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Annual Dove Hunters Sound Off


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All summer the dove numbers were very high around the ranch.  I was looking forward to the Sept 1 opener.  In Montana you only get about a week before the delicate little darlings decide it's too cold and they head south so opening day is really important. 

Well this year about 5 days before opener it was rainy and cold and by Sept 1 they were pretty much all gone.  I hope all you guys south of me have fun shooting my doves.

 

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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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Had our annual Labor Day hunt and cookout at a friend's farm this morning. The field was a little late this year due to a bad case of " army worms". However a few birds showed up, everyone managed to knock a few down and the mutts picked em up. Much better than a day at work ....

 

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 I let the little boys carry their single shot " in case any lit in the decoys" and take turns sitting with it. 

 

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 The wife's pup even picked up a few.

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The opening few days here in AZ have been really good. Plenty of birds. Yesterday evening was awesome with the birds flying in over the cactus and the creosote. Mountains in the background. I was cheating and using my 12ga. Monte. A few legit doubles and used just a single box of shells. It’s nice to be able to pick your shots. If you guys ever get the chance, I recommend hitting AZ for an open desert dove hunt. Just a neat thing to experience, they are pretty much everywhere.

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Mike Connally
On 9/6/2021 at 10:58 AM, SelbyLowndes said:
 
 
Opening Day 2021:
My telephone was ominously quiet all week.  No invitations; I guess I've gotten old and the folks who are having dove shoots nowadays must think my retirement from work means I've quit hunting as well.
 
I've made a point of  hunting on opening day for so long, though I went out to my deer lease alone and put out a robo teal in a clearcut and took a seat on my folding chair under a shade tree, thinking something might fly by.  I could hear what sounded like a good shoot somewhere off in the distance, and hoped those boys were having a safe and productive hunt.
 
Anyhow as I sat watching my robo spin and I think it must have hypnotized me.  I went to sleep and fell out of my chair into a brier patch.  I remember the fall but I must have gotten knocked out a little when I hit the ground.  I woke one time, and lying flat on my back saw a flock of big black birds down low circling my spinner wing. I decided they were crows attracted to the spinner, but upon reflection they may have been buzzards checking me out.  Probably all just a dream anyhow.  
 
I was awakened by Stella, the yellow Lab licking the blood off my face.  No big deal about the blood, it's just not a good idea to be on blood thinners and fall into the briers.  The real problem was I couldn't get up.  Luckily I did have my cell phone in my pocket, and called Emily and she sent Trent out to where I told her I was.  He got me up with no problem, and we loaded my stuff back in the car and he followed me home since I was still a little woozy.  
 
While we were locking the gate back we saw a dove fly over about where I had been.  I bet if I'd have still been there I would have nailed him...SelbyLowndes
 
p.s.:  If you think I had a poor opening day, just wait until you see Gil Stacy's pictures!

Nominated for hunt of the week…

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 I love dove hunting.  Been doing it for 55+ years.  Had to miss my annual trip to Oklahoma for 3 weeks of dove hunting due to a diabetic ulcer on my foot that almost caused me to loose the foot.  I have been fighting this ulcer for 10+ months.  The ulcer is almost closed and hopefully will be gone by the end of the year.  While I couldn't go hunting, at 73 years old I did what any old goat that has too many shotguns would do.  I bought a pristine Beretta AL390 Silver Mallard 20 gauge locally.  I guess I will never learn. 

Have a great hunting season.

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Just an observation that I noticed yesterday. Don’t know if it means we had a good hatch or late hatch or what but.  I have a clear cut that was cut last fall so I decided to plant some millet in it.  The millet did ok but I’ve seen much better stands. Any way, the doves are not using the cut to feed in but instead to roost/ loaf in. There are three other fields pretty close by.  When those fields would have a volley you could expect doves to show shortly after. All afternoon.   I had a great shoot Monday. The thing I saw kind of strange was the number of young doves I shot. Out of the 15 , 10 were very young.  One was the smallest I’d ever seen before so dove experts, what does this mean.  Did we have a good hatch or late or what.  

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24 minutes ago, mccuha said:

Just an observation that I noticed yesterday. Don’t know if it means we had a good hatch or late hatch or what but.  I have a clear cut that was cut last fall so I decided to plant some millet in it.  The millet did ok but I’ve seen much better stands. Any way, the doves are not using the cut to feed in but instead to roost/ loaf in. There are three other fields pretty close by.  When those fields would have a volley you could expect doves to show shortly after. All afternoon.   I had a great shoot Monday. The thing I saw kind of strange was the number of young doves I shot. Out of the 15 , 10 were very young.  One was the smallest I’d ever seen before so dove experts, what does this mean.  Did we have a good hatch or late or what.  

