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Annual Dove Hunters Sound Off

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Cooter Brown
49 minutes ago, john mcg said:

Lots of dove fields (as they call them) around here. I have never tried it, but have thought about it.

I reckon, without the dog work, I'm not real motivated.

Its a big thing around here and I've been invited---folks said the same---its a big social thing.

If you get the invite, go.  It's a wonderful tradition, often done up with great food.  I used to go to an old fashioned southern shoot, with lots of barbeque, pies, great veggies, lots of good folks, usually lots of birds, too, and pretty girls driving golf carts around the field passing out cold drinks.  Lost my ticket because my buddy divorced out of the family who put it on...


A good shoot can be an absolute hoot, with lots of challenging targets.

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I moved to Missouri in 2003 not knowing anybody.  Met a contractor we use at work that loves to bird hunt and happens to have a few farms of his own plus knows everybody within 100 mile radius.  He ha

I like to dove hunt, it kicks my season off on Sept 1st. I don't do the social thing tho, just hunt by myself or with one other person. Mostly hunt public land. Most guys give up after the first week,

What is a dove season without some dove poppers to eat.   These I peeled the breast filet off with my thumb (used to filet with a knife, but found all you gotta do is apply some pressure wit

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Lots of Mourning Doves here in Manitoba but no open season for them. A decade ago our Sharptail numbers were poor. Birds were few and far between. At times our flushing dogs would get all birdy only to flush a dove or two that we could not shoot, although a young pup or two that had done his job perfectly was sometimes rewarded with a retrieve. Just could not pass up on a golden training opportunity at that stage of a young dog's life.

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1 hour ago, Chukarman said:

I love early season dove shooting. My duck club used to host a members only dove shoot every year and many members gave me their doves. So I would do a dove dinner opening day of duck season every year.


Pluck the birds. Marinade the whole birds in dry Madiera with a little garlic and white pepper. Them dry the birds and rub with olive oil. Flash cook them by rolling them around on a grill over mesquite charcoal. Serve over braised spinach with a good red - I like Malbec or Pinot Noir.

Oh Baby, I love it when you talk dirty, You can cook in my camp anytime!

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mister grouse

Dove hunting is a big thing in early september in the mid South.  Its not uncommon to have a invite to a different hunt daily for the first week or so after the Sept 1 opener of the season.  


Some hosts  have the lunch or good eats, some are show up at 330, shoot,  and sit on the tailgate and clean birds and have some refreshment about 5:15.  Some fields are smoking hot with lots of birds, and some are less birds and you have to be on your game for a limit.  Great shooters will kill a limit of 15 with 20 shells or less. Poor shooters will run through a few boxes and scratch their head, and say their shoulder hurts , and quit.   The standard joke has been that the ammo companies must sponsor dove season-- not this year with the shell issues .  I see everything from 410 to 12 gauges, but more 20's than anything.   Shooting over black oil sunflower , some cut corn, some wheat fields.  If you can find the walnut tree in the shade on a high place in a field edge you are like to limit or run out of shells quickly .


The dogs are always a concern in the really hot weather.  Hopefully a pond , creek, or water source is available near the field.  Otherwise guys carry coolers or water jugs and bowls for the dogs .  Ive never seen a dog in dire straits in a field, as all are carefully watching out for their dogs welfare in the heat.  Many guys bring youngsters to retrieve , theirs or grandchildren.  Some wives shoot.  


Not unusual to see about everyone in a field limit with 15 birds on the great fields.  A welcome  social time of the year for shooters, as Selby mentioned. .

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You guys talking about shooting them over peanuts got me searching for a recipe I've used that turns out nice.  It's from a Field & Stream article and written by Eileen Clarke, and I found it as a link online:


Ten Minute Doves: Delicious and Easy To Make Dove Recipe (riflesandrecipes.com)


Best shooting I've had has been over picked wheat, if by best you meant what should be easy shots, not necessarily how I performed in near-ideal conditions.

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Like ducks, geese, and most everything else- Here the dove hunting is a far cry from what it used to be. Fewer birds and what is here is more spread out. 

I did not agree or support the raised limit to 15. 

that said I have about 50+ roosting in my pines at the house. I'll shoot a few of the stars align.

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7 hours ago, jeff88 said:

In TX we have a late season for dove that overlaps with WC.  This gives me an idea - next January I'm going to do my best to have a mixed bird hunt.  There are doves in the field areas that abut some of the WC covers.  The upside is that there may be more shots at birds that I can miss.

Early season on our side of the state hasn't been good in a long time. I still get giddy about it, though. I still go out to the lease, sweat, and see few birds. On the few cool or rainy days, I'll take the dog out and see what flushes out of the goat weed. Last year, we were rewarded with seeing a lot of quail. Couldn't hunt them, but it sure was magic watching a big covey of wild birds flush unexpectedly. 

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Desert Wings

While it's not my favorite bird or hunt, nothing brings the anticipation and excitement for hunting season quite like dove hunting.  For that reason I look forward to it the most throughout the year.  I typically hunt alone or with a small group of guys.  I enjoy the tranquility of those solo hunts when it feels as if the doves are flying only for me.  


Still need to scout my typical haunts, but this year I plan on rolling with the .410 and some of my reloads.  If that isn't working out, I'll bring the 28 gauge for backup!

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Rick Hall

Decided a couple of decades ago that I'm just not enough of a shooter to enjoy dove hunting, though I still enjoy eating those someone else baked in the sun for.


(On the other hand, I'll muck through a mile of reptile and bug infested marsh to toll a teal under that same September sun.)

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Mike Connally

Dove hunting. There’s nothing else quite like it. You wait until the hottest time of day to lug a chair, cooler, shells, shotgun, etc to an open agricultural field. You sit in the sun and  shoot songbirds. 
I’ve done it every year, once a year. 
Once is enough. 

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22 hours ago, Brad Eden said:

No dove hunting in Maine. Do they taste as good as I keep hearing about?

If you like eating woodcock, you'll be able to choke down a dove.

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Believe it or not, I had one of the most physically taxing hunting experiences of my life on a VA dove hunt. I was in a clay field of cut corn roasting as usual. I welcomed the dark clouds to my northwest for their much needed mid afternoon shade. Certain the storm would miss me, I waited and snickered at all of the other people in the field that were scared of a little water. 

As it turns out, I’m no meteorologist. It started to pour. I picked my cooler, chair, shotgun, shells and started what I thought would be a quick run a few hundred yards back up to my truck. Surprisingly, walking down hill is much easier than going back uphill. In addition to normal topography challenges, wet clay is not the optimal surface to sprint uphill on. I had spun my wheels for about 50 yards when the lightning began. My pants were already drenched from the rain, so I can’t make any promises about whether or not I contributed to their saturation. I’ve always thought that in perceived life or death scenarios people could muster super human strength and stamina. Turns out that’s not true at all. The final 50 yard walk to my truck was a slow one, having come to terms with my possible fate. The only change of clothes I had were gym shorts and a blaze orange sweatshirt. So after the storm passed and I’d had enough lousy college football on the radio, I trotted back out to the middle of that field and actually did quite well despite my unorthodox camouflage strategy. 

And after all of this, I still can’t help but get excited for September. One more month! 

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Checked my spot last week, the sunflowers seemed very green, not sure they'll be ready by Sept 1.  Also, didn't see a single dove in the area.


From a guy who can be luke-warm to eating game; dove is tasty!

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paul frey

Can’t shoot them in NY but here there is a petition going around trying to get DEC to open a season 

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