RAU Cirencester lads go pigeon shooting

The RAU Cirencester shooting team is probably the best shooting team in the country. But what are they like on the real thing? A lecturer has a pigeon problem in Gloucestershire, and they step in to help. Olivia Rose films the results.

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This item appears on YouTube in Fieldsports Britain, episode 482 Fcha.nl/fieldsportsbritain482

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Why shoot pigeons?
The woodpigeon is recognised as the UK’s number one agricultural pest and causes millions of pounds of damage (AHDB consultation 10-40% loss in yield. Equivalent loss of £125/ha for Oil Seed Rape, £250/ha for peas, £350-£1250/ha for brassicas) to agricultural crops every year including cereals, brassicas, oilseed rape, peas and salad crops. Pigeon damage reduces the yield, quality, appearance and ultimately the saleability of the crop. Pigeons can also cause damage in gardens and allotments – pecking at the leaves and ripping off portions, often leaving just the stalks and larger leaf veins. They may also attack and strip buds, leaves and fruits off trees and bushes.
The UK woodpigeon population was last estimated at 5.4 million pairs in 2009. Densities of wood pigeon are the highest in Eastern England, coinciding with the highest concentration of horticultural production.
Wild pigeon (game) is natural and free range, and it is one of the healthiest meats available today. It’s low in cholesterol and high in protein… and, quite simply, delicious.