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Annual Dove Hunters Sound Off


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Huntschool
2 hours ago, mccuha said:

I know it’s a long drive but there are places in Texas that has hunts available every day.  You could shoot every day that you are there. Just look up Texas dove hunting or Texas day or season leases. 

 

True Dat.....  I have several of my student graduates that are managing properties down there that I could likely drop in on for a hunt or three.....

 

I really wanted something closer to home.  I have opening day covered on the place I mentioned above but was looking for something else I could buy into for the rest of the season and perhaps even find a place that has a good winter season.

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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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Huntschool
2 hours ago, DD Huntress said:

More so than sunflowers, doves love hemp. They seem to be a little fatter and fly a little slower near a hemp patch. 

 

I quite enjoy a dove shish kebab, medium rare of course, over a bed of garlic butter wild rice. 

 

Dove jalapeno poppers are delicious.

 

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Didn't know Iowa had Blue/scaled quail...  (bottom of picture).....  

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mister grouse

A friend in Ky has a hemp license , grows several fields, and the doves  like to hang out around it. I think they like the shade and cover and the bugs in it.  Im not sure that they eat any of it.  Hemp field next to a sunflower field or cut corn field is a pretty good arrangement.

 

The legal hemp has an odor similar to the more narcotic illegal hemp., which is its first cousin.   The odor can saturate your clothes .   If you walk around much in the taller hemp by the end of the day you probably want to change clothes before the drive home.  An officer who sticks his head in the car window for any violation is other wise going to be asking a lot of questions .  A friend told me this .

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DD Huntress
8 hours ago, Huntschool said:

 

Didn't know Iowa had Blue/scaled quail...  (bottom of picture).....  

They don't.  That was NM. 

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DD Huntress

This is Iowa. By the time our season starts in September, we usually have had a few nights with temps below 40. The dove population dwindles quickly. Dove season should start August 15th when we actually have bird numbers. 

 

Hunting NewMexico and Arizona is way more productive.

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Mild Bill

When I lived in Tennessee for about 6 years, I was invited to go dove hunting a handful of times or so.

 

The ones I participated in were not the big gatherings that involved all sorts of people and food etc.  They were smaller, 4 to 6 people but we did eat good as part of the day, usually something off the grill... bovine or porcine.

 

They were still very fun and a nice enjoyable time. 

 

The farm that these were held at grew fresh market produce and then afterwards were seeded down with cover crops and that is what drew the doves in.  the fields were down on the terrace near the river and we would position ourselves between the woods where they roosted and the fields and river where they flew down to eat and drink. 

 

There is nothing like that style of hunting for doves that happens here in Wisconsin.

 

Some of the fun discussions we used to have were comparing Wisconsin hunting and fishing and the traditions around those to Tennessee hunting and fishing and their traditions around those.

 

They way the folks I hunted with there prepared them was to breast them out, and then wrap the breasts in bacon and soak them in a locally made marinade and put them on the grill.  They all disappeared.

 

 

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sidelock

If restricted to use steel shot only for doves, would #7 1/2 still be the preferred size or should I go with #6 to compensate ?

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Treerooster
3 hours ago, sidelock said:

If restricted to use steel shot only for doves, would #7 1/2 still be the preferred size or should I go with #6 to compensate ?

 

You are probably only going to find 7 shot in steel, not 7 1/2.

 

My experience with doves and steel is somewhat limited but I prefer 6 shot. I shoot a 12 ga with an IC choke and 2 3/4" steel shells. 7's work ok if the shot are relatively close, like less than 30.

3 hours ago, sidelock said:

If restricted to use steel shot only for doves, would #7 1/2 still be the preferred size or should I go with #6 to compensate ?

 

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mister grouse
12 hours ago, sidelock said:

If restricted to use steel shot only for doves, would #7 1/2 still be the preferred size or should I go with #6 to compensate ?

