I consider pigeons flying rats. But, as any student of the environment knows, even the nastiest animal serves some purpose in the ecosystem. Flies, for example, are mother’s nature’s garbage disposers; their maggots feed on and thus recycle waste. Spiders eat flies and mosquitos. And so on.

desantis blue logo no back 4 smallMan does his/her things too, of course, managing animal populations by hunting, farming, developing land, altering the pathways of rivers, calling Orkin, etc. All of which bothers not a bit, when done responsibly.

I’m OK with sport hunting too; it channels big bucks to local communities and helps pay for environmental protection. But I see little use for live pigeon shooting (i.e. trapped birds released for targets). There are more effective ways to kill/control the birds. And, more than that, it strikes me as lazy and, well, gross. Another kind of canned hunt.

What’s your take on this “sport”?

Recommended For You

82 Responses to DeSantis Gunhide Question of the Day: Live Pigeon Shooting. Yea or Nay?

  1. If you like histoplasmosis, cryptococcal meningitis and psittacosis, you gotta love pigeons.

    Live pigeon shooting should be encouraged — in The Bronx, which spends most of the year buried in pigeon sh!t.

    Which is odd, since most of New York City is buried in bullsh!t.

    • A long time fantasy of mine was to go Union Square in San Francisco at dawn where the pigeons roost in a large flock during the night, and striding into the middle of the flock with a shot gun and engaging in a mass slaughter as they fly up. Once a week might make a dent in the population.

      • I have had that dream! Mine was the massive flocks of starlings that plague wine country in the fall. there was no way you could miss. hell, even a solid projectile would drop 2-3.

    • I think the question here is about shooting caged pigeons, not the wild ones. I think it’s great to shoot wild pest animals, but caging them up so some lazy hick or rich douche can shoot them takes all the sport out of it. Stick to clays if you want a bird hunt without the hunt. This reminds me a lot of the story of Theodore Roosevelt and his bear…

  2. I’m not a fan of canned hunts.

    I have to say though when I first read this headline I was like “Well, what are we shooting them out of? A pigeon cannon!?”.

    • These are not “canned hunts.” No one is pretending to hunt. These are “shoots” where the target happens to be a live animal. Much more challenging than a clay pigeon.

      You may like it or not, but it isn’t a “canned hunt.”

      A minor point, but significant.

  3. I believe pigeons were the cause of the avian flew outbreak a year ago. They would roost then crap in the chicken barns. It resulted in the killing of millions of chickens and turkeys. It may not be very sporting to kill them like this and I personally wouldn’t be interested in doing this. But the commentator like most of the anti-hunting idiots really don’t know that much about nature or where their food really comes from.

  4. As a “sport”, it’s weird.

    But let me shoot the damned things off the wires and trees and posts and railings around town!

      • No kidding! They’ve become the commonest bird by far in small towns in central and western Nebraska. Mourning doves are nearly extinct in these towns. I’ve seen the collared doves chase them from bird feeders and waterers. Don’t get me started on all the weird noises they make. I’d love to be able to sit in the front yard and plink them with a BB gun.

        • I live an an apartment, in a suburb of Denver, backed up to 1,200 acres of open space. I gotta tell ya – a few nests of Red Winged Hawks can absolutely DESTROY a pigeon population. We are overrun every spring, and within 2 months, they’re all dinner.

      • Here in CA the collared dove is considered an invasive species that is open to shooting year round with no bag limits. But they really frown on shooting, even with bb guns, in cities here. Really frown on it.

        In my town it’s crows and seagulls that are the major pains in the asses.

        • What’s the difference between a Eurasian collared dove and a mourning dove? I’ve got a few “cooing” pairs that hang out at the house.

        • They have what looks like a collar around their necks. And as a rule they look bigger than the mourning doves I see around here.

        • Mark N,
          What jwm wrote, and the tail the Eurasian dove is square where as a mourning doves is a pin tail.
          Here’s some links to compare the birds, Eurasian dove-https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Eurasian_Collared-Dove/id
          Mourning dove-https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Mourning_Dove/id

        • Hm, I thought the difference was that the Eurasian doves had two pinion feathers while the Cooing doves had three. Therefore, it was just a matter of…

          a pinion.

  5. The organization in the video (SHARK) is actually one guy (Steve Hindi). A few years ago he came down to South Carolina to disrupt a “pigeon shoot” somewhere near/in Erhardt or Ulmer and for his trouble got his drone shot down.

    The irony is that the event had no live birds. It was a SHOOTING CLAYS event.

