Pigeon decoying can hold one of two different meanings. In the first meaning, shooting ranges use pigeon decoys as targets, offering those who are interested in target shooting an environment that is safe, clean, and free from animal harm. The second type of pigeon decoying involves the use of live pigeons which are freed from a cage and are shot during their flight. This second type has attracted a good deal of attention from not only animal rights activists, but those on the fence as well.
Pigeon decoying with clay pigeons is much more popular. The target is rather explosive when hit and there is no mistaking w hit from a miss. This type of target practice is encouraged, especially in the United States and the UK because it does not involve the use of a live pigeon. At the same time it still provides difficulty ranges, shooting practice, competitive opportunities, and all the same features of live pigeon decoying.
The use of a live pigeon in pigeon decoying is becoming increasingly unpopular, in part thanks to heat placed on these clubs and organizations to move toward clay pigeons. Even many hunting enthusiasts have frowned upon live pigeon decoying because there is little sense of fair play like other hunting sports. Since the pigeon is caged and then released, the rifle persons have every chance to prepare and track rather the pigeon before firing. In wild hunting, flight often occurs when birds are spooked, leaving a sudden urgency to rush to the trigger. Wild hunting allows for the commonality of survival of the fittest.
Whether or not you agree or disagree with live pigeon decoying, the larger and more popular decoy ranges have already made the switch over to clay pigeons. These pigeons are loaded and fired into the air and the rifle persons are then challenged to shoot the clay pigeon before it hits the ground. With adjustable ranges and heights, many people find clay pigeon decoying quite fun and challenging even if they have no inclination to take up hunting. It beats lining up aluminum cans against a tree trunk any day.
There will more than likely be a perpetual distinction between each type of pigeon decoying. There will also probably always be advocates of one over the other. Several states have entertained petitions to close down live pigeon decoying ranges and they may be likely to consider doing so again in the near future. The basic concepts can be well played off with clay pigeon decoying without the need for live pigeons, which is saving money for those ranges that switch to the clay version. Since clay pigeon decoying helps attract a wider range of people, many of the pigeon decoy ranges are making the switch voluntarily. This offers a place for hunters to engage in target practice while simultaneously offering a space for gun enthusiasts to passively shoot targets where there is no hunting interest. Perhaps pigeon decoying is on its way to becoming the best of target hunters everywhere.