General thinking in mid south is lead 7.5 to 9s in early season in Sept , but lead 6 from the larger mature migratory doves in December or late season.  Steel 7 would be fine IMO in Sept but I have never shot steel for doves  .

 

Also there psi a lot of difference in how doves approach fields as the season progresses.  Lots of closer range  shooting typically in the first week or so, as birds are naive and many young ones.  "Floaters" are easy shooting.  

 

 By the time December rolls around the shooting is at high and fast birds . Some of the most difficult/challenging  shooting on a dove field  Ive seen was in a south Ga December dove field with tall longleaf  pines surrounding it on all sides.  Shooters were stationed facing the pines and fairly close to the trees and all shooting was only at high incomers overhead (perhaps akin to driven bird shooting); and  No shots allowed "across the field".  A incoming unseen mature December dove at 30-45 mph in a breeze  that offers a quick only shot at maybe forty yards will  sort out the " men from the boys " fairly quickly   ...but that was what the field was intended to do...challenge the shooters.

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Desert Wings

I did a dove shoot last year where I used some steel #7s in my 12ga.  They seemed to work fine within a certain distance and I had no problem getting a limit.  But there were a few cripples to track which is not an uncommon thing, but did seem more than usual.  Shells were only 1200 fps though which is rather slow for steel shot.  If I used steel again I'd make sure to get something running a little hotter or go up to #6. 

 

Just my observation based on a single hunt, YMMV.    

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dr.duck

I look forward to the September 1st dove opener every year.

When I moved from Louisiana to Central Texas my dove hunting hit high gear. I had, ran 5 leases 30 minutes from home and later became one of a 10 member group with a rented house in northern Mexico. I have never been to South America to dove or pigeon hunt but I will put a great Whitewing dove hunt up against any wing shooting I have ever experienced. 

With 2 Lab pups less than 4 months old have had over 200 retrieves over a 4 hunt weekend. Extreme heat often is a huge factor so when water was not close by I would put a small plastic pool in the shade with 15 gallons of water and a block of ice. 

Like all game birds dove are great when properly prepared and cooked. 

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Central TX is where it's at. Not a whole lot going on around Houston for dove these days. 

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Just a thought about those early season shoots...It can be hot--and it can kill a dog. A vet friend of mine from years ago once told me that Opening Day was his busiest of the year as he dealt with over-heated dogs.  The excitement of a good hunt when it's blistering hot is tough on a dog, of course, and even when you think you're going to be careful, the excitement of getting that next downed bird can let a dog push it too far. I remember a hunt a few years ago where I had to take my lab from the field and put him in my truck's AC.... He ended up fine, but it was close to not being that way..... 😬

 

Hunting dogs and heat strokes

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molliesmaster
31 minutes ago, spring said:

Just a thought about those early season shoots...It can be hot--and it can kill a dog. A vet friend of mine from years ago once told me that Opening Day was his busiest of the year as he dealt with over-heated dogs.  The excitement of a good hunt when it's blistering hot is tough on a dog, of course, and even when you think you're going to be careful, the excitement of getting that next downed bird can let a dog push it too far. I remember a hunt a few years ago where I had to take my lab from the field and put him in my truck's AC.... He ended up fine, but it was close to not being that way..... 😬

 

Hunting dogs and heat strokes

 

This is very true.   Unless you shoot like me, then the dog really just sits around a lot, mumbling under her breath things I can't type out.        But we stick to the shade, have lots of cool water, and I even keep her on an elevated stand that lets her get a little more breeze than if she was sitting down on the dirt. 

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Zkight89
1 hour ago, molliesmaster said:

 

This is very true.   Unless you shoot like me, then the dog really just sits around a lot, mumbling under her breath things I can't type out.        But we stick to the shade, have lots of cool water, and I even keep her on an elevated stand that lets her get a little more breeze than if she was sitting down on the dirt. 

 

 I never thought about the elevated stand getting them more air. I may consider trying that. 

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