Woodpigeon shooting in Yorkshire

Laid barley with wood pigeons feeding
Wood-pigeons flying into a patch of laid barley

The Yorkshire Dales are idea for upland woodpigeon shooting areas within the Pennines in the historic county of Yorkshire, England, the majority of which is within the Yorkshire Dales National Park with large expanses of prime woodpigeon shooting arable lands, set up in 1954.

The Dales are made up of river wooded valleys and hills that rise westward from the Vale of York, offering prime woodpigeon roosting woods to the hilltops of the Pennine watershed. The watershed extends westwards in Ribblesdale, Dentdale, and Garsdale supplying wheat, barley, beans, peas and oilseed rape grown in meadows alongside lush Riverside clover pastures offering a bonanza of food for the resident woodpigeon population, but the majority of the valleys drain eastwards to the Vale of York, the Ouse, and the Humber.

A substantial percentage of the rural area dedicated to arable agriculture providing the perfect woodpigeon shooting feeding areas, with residents living in small villages and hamlets or on farmsteads. Miles of dry-stone walls gives woodpigeon shooters great options for concealing pigeon hides, including field barns, have survived. Pheasant and partridge rearing for game shoots is still common. Farmers have diversified to supplement their incomes and support tourism during the winter months, with Estates offering accommodations for woodpigeon shooting during the summer and game shoots during the winter. Every year, agricultural and hunting shows held locally.

A successful woodpigeon shooting day on any arable crop boils down to good regular reconnaissance, which should be done in the days leading up to your day’s pigeon shooting in the hide.

Along with good woodpigeon reconnaissance, having your woodpigeon hide set up in the right field location; using the downwind noise from your shot gun to enhance the pigeon shooting day rather than working against decoying woodpigeons is especially important.

Pigeon shooters believe that having the perfect wind from your back or some sort of crosswind will provide a good bag of woodpigeons; however, if you follow the advice provided in the preceding paragraphs, woodpigeon decoying techniques become less important with the caveat that good woodpigeon decoying patterns bring woodpigeons in close enough to make a good clean kill for even the most inexperienced woodpigeon shooter.

Woodpigeon shooting in Yorkshire

Shooting wood pigeons on drillings
Spring drillings for wood pigeon shooting

Woodpigeon shooting in Yorkshire: Trip Profile


2 Days

Cost - 2 Days

GBP £400



Spring Drillings

Yorkshire UK

group size



Yorkshire Dales

Train East coast



B&B or hotel

Food & Drink

Packed lunch



Woodpigeon shooting in Yorkshire: prices

Good practice & understanding guides prices for Woodpigeon shooting

Woodpigeon Shooting Category

Since ancient times, the woodpigeon, Columba palumbus, has called Great Britain home. Although its cousin lives in mainland Europe and migrates there, our population is the only sedentary one of the species. In the UK, there are 16 – twenty-one million woodpigeons.

In good warm summers, the bird breeds three times a year and lays two eggs at a time. The woodpigeon population is healthy. More than 200,000 people shoot woodpigeon in the UK each year, which amounts to an estimated third of the country’s growing population.

The woodpigeon can be identified by its delicate grey overall with white wing bars and, in adults, a white neck band. The underside of the body is a vibrant array of colours ranging from pink to mauve. A bright yellow eye, a wingspan of just over two feet, and an extraordinary capacity for aerobatics that can frequently leave the decoyer with two empty cartridges and nothing in the bag. Our bird weighs about 20 ounces and can fly at speeds of more than 50 miles per hour in level flight.

The woodpigeon (Columba palumbus) is both a major agricultural bird pest and one of the most popular species for sporting shooting in the United Kingdom. Under the current general licence arrangements, shooting the bird is legal all year. The woodpigeon produces high-quality meat that everyone can enjoy.

Woodpigeon shooting over decoys.

Woodpigeon decoying is the practise of constructing a hide in a pigeon feeding field and using artificial or dead bird decoys to attract pigeons within effective shotgun range (15 to 40 yards). To achieve the best results, reconnaissance, patience, and knowledge of field craft required.

