View Full Version : Live pigeon shoots??

April 5, 2007, 06:43 PM
I have read about shoots that used live pigeons instead of clay pigeons.

There was a name for this "sport." It was portrayed in John Ross's book UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES.

Do these "events" really exist today?

Jim Watson
April 5, 2007, 07:07 PM
Live pigeon shooting competition is still held in Spain and probably in Italy.
The last holdout in the USA was somewhere in the Midwest. If they are still active, they are being very quiet about it so as to not upset the do-gooders.

The latest article I could Google was in 1992.
Live pigeon shooting has since been outlawed there.

April 6, 2007, 10:05 AM
Meh, with all going on in the world I cant get worked up over flying rats being shot. I dont do it myself, but I cannot see how they are terribly inhumane.

These were held regularly in some of the more rural areas of Pennsylvania. There is a ban now against them, but people are looking to get that overturned.

April 6, 2007, 11:27 AM
Around 15 years ago my dad and I were invited to a pheasant/chucker 'hunt' at a game farm in Nebraska. Before the hunt we were lined up on a deck outside the lodge for 'target practice'. They had a rock thrower with a piece of 3" plastic pipe attached to the throwing arm. They loaded live pigeons into the tube and let'er rip. It would chuck those birds out there and while they were catching themselves we were to blast them. :D

It felt sort of wrong at the time...but when in Rome...:o

April 6, 2007, 11:44 AM
I believe that even used to be an Olympic event. It is sport. Sport has to do with either horses or killing animals or both. Football and basketball are games.

April 6, 2007, 05:03 PM
Where is the "sport" in harming something that has no chance of returning the favor? :rolleyes:

April 6, 2007, 06:41 PM
EJJR Where is the "sport" in harming something that has no chance of returning the favor?

You can extrapolate to say using a rifle or shotgun against most anything that is unarmed lacks "sport". You need to join a knitting forum.

Yes, there are still Live Pigeon Shoots in the US. Private, invitation only. I don't do it as it is, 1) invitation only and I am not on the list, and 2) expensive.

But, this AM a friend and I purchased 10 bobwhite quail. Took then out with dog and guns and killed them. Going to eat them. Where's the "sport" in that! Guess we should have put little air-ground missles on their legs.:p Where I did my undergrad work, not too long ago, the campus would close for a weekend in April and student/faculty "thinned" the pigeons. I used a Model 870 in 20G!:D

fairview mick
April 6, 2007, 06:50 PM
Pa. has them. North eastern Ky. has them. Most private shooting clubs have that type of shoot. A huge amout of money is won and lost in this sport. If you are active in trap shooting clubs, you will find out very easily where the live bird shoots are. The one in KY. is legal and is advertised in some shooting magazines. I was asked quite a few times to participate, but I just didn't care to.

April 7, 2007, 10:23 AM
They are still held, in places you would never imagine. They are gambling events and sizeable amounts of cash are won and lost at them.

Some of the greatest shotgunners made their living at live pigeon shoots. Several well known shotgunners today are regulars at shoots.

The sport is considered the most difficult shooting game bar none. The birds are suprisingly hard to hit, even for master shooters.

There are two distinct versions, one uses box pigeons released from a launcher, the other, often referred to as columbare, uses pigeons tossed into the air by a "Columbare" or thrower who is especially skilled in making good shooters miss.

Obtain a copy of Bob Brister's "Shotgunning, the Art and the Science" which devotes a chapter to pigeon shooting.

At the turn of the 20th century pigeons were raised especially for shooting, "Blue Rock" pigeons were one brand. Today trapped pigeons are used, they are vermin from Cities trapped and sold.

Shooting pigeons is not regulated, they are classed as vermin and have no season or limits, although a hunting license is required. (Except on Private Licensed Preserves).

Fascinating subject, live Pigeon Shooting.

April 7, 2007, 01:37 PM

Excellent Post sir!

That "circle" sure is close though ...;)

April 19, 2007, 11:46 AM
Our old gunshop back home had some pigeons in a pen they would use if someone was seriously considering a high-dollar O/U. If you were buying under 3K, they might let you shoot a clay pigeon. Hey, I wonder where that name came from? [/sarcasm]

On a related note, we have a serious problem with pigeons nesting in the buildings around our town square. They used to close the streets and invite people to man the roof-tops and they would have a pigeon shoot (much like a modern dove shoot, only in town :D )

Can you imagine the reaction from PETA if we did that today?

