Pigeons — How Can T...
 
Notifications

Pigeons — How Can They Fly Off After I SMACKED Them? 🤔  

  RSS

JungleShooter
( @jungleshooter )
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 110
2020-01-12 00:25:02  

Pigeons — How Can They Fly Off After I SMACKED Them? 🤔

 

Only recently I have gotten into pesting (mainly feral pigeons) messing with the welfare of both cows and human beings.
 

Now, recently I've had some less than successful hunts —
🔶and I'm hoping some of you can help me understand what is happening....

 

 

BACKGROUND
To the rats with wings at 35 and 45 yards the Skyhawk delivers the JSB 16's (15.89gr) with over 20 FPE.

With that rifle I normally can do sub-1.5" groups at 50y.

 

However, sometimes there is quite a bit of wind where I pest.

 

 

OBSERVATION
Recently, I've been having a lot of fly-offs — after I scored a hit, supposedly.

 

 

 

INTERPRETATIONS
🤔 (1) If I missed completley — there would be no smacking sound (but there is, and it's loud).... 

 

🤔 (2) If I were only hitting feathers — there would be no smacking sound, but I'd expect feathers to fly (they often don't).

 

🤔 (3a) If I were hittig the body anywhere — at this speed I surely must have pass-throughs, and there should be feathers flying, I think....
🤔 (3b) Also, not that many pigeons should be able to fly away as if nothing happened, in controlled flight, a straight line, I think....

 

🤔 (4) I had it a few times that I hit one, I heard the smack, and the pigeon fell straight down.
But when I later went to retrieve it, it was nowhere to be found. What is going on...?!?

 

 

 

Thanks for giving me some interpretations of what might be happening.

(And yes, I know, if I hit their head every time, this wouldn't be happening.)

 

Matthias


Quote
Gratewhitehuntr
( @gratewhitehuntr )
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 536
2020-01-12 11:46:40  

I once went handgun hunting for turkey. Ammo was 9mm 127gr +P+ Black Talon which chronied around 1300fps out of my HK USP. We could shoot pennies with that pistol, I felt confident, had a permit, and an unsuspecting Tom was being careless.

Double tap, bird flew 300-400+ yards before dropping... but with a drainage canal in the way, it was long gone. Tough turkey!

All BS aside, I didn't make a solid enough hit to the vitals.

 

My guess is that you are gut-shooting them.

Smacking the abdomen forces some air out of the lungs, just you basic gut-punch FWOP sort of sound.

This is why we have targets with vitals pictured, Biology 101.

It is also possible to land a marginal hit only stunning the animal, which bleeds profusely, then miraculously comes back to life when the hole clots and sufficient BP returns. Also, how far could you run after a gut-punch? Stop, catch your breath, fly away!

It does happen.

 

My suggestion, if you are shooting 1.5" groups, move your POA up.

Make sure that your group can not fall in the guts, personally I'd rather shoot OVER the bird and clean miss, vs shooting low.

There is also the surprise break trigger issue, sometimes the animal can move just enough to turn a good shot into a clean miss. Evaluate the speed of your trigger pull.

 

Could be buck fever contributing.

I did have this occur recently when testing a newly assembled (upper kit) MSR, first shot had me tweaky (KB?) and I pulled the shot... enough to be embarrassed... and at only 20ft!  FWIW, I'm not prone to buck fever, usually dead cold, but it IS a thing, and it CAN happen. Much like flinching.

 

So, final answer, gut-shooting. Re-size, print, and shoot at this.

http://universe-review.ca/I10-82-bird.jpg


scratchit and pluric thanked
ReplyQuote
JungleShooter
( @jungleshooter )
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 110
2020-01-13 10:57:15  

Thanks for the diagram! 😊 

 

And thanks for sharing your experiences. Yes, buck fever is one likely explanation of what's happening to me.