    • I’ve been to the Ehrhardt SC sporting clays range. No live pigeon shoots that day but dead pigeons were everywhere. Didn’t really care.

      My highrise balcony became a roost for pigeons laying their eggs. I recalled what they do in Germany; don’t steal the eggs because pigeons will just lay more, cost of doing business. I boiled the eggs then put them back in the nests. The pigeon divorce rate must have skyrocketed after that.

      Had banded pigeons get trapped inside our maintenance shop. Gently caught them then let them go free. They belonged to someone.

  6. The headline caught me as odd. My first thought was why would anyone waste ammo on a dead pigeon, which lead me to wonder why anyone would purchase a dead parrot? Beautiful plumage, the Norwegian Blue!

  7. We raise doves and rehab the occasional hurt wild dove/pigeon. Couldn’t hurt one if I wanted to. Shot hundreds as a teen growing up but after caring for injured ones as an adult… Nope, to much empathy for them now.

    • ” Couldn’t hurt one if I wanted to.”

      That’s why you must never be nice to a Progressive, if you do, you may start liking one…

  8. I lived in Chicago for about 6 years. Along with cockroaches and reallive rats pigeons are the bane of civilization. Kill ’em ALL…

  9. Actually a very challenging shotgun sport that has a long tradition. Not to put to fine a point on it, but bi-coastal metropolitan “sensibilities” appear way too frequently on this site and in its comments . Suspect a lot of readers “learned” about firearms from movies, video games and gun store commandos. You don’t want to harm animals, your choice. Just don’t eat meat, wear leather, wash your hands, take antibiotics or support “choice.” And, if it’s all about the animals, organized agriculture and land development for any purpose also need to go.

    • Thank you 2Savage,
      Couldn’t agree more. What a bunch of namby pamby, holyier than thou, man – bun wearing, dad – bod wusses this site attracts ever time they see a liberal dickhead with a hit video, that has a secret hardon for a conservative sportsman.
      That invitational shoot more than likely raised a mid 6 digit sum of money for a charity or three!

  10. Whiny, pushy liberal d-bags like this take me from neutral to fully supportive of whatever it is they are complaining about. After watching their video, shoot all the pigeons. And other animals. And whatever else upsets them to the point they get the vapors and clutch their pearls.

      • Homing pigeons certainly can be compared to feral pigeons, because they’re the same damned species! And I have killed enough of those avian rats with leg bands to know that they don’t always go home. Sometimes they make a nest in my silo and reproduce.

    • You know such is life. One minute you are a patriot doing what you feel the inherit duty of your God Given rights as an Ameican. The next you know you are waking up on the back side of a 3 day bender in some metropolitan police department’s holding cell being told, “society does not need your kind anymore.”

  11. When I was young and growing up on a farm, shooting some of the pigeons living in the hay loft was a regular pastime. I’d throw a rock onto the tin barn roof and then shoot them on the wing after they flew out the high window.

  12. Pigeon shoots raise the douchiness of canned hunts to a new level. These guys aren’t even bringing home trophies or putting meat on the table. They’re just killing to be killing. The would simply be effete and sad if it weren’t for the fact the uninformed public will lump all hunters in with these trailer monkeys.

    • Ok sprocket…you let everyone know you’re a city boy with your drivel. Wear a man- bun too?
      It’s actually a sport that’s been around for a long, long time. Certain feathers are removed to get the birds to fly very erratically. Takes a hell of a lot of skill with a smoothbore!
      Pigeons are like feral hogs here in the south …think crop damage! Year round open season. We are not talking doves here. Wipe em all out!

    • Caged hunts? Not for me.
      But wing-shooting varmints and pests to sharpen my wing-shooting for Fall waterfowl season? Count me in.

  13. “Man does his/her things too, of course,…”

    You make it sound like we are servants to the Mother Nature.

    No

    We make her our bitch, albeit a long-lasting, sustainable one at that.

    There, attitude corrected.

  14. There is a difference between shooting pests for pest control and a canned hunt- it’s the attitude of the shooter. Mechanically, the acts are the same. It’s just that a canned hunt is done by an asshole.

    • Me too. It’s a lot of fun. Two mornings and I bagged 4. Lost a couple in dense brush. If I buy a hunting dog now, next season it may be ready to do the hard part for me. Hopefully no more lost birds. I’m guessing city slickers feel about pigeons the same as I feel about opossums.

