Countrymans Diary

Diary 4

Diary4

By Sunset and Torch Light.

This time of year there is a special treat for hunters, autumn wood pigeon. After several months feeding off all the grain they can eat, they are fat and full of flavour. Between now and Christmas time they will find maize, rape seed, and bean crops to raid in small groups. . Then around late January they will be seen sitting in clumps of ivy for no reason, what they are really doing is waiting for ivy berries to ripen. As an air rifle hunter I can do what we refer to as roost shooting. This is doing some homework to find which area of the wood they are using for sleeping in. it is normally the opposite side to the oncoming wind so they are sheltered for their night’s sleep. The kit you need for a good foray is very simple list. Your rifle and pellets. A torch with new batteries. Game bag. And full camo clothing. Including face concealment a veil or face mask are useful. If like me you can’t stick having something on your face, use army camo cream. To break up your human features. A few smears across the ears nose chin and cheeks is normally enough to do it. So now off to the woods we go, the signs we are looking for are branches with small shoots removed, and white droppings on the ground and surrounding foliage. When you find these areas be very careful not to disturb anything as pigeons know their home. Find some cover around 25 yards away and wait. Take a flask of something hot and a book. It can be a long wait, if it’s a nice sunny day as the birds will feed longer. If it’s going to be a stormy night they will be in earlier. Let them settle after they have landed. Many people make the mistake of shooting as they land, it will unsettle the rest if you drop one after they get comfy it seems to make little difference to others. Choose your shoots wisely, pigeon eat grain and seeds so there crop {food storage pouch} is armour plated. Careful head, neck or spine shots work well. As the rules of gravity dictate shooting up hill shoot low shooting downhill shot low! The pellet is climbing as it fires to produce the arc of fire, so aim slightly low take a few test shots and enjoy. Unless the body is upside down or you get a wounded flapper stay tight in your spot. Collect after you have finished. Hence the torch.. As promised from last month a quick and easy recipe: Pan fried pigeon with bacon. Meal for two. 4 breasts of pigeon. 2 rashers of smoked bacon. Some gravy mix. And a drop of whisky or port. Method: Slice the bacon into thin strips. Pan Fry till golden. Place in a dish. Add the pigeon breast to the pan fry till just pink in the middle, about 3 mins each side. Re add the bacon. Add the alcohol. Flame! Add enough gravy mix to thicken the sauce so it coats the back of a spoon Serve with home-made chips and fresh salad or vegetables. Enjoy it. That’s it for another month happy shooting.  

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