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Legality of catching/shooting wood pigeon

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Daveyboy, 15 Oct 2009.

  1. Daveyboy

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 6 Nov 2005

    Posts: 1,193

    Location: Somewheresville

    Recently on TV i've seen a lot of wood pigeon being cooked, and have eaten it myself in the past, however i've also got a flock of them in my garden looking plump and juicy, and being the hunter gatherer type wondered where i stood legally in regard to catching, trapping, shooting or using the cat to catch some of these juicy critters in my own garden?

    Found info online about sport hunting and on farmers' land, but don't want pc plod knocking on the door if i go out and buy an air rifle and start shooting wildly from the windows.

    I'm also considering squirrel (grey obviously) as i'm aware they are pests but can i hunt or catch these in the garden? had red squirrel in america that was caught with blow pipes whilst my mates were out hunting deer and wouldn't mind re-creating their squirrel pie and jerky
     
  2. zooankski

    Hitman

    Joined: 6 Dec 2007

    Posts: 705

    Location: cambridge

    I don't think you want to be doing that if i were you mate. Pigeons need to be causing a specific nuisance and you would be liable to a large fine.
     
    Last edited: 15 Oct 2009
  3. Makhaira

    Mobster

    Joined: 23 Nov 2007

    Posts: 4,854

    Location: Lancashire, UK

    Ok, I'll try and give a brief 101 on this.

    Past the usual safety items, you can control them as they are a pest, but you CANNOT bait them in to your garden to shoot them.

    If you are trapping, you should use an approved trap - Larsson springs to mind.

    Inform your neighbours what you are doing, and if you are likely to be spotted by anyone else, inform your local police station in advance so they don't panic when someone rings up about a guy waving a gun in a back garden.

    If you want your neighbours to continue talking to you, I suggest you get a silencer, especially for the initial sighting in of the rifle.

    Squirrel is a good meat, and again, the same principle applies as the pigeons, they're a DEFRA pest, but you can't deliberately bait them into your garden to kill them.

    I would recommend researching your prey - squirrels and wood pigeons in particular are tough buggers, and it is every hunter's duty to give their prey the respect of a clean despatch.
     
  4. Feek

    Commissario

    Joined: 16 Oct 2002

    Posts: 230,298

    Location: In the radio shack

    Bottom line is that it's very sticky ground if you start shooting them in your garden. They're posing no threat there so you officially can't do it. Yes, they're vermin but you can't destroy vermin unless they're causing problems, being a pest, etc.

    If they are being a pest, eating home grown crops, that sort of thing then yes, you can hunt them in your garden. If you're using an air weapon be advised that you're not allowed to use an air pistol, it has to be a rifle and that the area where you're shooting must be further than 50ft from a road. Also, if a single pellet strays outside your property then it's technically trespass.

    Realistically, don't be doing it.
     
  5. zooankski

    Hitman

    Joined: 6 Dec 2007

    Posts: 705

    Location: cambridge



    correct there mate.DEFRA has successfully prosecuted persons for this very activity.Google-shooting pigeons in back garden and you you will find a wealth of info
     
    Last edited: 15 Oct 2009
  6. Daveyboy

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 6 Nov 2005

    Posts: 1,193

    Location: Somewheresville

    So if I plant some leeks and onions and find the critters eating them, I can shoot them?

    Also, to the guy above, I was thinking of an air rifle so a silencer wouldn't be needed. Not that i'd know where to buy a proper rifle in London anyway?
     
  7. greywolf

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 2 Dec 2005

    Posts: 1,615

    I have an Air arms TX200 HC (air rifle) and the silencer makes a massive difference to the noise levels.
     
  8. Sinque

    Soldato

    Joined: 5 Aug 2004

    Posts: 7,385

    Location: North East England

    Just shoot them and dispose of them responsibly.
     
  9. mattyfez

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 12 Apr 2007

    Posts: 9,693

     
  10. greywolf

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 2 Dec 2005

    Posts: 1,615

    If you do use an air rifle get a .22 not a .177 as the .177 will pass straight through the bird most likely, where as the .22 causes more damage , ie humanely kill it in one shot.
     
  11. DJMK4

    Capodecina

    Joined: 1 Dec 2004

    Posts: 21,936

    Location: S.Wales cardiff

    Yes its legal to shoot, they are an agricultural pest. Iv owned shotguns and used to go pigeon decoying quite regulaly on drilled wheat, oilseed rape and barley fields.

    You go on any shooting forum website and see the pics and you will see how much of a pest they are (although a pest that lives in the woods and tastes very nice :), rated up there with pheasent etc). On a good day you can expect to shoot anywhere from 200+ pigeons if you do decoy them in right.
     