Hides can be constructed with camouflage nets, straw bales, or natural cover. Remember to always ask the farmer’s permission before moving bales and to replace them after you’ve finished shooting. Natural hides are made from farm materials and should be dismantled at the end of the shooting day. Without permission, do not cut into hedgerows or otherwise damage the farmer’s property. The hide should be sufficient to accommodate the hunter, the dog, and the equipment, and it should have a level floor with enough room to shoot safely.

Flight-line woodpigeon shooting

It is extremely popular to shoot woodpigeons on flight lines. Reconnaissance will figure out the flight path, allowing wood pigeon hunters to stand hidden on the outskirts of woods or in hedgerows and shoot passing woodpigeons without the use of decoys. Prepare to move if flight lines change. This is extremely popular with the game bird shooting paternity as this simulates driven game birds.

Roost shooting woodpigeons.

Wood pigeon shooters position themselves before dusk in woods where woodpigeon known to roost and wait for the woodpigeons to return from their day’s feeding during the late winter. Woodpigeon droppings under the trees will show you the best places to stand in mixed woods of conifers and hardwoods. Because it will be dark before the shoot ends, it is critical to retrieve injured birds as soon as shot.

Professional woodpigeon guides & charges

To begin, knowing what you are paying for can help you understand the fees charged by professional wood pigeon guides.

Budget £3 – £4 per bird shot; however, with different shooting abilities, this does not always equate when you consider shots fired and woodpigeons missed!

It is also misunderstood by would-be woodpigeon shooters who are trying to get into woodpigeon shooting how important a reasonable to good financial tip on top of the guide’s daily fee will benefit you in the long run, if you wish to be invited back by the woodpigeon guide for better days, as it is human nature for a woodpigeon shooting guide to take clients who they know will cover the guides basic costs.

Keep in mind that you are not paying a woodpigeon shooting guide to shoot woodpigeons! You are paying a woodpigeon shooting guide for his time, fuel, and understanding of flight lines and how certain fields and farms produce woodpigeons with different crop rotations.

I believe we can all agree that paying a wood pigeon guide to shoot pest species like woodpigeons seems unfair! Back in the 1980s, it would have been expected that the farmer would give you a slab of cartridges to help you cover your costs for that pest control service, but as with many things in life, times have changed and woodpigeon shooting has become extremely popular, with demand outstripping supply and limited leisure time to boot! Considering. To pay a mortgage, the average household requires two people to work six days a week. What I am trying to say is that in today’s fast-paced world, we all have less time to obtain permissions, and supplying a good crop protection service year-round is difficult! This service offered by pigeon shooting guides! and are simply meeting demand and must cover their costs.

Decoying woodpigeons in Yorkshire
Hunter shooting woodpigeons about to decoy

What's Included

What's NOT Included

Itinerary: Woodpigeon shooting in Yorkshire
  • A packed lunch with hot soup is needed for a winter’s day alternatively a flask full of soft drink with ice for summer days woodpigeon shooting.
  • Arrive at your designated meeting point by and 8 AM or be collected from a local B&B by your guide for the day.
  • Meet & greet with the guide, who will explain the local rules for that farm.
  • Reconnaissance were being done the day before hand.
  • Your guide will build a hide and set the decoys out with a suitable pigeon magnet you to start shooting from approximately 8:30-9 AM, if the pigeons arrive and decoy as expected you will shoot through until approximately 3 PM when your guide will come and collect you, packing up your hide decoys and collecting pigeon shot throughout the day.
  • You will leave the local farm by no later than 4 PM
  • all rubbish from packed lunches to empty cartridge cases will be taken away and disposed of leaving no rubbish whatsoever on the farm.
  • Should you wish to take any wood pigeons away for eating you may do so, however any pigeon you do not take will be ethically used by your guide.
Essential Information: Woodpigeon shooting in Yorkshire
Woodpigeon shooting Videos



Woodpigeon hunting in Yorkshire

Shooting wood pigeons on drillings
Spring drillings for wood pigeon shooting