An Ingenious Way to Catch Pigeons and Other Birds in Your Own Backyard

Giurgi C.
By Giurgi C. March 1, 2019 08:09

An Ingenious Way to Catch Pigeons and Other Birds in Your Own Backyard

There are many ways to trap pigeons or birds, but this is the most efficient and ingenious way to do

What you need:

  • A wire cage
  • An empty paint pail or plastic bucket with cover
  • A plastic water bottle
  • Some plastic straw rope

#1. Build a wire cage for your pigeons or birds using mesh wire and some scrap wood. Determine the size based on how much movement you think they will need. Leave an opening on top for the bucket. You can use Styropor on top of the cage to create the perfect round hole for the bucket to fit in.An Ingenious Way to Catch Pigeons and Other Birds in Your Own Backyard#2. Cut two openings on opposite sides of the plastic bucket using a hot knife.An Ingenious Way to Catch Pigeons and Other Birds in Your Own Backyard#3. Hang the covered bucket on one side of a simple wooden lever. On the other side, hang the plastic water bottle filled with enough water to pull the plastic bucket up.An Ingenious Way to Catch Pigeons and Other Birds in Your Own Backyard#4. Fill the bottom of the pail with grain and kernels.An Ingenious Way to Catch Pigeons and Other Birds in Your Own Backyard#5. Pigeons are intelligent and cautious, so they will not enter the bucket right away. Scatter some grain on the cover of the cage to lead the pigeons to the trap. Once the trail of grain on the cover is consumed, the pigeons can’t resist the beckoning food inside the bucket.An Ingenious Way to Catch Pigeons and Other Birds in Your Own Backyard#6. Once the pigeon is inside the bucket, its full weight will bring the bucket down to the cage, and voila!An Ingenious Way to Catch Pigeons and Other Birds in Your Own BackyardThere’s nowhere for them to go but down to the cage. Rest assured that once you have the pigeons inside the cage, they will lure the others there.

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Giurgi C.
By Giurgi C. March 1, 2019 08:09
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  1. TheSouthernNationalist March 1, 16:50

    Excellent trap! pigeons taste a lot like quail, I will build one soon.

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  2. Bill March 1, 17:13

    Very ingenious. I must say that you have way too much free time on you hands, or one major pigeon problem.

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  3. Mitchell March 1, 17:18

    Good way to trap racoons and other game by making the entrance a chicken wire funnel shape like a lobster/crab trap. They can’t see the exit and all it takes is a little bit of peanut butter with water to not be cruel if you can’t check the trap hourly and a 17hmr or 22mag and you can have dinner in a survival or hunting situation. Had to use this for pest control not killing but I had to remove raccoons from under the deck and I caught 8 of them in a weekend.

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  4. Johnny March 1, 17:28


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  5. Paul March 1, 18:29

    OMG! This is both hilarious and ingenious! I never would have believed it if I had not seen the photos of the bird in the bucket.

    Thanks for sharing this!

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  6. Gerry G March 1, 18:55

    A tunnel trap catches them without any moving parts. You can make one from ‘scrap wire’, and nothing else.
    Roll the wire into a roll, connect the two ends together by twisting adjoining loops or squares with a small nail. Flatten the roll into a shape that will create a floor that will rest on the ground eventually.
    Form another piece of scrap wire into a small tunnel, and place it inside the large roll — through a hole cut into one end; twisting it into place with a nail.
    A good tunnel trap will have a flat bottom, with a tunnel in one of the ends, and maybe an access door in the other. You should allow sidewalls high enough for your prey that will also allow them to walk over the tunnel without bumping their heads; because it might teach them to run/walk in a different direction and find the entrance.
    It should be as long as you can make it, because the more room the birds have, there is less chance of them finding the tunnel and escaping. The tunnel should be long enough to go to the center of the trap, with enough room for the birds to walk around and around the trap without ever finding the tunnel entrance. They hop up onto and over the tunnel and keep going; round and round.
    You can find many example photos and ‘instructions’ on the web for tunnel traps.
    I made these as a kid to trap Morning Doves and Bob White Quail, but also caught squirrels, skunks, and cats. I used chicken wire, and hardware cloth. The wire holes need to be small enough to catch your prey. If you want large birds, and nothing else, use larger wire so small birds can escape.
    If you catch something you don’t want, like skunks, leave the trap alone; they will eventually find a way out. Birds will too, after enough time.
    Catching what you don’t want is the only drawback of a tunnel trap that the author’s bucket trap fixes, or limits. Carnivores will find their way into a tunnel trap laying on the ground (trying to catch your ‘catch’), so check the trap often.