I can easily see how in the heat of the hunt I forget one (or more!) of the fundamentals of marksmanship.... 🙄 

 

 

 


ReplyQuote
Garmic
( @garmic )
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 2
2020-01-13 14:19:45  

@jungleshooter

I find with pigeons head and neck, if I hit the wings nothing happens usually. Although I wasnt using 20ftlbs but thats my 2 cents


ReplyQuote
Hector J Medina G
( @hector-j-medina-g )
Member of Trade
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 362
2020-01-13 17:46:03  
Posted by: @jungleshooter

Pigeons — How Can They Fly Off After I SMACKED Them? 🤔

 

Only recently I have gotten into pesting (mainly feral pigeons) messing with the welfare of both cows and human beings.
 

Now, recently I've had some less than successful hunts —
🔶and I'm hoping some of you can help me understand what is happening....

 

 

BACKGROUND
To the rats with wings at 35 and 45 yards the Skyhawk delivers the JSB 16's (15.89gr) with over 20 FPE.

With that rifle I normally can do sub-1.5" groups at 50y.

 

However, sometimes there is quite a bit of wind where I pest.

 

 

OBSERVATION
Recently, I've been having a lot of fly-offs — after I scored a hit, supposedly.

 

 

 

INTERPRETATIONS
🤔 (1) If I missed completley — there would be no smacking sound (but there is, and it's loud).... 

 

🤔 (2) If I were only hitting feathers — there would be no smacking sound, but I'd expect feathers to fly (they often don't).

 

🤔 (3a) If I were hittig the body anywhere — at this speed I surely must have pass-throughs, and there should be feathers flying, I think....
🤔 (3b) Also, not that many pigeons should be able to fly away as if nothing happened, in controlled flight, a straight line, I think....

 

🤔 (4) I had it a few times that I hit one, I heard the smack, and the pigeon fell straight down.
But when I later went to retrieve it, it was nowhere to be found. What is going on...?!?

 

 

 

Thanks for giving me some interpretations of what might be happening.

(And yes, I know, if I hit their head every time, this wouldn't be happening.)

 

Matthias

This was written in 2013, but I don't think things have changed much:

https://www.ctcustomairguns.com/hectors-airgun-blog/the-other-side-of-an-accurate-shot-ii  

 

HTH

 

 

 

 

 

HM


pluric thanked
ReplyQuote
JungleShooter
( @jungleshooter )
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 110
2020-01-13 19:05:37  

Cool article you wrote there, Hector, thanks! 👍🏼👍🏼


ReplyQuote
JungleShooter
( @jungleshooter )
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 110
2020-01-13 22:13:37  

Thank you all for chiming in and giving me some ideas of how to interpret these weird fly-offs of my quarry.
And how to diminish them to a deadly end! 💀

 

So, from this thread and two parallel threads (GTA and AGN) I'm taking away the following:

 

🔶(1) Buck fever is definitely a factor — I'm sure it has gotten me to forget one (or more!) of the FoM.*
*Fundamentals of arksmanship — sorry, female shooters 😟 — we've got to find a more inclusive term eventually!).

 

 

🔶(2) Pigeons are incredible tough animals. Even after a deadly shot they still can go long distances before finally expiring. markT says pigeons "fly dead"!

 

The following two quotes are worth repeating:
—Airspace (aka Guy):
"When I was growing up a close friend and his father raised racing pigeons. I have seen birds fly in that had holes in their bodies from pass though shots from powder burners.
Multiple wounds from shotgun blast and gaping open wounds from something we never figured out.
They are extremely tough and durable birds."

 

—JadedC, about Cher Ami, a homing pigeon during WWI with a 194-lives-saving message (from Wikipedia):
"As Cher Ami tried to fly back home, the Germans saw her rising out of the brush and opened fire. After several seconds, she was shot down but managed to take flight again.
She arrived back at her loft at division headquarters 25 miles (40 km) to the rear in just 25 minutes, helping to save the lives of the 194 survivors.
She had been shot through the breast, blinded in one eye, and had a leg hanging only by a tendon." She lived through it.

