With exception in agricultural applications and in some specific cases, shooting is supposed to be done at night. It is safer to do the operation at night because pigeons are diurnal animals so they will not be able to fly away when it is dark. This makes it easier for the shooter to hit the birds and at the same time reduce the threat of shooting non-targets.
However, the real problem with shooting is the fact that it is virtually impossible to dispatch the birds humanely after they are shot. The air weapons used for pigeon shooting will not be able to kill the birds with one shoot, but the impact of the hit will leave the pigeon with enough damage to suffer serious pains and internal bleeding. This is contrary to what is provided by the law where shooters are required to dispatch of the birds humanely. Instead, the birds would slowly die while experiencing the worst pains possible. The birds will also die is different areas, depending on how far they have flown after they have been shot. Property owners will have to deal with the unpleasant smell of dead pigeons that fall in their properties.
Moreover, it should be noted that homeowners who choose to use strong weapons like .22 rifles to kill pigeons are not required by the law to undergo serious shooting trainings. This means that they can cause potential danger to the public because of their lack of experience. Not only that, shooters may also hit buildings and other properties. One of the most classic examples of such a situation happened with the London Victoria Station. Many pigeons where perching in one of the main concourse areas of the Railway station and a pest control company was hired to shoot the birds in the area. However, the shooting caused substantive damages to the glass panels of the station's roof. These panels are quite very expensive and difficult to replace. Thus, the pest control company was ordered to stop the operations in the area to avoid further damages.
Other Purposes of Shooting
Many people participate in pigeon shooting for fun and pleasure too, not really for the purposes of controlling these birds. The reason for this is the fact that shooting is actually a wasted effort when you talk about a huge flock of pigeons in an area. It is almost impossible to kill more than a single bird in such a situation because the gun can produce a very loud sound that is enough to scare away the birds in the area. As a result, only the targeted bird is kills, that's if the shooter hadn't missed.
The evolution of shooting as a sport and a leisure activity has also benefited farmlands that suffer from pigeon habitation. Many of these farmers earn money by allowing shooting enthusiasts to hunt in their property. Some even sell their farms to associations that promote pigeon shooting. However, one problem about this is that many shooters who consider pigeons as "game" birds are also inclined to shoot non-target birds. For this reason, a law called The Wildlife Countryside Act of 1981 was passed to protect non-target birds from abusive shooters.
Flying a Raptor
Raptors often bring the pigeons that they kill to the ground where they devour them. This view is actually very gory and distressing, thus many people complain about the use of raptors in public areas. Clients would also suffer because of this scenario especially if it happens in a property that is highly commercial. Nevertheless, this method is still very effective if the real goal is to really get rid of the pigeons.