    • You should have been with me yesterday. I took seven of a fifteen limit and quit early after taking the last two with two consecutive shots. I have 14 breasts marinating in Jerk seasoning right now to cook for lunch tomorrow. I’m not a hunter, well I guess I am now. I had to put a 17″ plug made from PVC in my Mossberg 930 JM Pro.
      Some things I learned after my first shoot: don’t try to shoot every bird you see even though there are very few at the beginning. Lead the bird twice as far as you think you need to. I have a video of me trying to hit the lead bird of three and actually dropping the second bird.
      https://youtu.be/HZl2eFU2HDM

      • Where we hunted today it was incredibly windy. Birds were scarce. Of the 3 of us a total of 4 shots were fired.

        Just an off day.

        • I wouldn’t know a good day hunting since I have nothing to compare it too but the experienced guys all said this was one of the better shoots they have seen. It was mostly cloudy all day so this helped bring the birds in sooner. I heard stories of guys sitting for 5 hours and not seeing the first dove until 5pm. We started seeing individual birds within an hour of setting up and after 2pm, they started flocking in. I’m sure half the guys bagged the limit. If I knew what I was doing, I could have taken my 15. Took me a long time to get my first. It was a large slow and low flyer. I stopped counting my missed shots after ten or so. Took my first dove somewhere in the 20th shot range. Spent 80 shells to take 7 doves. From what I saw, this was not a bad average. Especially for a first timer. https://1drv.ms/i/s!ArXqX978s-5ihoVze6Etxlh_9MemHg

  15. Ignorant. If you have a problem with them then shoot them in your barn or call animal control. At least give them a chance. And if we are doing this then why can’t we take the rapist, child molesters, drug dealers, murderers and do the same thing to them that we are doing to the birds…. They affect my life more than pigeons do. And save some taxpayer dollars.

  16. No kill is sportsmanlike unless it’s food for the table or a pest in need of eradication.

    I suspect these particular caged pigeons are not pests. So unless they are being eaten, this decidedly unsportsmanlike behavior.

  17. It’s kind of like this . Say I don’t have any semi autos . I just own bolt guns . I don’t care if you ban semi autos I don’t have any. Sooner or later this they are coming for you
    So stop telling me what I should or shouldn’t do. Mind your own f#&%$@ business

    • There’s a huge difference between me saying “I don’t think you should do that” and me saying “I’m going to pass a law and put you in jail for doing that.” Can you dig it? I don’t have to support everything you do, just because I like one or two thing that you like.

      “Canned hunts are immoral” /= “Everyone must be a level 3 vegan.”

  18. The people that don’t like it are the ones that have not dealt with pigeon sh–. It’s like Deer. People who don’t hunt think they are so cute. But if you live where Deer are and try to have a garden, suddenly it’s kill the f—-ers.
    Same with me and Squirrels. Yeah sure unlike a rat, they have big eyes and a bushy tail, so they are cute. You know what a squirrels tail looks like with no hair? A rats tail! I have a walnut tree in the yard behind me and the squirrels come from all over it seems to get walnuts. They come to my yard and each squirrel digs multiple holes to find the perfect spot to dig a hole perfect for a golf ball. I have a beautiful lawn and work at it and it just ticks me off to have those damn tree-rats ruining it. I’ve gone out there and there must have been fifty holes. After that, it was DIE DIE DIE, death to you all.
    So with my .22 Marauder, I shoot every single one I can. If I see one back there, it gets shot. I’m up to twenty in 2016 which is about right. I generally get several dozen a year and I’m just fine with it.

      • I was just letting the dogs have them until about two days ago, I got into bed and discovered a stiff filthy headless squirrel in my bed. I wasn’t happy. You see, one of the dogs chewed the head off then buried the rest. One of the other dogs dug it up and brought it to bed. That was so sweet of her! I was pissed. There was dirt EVERYWHERE in my *$#$Y)#ing bed!! That was payback for sure for all those squirrels I’ve drilled.

  19. I hunt a lot. I’m OK with pigeon shooting although since I’m a terrible wing shot I don’t hunt them or Dove. If they taste anything like Doves that would be another reason for me not to hunt them.

  20. Pigeon Grade Shotguns anyone?
    At one time pigeons were released from a trap, hence trap shooting.
    Seemed like quite a hassle to capture pigeons and put them in a cage to shoot them.

  21. The ever-present conceit of animal-rights ideologues is that they think they’ve evolved into a higher moral consciousness than the rest of us. In their enlightenment they have come to realize that everything is everything else—all is interconnected in a wonderful mystery! Even lowly rats and pigeons have as much right to life as do humans. If only the uncomprehending world would at least try to understand. . .