 

 

🔶(3) Hollow points and wadcutters will produce more damage — and less fly-offs.
Just need to make sure they are precise out to range. And that the winds are pretty calm as their poor BC will make the drift a lot more than high-BC domed pellets.

 

 

🔶(4) Some suggested to deliver more energy on target.
Well, yesterday on a pesting run the Skyhawk (30FPE) lost all its air — pffffft. Bummer!
Fortunatley, I had the PP700 (.22) with me, and it killed just as well at 11FPE.
Suprised me. (And yes, at longer ranges the 30FPE does deliver with more precision, both through a flatter trajectory, less wind drift, and sufficient power to brake through the feathers).

 

 

🔶(5) Pigeon anatomy for shot placement — yes, I think I can improve my shot placement!
For me that means higher and further forward than I used to do.

 

🔶(6) I have all the equipment for exterior ballistics.
But I should do target practice under the same conditions that I hunt — so no bag under the buttstock, no comfortably sitting in a chair — but standing in a feeding trough, the bipod on a fence post....
Then I'll know what I'm truly capable of hitting.... 😄

 

 

👍🏼 THANKS again, this has been very helpful to me to think this through with people much more experienced than I! 😊

Matthias


ReplyQuote
Gratewhitehuntr
( @gratewhitehuntr )
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 536
2020-01-14 08:25:11  

Try some Meistekugelns, move up.

Using chicken wings as an example, the 'drumstick' area of the wing is hardest, but @20fp, wadcutters should penetrate the wing plus 2" additional, nothing wrong with smashing the shoulder joint/spine. Remember that bits of bone are very sharp and can contribute to the wound staying open, NOTHING flies with wings/spine smashed to bits.

Look closely at a dead bird, identify the wing-vs-internals location and use this part of the wing as an aiming reference point (sometimes to be avoided)

When shooting crows with 177@13fpe I try to 'sneak in' under the wing, or behind it, direct hits to the wing-drumstick are a total no-go.

Quartering shots are an important issue to sort out, make sure you can locate the spine from any angle, you may come to avoid the broadside shots in favor of another angle.

 

In powderburners it is extremely rare to see anyone hunting with round-nose cast (or RN anything) bullets, at any velocity.

In handguns, the style known as 'Keith Bullet' is both popular and deadly. Remember that you are crushing a hole, RN has a reputation for leaving a wound channel approx 33% of bullet dia, while Keith style would result in min 66% dia.

Everyone seems to have a hard-on for domes, but external ballistics matter naught if terminal ballistics fall short. I like wadcutters for game.

 

Hector's article is very good, study the front view carefully (resize/print/shoot)


ReplyQuote
Hector J Medina G
( @hector-j-medina-g )
Member of Trade
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 362
2020-01-14 08:26:51  

@jungleshooter

My pleasure, Matthias!

One thing more that became apparent recently, while comparing performance of three almost identical projectiles (Baracuda, BH, and BHE):

Pigeons seldom fly off when the projectile stays inside.

I have no idea, and no explanation (yet) of WHY this happens, but it happens & very often.
All the cases I've seen, known, or read about of pigeons flying with grievous wounds are about wounds that are pass-throughs.

My own experiences, in a proportion of about 20 to 1; if the pellet stays in the animal, it simply keels over and falls to the ground.

In that sense, LESS (energy), MAY be MORE  ("lights-off" shots).

If you can, try a combination that gives you 8 ft-lbs at impact, or less. Use a 0.25".

Keep us posted!

 

 

 

 

HM


ReplyQuote
Gratewhitehuntr
( @gratewhitehuntr )
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 536
2020-01-14 08:33:28  

Thank you Hector for another point in favor of wadcutters.

