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Catch that pigeon

What do you think about pigeons? Personally I dislike them because they are fat, heavy and cocky. They land on the branches of my trees, breaking them, devastate my bushes by flattening them and knock over any young plants I have. Never mind the little presents they deposit all over the place. On the plus side though they taste very nice.

Now I live very close to some woods where the pigeons go at night to roost. They come around here during the day and when you look every few houses there is a pair of pigeons just sitting there pottering about without a care in the world. They swoop down on the food put out for the birds, usually not them, and eat their fill, scattering the rest to the four winds and making a mess. How some of them manage to takeoff is beyond modern physics.

What I was thinking about though was utilising them as a food source. Unlike, the pigeons in major cities, these ones are pretty healthy and disease free.

In a self sufficiency situation it is pretty easy. Pop the air rifle out and when they land in your garden you shoot them. Cut out the breasts and you have yourself a nice bit of meat to supplement what you have now. Keep a low profile though, I have an area in my garden that is an ideal killing zone and nobody overlooks it so the poor darlings won’t get upset. The reason I say land in your garden is because if you shoot them when they are not in your garden you can be prosecuted under our mickey mouse firearms laws. Make sure that your pellet does not leave your land at any time. My killing zone has a shed as a backstop and I shoot down towards the earth. We all, including the kids, use this zone for target practise. When I was a kid we used to shoot them off the neighbours roof. Don’t even think about doing that nowadays.

In a survival situation though, you would still do the same thing, albeit very quietly so as not to draw attention to yourself and again supplement your food. Plus as they do not roost in your house nobody is going to come round to break in and get at them. They will just be flying around and anyone can have a go at getting them. I bet that at that point people will be looking for that old air rifle and some pellets in the garage or loft. Keeping a low profile here is important as well. You don’t want people coming around looking for food.

Now I used to know someone that kept racing pigeons a long, long time ago. He stored them in his loft where they could come in from the outside and were trapped. These birds though were not a big as the wild ones we have here and he kept them well fed on the best grain. He used to send them all over the country and they raced others home. Any really slow ones ended up in the pot. I’m not suggesting we do this although it may be possible in some locations to allow them to nest on your roof in a nesting area. Let them leave and feed themselves and just pop up at night when you want one and pluck one off the roost.

So, what do you need to do now? Well depending on what you have in your area I would suggest you encourage them with food. They will remember that for a long time, returning on a regular basis to feed. I do quite well here because two of my neighbours actually have large bird tables and feed the birds daily throughout the year. I don’t need to do anything. Now, as suggested, if you live out of town, you could also consider making a nesting box or pigeon coop on the roof of your house. Clearly if you have a farm then you don’t need to do any of these. Planting grains etc. will bring enough pigeons after an easy meal that pigeon will be a staple for a few months of the year.

If you haven’t got one already, get an air rifle and a few boxes of pellets. Next post will be on choosing an air rifle.

14 comments to Catch that pigeon

  • flashbaztard

    although i see your view point [some of my wild pigeons are bigger than my chickens] i am against this action.
    i have been feeding wild birds for the past 5 years and at present get through 30kg of bird seed a week, i have a LOT of pigeons come to feed at my table and the same amount of wood pigeons and wild doves [plus hundreds of smaller birds].i cant see the difference between a goldfinch and a pigeon, they are both beautiful birds its just that one is a bit bigger.[have you seen the mating dance,walking and bobbin? the new ‘chicks’ coming to feed..ect]
    the only destructers of the planet are humans [maybe shooting a few of these would be a good idea,start with governments]
    why do we need to eat meat? have you tried a veggie diet? even jim rawles [ if you see todays blog ]is thinking of becoming a veggie. we are related to monkeys [some closer than others]and they live meat free! its your burger cows that are destroying the ozone,on land that should be growing crops!
    i have always been an atheist but whether its since i have been a prepper, or since reading j rawles blogs, im edging towards the bible [wont be going to churchs or joing the jehovers] but its not a bad guide book for life. on page one[far as i got] whilst god made man he said ‘i give you all the seeds of the earth and all that is green to eat’ [diffrent in each bible i have seen]
    he did not say ‘get some eggs, and when the chicks hatch ,force feed them chemicals so that they grow fast and bloat,and keep them cramped in a big shed for 30 days and then you can kill and eat them,so that they may be cheap’
    [although i have not read the entire bible so if it does say then please inform me!]
    to see details of mans abuse look into ‘hillside sanctuary’
    when the shtf it would be nice if only the good ‘meek’ inherit the earth. not a load of bloodhungry preppers,that will bring the same problems that will cause the shtf in the first place . [was there not a commandment ‘thou shall not kill’]
    o.k. religion is crap but to treat all living things with mutual respect is surely the way to go.