  22. Shooting pigeons for sport does not have any measurable effect on the pigeon population and does not spare anyone from disease or discharge. Those are rationalizations from sadists who just want to kill something for the sake of killing it, but don’t want the potential blow back from, say, hunting bear.

    That said, they’re pigeons, so screw ’em, and do whatever the hell you want. But, please, let’s not dress it up as anything more than the fiendishness it is.

  23. Caged hunts? Not for me.
    But wing-shooting over-populated disease-carrying varmints and pests to sharpen my wing-shooting for Fall waterfowl season? Count me in.

  24. I’m kind of not worked up about it either way, they’re pests. Personally I’m good with all the challenging targets in sporting clays.

  25. You have the birds in a cage.
    You could dunk the cage in a water tank and they’d all be dead.

    But no, you throw them into the air, where some of them are shot dead, and some of them fly away.

    So much for pigeon population control. Hard as I try, I can’t come up with any counter arguments for my predominant thought, which is that this sort of activity is about the dumbest thing a person could do with a shotgun.

    Good grief. Get some clay targets and a thrower. Quit giving the bunny huggers more reasons to call us all heartless killers.

  26. I used to go out with a friend of mine when we were bored in the summer and shoot pigeons. Go to any bridge on any gravel road and kick a few rocks off the edge and out they’d fly. Used to keep score, the white ones counted double. I used to take them home and fry them up. Just like pheasant they always had a craw full of corn. Tasted a lot like venison only a little salty. Not bad though. Probably wouldn’t eat a city pigeon that’s been eating garbage.

  27. This is something a mentally ill person would do. And the only reason you defend it is because a gun is involved. Fn a hole losers.

    • Are you pretending you give a shit about pigeons? If a falcon kills a pigeon, is it a mentally ill a-hole loser falcon? You’re adorable.

  28. I guess it depends upon your POV ! I grew up on a farm and pigeons were nuisance afflicting both cattle and poultry so eliminating them from lofts and granaries was SOP. And pigeons are a well-documented source of both disease and cause of degradation of building exteriors and monuments in urban areas. Personally, I don’t have any problem with the trapping of pigeon pests infesting urban areas for use as live targets in “Pigeon Shoots” anymore than I would have if rats were the targets of choice . The “upside” of these shoots is ( or used to be) was a significant part of the proceeds of the Shoot” went to charity. Another – less publicized aspect – was betting among and between the competitors and spectators at these events. And, depending upon the nature of the organizers, a percentage of the betting also went to the charity fund. FWIW, some serious money often changed hands at these shoots depending upon where a bird fell of bounced. And, often forgotten, were the ( usually Latino ) “throwers” that were active participants in the contests. I suspect the advent of “release triggers” – and the resultant deaths of the “throwers” ( since it was accepted practice for shooter to hold on their heads) – resulted in the “box release” shoots common today.

  29. Pigeon doesn’t suffer much when hit with a shotgun blast.

    Shark is the same a**hat group who sent a drone over a pigeon shoot a few years ago. The drone was promptly shot down by one of the shotgunners.

  30. Rats and rats with feathers, aka the pigeon, are perfectly acceptable clay pigeon substitutes in my book. And so are drones.

  31. Shooting pigeon for hunting, or even pest control, etc…. no problem!
    The guy on the video really sounds like an idiot anti-gunners… yeah no doubt!

    Shooting pigeons from cages, as a “sport”, for the only purpose of pleasure of killing just to kill…. big no for me!

  32. Back when I was young (before rocks were born), every season I was a runner for a local club that did live pigeon trap shooting. Basically, I was the one who grab the birds out of the enclosures (call it 10′ x 20′ framed wire mesh enclosures) and ran them up to the galleries. Three of us would alternate gathering, loading, and clean-up.

    Clean up: Get the carcass and dispose of it. If still alive, break neck, then dispose of it.

    Maybe those seasons desensitized me to the whole thing. Watching the clay shooters vs the live shooters even as a boy it was easy to tell how much more difficult it was shooting the live birds.

    Even seeing the crappy condition that the birds were housed in, and breaking more pigeon necks that I can count, I really have no issues with live pigeon shoots. Other than being a runner as a boy, I never participated in one as an adult, but I still don’t have an issue.

    And the traps that they are loaded into and ejected from were very interesting. If you’ve never seen how they work, look it up. This is definitely not a ‘canned’ hunt.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *