Thrushes, small nimble black dots in the sky. Seize the moment or you will have to linger for a long time before you happen to see it again in the area, risking losing an entire day of hunting while waiting for something that shall never come back. These wildfowl are in fact among the most coveted species because of the delicacy of their meat, furthermore as being able to capture one is a feat that, if completed, will give you great satisfaction!
Song thrushes hunting season, another synonym for thrush, starts in September and ends in January. Excellent, one would think, we have plenty of time… were it not for the fact that these wildfowl migrate continuously throughout the Italian peninsula. Therefore, as mentioned earlier, you shall often struggle to avoid missing the train, in other words, the thrush itself which shall appear in front of your eyes. Waking up at dawn is recommended, you certainly don't want to pass up the chance which may arise from the first light of the day!
Assume the position, stay ready to hear the song thrush’s whistle. Silence, silence, silence… still nothing? Avail youeself of a Zip bellow or screw type bird caller, if you manage to, resort to a whistle bird caller. Silence, silence… here it is, the thrush's call reveals it is going to appear! But how can you avoid failing?
The hunting technique to capture thrushes is crucial for such a challenging and unpredictable wildfowl. By hunting at dawn, i.e. at first light of day, you will sneak up on it just in the moment it comes out of its night shelter to look for some food. This phase will be characterized by quick shots and short distances. On the other hand, if during the day you have been focusing on another prey and you got nowhere, wait for the evening so that the thrushes will reach the woods or citrus groves again in order to find a haven. The return flight will be at a higher altitude and harder than in the morning, so the choice of weapons, shellshots and chokes is very important. In the following table we recommend the best chokes to use depending on the hunting technique (hunting at dawn or at evening), the gauge, the barrels length and your shotgun.
|Hunting technique||Gauge||Barrel length||Self-loading shotgun||Over and under /|
|Shotshell G.||Lead shots Nr.|
|Hunting at dawn||12||66||**** / *****||**** / *****||30 / 32||11 / 10|
|Hunting at dawn||20||66||**** / *****||**** / *****||21 / 24 / 25||11 / 10|
|Hunting at dawn||28||66||**** / *****||**** / *****||18||11|
|Hunting at dawn||.410||66||**** / *****||**** / *****||12 / 13||11|
|Hunting at evening||12||71||** / *||*** / *||32 / 34||10 / 9|
|Hunting at evening||20||71||** / *||*** / *||28||10 / 9|
|Hunting at evening||28||71||** / *||*** / *||21 / 24||9 / 10|
|Hunting at evening||.410||71||** / *||*** / *||18||9 / 10|
For instance, choose the 12-gauge for general hunting if the shooting distance does not exceed the firing range. Otherwise you can opt for a 20-gauge for medium shooting distance and not particularly difficult conditions. Besides that, choose Bior wad shotshells when practicing hunting at down, so as to attain a more uniform and thicker cone of fire, thus making medium/long distance shooting easier.
We are aware it is not a simple hunting technique. It will be your passion, your self-will, the ability to change technique and tools to boost you so as to achieve the best performance. Should ebverything go wrong on a certain day, don't give up: you will recover the missed shots during the next hunting session.
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.