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    • BNAAMOM March 4, 19:32

      I would love to see this drawn out so that we can see how it’s done

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      • Gerry G June 10, 15:57

        There are thousands of web-images, and diagrams available if you do a simple internet search. These types of traps have been around so long . . . Just type: “Build a tunnel trap for birds”, and see .

        Reply to this comment
  7. JohnRedman March 1, 19:33

    I H A T E morning doves. Their noise permeates my neighborhood. Ill transport them 50 miles away to my ex-neighborhood and hope they don’t find their way back.

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    • red March 3, 06:23

      They’re supposed to have better homing instincts than homing pigeons. Worse, they’r a game bird. Donno about where you are, but here, they call trapping them poaching–if you get caught 😉 Use the breast meat. Not bad a-tall.

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  8. left coast chuck March 1, 19:44

    I have read from at least two sources that urban pigeons frequently are disease ridden. I’m not an ornithologist nor a pigeon expert, so have zero knowledge on the subject.

    Any readers have some real world experience on the subject? I am really not interested in urban legends or what some unnamed scientist in Romania has to say on the subject, but would certainly like the opinion of a veterinarian or someone who has raised pigeons for a hobby or commercially.

    There is a large flock of pigeons that hang out at the shopping center about two blocks from my house that I have had my eye on for some time considering them mobile MREs in case of a disaster.

    I wasn’t planning on trapping them, but shooting them with either a pellet gun or a .22 or worst case, a shotgun. I like the trapping idea but wonder how I can lure them from two blocks away where they have a known food source to my back yard.

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    • Armin March 1, 22:47

      I’ve also wondered about that, Chuck, and while I’m also not an expert on the subject this is what Wikipedia says about feral pigeons also known as street pigeons. Pigeons can transmit bird flu but not the H5N1 strain because of the pigeons immune system. Researchers have tried to infect pigeons with H5N1 but couldn’t do it. Good news for us. The bacteria, chlamydophila psittaci, (hope I spelled that correctly) is endemic among pigeons and causes psittacosis in humans. A serious disease but only fatal about 1% of the time. Pigeons can also transmit salmonella which causes salmonellosis and paratyphoid fever. They can also have avian mites which can bite humans and cause gamasoidosis. And of course they poop all over the place. I suppose if there were enough of it you could treat it like bat guano and use it for fertilizer? Now this article talks about city pigeons and I don’t know if this would also apply to pigeons out in the country. But these are some of the diseases that pigeons CAN carry. Hope this helps, Chuck.

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      • left coast chuck March 2, 03:10

        Thanks, Armin. I’ve had paratyphoid fever. It cost me 25% of my body weight in a week. Of course I didn’t weigh as much 60 years ago as I do now, but it wasn’t fun and I spent a week in the U.S. Army Hospital Ryukyu Islands with it. Navy doctors tried to say I caught it in town but I hadn’t been in town for over two weeks due to a difference of opinion between the company first sergeant and myself. Somehow my liberty card got misplaced. Hmm, wonder how that happened.

        I am going to have to look up the other diseases because they are not in my day to day vocabulary. Whatever they are, they do not sound like fun conditions. I wonder if one can boil away the germs. Well, perhaps looking up the diseases will give me a clue.