  12. DJMK4

    Capodecina

    Joined: 1 Dec 2004

    Posts: 21,936

    Location: S.Wales cardiff


    Dont be daft!! wood pigeon is a very good meat, aslong as its not half feral and hangs around cities or in the centre of towns, most pigeons come from the woodlands.

    Please do not mistake woodpigeon to your feral pigeon which you will see in trafalgar square.

    As for shooting in your back garden, well, safetycomes first, but if that pellet leaves your fence then its illegal.

    I suggest you visit

    http://forums.pigeonwatch.co.uk

    for more info - excellent shooting forums dedicated to any type of hunting allowed in the UK, even fishing.
     
  13. Russinating

    Capodecina

    Joined: 27 Dec 2005

    Posts: 16,284

    Location: Bristol

    You're right, a .177 passing straight through a birds brain will most likely do no damage and just cause it to fly off :rolleyes:.

    In my experience .177 is better than .22 for pigeons, mainly due to the fact that if you miss the head and hit anywhere else you're going to need some serious penetration to do any damage (either you'll hit the wings which'll dampen anything or you'll just shoot their stomach straight up, which is effectively a no-kill). With a .177 you have a chance that the pellet'll make it through the stomach or wings, with a .22 the chance of this is less so. And if you have any conscience you really don't want to lodge a led pellet in a birds stomach, have it fly off and die days/weeks later of poisoning.

    I use .177 for everything anyway - if it's a head shot it's dead no matter what you use.
     
  14. DJMK4

    Capodecina

    Joined: 1 Dec 2004

    Posts: 21,936

    Location: S.Wales cardiff

    Cant comment on this but when I had my rimfire under a firearms cert I chose .17hmr over thr .22lr, and what a choice it was, those bunnies wouldnt stand a chance out at 120yards, even had a fox at 110yards. The 22.lr was a good round but i found it alot slower though the air.

    Air rifles i would say go .22 however, due to 12ft/lbs power you have, saying that he is using it in his back garden so maybe .177 is the way to go
     
  15. Feek

    Commissario

    Joined: 16 Oct 2002

    Posts: 230,298

    Location: In the radio shack

    Yes, read what I posted. In an agricultural situation it's fine but NOT in your back garden just because you don't like them there or because you want the meat.

    Daveyboy, please read up on this. Find out what you can and can't do and please don't do anything that might get you in trouble. Don't believe everything you've read here, do your own research. It is an absolute minefield and I'd hate for you to get in trouble.
     
  16. Snaggle

    Mobster

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 3,314

    Location: Northants

    Also unless yer shooting into a backstop inside yer boundarys yer in for a whole world of hurt . Just contact a member of pigeon watch local to you and get some pigeons from him .. Tbh its not worth the greif .

    Persil
     
  17. Russinating

    Capodecina

    Joined: 27 Dec 2005

    Posts: 16,284

    Location: Bristol

    .177 will still be 12ft/lbs. Like you say, it's able to travel further distances before dipping considerably and generally has more penetration rather than instant impact damage. I've got some considerably good headshots from 60-70 yards with mine in the past.

    From experience .22 has only been slightly advantageous when hunting pheasants - they have nowhere to go usually (we hunt in open fields) and the impact damage causes enough of a shock to prevent flight long enough to do more interior damage. All this is based on not getting a headshot obviously.
     
  18. namnoc

    Hitman

    Joined: 21 Dec 2005

    Posts: 575

    Location: Felixstowe

    Under the terms of the General License that allows the shooting of wood pigeon and other birds, they can be shot to stop them damaging crops and it does not state they have to be your crops. You also do not have to shoot them while they are actually damaging the crops, so you are perfectly entitled to shoot them in your back garden to protect other peoples crops! Just make sure you say that is what you are doing it for if anyone asks. Alternatively they can be shot on health grounds and if they are pooing near your BBQ / garden furniture you may well feel the need to cull them to reduce the chance of them passing a disease on to you or your family.
     
  19. Feek

    Commissario

    Joined: 16 Oct 2002

    Posts: 230,298

    Location: In the radio shack

    The terms are:

    • to protect crops
    • to protect game and wildlife
    • to protect public health or safety

    Realistically you don't have much chance of claiming any of these in a back garden.

    Ask the guy who was recently fined £2000 for shooting a pigeon in his garden as reported on AirgunBBS. I'm trying to find the details.
     
  20. raptormonkey

    PermaBanned

    Joined: 14 Jun 2009

    Posts: 1,115

    I have shot a couple in my garden. Hard buggers to kill though. They have tough breasts. Also shot a couple of rats too. Had a seagull once too. As far as i am concerned there are too many gulls, pigeons, rats around.

    I know they are attracted by the waste products we throw out but just look at our cities and all the pigeon and gull poo!!