Morton Jack tries his hand at pigeon shooting in Oxfordshire, as part of his tour of the UK in search of the best pigeon shooting guides and spots
Pigeon shooting in Oxfordshire is Morton Jack’s first stop on his pigeon shooting tour of the UK. Despite intially suffering from a bad spot and gloating son over the walkie-talkie, a clever move of the hide by guide Will results in a fruitful and enjoyable day.
For more on Morton Jack’s pigeon shooting tour of the UK, read pigeon shooting in the UK.
PIGEON SHOOTING IN OXFORDSHIRE
Thames Valley Pigeon Shooting operates over a vast area of southern England all year round and Will Beasley has been selling equipment and arranging sport for parties of English and foreign clients for 11 years. My son Ali and I arrived at Box Farm, Bicester at eight and chatted to the four cammo-clad regulars already there. Will marched over and introduced himself and, after the briefest of preambles, we set off in a four-car convoy, picking up some new customers and dropping off DIY shooters on the way.
Forty five minutes later we arrived at some huge fields of oilseed rape for our day pigeon shooting in Oxfordshire. We gathered inside a gateway and Ali and I began pulling our gear from the cars, but soon ended up gawping like a couple of hicks from the sticks at the sight of huge flocks of pigeon wheeling and dipping in the morning haze. Will charged about on his quad bike delivering shooters one by one to spots where he speedily erected a hide and laid out both decoys and a magnet before speeding off, bellowing into a mobile, to get the next customer.
I found myself in my hide on the edge of a pine plantation. As I blundered about, tripping over my own feet and trying to stow the superfluous kit I had brought, Ali immediately started banging away with his 20-bore. Frustratingly, he was in a better place and took great delight in telling me so over the cursed walkie-talkie I had foolishly brought.
After an hour of this I could bear it no longer, and rang Will. In no time the hide was moved to a new site near a flight-line we had noticed earlier. It was a good move. The birds seemed to be dipping into range to check out the ’coys and magnet as they passed by. The traffic was steady and I bagged 18 birds in the next hour. This boosted my confidence and I settled into a rhythm.
The end of the day came all too quickly. Ali and I met for the post mortem. We had shot 48 birds between us during our day pigeon shooting in Oxfordshire. My son’s rapid fire technique had, for once, resulted in fewer pigeon than I had expected and he rather churlishly refused to tell me how many cartridges he had fired. We both thought that the day pigeon shooting in Oxfordshire had seemed very businesslike. The Beasleys are used to a large number of customers, and have recruited two new members of staff. They also shoot pigeon over huge tracts of land and know their quarry intimately after years of shooting it. This knowledge lessens the chances of you having a bad day pigeon shooting in Oxfordshire, which is important if you want some good sport waiting for you at the end of a long drive.
“You know, there are several attractions to this sport. Pigeon is challenging, wild and plentiful, there are fewer rules and regulations and none of those moneysworth shooters you get with some pheasant shoots and…” We were on our way back to our B&B and my monologue had been interrupted by the sound of snoring. Ali was fast asleep. It had been a good day.