    peace be with you my son. [lol]

  • moosedog

    Hi; I think you’ll find it’s the author of the (unnamed) letter that is thinking of becoming a vegetarian, not J. Rawles. The Rawles family are from Mendocino County, California, the letter writer’s family are from the Pecono Mountains, Pennsylvania. Furthermore the letter writer lives in Virginia, whereas Rawles lives “somewhere west of the Rockies” which can’t be Virginia, which is an eastern state.

    As to the Bible, I’m not much of an authority but I do remember that Jesus fed a large number of people on some loaves of bread and a couple of fish, so obviously wasn’t a vegan as they don’t eat fish. A vegetarian? No idea but fish don’t fit into the seeds and green stuff you mention so probably not one of those either.

    Would I personally shoot & eat a pigeon? Not out of choice but I definitely would if the alternative was starvation. The trouble is that everyone else would be after them as well and if you live in suburbia like me there aren’t going to be enough to go round for long. I like your idea of shooting the government though… cameron-burger & chips… nice!

  • Skean Dhude


    I love nature myself and agree that all birds are beautiful. I don’t kill anything just for killings sake which many do and I kill for two reasons, I eat what I kill or the creature is destroying or damaging something that I don’t want destroyed. For example squirrels are vermin but I can’t bring myself to shoot one because they take the nuts from the bird tables, eat them, nose about a bit and head off home. They don’t damage or destroy anything because they have easy pickings. Same with magpies around here. Pigeons destroy my crops so they die and as a bonus I eat them.

    I agree humans are what destroy most things and you may get your wish soon enough, enough people are starting to sit up and pay attention but after 50 years of being nannied it is slow.

    I’m agnostic myself, I find it difficult to believe in a god that can do all these things and yet allows children to die in agony with some disease or through the actions of another. I also find it difficult to take quotes from a book written by someone who didn’t even meet his god, who wrote the book decades after the events from memory and whose work has been edited over two thousand years by a very strict organisation to remove any traces of dissent. What about the fatted calf? Why does a chicken taste so good and have no defensive capabilities? Oh, and it is accepted that the commandment is ‘Thou shalt not murder’ Killing in self defence or the defence of others is accepted even in the bible.

    I have a lot of respect for JWR, what he does he does for his own reasons and they will no doubt be valid for him. He seems happy with his life choices and has strong morals. He will always follow his beliefs and will not be shy about sharing those thoughts for us to make up our own minds. However much I respect him I won’t be making that choice myself, First of all I don’t eat that much meat anyway, I already eat more veg and fruit than most. I eat cow rarely and although it makes a nice change I could easily do without if it became too expensive, lamb and pork infrequently just for a change, chicken, turkey, fish, rabbit, pigeon more often and I class those as my staples and the occasional pheasant or other table bird if it is given to me. If I had the space I would keep chickens, rabbits and fish for my consumption with pigeons being on the table whenever they were stupid enough to attack my crops. However, others have other views and so I will be putting up posts on keeping guinea pigs, hamsters and bugs for food. Pick and choose what you need.

    The meek never inherit anything, they even share their 6ft of earth with other like them in mass graves. Everything in history is done by those that do, not those that wait until someone gives it to them. That is why the world is going down the pan now. Most preppers btw are not bloodthirsty murderers who believe in force feeding chickens either. We treat our livestock with respect. It is people that don’t want to pay another 50p in a supermarket for a chicken raised in a humane manner that creates a market for treating chickens this way. Look at the supermarket shelves for organic foods and see the price differences. We show our opinions with our wallets and you can see the way that goes every day in supermarkets all over the country. The average shopper shakes their head at how they are treated but doesn’t really want to know and they ignore their conscience when they buy the cheapest chicken they can.

