Wood Pigeon

- Categories : Hunting

Don’t let the aristocratic charm of the wood pigeon deceive you. We are sorry to tell you, but even if its trajectory is in most cases linear, you shouldn’t take for granted, you have already hit the prey. The wildfowl is indeed able to change its direction very easily and quickly, gaining speed by flapping its strong wings and thus leaving you empty-handed. You have perhaps been waiting for so long ... yet now you are there, astonished, and see your prey go away. How come, wasn’t it that easy to capture? Even those most experienced are perfectly aware that this bird is wonderful as well as cunning and resistant, thanks also to the plumage covering and protecting it.

Being an ancient and consolidated type of hunting, it has seen several changes as for the technique over time. Depending on the experience that one wants to live, today’s main hunting methods consist of watchtower and walking up hunting. The first involves climbing on centuries-old oaks and holm oaks, what will allow you to watch the wildfowl at almost the same height, while the second one implies wandering on the ground, sometimes looking for the best place to wait in ambush.

In order to attract wood pigeons, you can also resort to lively birdcalelrss, carousels boasting moulds or moulds equipped with mechanical flapping-wing system and feathering. In this way, the youngest and most inexperienced shall easily fall into the trap being at close range, thus facilitating the shot, while the oldest ones, being certainly more watchful and warier, won’t care the trick and shall fly away.

Given the different situations in which you might find yourself, the choice of shotgun, shotshells and chokes is crucial. In the following table you will find the best combinations for your hunting session.

Hunting techniqueGaugeBarrel lengthSelf-loading shotgunOver and under /
Side-by-side shotgun
Shotshell G.Lead shots Nr.
Walking up hunting 12 66 / 71 / 76 *** / ** / * *** / * 34 / 36 / 38 7 / 6 / 5
Walking up hunting 20 66 / 71 / 76 *** / ** / * *** / * 28 / 32 7 / 6
Walking up hunting 28 71 *** / ** / * *** / * 24 7 / 6
Walking up hunting 410 71 *** / ** / * *** / * 19 / 19 7 / 6
Watchower hunting 12 66 *** / ** / * *** / * 34 / 36 / 38 7 / 6 / 5
Watchower hunting 20 66 *** / ** / * *** / * 28 / 32 7 / 6
Watchower hunting 28 71 *** / ** / * *** / * 24 7 / 6
Watchower hunting 410 71 *** / ** / * *** / * 18 / 19 7 / 6

As for watchtower wood pigeon hunting, waiting in ambush on raised stands, self-loading shotguns are the most suitable because they allow you to take advantage of an extra shot. A 12-gauge shotgun equipped with a 66 long barrel, additionally ***, ** and * constriction size is ideal for shooting at close range, above all when it comes to “unfledged wood pigeons” which could be attracted by the callers.

Conversely when you are engaged in watching up hunting and you have the opportunity, bring two different shotguns with you, so that you can perform both short and long range shooting depending on the opponent you have to cope with. Based on our experience in wood pigeon walking up shooting, which in recent years boasted a substantial increase in terms of enthusiasts, you don’t need shotshells with a too high weight density such as those of the magnum/semi magnum type, as after the first two strokes, certainly our craved wood pigeon will already be at least 50 meters away and, if we succeed in hitting, that will be a nut to crack as for retrieving it. Sometimes it’s better to give up!

Now you just have to take advantage of the earliest possible day and put our instructions into practice. The wood pigeon shall definitely give you a hard time, but we are even more certain that your commitment along with what you have learned today shall lead you to achieve a precise shot. Should you fail, don't relinquish: breathe, reload and focus on the next prey!

You have found our advice useful and are sure that you will put what you have learned into practice on your next hunting trip? Browse beyond this article! Learn how to properly use a choke and all the guides provided by Gemini , drawn up with the help of specialists, for hunting and shooting enthusiasts like you.

Our thanks go to Professor Simone Bertini and Diego Apostoli for their availability and the precious time they devoted to us for the drafting of these guides.