        Chlamydophila sounds like something one would catch from a sex partner. That’s certainly not what I had in mind for the pigeons. I have found out to my dismay there is a sexual aberration involving chickens. Sorry, all you chicken lovers out there following this list, but I think sexual attraction to chickens is an aberration. It boggles my mind to even consider it. I first ran into it reading Court Martial Reports which are the histories of cases involving the U.S. Military Court of Appeals. When I worked at the 12th Naval District Legal Office the work load was light and for amusement I used to read the CMRs for entertainment. GIs managed to get themselves into some escapades that you would never believe.

        Well enough of the twisted humor. Armin, thanks for the heads up. I am off to do some research. I will report back interesting findings.

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      • Mitchell March 2, 04:40

        When a bird is stressed usually a mite or other external parasite causes them to rip out feathers and become very stressed in mere hours of symptoms. Most bird to human diseases do come from feces and urine and are usually absorbed through any open sores, mucus membranes or worse of all any sores or pimples. When working at PetSmart our deep cleaning instructions required strict medical gown, face mask, goggles and to scrub with a chemical that could sanitize a lv4 CDC room. It is usually hook bills that carry parrot fever but others are extremely rare transmission sources. Mike Rowe did an episode of bird poop cleaning off city buildings and they said half the disease’s like tuberculosis and psittacosis are very common in large city pigeons hurray for a slow and painful death by evil rats with wings. Others include cryptococcus, histoplasmosis and West Nile disease just to name some other common painful ones. Be extremely careful with them they can hospitalize even the healthiest of adults in less than a day from their poop dust being kicked back up with dust particles similar to mice and HVS.

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        • Doc B March 13, 01:54

          I once had a patient whose only complaint was “I just don’t feel like myself…” (for a couple of months). He was in his late seventies, and had been to another doctor. On exam, he a specific neurological finding and I hospitalized him for consult with a neurologist – who eventually did a spinal tap which showed cryptococcus in the CSF (spinal fluid). At the time, only Amphoteracin B was available to which he became allergic. He died within 3 weeks of first seeking care. Autopsy showed a 1 cm diam. cyst in the lung positive for crypto. Discussion with relative indicated he had a job cleaning chicken coops as a young man.
          Note: In younger, healthier individuals, inhalation of spores (etc.) can sometimes be isolated by the body’s defenses as a small cystic lung lesion without other symptoms. As we get older, our immune systems start to fail, and in such a case, the lung lesion will break down, sending the infection into the bloodstream, thence into the brain (through the blood-brain -barrier).
          This particular organism may take a longer time to present itself, thus earning the designation as a “chronic” meningitis – as opposed to the more familiar term called “acute” (bacterial) meningitis.
          Interesting case. Don’t become a statistic.Be extremely cautious how you handle potential exposures to any environments, animals (and sick individuals).
          Be also very cautious with rabies, which, incidentally is endemic in raccoons. Last year, officials put out about 500,000 baits laced with rabies vaccine along the Canadian border (Maine, Vermont?) because of the problem up there. Why am I concerned? Well, last year, I saw my first clinical case of rabies in a well-behaved “feral” cat that attached itself to us for two years prior. The poor animal went through all five stages of rabies in a matter of 6 hours. There is almost no treatment except supportive care in virtually all cases. A .45 slug ended his misery, horrible misery.
          BTW, I had to throw this one in (from a wise old friend):
          “Trust no living man, and walk lightly over the dead…”. I hope he meant that as “tough love”…? Peace.

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      • jds March 2, 05:50

        having shot and eatn boomkoo doves and pigeons around the world..for 5 decades….kill em and eat em. just cook em well done. Gizzards and livers are great to when grease fried. Robins are specially tasty too. 65k patients behind me, never saw one with a bird related illness. But It is out there. So i treat it cleanly and cookem well. ur gonna get sick faster eatn veggies from grovery stores…just chk the news.

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    • Mitchell March 2, 03:37

      Left coast Chuck in a survival situation still avoid all hook bill birds parrots, love birds, parakeets, doves and conures. Theirs 65 ways their poop can kill and 120 more that will require serious medical treat from citacosis or parrot fever which kills due to it mimicking the flu to the ever so fun of the parasites they carry that can eat your organ muscles. When I worked for a pet store we even had parakeets be recalled by the breeder for bird chlamidia which is the start of citacosis. All hook billed birds are very dangerous even in captivity for diseases let alone their bite strength like that of the macaw can rip off your nose at 100lbs of bit force. Birds like crows aren’t any picnic either they are quick and super intelligent like that of a 8yr old that will attempt to rip out your eyes if threatened. Birds that are smart are terrifying little sob’s.

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      • left coast chuck March 2, 23:11

        This site is so informative. Until I read Mitchell’s post I had never heard of a conure. When I first read his post, I wondered if it was a typo. Well, surprise, surprise, surprise. There are ten different species of conures. To the uninitiated (namely me) they look like a parrot. Thanks for your post, Mitchell. Learned a lot. Now I can say, “Umm, yes, that definitely looks like a blue crested conure.”

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  9. Kacy March 1, 20:03

    If You were wanting to Trap Pheasants, Quail, etc in the woods, how would You conceal it so others wouldn’t steal your catch ?

    What about Wild Turkeys ?

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    • ST July 22, 07:10

      I’m no trapper, but I’ve been reading about it a couple of years now. Traps and snares have to be “tended”-you cannot check on them too often, because you may scare off game, but you cannot go too long between checks, either. It’s inhumane (depending on type of trap, etc), and you may lose your game to a predator or poacher In some places there are actual regulations on how long traps and snares may be left unattended. There’s a YT channel called The Meat Trapper that you may find useful.
      Losing game, traps and snares is part of the deal. Set more than one and have other ways of getting food while you wait for game.

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  10. Mitchell March 1, 20:17

    Kacey easiest way to trap pheasants and turkey is still a funnel lobster trap idea. Then cover with branches and other foliage. And sleep within 40yrds of the trap zones that are baited with the food for them. The more traps you have made of chicken wire the better your chances.

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    • red March 5, 02:37

      When I was kid, Dad was out of work thanks to a union stiek (one of many that eventually closed the plant). We had wild turkeys all over, and Dad did like the old-timers. He baited them, dropping grain in places he found the woods dug up. By the end of summer, they were off the mountain and in the fields following that tasty trail of grain. Before Thanksgiving, they were roosting on the barn roof and in the orchard. At Thanksgiving, we ate turkey till it came out our ears. parents, 6 kids, grandparents, some aunts and uncles and a lot of cousins. In the spring, the hens nested close to the barn, but back in the brush. They domesticated themselves, selling their lives for a craw full of corn. People are usually no different. that’s probably why the Bible calls us sheep… 🙂

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  11. Miss Kitty March 2, 03:57

    Great idea! I wonder if placing the trap off the ground would eliminate the problem of catching skunks, cats, etc.? Thoughts?

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  12. left coast chuck March 2, 04:02

    Birds generally are afflicted with the bacterium chiamydophilia psittaci but they can transmit it to animals and humans. Many bird species have it, including pet birds. The article is silent on the exact method of transmission to humans but mentions that humans often times get it from their pet birds. Mostly from parrots and budgies. Psittacosis or more commonly, parrot fever is a nasty condition. It initially resembles the flue but rapidly turns into exhibiting symptoms of pneumonia. It can lead to all sorts of debilitating diseases, including endocarditis which is inflammation of the endocardial sac around the heart and the heart valves. That can prove fatal,.

