15 May 2014

Mode of Decoying Wild Pigeons in New England

The flight and stool pigeons, as they are called, are prepared by passing a thread through the edges of both their eye-lids, which are thus closed — their legs are booted, and the flights, being fastened to long strings, are thrown into the air, and fly as far as they are permitted, while the stool pigeon is tied to a narrow board, which, at the end where the bird is fixed, rises and falls, and both kinds of decoy, by the flapping of their wings, draw the attention of the passing flocks of wild pigeons, which are thus made to alight, on prepared ground, within reach of the concealed spring-net, or on a long pole, rising a little from the horizontal line, so as to give the greatest effect to the discharge of the gun, from the bush-house, which conceals the sportsman.

The net, concealed by cut grass, is sprung by a rope, which is pulled at the moment after the pigeon's alight upon the prepared ground.

October 1829. American Turf Register and Sporting Magazine 1(2): 100. From Silliman's Journal, July 1829.