April 19, 2007, 12:19 PM
PETA would throw a fit... I would laugh :D

PETA has some good points though, the way they kill those animals is very inhumane, and sickening, much farther from shooting them in the head or something that we think of when we say "slaughter the pig" go to the PETA website and watch the videos, you'll see what I mean.

however, they go about protesting it in ENTIRELY the wrong way. except for the naked girls on streetcorners holding signs, that doesnt bother me a bit ;)

On a gun note, I shoot pigeons all the time when they get around our house, they crap to much. :D

April 19, 2007, 12:31 PM
My friends and I went on a Dove hunt (Beeville, TX) last September, and came across one of these Pigeon shoots. It was a good size crowed on some property next to the place we were leasing for the weekend. There was a tree line beteen us, so we just thought, they were getting good flights over them. That's until we got closer to the tree & fence line and saw what was going on. They even had their families (women&kids) cheering them on. A friend of ours told us that there probably was a lot of high stakes gambling going on as well. He travels a lot and for some reason thought it was more common futher north.

April 19, 2007, 04:56 PM
When my father was best friends with the San Antonio division of the Texas Gun Club's manager back in the mid to late 80's, I recall there being a private skeet club a mile or two away that held live pigeon shoots. Funny, since until I saw this thread, I had forgotten all about that. I also recall hearing my father's friend George telling me tales of how the pigeon's wings were plucked to make them fly left or right. I don't know if that was true, since he was a fan of tall tales.

April 19, 2007, 06:06 PM
Live pigeon shooting is practiced here in Spain. Am an avid claypigeon shooter and some of the members at my club do it elsewhere. It is a minority sport among shooters here. Would not criticise another man's sport, and have not seen it myself, but can't say the idea appeals to me.

April 20, 2007, 07:16 AM
I see little difference between live pigeon shooting and "Game Preserves" where birds are pen raised and then released a couple of hours before rich folks go out and "Hunt" them. Or fenced preserves where animals are raised to be hunted.

I have poisoned and trapped pigeons in my business, they are vermin and a health hazard. Shooting them in a sporting event at least gives them a chance to escape.

The plucking of feathers is done by the "Columbare" thrower to make the birds fly erratically and the shooter will have a difficult time hitting them. It actually gives the bird a greater chance of living.

Thye birds are verry difficult to hit, they are not released in such a way that they are dead meat. The game is made purposely difficult.

There is an artificial target game designed to mimic live pigeon shooting. In the US it is often called ZZ bird or something similar. In Europe it is referred to as "Electrocibles" (???). If you think you are a good shotgunner go find one of these setups and prepare to be humiliated. It will give you the flavor of live pigeon shooting but it is still not as difficult as live birds.

April 20, 2007, 07:10 PM
I would go for shooting those stinkin starlings and blackbirds that poop all over everything and make a mess. And they would silhouette better against a bright sky. I find doves and pigeons far less offensive or noisy but in the cities they are pretty dense and need thinning!

April 21, 2007, 01:06 PM
I see little difference between live pigeon shooting and "Game Preserves" where birds are pen raised and then released a couple of hours before rich folks go out and "Hunt" them

I see what you mean, but there is indeed one huge difference - the hunted birds are eaten.

Still, I'm not necessarily against live pigeon shoots. I'm kind of ambivalent - I'll have to think on that one....

April 21, 2007, 03:48 PM
When training dogs I have used pen raised quail "planted" in field. They rarely flew until kicked hard. A few escaped. Those shot were eaten. I see little difference between this and a live pigeon shoot. I don't know if I'd eat pigeons. I understand they are closely related to dove. I might give it a try.

JB in SC
April 21, 2007, 06:36 PM
Still plenty of flyer shoots, bring the big checkbook.....

April 23, 2007, 11:14 AM
Wish there were open season on Canadian Geese. I hate those things. I understand they dont even taste good. They leave big droppings all over the place.

April 23, 2007, 07:01 PM
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. :)

April 24, 2007, 02:10 AM
I love eating Doves. Do Pigeons even come close?.
Future dinner menu's wanna know.

April 24, 2007, 04:11 AM

Its been quite awhile now since I ate pigeon, but I'd say it was similar to dove. As with anything, preparation has a lot to do with it. His wife was a good cook.