Spring is the time to turn your attention to pigeon. Here are our tips to control the vermin, with some inspiration from those already in the hide

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Every year the 1st February and the end of the game shooting season is met with deep gloom. But there are still fine sporting days to be had, and opportunities to fill the freezer with birds. Pigeons are pests and must be controlled. But they also offer some the very finest wing-shooting. Here is some inspiration from those that have already made it to the hide, accompanied by a faithful canine companion. And here are the very finest examples of pigeon shooting retrieves this season, shared via Instagram.

Multiple-time world champion George Digweed rates pigeon as the finest gamebird. To improve your pigeon shooting, read his ultimate pigeon decoying guide before heading for the hide.

PIGEON SHOOTING RETRIEVES

Pigeon shooting is often done in solitude – apart from your dog, of course. But man’s best friend is sometimes all of the company one needs.

Whether you have a team of gundogs, or just one super retriever prepared for a hard day’s work. Indeed, pigeon shooting days can leave you with a freezer full of birds. It’s important to pick everything shot and keep them cool. Pigeon is a supreme sporting bird, and equally fine on the table.

I am 13 1/2, lame and now have one eye but hell will freeze over before I miss out…

A post shared by Tarquin Millington-Drake (@tarquinmillingtondrake) on

Pigeon shooting is also a great opportunity to practice those retrieves. And as with all gundog training, sometimes it can go to plan…

And other times are not so successful…

With the last of the maize cover crops chopped and spring drillings in the ground, now is the time to go after the grey grouse. Crops need protecting and pigeons are pests. So every one shot is a help to the farmer and a super chance at sport for you. And if that isn’t reward enough, a full freezer at the end of the day certainly is. Especially when your shot to pot supper looks as good as this.

Woodpigeon with all the trimmings a favourite of mine and Shell and the kids #shotforthepot #pigeonshooting

A post shared by chris (@beardedshooter77) on

For more pigeon recipes, do take a look through our website. But pigeon pie and warm pigeon breast salad are just some of our favourites.

And do share your pictures from the field by tagging us on Instagram, @thefieldmagazine