can be broken in an instant if a client behaves inappropriately. Here is a list of do's and don'ts to make your trip as enjoyable as possible and to safeguard the future of our sport;
› Shoot only the species on the list of agreed quarry.
› If you are driving your own vehicle, please drive with consideration to the land (i.e not over crops).
› Please note, you will be shooting on working farms, and from time to time, a tractor may enter the field in which you are shooting. If your car or decoys need to be moved, please do this quickly to enable the farmer to continue with his work.
› If the farmer or any of their employees approach you, unload immediately and make your presence known by standing up.
› I will have no hesitation in removing you from the farm if I see or hear of any dangerous conduct with a firearm.
› Age limit: 18 - 70. Under 18's are welcome but must be accompanied by an adult when shooting.
› Alcohol is banned.
› It is imperative that we leave the shooting positions as tidy as we found them. Dustbin bags will be provided and you will be expected to pick up all of your spent shells and any other rubbish, and take it home with you as I have no facilities for waste disposal.
I will give you a full list of DO’s and DON’Ts verbally when I set you up in position and these may include when and where to take your shots. These do’s and dont’s are there to protect you and me, and any general public or people working on the farms from anything untoward happening and ensuring that our reputation remains untarnished and that we are able to supply the quality shooting on the best land in the area for which we are known.
My main objective is to give my clients as much shooting as I can on the day, given the weather and the feeding habits of the birds. This job sometimes requires a little time and patience as it’s a wild bird that I have to deal with and, unlike Clay Pigeons, they don’t just come when you want them.
Once a day is booked, I will contact you the day before your shooting to arrange a meeting time and place. The time will vary depending on the time of year. In winter we start early and finish early due to the daylight hours, and in summer, because of the heat and the length of the day, we usually start around midday and shoot to approximately 6 or 7 o'clock in the evening as this is the time of the day that the birds like to feed.
Upon meeting, we will then drive in convoy to the land on which you will be shooting. As the day may not consist of just you or your group, it may take a little time to set you all out. Once everybody is set out, you will be left to enjoy your sport and I will be in regular contact with you throughout the day to check that all is well.
Once in your hide keep well hidden below the level of the camouflage net, and stay in the hide as much as possible. Showing your presence too much on the field will deter birds from coming in to your decoys. Leave all birds where they have fallen, unless they are on their back. In which case, please turn them over as this can deter other birds from coming in. May I also point out that your actions in the hide and hide speed may also affect your bag. If you move too fast then you'll scare the pigeons, if you move too slow then you will be taking extreme range shots! To you this is a days sport, to the pigeon this is survival. Trust me, the pigeon doesn't want to die and will take every precaution necessary in order to survive.
A major part of my professional expertise, once you are set out in the field, is to continually look for pigeons and move them from other feeding areas so as you can get the most amount of shooting opportunities. However, it should be noted that your success will be predominately governed by the weather. In the event of high pressure and/or low wind pigeons do not like to fly. This is also common with fishing. If there are too many food sources, this also makes my job more difficult as I have a greater area to cover to keep the birds moving for you. Please be patient!
At the end of the day, I will come to collect you. I will pick up all of the equipment and shot birds, and transport you back to your car. Should you wish to take a brace of your birds home, you are more than welcome. If you require a larger quantity these are charged out at 50p each.
This will need to be shown before any shooting starts. Failure to produce either will result in cancellation - no insurance and Shotgun Certificate = no shooting, so don't turn up without it! BASC or CPSA membership both include 3rd party liability cover and are perfect.
It is essential that you bring a mobile phone so that you are contactable in event of any emergency or to check how your position is faring.
Please don’t bring any dogs, I do not allow them. We use our own to pick up when necessary.
Hunters from outside the U.K. will need a Visitors Shotgun Permit. This is a temporary gun license supplied by our local Police authority, which allows you to bring your gun from your country into the UK legally. The charge for arranging this is £45.
Pigeon can be shot all year in the UK. There is no close season. In general the best time to shoot them is when the farmers plant spring crops from late February and through March and April. The Shooting is best between June until the end of October. Winter shooting over Oilseed Rape can also be good from November to the end of January but weather is more critical to success (i.e cold and windy is best!!).
You will be shooting on your own in the hide. We do not allow two people to shoot together as it is highly dangerous. You may double up with a non-shooting observer if you like but only one gun will be allowed in the hide at any one time. Depending on the size of the field there may be just one hide, however, on larger fields we sometimes have to put two or more hides so that it prevents the birds from settling and feeding on other parts of the field that are not covered by a gun.
Camouflage or green clothing is ESSENTIAL. The pigeon has excellent eyesight. If possible use a camouflage facemask or at the very least a good green hat. Don't expect to shoot much if you come dressed in bright coloured clothing. Also if it looks wet bring some decent wellington boots. So many people turn up in the middle of winter wearing a pair of white trainers and end up taking them home soggy and covered in mud. Remember....help us to help you by dressing accordingly!
The pigeon is a VERY tough bird. It is essential that you use cartridges with at the very least a 30 gram load of 5 or 6 shot. A plastic wadded cartridge is also best as it produces faster velocities and holds a better pattern and therefore has better killing power. We suggest Gamebore Clear Pigeon, RC Sipe, Hull High Pheasant Extreme, Lyalvale Express Supreme Game... in 32 gram 5 or 6 shot. Please note that I am unable to sell ammunition however if you are in need of cartridges I can highly recommend Charlie Bull at www.justcartridges.co.uk ( they offer mail order of shotgun ammo direct to your home or to us prior to arrival) or we have two excellent gun shops in Oxfordshire: http://www.oxfordguncompany.co.uk/ and http://www.francislovel.com/
If you are planning a multiple day hunt with me and need somewhere to stay we can highly recommend Bed and
Breakfast and Hotel accommodation as follows:
Please note: DO NOT make reservations for accommodation until you have paid for your shooting and your dates have been confirmed by myself!!
There’s also great listings here for B&B's in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds.