Sage Monkey

Sage Monkey

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

The Pigeon Burglar

There have been half a dozen situations in my life since I became involved with bird dogs that left me having come to Jesus speeches with myself. Mutterings under my breath along the lines of, "look at your life.....look at your choices". One such moment was a few years back while dragging a duck behind me in a kayak for a duck search for either Cleo or Luna when its tether broke loose and it made a rather half assed and spastic attempt at freedom. I think I cursed a bunch, pond water got in my mouth and I may or may not have thrown an oar at it before I finally scooped it up and there it sat on my lap soaking me through my underwear hissing in my face. I stuffed its crappy prisoner ass back into a bird bag and thought to myself WHAT. THE. FUCK. am I doing?

Flash forward to this past weekend when my frustration level with getting birds in Montana hit an all time high. I need pigeons for Figs. Her determined little soul has been no match for these pen raised quail and I know it. I searched everywhere, called what little bird connections I have here, scoured Craigslist and realized it would be a 6 1/2 hour round trip drive for seven dollars a pigeon. My insides basically hiss like a cantankerous serpent every time I think of making that journey and shedding that kind of dough for flying rats. So after much frustration I sent a text message to a buddy from the local MMA school where I teach who is a flusher guy and I remembered that a season or two ago he had his hands on some pigeons.

Lucky for me he answered right back. He could get us access to an abandoned and dilapidated building a few towns over and we could catch them ourselves.  I immediately signed up. We set a date to infiltrate the building with fishing nets under the cover of darkness of course. This screen shot should sum up our planned outing:

I made sure of course to let at least two people know where I'd be in case the pigeon Chupacabra got us or we fell through a sketchy rotted floor like any good after school special warns you about. I told my husband Wyatt and my sister in-law Becker. Her response was legit although not as supportive as one would have liked:

Off we set with fishing nets in tow, a ladder, a sixer of beer and flash lights. We rolled into the sleepy little western town just as the sun finished setting and waited with beer in hand until darkness over took the area. My comrade clearly had this down to a science.

We spilled out of his truck into the depths of a sincerely occult scene. Close your eyes and imagine an abandoned structure straight out of a horror movie, coupled with the distinct choking smell of the most heinous bird pen times a million. The floors were a few inches deep in pigeon shit. Hard and piled high in some areas and squishy and fresh in others. It was completely dark minus our flashlights streaming around like a sad Pink Floyd laser light show. We got to business right away. Using our nets to grab flying pigeons in mid flight. Capturing ones stunned by our lights on rafters like low hanging fruit. We made quick work of the lower levels, braved the birds shitting from above and used his ladder to ascend to the upper level.


The upper level was as sketchy as he warned me it would be. Holes in the flooring peeked down to the lower levels below. The flooring was sloped in some areas and collapsing in others. The pigeons exploded into an uproar showering us upon our arrival and filling the air with a fine mist of pigeon shit. I stopped licking my lips and cursed my self for the fresh application of lip balm I applied before entering the building. I started to randomly spit as a way to purge the nefariousness of the experience. Yet I was running and often fumbling through the treacherous space trying to snag as many flying rats as I could. My pigeon catching skills were no match for the expertise of my partner and the extra height of his net. But we nabbed about 50 pigeons in total. A good bounty and more than enough for what I need.

After an hour plus we made our way out of the thick and cloudy stench and spilled into the fresh Montana air. The clean air reminded me of how gross we had become while entrenched in the building. I wanted to strip naked on the sidewalk, throw my clothes and boots in a bucket, douse them in lighter fluid and run away in the darkness while it burned behind me.

We packed the rats up and cracked open a well earned beer. The second my IPA hit my mouth it fuzzed up out of control, clearly some depraved reaction to the pigeon shit dust still in my mouth and whirling around my body like pig pen from peanuts. My mouth tasted like poor decisions but the beer helped. Beer always helps in situations like this. The things bird hunters do for their dogs. 

Follow our adventures on Facebook at Adventures of a German Shorthaired Pointer. If you liked this post you might like these ones too:

Sage Bears All - Adventures with Bear Spray 

The Unseen Dangers of Duck Work - Whoopsies

Bird Hunter Problems - Another Pigeon conundrum


  1. hahaha, excellent post! Figs better appreciate those pigeons! Glad you made it out alive and fingers crossed that you don't come down with any weird pigeon diseases this week. ;-)

  2. Great post Robyn! I had a similar incident in an abandoned grain silo in South Dakota. Unfortunately I went down hard to Histoplasmosis from all the flying shit, and the $700 ER bill with days of feeling like the flying excrement that caused it surely wasn't worth it. I'd suggest next time going the full hazmat - or at least a respirator - that's nasty stuff for certain.

  3. So funny.Made my day.I needed a good laugh. I've been there though.Good piece of writing. Hope you make it to Alaska.We have guests from July 5th through July 15th. Our home empty after that.Hope to see you.You would love it here.