By Morton Jack of The Field
Thursday, 26 February 2009
Morton Jack shoots pigeon in Devon
The Plymouth trip was full of surprises. Lee Thompson was introduced to us by The Gun Room, a local gun shop.
He’s a Plymouth lad who developed an early obsession with all things green and has just started showing UK, Dutch and Belgian clients the joys of pigeon-shooting, stalking and what he calls “bunny bolting”, similar to ferreting but with guns and without nets, a sport which, apparently, the Dutch are crazy about. My friend Phil and I hopped into Lee’s pick-up and headed back into Plymouth, eventually turning into some fields of clover.
Rows of small terraced houses lined the horizon. However, once Lee had installed me at the foot of a wooded valley and Phil on a line of fir trees higher up, you could hear or see very little of the city. In fact, the nearest sign of civilisation I could see was a patchwork of well stocked allotments. Apparently the farmer had been adamant that the developers would not have his farm, and you can see why – it’s an extraordinary place, a hidden gem.
Phil and I had no need of decoys that day because there were thousands of birds flying out of town and heading up the heavily wooded Plym valley intent, it seemed, on an ivy-berry brunch. I had a grandstand view of Phil pulling down birds as they sped along the tree line.
Later that day, an allotment owner strolled up to join us for a chat. “You’re going to have fun this afternoon,” he said with a smile as he left clutching half a dozen of Phil’s pigeon. He was right, for at about 3.30 the birds turned around and started coming back above us again. In an extraordinary display, a constant flow of between one and 12 birds came over
every few minutes, giving us plenty of fine sport.
Phil and I talked about the day as we headed for home. The bag of 38 wasn’t huge but this was probably down to our poor shooting and the impressive height and speed of the birds. Lee had cheerfully managed to deliver an exciting and very different day’s pigeon-shooting.
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