Pigeon hunting in South Africa 2024

Hunting pigeons in South Africa

The Free State is the “rock pigeon hunting capital of South Africa.” Four Season’s Shooting Holidays will entertain you with hot-barrelled pigeon and dove hunting over sunflower fields. Assessing the abilities of all those proficient in the art off bird hunting. International hunters refer to Rock pigeons as the “most challenging bird hunting in the world,” excluding the odd exceptional international pigeon hunting expert.

Here the seasoned wing-shooter’s, hunting talents will be tested to his limits, while novice hunters will have opportunities to hone their shotgun skills and improve their hunting knowledge.

Four Seasons southern African pigeon hunting will entertain you with hot-barrelled rock pigeon hunts over sunflowers, testing the abilities of all pigeon hunters, in reference to rock pigeons, recognised by international hunters as the most “challenging pigeon hunting worldwide.

Hundreds of thousands of Rock pigeons commute twice daily, between the low-lying Drakensberg mountains and the vast blocks of sunflowers. Collared doves also fly in from around local treed areas and rural cities, heading to the ripening sunflower blocks in the surrounding areas.

This is where pigeon hunters, ambush rock pigeon flight-lines using hunting blinds, whilst rock pigeons are on route to the sunflower fields. Pigeon hunting is hot barrelled and fast paste shooting action.

Pigeon hunting on flight lines, a single hunter can fire more than a thousand cartridges on a good day! With 300 to 500 cartridges shot per day being a more realistic average expectation, when budgeting for cartridges. Pigeon hunts are in operation throughout the year, but the best high-volume rock pigeon hunting time is from mid-March to mid-April.

pigeon hunting in South Africa 2024

Pigeon Hunting in South Africa Profile

6 Days - 6 Nights
pigeon hunting
South Africa
group size
UK Departure
Farm Lodge
Food & Drink
all inclusive
Hunting Rock pigeons in South Africa using decoys
Jim Fitzgerald had a successful day hunting Rock pigeons over decoys on an old sunflower stubble in South Africa may 2022

Pigeon hunting in South Africa: prices 2024

Pigeon Hunting in south Africa: Overview

Free State rock pigeon hunting. Offers a pigeon hunting festival for wing-shooting enthusiasts. The sport of pigeon hunting in South Africa has been around since the turn of the century, and it is still going strong to date! You will have hot-barrelled hunting as pigeons fly over sunflower fields, whilst assessing your respective hunting skills with rock pigeons – often referred to as the most “challenging pigeon hunting worldwide” by international sportsmen.

Novice hunters will have sufficient opportunities to practise their shotgun hunting skills; no matter what hunting level you are at, there will always be thousands of pigeons moving around the sunflower fields at any one time, satisfying clients who love pigeon shotgun hunting!

Rock pigeons from the surrounding Drakensberg mountains and doves from the local trees and cities commute twice daily, with millions of rock pigeons flying back-and forth between different sunflower blocks.

Hunters lie hidden, waiting for incoming pigeons on flight paths, hunting rock pigeons is hot barrelled action, requiring hunters to fire up to one thousand cartridges on a good day – rock pigeon hunting is not seasonal, although there are better months to hunt rock pigeons.

March through to the end of April offers the best high-volume rock pigeon opportunities for excellent driven rock pigeon hunting.

“The rock pigeon capital of South Africa,” is the Free State. Home to the toughest pigeon hunting from around the globe. The Free State is famous for its hot-barrelled pigeon hunting over sunflower fields, this test’s even the most experienced of pigeon hunters!

If you are looking for something new and challenging, then this might just be your lucky day! Pigeon hunting guides will train everyone how to become an expert in the art of wing shooting rock pigeons, whether they have been hunting all their lives or beginners who would rather just focus on personal improvement.

Four Seasons pigeon hunts wants to make sure you have a wonderful time while pigeon hunting. If your hunting skills need work or if it is just unfamiliar territory, there will be sufficient opportunities during these hunts for newcomers to the sport, to learn from expert guidance, from experienced pigeon hunters within the group.

The best two weeks for pigeon hunting in South Africa is always over the Easter break, for extreme high volume rock pigeon hunting in the Free State of South Africa.

At Four Seasons pigeon hunts, we have the privilege of hunting the best agricultural farmlands in the Free State of South Africa. We will be hunting Cape turtle doves amongst other species like red-eyed pigeons, mourning dove, laughing dove and rock pigeon. Contrary to widespread belief this sport is beneficial for local communities and farming agriculture as rock pigeons and doves consume more than, (35%) of sunflower, sorghum, maize, and peanut crops each year, high volume pigeon hunting in early mornings & late afternoons.

hunting rock pigeons with decoys is more of an activity for those who have time during the day. It is not unusual to shoot 350 cartridges per day per hunter.

