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     I am passionate about pigeon shooting and I consider the pigeon to be the most challenging of sporting birds. A true aerial-acrobat, it can turn on a sixpence and is the equivalent of a flying magician. Make the wrong move at the wrong time and it will be gone in the blink of an eye.
       I cannot emphasize enough that whatever your shooting ambitions may be, walked up over dogs, ducks , driven pheasant, partridge or grouse, you should practice at this truly wild bird. It is little surprise that many British sportsmen gain more satisfaction from a day shooting pigeon than from the pursuit of any other of the wingshooting quarry.

Pigeons in flight

       Unfortunately, the wood pigeon is no longer a native species of North America and the only opportunity to hone your marksmanship shooting these formidable flyers, is abroad.
      This summer I was lucky enough to sample a “Pigeon Shooter’s Paradise”- Paraguay.
      Paraguay is a land-locked country with a population of only 6 million. In the 1920's, East European Mennonites, escaping prejudice and persecution, emigrated to Paraguay in substantial numbers. In 1932, several of these groups banded together and founded the town of Filadelfia in the Grand Chaco region.
      Combining their incredible work ethic and farming skills with the ample supply of water, they created a small cooperative agricultural community of cattle ranches, dairy farms and agriculture which soon began to supply the rest of the country with meat, grain and dairy products.
      Filadelfia is considered the largest and most prosperous Mennonite Community in Paraguay and here, in the growing center of the country, residents still speak German, with additional languages of Spanish, English, and in some cases, the local Indian dialect.

Pigeon hunter

      The core skill of pigeon shooting begins with knowing where they are feeding and what they are feeding on, also where they are roosting.
      As with all migratory birds, food supply, weather and habitat govern their number and movements. Pigeons require an enormous amount of food... the capacity of their crops is simply amazing! The peanut, sesame, and sorghum fields of Filadelfia are a pigeon's supermarket and the plentiful pigeon and dove populations attract wing shooting sportsmen from all over the world.
      The Pigeon season is established each year by the government, thus maintaining that fine balance between crop protection and conservation and the pigeon harvest. The usual Season starts in April and runs through July, with June being the optimum month for decoying pigeon. The other months are best for pass shooting.
      Pigeon and dove breed rapidly in the forests surrounding the farmland communities of Filadelfia. However, during the crop harvest, the local bird population is joined by hundreds of thousands of migratory birds from the surrounding countries, converging into the area in what the local farmers consider plague proportions.
      We were based out of the warm and comfortable Filadelfia Hotel, and our hunts began in the early morning, just after breakfast and a short drive to the recently harvested and scouted peanut fields.
      There we were introduced to our Bird Boys... the best, by the way, that I have experienced in South America! They showed us to our "blinds" - an incredible natural cover of bushes and tree limbs, literally planted in the centre of the harvested field. We were set up with an excellent revolving stool, ample cartridges and refreshments.
     Then the Bird Boys demonstrated their experience in deploying a decoy pattern that was like a landing beacon for the passing pigeon! As we bagged our first half-dozen pigeon, they set up and started a mechanical pigeon magnet. This revolving device really started the action!

Pigeons on the ground

      The pigeon flew in thick and fast for between 2 and 3 hours, according to the weather. It was not uncommon to shoot several hundred pigeon both morning and afternoon, and I have to say, the superb field lunches and afternoon siesta are very much needed and appreciated if you are going to do justice to these fantastic sporting birds all day.

Bagged pigeons

      Hunting locations were changed daily to offer the greatest opportunity to the hunter, and each day ended with a leisurely return to the hotel to enjoy a cold beer and a delicious evening dinner in the local Parrilla, completing a most exceptional hunting experience.

For those of you wishing to enjoy the pleasures of Pigeon Shooting in Paraguay, contact us at 866-254-2406 or

via e-mail -


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