    The article is silent on the exact method of transmission. I suspect that it is transmitted in the poop of the birds as I have always read that one should use an N95 mask when cleaning up quantities of bird poop. Psittacosis is most frequently found among folks who work around birds and there is a long list of birds that carry the disease besides parrots and budgies. Ducks, chickens and pigeons carry it.

    Birds generally are asymptomatic unless they become stressed. That was a new one on me. I didn’t know that birds suffered from stress. You can tell a bird is stressed because its feathers get ratty and it looks and acts ill.

    So, as far as the feral or street pigeons go, if they look healthy, they are probably free of chiamydophilia.

    As far as mites go, many wild animals, but especially feral ones have external parasites. I know when we hunted the wild pigs on the Channel Islands, they were infested with ticks which all carry Rocky Mountain spotted fever and we had to wear rubber gloves while dressing the pigs. The meat was okay to eat, but externally one had to avoid the ticks. I would recommend wearing rubber gloves any time one handles any wild game, especially deer and elk in areas where chronic wasting disease is present.

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    • PB- dave March 2, 15:55

      Back to the subject at hand, when I was a kid raising racing pigeons was hobby of many old-timers where I lived. (Something they brought from the old countries). Others raised the King pigeons for meat.
      A coop or 2 could be seen in every neighborhood, and flocks of pigeons would be release for exercise , fly out and circle back home later in the day. The breeders were conscious of illness and treated for many ailments . ….. Maybe a visit with pigeon racer would yield pigeon specific info ?

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    • red March 3, 06:27

      Ear mites is a common problem with bird dogs and cats. My dachshund got them several times. First time, we used a miticide and it was OK, but seems to hurt him. Last time, vicks in each ear killed them. No feas for a time, either, tho he spends a lot of time in the brush. Nor ticks. I use it, too, because I’m usually in the cactus with him. Niio.

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  13. red March 3, 06:37

    Good post. Old timers told me that anise seed, crushed in dove cottes attracts them, as well, and helps to tame wild pigeons. If you keep any poultry, a dust bath in the coop with about 10% wood ashes kills parasites.

    OK, now for some BS. A few yers back while still living in the swamps of Penna, Hazleton Boro had a pigeon problem. AKA feathered rats. The city had a meeting what to do. Professional hunters were out. Poison was out. Trapping did not work. The city offered a reward of 40K to anyone who could come up with a viable, affordable answer. The meeting began to break down when an old farmer stood with his cap in hand. “Folks,” he said. “I have the perfect solution.” He waited for the shouts to die down and smiled. the council agreed to let him try. A week later, they’re all standing on the steps of city hall. Minutes drag by. At last the farm drives up and walks to the back of his truck. In it is one lone blue pigeon. He smiles, nodding at family and friends, and opens the door of the cage. the pigeon wobbles out, flaps and jumps and at last managed to get airborn. It struggles hard to reach over the buildings and begins to circle city hall. It widens it’s circle. A few pigeons follow it. As the circle widens, thousands of pigeons are following it. At last it, disappears from sight with a cloud of pigeons following. A week passes and there are no more pigeons around. the farmer comes to a meeting to collect his reward. they were amazed and wanted to know what his secret was. He smiled and shrugged, and said, “It worked. that’s all we need to know. Hey, I hear you got another problem. Does anybody know any blue wetbacks?” If you think this is bigotry, better ask my fam down in Mexico, who hate the border being open.

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    • Clergylady March 19, 16:09

      Dust bath in old tires for my chickens includes diactomus earth and ashes. Ringneck doves stir up the mixture as well. They are after chicken scratch grains.

