Pigeon shooting is a live bird shooting contest. It was a popular sport in the past but now it is not a publicized one. There are many reasons behind its downfall. But still, it is a game for the high class.
Past vs Present:
It was a popular game in the past. It was publicized well in the past but with the time due to a lot of factors it is now confined to private gun clubs and resorts. In the past, many magazines used to cover the event but with the passage of time it loses its popularity mainly due to other sports like clay pigeon shooting and mainly due to wildlife activism.
Conventionally, there are two types of contest: box birds and columbaria.
In box birds, the pigeons are held in a mechanical device that releases them when the shooter calls out.
Columbaire, also known as “hand-thrown pigeons”, is the most difficult competition in shotgunning. Only ten birds are required to determine the winners within a group of one hundred of the top competitors. The person who throws the pigeon is known as the Columbaire
Panels for the game
Though this sport is played in many clubs throughout the world but it is more popular in Europe, in Mexico, Maryland, Spain, and mainly in Pennsylvania. Besides these many clubs in Havana, Estoril, Monte Carlo, Beijing, and other parts are arranging contests there.
Firearms for the purpose:
Live pigeon shooting guns were heavier than a regular field gun (greater than 7 pounds). Characteristics of them were longer barrels (30-inch with ventilated ribs give better sight plane), tighter chokes (full/fuller), no safety, beavertail forend, single triggers, clipped fences, a third bite is commonly used.Today, these pigeon guns command a higher premium at auction.
Pigeon Species used
A special type of pigeon species is trained for this purpose. In Europe a breed called “zurito” or colambiad is used while in the United States, feral pigeons are captured for this purpose