South African Rock Pigeons
The African Grouse...
Found in phenomenal numbers around Bloemfontein in South Africa, the African Rock Pigeon (or ‘African Grouse’) is an unbelievably exciting bird to shoot! These flighty birds duck and dive at speeds of 55 mph presenting a challenge to even the very best of shots. They truly are like no other bird you have shot anywhere in the World and are considered to be the most challenging in the world of wing shooting. The Rock Pigeon is not a “dove” nor a pigeon, but a bird with uncanny speed and the ability to out-jinx most situations. Rock Pigeon Shooting makes Grouse Shooting look easy!
We have teamed up with a South African Rock Pigeon specialist with over 15 years’ experience of organising shooting Rock Pigeons in South Africa. Combined, we are proud to offer truly unforgettable opportunities, all of which can be completely tailored to a client’s requirements. To provide an idea of what such an experience may consist of, we have included some example packages below;
The Signature Trip
6 nights with 5 days of Rock Pigeon shooting for 6 to 8 Guns – $3,430 (£2,765)* per Gun, fully inclusive
The Long Weekender
4 nights with 3 days Rock Pigeon shooting for 6 to 8 Guns – $2,500 (£2,015)* per Gun, fully inclusive
The Mixed Bag
7 nights with 6 days shooting
3 days Rock Pigeon shooting in Bloemfontein followed by duck, driven guineafowl and francolin for the remaining 3 days
$5,200 (£4,200)* per Gun for 6 Guns – fully inclusive
$4,800 (£3,870)* per Gun for 8 Guns – fully inclusive
Full board accommodation in high-quality lodges throughout your stay
All transport from your arrival in South Africa, including airport pick-up from Johannesburg or Bloemfontein Airports.
All bird boys and beaters
All field lunches
Professional hunters and guides, plus vehicles
*VAT at 15%
Non-shooting guest – c.$350 per night
Recommended gratuities – c.$300 per Gun
Gun hire – $100 per day for pigeons and $50 for upland birds
12 gauge – 70mm $12.00 USD per box of 25
12 gauge – 65mm $14.00 USD per box of 25
20 gauge – 65mm $13.00 USD per box of 25
16 gauge – 65mm $16.50 USD per box of 25
To provide an idea of what shooting Rock Pigeons can be like, we have shared an extract from one of our guests feedback following their recent visit to South Africa.
The African Grouse…
The sunflowers rustle in the strong wind that is blowing directly into your face, it is hot, even though the sun has not been in the sky for long, you can feel the heat on your face and back. The netting hide in which you are concealed makes you almost invisible, a necessity when shooting rock pigeon, or the ‘African Grouse’.
The wind has picked up and suddenly a shout, ‘in-coming, 11 o’clock’, you stare into the blue sky and way off the black specks in groups of 5 to 30 are dancing on the wind, they are coming in straight toward you, high above the brown earth, they suddenly drop down to head height, hugging the contours, now only 100’s of yards out, approaching, unaware of your presence.
Lack of movement is critical, you cannot afford to be seen, carefully the gun is brought to bear, you are certain of the first flight and have pictured in your mind the falling birds, two guns down from you and the first shot of the day is fired. The starburst of the flight in front of you catches you by total surprise, your barrels are nowhere and the sound of wings cutting the air is loud and invisible, evasive action has been taken, down the line to your left and right, the popping of shells and frantic swinging of barrels is left behind as the first wave of ‘rockies’ settles deep in the sunflowers to feed.