IMHO, his stated 8fpe is not set in stone, folks spend too much time thinking about fpe. JMHO, I do appreciate his specificity, and agree that 8fpe is sufficient. I blasted a bunch of squirrels with 6fpe and super soft 177 Daisy wadcutters. It works, but no need to cut it too close! (remember Hector, he's having issues already, 8fpe introduces a new variable, namely trajectory)

I favor a softer pellet, as opposed to less energy.

I've had wonderful results with Daisy (cheapo).22 14gr wadcutters @30fpe, they do not pass though, most fragment, DRT. Additional energy is spent on ruining the pellet, use as much as you'd like. Varmint rifles are a good example, can't have too much energy, assuming acceptable bullet construction. FWIW, those pellets are inaccurate, I'm not endorsing them.

Shooting domes or wc from a 13fpe gun (obviously not the same squirrel) yields the same determination. WC=DRT, domes... meh...

I've dedicated tins of 177 Meisterkugelns 'SQUIRREL ONLY' and currently approx 600 dead in the last 2 years. This the the way we feed the cat, feed the cat, feed the cat...


ReplyQuote
JungleShooter
( @jungleshooter )
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 110
2020-01-14 09:12:58  

Death by wadcutter — 600 squirrels — in 2 years.

 

Wow, that's impressive, very impressive!! 😄

 

I clearly have to get into the wadcutters and hollow points.

I can probably stage a little experiment, counting fly-offs vs. drop-downs, sorted by range and/or POA for better comparability. With a high enough number of shots that should be statistically valid in some sense, shouldn't it?

Mattthias

 


ReplyQuote
pluric
( @pluric )
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 617
2020-01-14 10:18:51  

Try JSB Hades. Available in a .22 and .25. 


ReplyQuote
Gratewhitehuntr
( @gratewhitehuntr )
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 536
2020-01-14 10:21:30  

Hollow points have sometimes been  dismissed as a gimmick, I'm not so sure, but I don't feel that they are necessary either.

HP projectile expansion is only semi-reliable, are dependent on both velocity and target composition.

They do not (far as I know) offer improved external ballistic performance to wadcutters, and usually cost more.

 

EDIT JSB Hades? Interesting, and demonstrates evolution of projectiles.

2nd edit. My estimate is based on using 1.5 tins , so estimated 750 shots = 600-ish dead.

I rarely miss, but might take a 2nd shot, mostly 20-40 yds, past 50yds I aim for the head only as penetration becomes marginal. 


ReplyQuote
JungleShooter
( @jungleshooter )
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 110
2020-01-14 12:41:29  

John,

fortunately, the hollow points do have a significant better BC than the wadcutters (cf. the BC numbers the HardAir Magazine published).

https://hardairmagazine.com/ballistic-coefficients/

And some HP are precise out to 50y and more (I'm thinking the Hunter Extreme, Hades, and Polymag).

 

 

Hector has done a very interesting review of the H&N Baracuda Hunter Extreme, comes with high recommendation.... 😊

https://www.ctcustomairguns.com/hectors-airgun-blog/the-universal-pellet-is-here

 

Looking forward to seeing improved kill-ratios...! 😄

 

Matthias

 

 

 


ReplyQuote
Gratewhitehuntr
( @gratewhitehuntr )
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 536
2020-01-14 18:54:32  

That is a lot of data.

I should have placed the caveats 'Concerning Crow Magnum' and 'At the ranges and power levels I shoot'.

However, I have no issues with being corrected, only idiots argue with math! Thank you for bringing this to my attention, and thanks to Hector for his efforts in publication.

The line which stuck out in Hector's write-up... "Of course, shots need to be kept to the range where you can place the shot within ¼" of POA. Whatever that distance is, is up to you to test yourself and find out; and then limit yourself to that range."

So he is advocating limiting yourself to whatever range at which you can produce 14mm groups.  I agree, you might have noticed my comment on "We could shoot pennies" and they make a 😛 discerning 😛 target.

