Where to hunt Pigeon
Pigeons are a type of birds that thrive well in agricultural landscapes, wherever they are coupled with available woods or rocks for roosting, from Europe to South America and beyond. Argentina is the most famous destination for high-volume shooting of pigeons and doves, but great hunting opportunities exist also in South Africa and Namibia, as well as the more exotic destinations like Morocco and the island of Mauritius.
Pigeon hunting can be one of the most affordable or one of the most expensive wingshooting experiences, depending on where it happens and what is included. A simple pigeon hunt without lodging or catering will cost around $200-$300 a day, and a trip to Argentina, with all-inclusive stay at a 5 star lodge, and perhaps opportunities to other species like duck and perdiz, will run into thousands.
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Boundless opportunities for hunting pigeons and doves made Argentina one of the most popular hunting destinations in the world. If you are not sure how to handle high-volume shooting, this blog post will give you the best tips from Argentina’s top outfitters and hunters.15 Jun 2017 How to Survive High-Volume Dove Shooting in Argentina.
When to hunt Pigeon?
With the wide distribution of pigeon and its status of an agricultural pest in many areas, opportunities for pigeon hunting exist in every month of the year. The best time for pigeon hunting is usually in the winter, when food availability is more limited and the birds are easier to decoy and (where legal) to bait. Since the most popular destinations for high-volume pigeon hunting are in the Southern Hemisphere, that would be March to August.
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By far the most popular way of hunting pigeons is hunting from a blind with decoys at a field where the birds feed. Pigeons are blessed with powerful eyesight and expect danger in the fields, so good camouflage and natural decoy placement are essential. Motion decoys, either wind or electric motor driven carousels, help a lot. Pigeons don’t warn the hunter of their arrival by voice, so you should be alert and scan the skies like a radar station. Gunslinger’s reflexes and high-level shotgunning skills are a must. Alternative locations include trees where the birds make a stopover before flying into the fields, and pass routes from feeding to roost sites or water holes. Most hunters prefer not to shoot pigeons near their roost sites, because disturbance will force them to move to another site.
Why hunt Pigeon?
A modern urban dweller usually contacts pigeons only in the parks and squares, where large flocks of unkempt birds (and their droppings) are hard to associate with the Great Outdoors. Yet, in many cultures pigeon is one of the most popular game birds. Even the lords and peers of Victorian England, who had opportunities to enjoy the best bird shooting the world had to offer, held the woodpigeon in high regard as one of the most difficult birds to kill on the wing. A pigeon is not only fast, but is highly maneuverable, and its keen eye enables it to detect the motion of the hunter’s raising the gun to shoulder and swerve away. This is a challenge for every hunter, and when you will ultimately succeed and hold the strong, clean wild bird in your hands, you couldn’t help admiring the trophy – and it will not disappoint you from the culinary perspective either. If you are a devoted bird hunter but haven’t hunted pigeons yet, don’t miss a chance to do so.
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