Hunting Rock Pigeon


ROCK PIGEON (Columba guinea)

Key Characteristics

The distinguishing characteristics are the maroon-brown, white-spotted wings, red legs and eyes encircled by red skin.


Rock cliffs and krantzes for roosting and breeding are favoured by Rock Pigeon but they have successfully adapted to utilise buildings in cities, towns and farmyards or even mineshafts and sinkholes as a substitute for krantzes. Indeed, their adaptation to urban situations is so successful that they use wire and pieces of metal found in such areas to build their nests. The result is that their historical breeding range has expanded considerably and they are now found virtually throughout South Africa. Predominantly an open country feeder they are seldom found on the ground in built-up areas. Rock Pigeon prefer dry or ripening seed and travel great distances to obtain them. Ripening sunflower seeds are especially favoured and they congregate in large numbers in these fields.


A Client's view on Hunting Rock Pigeons

Kenneth D Legg on hunting Rock Pigeons with Karoo Wingshooting in South Africa

Returning from a 3 day shoot with Karoo Wingshooting in South Africa shooting Rock Pigeons in large ripe sunflower fields. They fly out to feed in the morning returning in the afternoon. Stands are behind 5' camouflage netting. Guns about 100 yards apart. These were the most challenging birds I've hunted. They fly at 50 mph and we're coming in on a 10 mph tail wind. Flocks can be huge and 1000 shot days are common. They come very high, low and in between. They always seem to jinx just before you shoot, and for sure when you shoot - very unpredictable. The combination of velocity, numbers, variety of shots and unpredictability of flight results in a hunt where even an expert veteran might be happy with a 33% success rate. The closest bird I've hunted are Teal. But they don't come in the numbers nor as high. I can recommend this hunt unreservedly as it certainly represents the most challenging shooting that exists.

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