 

Concerning ballistic media, I like gallon jugs filled with water. Considering the % of water in meat, it's close-ish enough, for me.

You could determine YOUR maximum range, then tune to a power level which causes expansion at that maximum range. You may find yourself attaining better accuracy somewhere in there, and find your maximum range to have increased. Toss aside your 100yd aspirations, for now.

 

As stated before, I'm not a super-dope-chart sort of guy, don't pretend to be the data-master, and generally dislike competition. I deal in practical accuracy and dead meat. Twang->flop. It has always been this way.

 

In regards to buck-fever and triggers, here is an interesting article I stumbled across while hating the mil-spec trigger in my new AR47 pistol.  You WILL find something useful! https://www.gunsamerica.com/digest/clay-mil-spec-ar-triggers-suck-fix-em/

 

 


ReplyQuote
JungleShooter
( @jungleshooter )
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 110
2020-01-14 19:30:52  
Posted by: @gratewhitehuntr

I deal in practical accuracy and dead meat. Twang->flop. It has always been this way.

That's an awesome line! You had me on the floor with that one, thanks for brightening my evening! 🤣

 

And I'll be reading the trigger article.

I've been suspecting that this is the next project I need to tackle in becoming a good airgunner....! 👍🏼

Matthias


ReplyQuote
Gratewhitehuntr
( @gratewhitehuntr )
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 536
2020-01-14 21:34:55  
Posted by: @jungleshooter

I've been suspecting that this is the next 1st project I need to tackle in becoming a good airgunner  long range marksman!

FTFY!

Most of what I'm telling you, good hunters or marksmen, they already know.

"Combat Breathing" is another issue you need to address. Trigger and breath control might be THE most important issues, followed by shot placement and self-limiting distances. "Surprise break" is ok for targets, not game.

GRAPHIC!!!!

I had some potential chicken-eater problems, usually dealt with via the ironically named 'Live Trap', but animals become "trap shy" once they've seen another animal (panicked) inside the trap. Duh!

Night ops! These were all shot @ 10yds with a 177 R9 and 9.2grn SuperMags (wadcutters) with 3-9x32 Tasco (MIJ) fine crosshairs from 1970s, low ambient light.

I hung the bait from the stepladder, forcing the animals to change posture (reach for it) and was able to make a good shot at the brain stem WHILE THE ANIMAL WAS STILL. Notice, I forced their position (former trapper LOL) 

Coon got it in the eye (Looky-Lou) 177@13-ish fpe is marginal on coons, couldn't make eye-shots with a shidt trigger.

I don't usually post pictures of dead stuff online... but when I do... it's a HAT TRICK!!!

hat trick

 


ReplyQuote
Benny76
( @benny76 )
Joined: 4 weeks ago
Posts: 11
2020-01-20 10:20:25  

.25 


ReplyQuote
Benny76
( @benny76 )
Joined: 4 weeks ago
Posts: 11
2020-01-20 10:29:37  

 

IMG 20191113 124548 01

.25 brother. Not saying a 177 or .22 cant do it but I had runoffs back when I was mainly shooting .22. After I got my first .25 an at44 the .25 bug caught me and I now own 4 .25 pcps and I trust this caliber to get the job done dispatching most critters. The Gods honest a good . 25 pcp with the right shot will drop any living thing 200 lbs and under but it is still the perfect caliber for small game. I have made fairly consistent 100 plus yard shots on pest birds many with perfect head shots but mainly all with 1 shot kills. I dont have the faith or trust in anything smaller than the .25 but I believe the .25 itself is the best multi use caliber for small game and even pesting! Heres a pic of a Ringtail I stepped on walking out the front door of my house one day. A single .25 headshot and I didnt have to worry about my 4 or 6 year old kids walking out of the house an stepping on him like I did. 1 headshot an he didnt even twitch just fell over stone cold dead!


