Woodpigeon can be shot continually throughout the year.
We believe plump, wild woodpigeons are underrated, a notion backed up by the menus of the restaurants and chefs we work with. A dark crimson coloured meat, woodpigeon boasts a complex earthy, woodland taste. Breasts are best enjoyed pink with the fine grain of a prime beef steak. One bird is a generous single portion.
The landscape on our doorstep is rich with wild game, as such we work with smaller shoots across the Yorkshire Dales who manage the landscape sympathetically and maintain high levels of biodiversity, something we feel is of prime importance.
Valentine Warner on woodpigeon:
Sure the ‘thwack’ of leather on willow, the lawnmower in the distance or the return of the swallows epitomise the arrival of British summer but what encapsulates summer most to me is waking to the wonderful cooing of woodpigeons, that morning light coming through the split in curtains. Summer is to lay in the warm grass and observe that high arcing flight and descending glide punctuated by the loud wing claps of their mating display.
Harvest time and any opportunity to quietly peep over a gate into the wheat field will seed their busy grey bodies bobbing about the stubble, my arrival seeing a hundred or more heads suddenly look up before they take flight and clatter away in great clouds. In boyhood days and if you were lucky some of the feeding woodpigeons would be so full, so stuffed with grain that they simply couldn’t take off and once outrun could be caught up, bagged and taken home for the pot.
When once eviscerating woodpigeons for a dinner I was struck by the very varied diet across the three birds I was about to cook. All had been gorging on different opportunities, as when nicking open their crops to inspect their diet one was full of ivy berries, one wheat grains and one clover. I know it’s the woodpigeon’s wide epicurean interests from to peas to elderberries, ivy to maize that make the meat so dark and deeply delicious.
While great success can be achieved with an air rifle and camouflaged silence beneath a favoured ash tree, to shoot pigeons over decoys is among the hunting I love most of all. Jinking and twisting in astonishing manoeuvres, woodpigeons can achieve quick angles of avoidance to the point I call them ‘air hinges’. So challenging can be success I really do appreciate the term ‘poor man’s grouse shooting’.
A day on the stubble or plough with watchful eye, cheese sandwich and a plentiful cartridge bag and to go home with a sack of woodpigeons is to be assured a stock of fine meat and meals, the provenance in which I’ve had every involvement. Woodpigeons make for wonderful soups and pies, respond well to roasting quickly and are fabulous sliced cold in salads.
100% wild woodpigeon. May contain lead shot.
Orders received before 9am are freshly prepared and shipped DPD for next day delivery. We serve the whole of the UK excluding Channel Islands, Northern Ireland, and some parts of Scotland.
Our meat has been celebrated in Britain's best restaurant kitchens for over ten years. There are many who claim to work with native breed farmers, but few who can prove it.
Sustainable & traceable
We have partnerships with selected farms and work with carefully selected local abattoirs so we have confidence in the welfare of the animals and full traceability of all our products.