The paths to conflict
Sporting Gun|October 2020
The paths to conflict
Peter Theobald talks about his increased number of encounters with the public, who do not always understand what goes on in the countryside
Peter Theobald

Many of my permissions border large urban towns and while I reap the benefit of pigeon flying out to feed in the fields surrounding them, I inevitably come into contact with the residents of the towns too.

By and large, people who enjoy walking in the countryside will usually understand what else goes on there – pigeon shooting, for example. However, since coronavirus struck the nation, a whole different breed of walkers have taken to the footpaths, if indeed they bother at all to follow clearly signposted rights of way. Most country people, if they come across a pigeon shooter, will ask how they are doing, whereas this new lot tend to ask ‘what’ they are doing. Footpaths that I have not seen used for years now have a constant procession of walkers, often accompanied by an unruly dog running riot down the hedgerows.

Having never encountered a decoyer going about his lawful business, their first reaction is to call the police, who are duty-bound to turn out the moment firearms are mentioned. Don’t forget, we are talking about urban policemen, who themselves may never have encountered a pigeon shooter out in the field.



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October 2020