Roost Shoot 02/19
I received an invite to a roost
shoot for last night, this was from the Gamekeeper of a Shoot I use
to be a member of.
The game season has finished (so no disturbing the pheasants) and the pigeons have been causing havoc on the winter **** and greens.
The plan was for a dozen or so guns to meet up at 2pm and he would distribute us around the large woodlands on the estate. This keeps the birds on the move and helps ensure that a good number of birds are accounted for.
All very efficient, well planned
and some good guns chosen, an enjoyable session was on the cards, but
the weather on the morning was no wind, cold and bright sunshine.
Not good, but fortunately by midday it changed, the strong winds and rain we had prayed for arrived.
Everybody was on time
(Gamekeeper's invites are like Royal summons, not to be ignored) and
after the briefing we were on our way.
Seniority of age ensured I was dropped off with a very short walk to my spot.
There had been some coppicing in the wood and I quickly found some stacked wood fronting a small clearing, with some nice almost leafless trees around me and some large oaks nearby.
The pigeons love these for roosting.
The dull, rough weather meant
the birds came in early to roost and I started to hear a few shots
from the distant woods , that never fails to sharpen the senses and
cause the head to swivel round expectantly.
The first birds arrived shortly, a small group of five, low over the trees twisting and turning in the wind (just like yachts tacking), as they came over the clearing I dropped one and just removed a small branch with the second shot and four made off.
It got busier as the afternoon
wore on and darker, with the birds getting more set on landing in the
At first they are prepared to circle and choose their spot, but as it gets later the will fly in and land as soon as possible.
This speeds up the shooting and unless you consciously take your time, it will increase your chance of missing.
The choice of targets becomes almost overwhelming, just like a large flush on the claygrounds.
Pick your bird, stick with it, shoot it and then look for another one.
It also saves on cartridges
Its so easy to end up swinging the gun around, changing your mind and ending up hitting nothing.
I had a fair number of birds on
the ground, I picked up 35 and there were a couple stuck up the
The Keeper ran his dog round and found a few more that were in the brambles.
By now it was quite dark in the woods, you almost needed a torch to get around.
When we all arrived back at the farm it sounded as though everyone had some good shooting, the unconfirmed bag was 420+ birds, with a few rooks and crows added.
The Farmer will be happy and more importantly, so will the Gamekeeper (future invites assured).
This morning I ache, the neck has stiffened up and a few hours standing in the damp and cold has given the back some grief,
However, I am happy and I enjoyed myself, the aches will disappear eventually and the memories remain.
Edit Note -The censored farm crop is r-a-p-e and I apologise for the smaller print, I am not sure what happened there.