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The Hunters Chronicles - Tuesday 30th October 2012

Keen and eager to utilise the bodies of the fallen magpies (my research tells me they are edible, though "fishy chicken" is not an appetizing proposition for me) I was up this morning before dawn.

Daybreak is surely the most magical time of day.
The peace, the clarity, the promise.
Saddled up and fuelled by the mandatory caffeine I tramped down the old bridle path to the grounds upon which I would test the wits and cunning of my sky dwelling brothers.

Whilst there is some remaining semblance of natural cover and concealment from the bushes and trees still sporting leaves, I do my utmost to harness it to my advantage. This essentially means finding a gap big enough to squeeze my backside in and doesn't leave my feet poking out.

An old tractor harrow, gripped in a thorny embrace seemed ideal. The support it offered would have been useful too. Things looked most promising when, within minutes, a crow swooped in to investigate and landed on a branch to the right of my position. I took my time, lined up the crosshairs and thud. I succeeded in burying the pellet in the slimmest of branches and promptly away the guardian of Valhalla flew.

Still, it was early, the day had yet to unfold.
But I don't think it ever did.
I tried all magpies.

I tried just the one magpie.

I moved positions.

I went home.

Whilst slurping on a cup of joe I read up on crow decoying and found an entry on how a chap had had good results by plucking some of the feathers from a dead magpies breast to suggest the crow was tucking in. This, upon my hasty return, I did.

This got the attention I craved, and yet so long I sat there with the same routine occurring out of sight above my head, I fancied I learnt the language of the crow.

You'd get the lone one lazily flapping along his way, then he'd exclaim "Oh dear god! What are you doing man!" This would turn to an indignant "Errrr who are you? ANSWER ME!"
Now a bunch would join in the circular flight pattern.
"Yeah" "Yeah" "Answer" "Maniac".
Some would swoop almost threatening to land then pull away. More than once this caused me to toss my phone into the hedge mid text thinking 'this is it!' Only to find they were jerking my chain and at the arrival of a magpie chatter, would melt into the horizon with "He's not with us!""We tried to tell him"...
This set piece twice drew in offended and horrified magpies. First shot I missed and pulled right due to holding the rifle too tight.  The second ducked just at the last minute as he clacked his disapproval at my stoic and silent bird.

A while later, a third mag pie materialised. God only knows what happened with that shot. I fired and watched through the scope. He almost seemed to lean back. I heard the pellet impact, but I guess it was the ground behind.

Its hard to be certain, but I think that magpie may well have 'Matrix'd my pellet!

He flew off seemingly unharmed, I checked the trees and tracked in the direction he flew with no sign of feathers nor dead maggie. Most perplexing.
I'm out of ideas and my backside ran out of blood.
I've ordered an owl. That should do it!

I sloped off to the 'feed room' to collect my bounty,

and now await....The Raptor!

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