The Four seasons hunting lodges donate every single dove and pigeon to the local community! The best time for rock pigeon decoying is from mid-August to the end of September! When you can get together with all your pigeon hunting friends, you can always spice up your pigeon hunting day with Upland game bird shooting in August and September.

The rock pigeons and doves constantly move between the Drakensberg mountains, trees, and local cities to ripening sunflower, maize, and sorghum fields. Rock pigeon hunting best done when the pigeons fly at first light for an hour and ½ and again from 12 o’clock midday for about four hours. Rock pigeons feed on standing and harvested farmland locations all over the Free State!

The Incoming pigeon and dove flights travel along the same flight lines annually, depending on crop rotations, rock pigeon’s head out to feed in arable farmlands, we call these hunting grounds. Rock pigeon feeding times change throughout the year with varying times from March through to September time, when weather conditions are right for (rock pigeon hot barrel action). You may hunt these agricultural pest rock pigeons any day but there is nothing better than hitting rock pigeon flight-lines on an early morning or late afternoon sunflower raid – especially if you can catch them right next to a stand of trees when you become invisible to the rock pigeons when hunting from the shaded areas.

The thrill of fast action-packed rock pigeon hunting in South Africa is something that would be challenging for any shotgun hunter. The rock pigeons are agile and fly into the middle or back fields, making it crucial pigeon guides have done reconnaissance finding out which direction rock pigeons will appear from before you set your hide (or blind).

Rock Pigeons are small birds that cohabit on cliffs and buildings all over the Free State in South Africa. They typically flock in numbers of 5-100, and once they start flying you will experience truly sporting birds! If there is no wind rock pigeons fly high, however, when the wind blows hard (and gusty) these rock pigeons drop down to a few feet off the deck flying at head height, twisting and turning in the gusts of wind, you will feel as if you have to duck as these rock pigeons will knock your hat clean off your head.

South African rock pigeons flying
Rock pigeons in-flight in South Africa

What's Included

What's NOT Included

Pigeon hunting in South Africa, Itinerary 2024

  • check-in 3 hours beforehand at terminal 5, London Heathrow at 15:20 for departures to South Africa with BA55
  • check-in 4 hours beforehand at terminal 5, London Heathrow at 14:24 departures with a Firearm to South Africa with BA55
  • BA 55 departure times 18:20 local time
  • BA55 landing at Johannesburg Tambo International Airport at 7:25am local time.
  • Four seasons shooting holidays representative will meet you at arrivals and escort you to your airport transfer vehicle to the Lodge, Alternatively should you be carrying a firearm you will be escorted to the local airport SAPS police station on-site at arrivals to  complete your import export permit for your firearm taking approximately one hour, you will then be escorted to your overland airport transfer vehicle or internal connecting flight.
  • Overland JNB airport to lodge transfer travel time five hours including a 30 minute lunch and toilet break.
  • Four seasons Lodge check-in  at 1:30 PM accompanied with coffee tea and snacks.
  • Evening meal will be  served from 7:30 PM
  • Drinks served at the bar with open area seating by a traditional log fire till 11 PM
  • local pigeon hunting 6 AM pre-hunt coffee tea and toast in the bar.
  • Bloemfontein pigeon hunting 5 AM pre-hunt coffee tea and toast in the bar.
  • Early morning rock pigeon hunting in South Africa starts at 6:45 AM  concluding at 9:30 AM.
  • local rock pigeon hunts return to the Lodge at 10 AM for full English & continental breakfast.
  • Bloemfontein morning rock pigeon hunts will have breakfast in the field.
  • Afternoon pigeon hunting in South Africa starts at 12 o’clock and concludes at 5 PM
  • Arrive back at the Lodge by 6 PM time for a shower before your evening meal served at 7:30 PM
  • Drinks served at the bar with open area seating by a traditional log fire till 11 PM.
  • Leisurely morning  at the lodge with full English & continental breakfast.
  • Depart four seasons Lodge for JNB airport transfer from between 10 am and 12 o’clock midday.
  • Overland JNB airport to lodge transfer travel time five hours including a 30 minute lunch and toilet break.
  • Arrive at Johannesburg Tambo International departures at 5 PM
  • BA56 departure time Johannesburg Tambo International Airport at 20:10 local time.
  • BA56 landing at London Heathrow Airport at 5:30 AM (UK) local time.

Essential Information

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pigeon hunting in South Africa 2024