October comes with its clear skies which the waiting hunters' gaze off into. Tenacity and experience are basic requirements when hunting migratory birds, even more when hunting wood pigeons from a tree stand. This is a theater where actors are not allowed to repeat their performance, everything must be perfect, so rehearsals begin many months before when live decoys are trained and taken to the hunting site so that they learn to recognize the points of flight and perches to call wood pigeons in transit without any uncertainties. Even tree stands need continuous maintenance to be invisible and totally camouflaged with the surrounding environment. We are in the Marche region, in Italy, near the Adriatic coast, waiting for the wood pigeons coming from the north to get inland directly from the sea, making the usual journey southwest towards the mountains of the Central Apennines to reach their wintering places. Claudio and his friends, who spend the long days of October here year after year in a convivial climate that is an integral part of this tradition, welcome us on the tree stands. Before dawn, pigeons are already placed and hunters go up to the stands where, side by side, they share the surprises and emotions that this hunt offers every day.
Video: wood pigeon hunting 2019 with Baschieri & Pellagri cartridges
This time we have brought along the cartridges that Baschieri & Pellagri introduced for 2019. As always when hunting, shooting is the final act that comes to reward the work done, in this case, by the decoys. Therefore, being able to rely on cartridges with consistent performances is essential for hunters and correct for the hunted wild birds. Shooting distances are variable in this hunt and depend on the different situations, but usually the first shot is fired at ranges that exceed 20 meters. The second shot is often the most challenging because after the first shot, wood pigeons swiftly swerve in different directions, immediately getting away. The third shot – shotguns used in this hunt are usually semi-automatic – must hit the game birds away from the tree stands at ranges that are never less than 35-40 meters. To these different circumstances, hunters adapt the loads, using medium or light loads for the first cartridge, standard loads for the second cartridge, and heavy loads as a third option. In our case, with the available Baschieri cartridges we have chosen the MB Gigante cartridge for the first barrel, followed by the MB Extra Fiber and the new Balistite.
Baschieri & Pellagri MB Gigante
The MB Gigante comes from the annual Baschieri & Pellagri special re-edition line, replicating one of the most famous and appreciated historical cartridges. Its vintage look is well suited to traditional hunts thanks to the medium-brass 65 mm cardboard shell type 2, universally usable in guns with English 2.5 in (65 mm.) chambers and with rolled crimp and color card. Loaded with the historic MB powder, this cartridge is assembled with a three-layer felt/cork wad. The 33 g tempered, graphite coated and polished white lead shot was chosen to help create increasingly accurate patterns. This powerful cartridge, with its 400 m/s initial velocity, is available in a wide range of shot numbers (5-11) and can therefore be used in different types of hunting and small and medium sized wild game.
Baschieri & Pellagri MB Extra Fiber
Another multi-purpose cartridge featuring a Gordon case, a felt wad and a heavy load, the MB Extra Fiber is a high-brass cartridge with MB powder and a type 3 case that uses 35 grams of tempered lead 2% Sb, in which the wad-container has been replaced by the traditional B&P couvette and a vegetable felt wad. The purpose of this new cartridge is to guarantee slightly more generous patterns that can be perfectly exploited already over medium ranges according to the barrel choking. The ideal in our case for wood pigeons at medium ranges, when shot in cylindrical barrels the MB Extra Fiber can be quite suitable for hunting with pointing dogs even in densely vegetated environments.
Baschieri & Pellagri Balistite 34
The Balistite 34 is the most recent cartridge developed by Baschieri & Pellagri. It is a medium-brass 12 gauge cartridge with Gordon case and intermediate weight and therefore versatile also thanks to the wide choice of lead numbers.
This cartridge features a new high-energy double-base powder with a high percentage of nitroglycerin (30%) that ensures excellent stability even in adverse environmental and weather conditions and no sensitivity to humidity, for constant use in autumn and winter. A high-quality container wad with six pre-cut wings, normally used only in high quality cartridges, guarantees dense and consistent patterns.
Fully satisfied with the results achieved during the hunt, we at all4hunters leave the task of confirming our words to the images, as usual. Enjoy!