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      • red March 22, 11:23

        Yeah, they can be tasty, but a problem. Every time I plant something, doves are spying on me 🙂 A lot of seed planted went into them. Even the ravens and crows aren’t that bad, No garlic lost this year because they thought it was maize coming up. It’s summer, or close enough to plant chilis and tomatoes. The sorghum and maize are going in flats, and the peanuts, as well. Darn doves. When I put sulfur pellets on the soil (to fight caliche) it has to be washed in or they’ll eat some. While not bad for them, it can make it hard for them to digest food. Sulfur will kill a lot of things. In some places, it’s still preferred to antibiotics because it works better. Years ago, I got a very back abscess from surgery, and the doc prescribed silversulfadizine. It killed the infection fast. Dovers, hmm. Well, Bubba lives and dreams of some day catching one. I keep telling him, barking is not gonna bring them back to play dachshund games.

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  14. Wannabe March 4, 01:34

    Why do I want to catch pigeons?

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    • Miss Kitty March 4, 03:28

      Pigeons were kept as food birds in Europe, and I believe that is why they’re here now in “new world”. They are reputedly easy to care for and breed well in captivity. They also are quieter than chickens, and do well in urban areas, ( as anyone living in or visiting a city can attest.) They’re supposed to taste like squab, and not as lean as other game birds. The urban flocks of today are descendants of birds that either escaped captivity or were released as “free range”; even though they forage they will return to the dove cote at night.

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      • red March 4, 06:24

        Central Park, NYC, has gangs of pigeons. A lot of people will take a room to use as a dove cotte, and it’s legal there. They has to clean the room daily, but that goes into compost for their gardens in the apartment. And now, to the horror of farmers all over, science is trying to resurrect the passenger pigeon. They have the DNA, but the sources are from very old birds so the squab are hatched already old. While extinction is very sad, some things would be better off gone.

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      • red March 6, 06:57

        Neither. Be a wolf. Dedanwaki means one knowledgeable of wolves. Successful Native Americans studied wolves to learn how to war, when to make peace, to hide, sometimes for days with moving, and to fear women. Sheep need to be protected at all costs. Turkeys tend to love war too much and wind up dying. This is why escaped black slaves who trained for war among us were called gvinakii, they refused to stop fighting until dead or captured. BTW, free-climbers like Tarahumara and urban ‘mountain climbers’ in NYC say pigeons are worse than hawks for knocking people off a climb. Wild pigeons will swarm a climber to keep him or her from their nests.

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    • red March 4, 06:18

      Better you know something and never need it, than need it and not know how to. I used to live in the east. when Obama and his news media cronies killed the economy, the first thing to disappear were pigeons. Then cats. Than, as the economy sank to net zero, dogs. Nope, not us, be we ate a lot of speed beef. I’m sue all those deer and bunny rabbits died of natural causes… So my stepson and stepdaughter claimed, anyway. A pigeon trap can be adapted for small game, as well. One thing leads to another and you thrive. niio

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    • Marlene March 10, 05:34

      To eat in a survival situation.

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  15. Clergylady March 19, 15:53

    Lots of ringneck doves around here. Neighbors watch for them in spring. Keep the population somewhat thinned out. I have plenty of chickens, ducks, and rabbits. Eggs meat, fur…
    I’ve wondered about the doves. As a kid my neighbors made native bird traps. Involved an upright post, a cross arm that could easily drop and a threaded through loop to trap a foot quickly. A few grain kernels to attract the birds. Birds weight caused the arm to drop and stepped in loop had the foot.
    Kids here use a shotgun up out of our village area. I’ve had a few that tamed themselves eating the chicken scratch. But they disappear in the fall and return in spring to go eat with the chickens again. Nice plump birds.

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  16. Clergylady March 19, 15:58

    I’m fond of quail. I haven’t eaten any in a long time. Used to pick them off with a 22 when we lived on a reservation for a while. Haven’t tried the doves but they do hang around.

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    • red June 11, 04:35

      We have like 4 quail left out of dozens that used to run around the brush. ! rabbit out of dozens, but the ground squirrels are coming back. I’m going to try a little blood meal. If nothing else, the coyotes will be all over, digging for them 🙂

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  17. Survivalist June 10, 13:43

    Shared this on my site as I think it is an absolutely fantastic idea.

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