rich or well connected pigeon shooters gun for special breed of bird. these are not same birdies that fly around sods silo or poop on city dwellers hats.
They are exactly the same pigeons that infest city parks and grain elevators. In fact, that's where most of them come from. At least that's what I've been told by the hosts of the shoots I've been to. They are trapped in areas where they are a nuisance and a health hazard, transported to the shoot site a few days before the shoot, and then given one more chance at freedom. The other option for these birds is to be poisoned or trapped and then gassed. The only thing done to these pigeons before a shoot is that they are fed certain things to boost their energy level. Gatorade, etc.
I would not consider a 20 ga. for competitive pigeon shooting, having always used a 12 with 3 3/4-1 1/4 loads. When that bird comes out of the end trap driving straight for the fence with a tail wind behind him the best 12 ga. shooters in the game will usually lose him. He may be dead in the air with two loads in him but he will fall over the fence. When Cooley, Scotten and Mein lose those kind, I certainly don't have a chance on them.