 

 I think we wound up with 8 or so yesterday morning. All big, mature birds and very weary. Either someone in the area hammered all the young birds or we did not have a good hatch here. 

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Treerooster
2 hours ago, mccuha said:

Just an observation that I noticed yesterday. Don’t know if it means we had a good hatch or late hatch or what but.  I have a clear cut that was cut last fall so I decided to plant some millet in it.  The millet did ok but I’ve seen much better stands. Any way, the doves are not using the cut to feed in but instead to roost/ loaf in. There are three other fields pretty close by.  When those fields would have a volley you could expect doves to show shortly after. All afternoon.   I had a great shoot Monday. The thing I saw kind of strange was the number of young doves I shot. Out of the 15 , 10 were very young.  One was the smallest I’d ever seen before so dove experts, what does this mean.  Did we have a good hatch or late or what.  

 

Out west here in Colorado I always see lots of young doves early in the season. They usually outnumber the more mature looking doves, like 2 to 1 almost. I participated in a dove wing survey this year for the first 2 days of my dove hunting. So when I get the results back I'll know how many juveniles and adults I shot, at least the first 30 doves anyway.

 

It isn't until after the first week or mid September that I see a lot more mature looking doves.

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This year the weather really couldn't have been better. The bird numbers weren't great, but good enough to keep you awake! 

 

I might could have done a bit better on my end but I really don't think so. No limits on the field, but that was mostly hindered by the number of birds plus the number of shooters on the fields.  Combine that with the skill of everyone me and there weren't that many groups that I had a chance at; nearly all singles.

 

GA started its season at dawn this year, but we didn't make that switch. It was our same, traditional BBQ and socializing at noon and then wander into the fields as the mood strikes.  I really don't know how much the earlier start time affected us; but not much I don't think. Either way, I was happy to be out there. 

 

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Awful picture but an awesome hunt.  Best one I have been on in a while.   Large barbecue and lots of doves.  High birds, crossers, straight on and away shots.  Hot as hell but a blast.   Lot of kids who got to shoot at a lot of birds.

 

 

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Huntschool

My trip to TN was a good one.  Lots of birds and a well managed shoot.  As usual I got too busy to take any pics but suffice it to say my two old Damascus GH Parkers got a bit of a work out.  The long barreled gun had way too much choke for the area we were shooting and the way the birds were flying so I went to the 28" mod and full gun and still wished for less choke.  That being said I did manage to scratch down a limit and had some fun doing it.  Had some folks with dogs near me that really saved my bacon on retrieving.  

 

Got to try out my new to me original Parker VH, 30" 20ga. mid week on an un-hunted managed sunflower field and the results were great.  Tons of birds and you could pick your shots.  The 20ga did a bang up job.....  Yea, I missed a few at the beginning (first time shooting this gun) but figured it out pretty quick. We partnered up on this shoot so that each pair of shooters had a dog to retrieve.   I hope to get back to that field over the weekend.  Our cooler temps are due to go back up so we shall see.......  Perhaps some new birds will fill in.

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mister grouse

I was a privileged guest at a small local  hunt yesterday  with two of the best young shooters out there as part of the six shooters in the field .  

 

Two brothers, 13 year old and one 18 year old.....both of whom had won numerous national scholastic shooting championships.  The 13 year old either did not miss or shot 16 shells to kill his 15 bird limit,  (observers could not tell exactly)  and the shooting was challenging with a 15 mph wind , and no floaters.  The 18 year old may have shot just as well , but was harder to observe for shell count as he was very interested in running his  young lab and helping  to pick up birds  and moving around a lot.  The older folks in the  field were all excellent shots but not in the league with those youngsters. 
 

I am not much on posting pictures. And particularly tailgate pictures. But here is part of  the pile before the bird cleaning commenced. Been limits for about all the shooters on most every hunt this season. So far. 
 

 

 

 

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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 with your thumb and the meat squeezes right off), marinated in a jar of pickle juice I had just emptied (free vinegar and spices) for a day.  Half slice of thin bacon, 1/4 of a slice of jalapeno, wedge of onion, chunk of dove breast, chunk of muenster (3/8'x3/8"x 2" maybe?) rolled together, sprinkled with some bbq seasoning, and cooked on the pellet grill, started at 175 for 30 minutes of heavy smoke, then cranked it up to 350 until the bacon looked good.  I'd say these were the best I've had.  Yes, there is a pickle taste to them, but I like pickles...

 

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mister grouse

I've hunted seven afternoons and limited 6 of the seven.  Two birds short on the other one.  It is the best local dove season anyone can recall.  We always seem to have good dove hunting in September  but this year is exceptional.

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My Dove season here in the PHX, AZ metro has been trash. Couldn’t find birds in numbers even if I tried.  Shot a total of 15 in the 5 days I was able to hunt.  First year I haven’t limited every time I’ve gone out.  

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