    I do believe in treating people, animals and things with respect but I’m very much in the minority on this planet. However, most preppers I have met have that attitude as well. My personal stance is I trust people by default but screw me once and you will never be spoken to never mind trusted again. I appear to have only one cheek.

    Thank you for your comment father. Peace be with you also in these violent times.

  • Skean Dhude


    You got in while I was commenting to Flash.

    I’ve just checked JWRs SurvivalBlog and it was a post by a third party.

    I think pigeons will give up in inner cities because without people putting scraps out they won’t get enough to eat and will be wiped out because they will be caught while they roost. Where I live they will last longer as they can hide in the woods and will need to be tracked home to their roost or shot and many, many people have thrown out their air rifles because our society thinks they are bad. So will have limited ammo, lousy skills and crafty birds who are being hunted.

  • flashbaztard

    I accept all the comments to my reply, its just my view.
    the bible thing wasnt much of a argument anyway,[ with all the pervert priests around i wouldnt trust any of them]
    i couldnt find rawles comments, but it was him that posted a reply saying that he might become a veggie like his missus, [he prob didnt mean it!]
    i guess in middle age i am becoming a reluctant hippy!
    i just think that each soul animal or man has i right to live in peace [i just wish i could my cat to believe me and stop chasing the birds]
    and the meek will inherit the earth! but the earth will be no bloody good by the time the rest of mankind has finished!
    anyway glad to see a response.
    bless you all!

  • moosedog

    Flashbaztard: like you I’ve been impressed with J. Rawles and the influence his religion has on him. Just wanted to say don’t let those pervert priests put you off: there are good and bad in every walk of life and, while I cannot comprehend how a religious (or any sane) person could do the evil things they have done, I think the majority are decent honest people. I don’t go to church but you’re right that the Bible isn’t a bad guide book for life. Don’t let the awful things done by the odd rotten apple spoil your view of the rest of the barrel

  • Skean Dhude


    You don’t have to be religious to think that the rules put down as the ten commandments are good. If we all followed them the world would be a much better place. All the priests and ministers I have met have been good solid individuals with strong moral compasses. It must be a very small percentage that are perverts but that is what the media is for, making mountains out of molehills. Keep the faith, father. They will get theirs.

    JWR will make up his own mind bearing in mind that sometimes us males get our minds made up for us by our better halves.

    The meek won’t inherit it then, more it will be abandoned and they will get it because nobody else wants it.

    What is wrong with being a hippy? Seems a reasonable choice to me.


    I agree with everything you said.

  • flashbaztard

    thanks guys
    i know only a few rotten apples spoil the barrel

    cant be a hippy cause i dont like hairy women. lol

  • Skean Dhude

    Don’t like hairy women. Mmmmm. Better add a big stock of lady razors to your supplies then.

  • flashbaztard

    got to add a lady to my supplies first [not even my ex missus could be called a lady]lol.

  • Justin

    Wood pigeon is a canny bird. If the shtf they would quickly realise that gardens are not safe places. They soon realised that when one of my house windows openned, they needed to beat a hasty retreat. Care should be taken in relation to preparing a site on which to shoot pigeon in the future. I have no problem shooting and eating any game but try to do so away from home these days so that the game that does use my garden at the moment has no fear and can be ‘harvested’ if the need arises.

  • Skean Dhude


    Welcome to the site. Remember I don’t want them in my garden atm, they damage the plants but they go to my neighbours with no fear as I don’t want 5 years for armed trespass, but if the shtf then they will still be within range. Then I will have to start encouraging them back.

  • Justin

    Thanks for the welcome.

    Another animal for a possible shtf is squirrel. Don’t smell too good but taste a bit like a chicken-rabbit cross when stewed off the bone so quite nice really.

    Before anyone says anything, I only shoot things I can eat. I hate foxes but let them pass when I’m out with the gun.

  • Skean Dhude


    I’ve been thinking of trying one but see them as rats. I have no doubt I would eat them as a last resort but at the moment I don’t have to so hold back. I’m the same with guinea pig and hamsters. Call me finicky.

    I’m the same but I have to confess I also do vermin control for a few local farmers so non food animals sometimes get it.

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