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Old April 23, 2007, 07:01 PM   #22
AK103K
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 1, 2001
Location: PA -- In the shadow of the Shade
Posts: 7,882
My first real paying job as a kid was loading pigeons in the traps and bringing back the dead and/or dying birds. (they all died if they didnt fly off clean) We used both the plain manual "box" traps that opened with a rope, and the "electronic" traps, that flipped the birds up and out and gave them a little shock to get them going. A lot of time with the box traps, the bird would just sit there when the sides dropped, and many a bird died on its feet.

The traps were centered in a 35 yards low chicken wire semi circle that the bird had to fall in to be a "kill". If it was down but still moving around, we (the trap boys) could go get it, "for a kill", and the shooters would often wave a $10 bill in our faces to get the bird. If we got it, it counted as a kill, if it go out of the ring, which sometimes they did, it was a lost bird. We didnt get the $10 if they did needless to say, and you usually were'nt asked again, so you did your best to get them. That in itself was usually a show. That $10 was more than I made all day at the time, and some days I'd clear $100+. They would bet BIG money on this, so every bird was important. To all of us.

I had a great time doing it and learned to hate pigeons. They came 40 to a crate and we would go through two flat bed trailers worth, stacked about 6-8 high in a weekend. We dug trenches with a loader and buried them out in the fields afterwords.

My barber, an Italian immigrant, went nuts when he heard about the burying part, and came to the next shoot and filled his cars trunk and backseat with dead birds. He called them "squab", everyone said..."OK then!"

He had me over for a big dinner of them later that week, and they were actually very good! I still prefer doves though.
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