scratchit thanked
ReplyQuote
JungleShooter
( @jungleshooter )
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 110
2020-01-20 10:33:35  

Benny,

that's excellent. 😊

Yeah, I've debated the .22 vs .25 question for a good while....  🤔


ReplyQuote
Benny76
( @benny76 )
Joined: 4 weeks ago
Posts: 11
2020-01-20 11:02:25  

@jungleshooter

The debate over roundnose or hollow point. My at44 long loves both 25.39 jsb exacts and has no joke shot a .75 ctc group at 125 yards via the previous owner with the JSB. I took ownership of the at44 and had a spare tin of H&N Grizzly hollowpoint slugs in 31 grain so I found at 25 yards I was shooting identical groups with the JSB exacts and the grizzlys and in the longer range I saw the grizzlys shot much flatter and retained way more energy at distances of 80 to 120 yards.  ( Id still love to see what the previous owner could do with the flatter shooting grizzlys versus the jsb at 125 yards) Ive never shot a .75 ctc 125 yard shot with it but yes with the grizzlys even when Ive shot pigeon an smaller pest birds out to 120 yards they still explode in a giant puffball of feathers!!! I prefer hollowpoint slugs like these grizzlys when they perform in a gun like they were meant to!!


ReplyQuote
hanleyfan
( @hanleyfan )
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 3
2020-01-20 13:14:41  

Move on up to the 25 cal., I used a .22 for years and always had fly offs if the hit wasn't perfect, I decided to move up to a .25 cal and now after a year I can tell you I have not had a fly off yet, when that .25 hit it pulverizes the target. very impressive.  there is someone on youtube that shows the deference between a .22 and a  .25  hits on squirrels and there is a big difference.   


ReplyQuote
JungleShooter
( @jungleshooter )
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 110
2020-01-20 13:44:38  
Posted by: @benny76
 
Witht the H&N Grizzlys even when I've shot pigeons and smaller pest birds out to 120 yards they still explode in a giant puffball of feathers!!! I prefer hollowpoint slugs like these Grizzlys when they perform in a gun like they were meant to!!

SWEET!! 😄


ReplyQuote
MASSHOLE_AIRGUN_MILITIA
( @masshole_airgun_militia )
Joined: 3 months ago
Posts: 18
2020-02-18 16:19:45  

Terminator Pigeons, maybe T-800. Any recommendations for 0.25 spring gun or is everyone on PCP.


ReplyQuote
JungleShooter
( @jungleshooter )
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 110
2020-02-18 19:06:54  

Hunting friends,

on another forum Bob Sterne (aka rsterne] posted this a couple of days ago (link below). I think it's so good and adds an important new perspective to our discussion that I'll share an extract here:

 

"I do a lot of Grouse hunting, mostly head shots, and occasionally have a fly-away, despite a solid hit, red mist, and if the bird is recovered often half the skull missing....

 

✔️My son, who is a Nurse and has studied a lot of anatomy gave me the answer....✔️

❌Birds have their central nervous system spread out along the upper part of the spinal cord, the brain-stem if you prefer....

It is that part of their nervous system that controls the flight muscles....

Even with a solid hit to the brain, providing an instant kill, the message that the bird is dead just doesn't reach the flight control system....

The same thing can happen with a hit to the heart and/or lungs....

The "flight response" takes over on impact, the bird launches, and can fly for some distance, often under what looks like control, before running out of blood and folding....❌

 

This is the reason for my favourite shot, which is with the bird facing away, high between the shoulders.... If you are high, you hit the brain stem, low you hit the heart, and a bit to either side take out the carotid artery and/or jugular vein.... You have a very good chance of severing the spine, which also prevents the "fly away" message from reaching the wings, and generally results in an instant collapse (often with fluttering/spasms, like a fusebox hit)....

Bob"

Link:

https://www.gatewaytoairguns.org/GTA/index.php?topic=167548.msg155901535#msg155901535


scratchit thanked
ReplyQuote