John's Journal...


Dove Hunting

Click to enlargeEDITOR'S NOTE: Decoying and calling doves makes dove hunting an exciting, fun-filled sport. It also allows the land-bound hunter to experience the thrills of waterfowl-type hunting, calling and decoying, while actually hunting doves. It makes the sport of doveing on the same level as good waterfowling without the inclement weather. Dove season will open soon all across the U.S. This week we’ll give you tips and information to help you enjoy better dove hunting this fall.

As doves poured into the field, the shooting became fast and furious. On the horizon, we could see gray specks falling from the sky like snowflakes. Off to our right, one of Click to enlargethe hunters spotted a pair of birds coming toward him -- skirting the edge of the field and darting in and out of the treeline. The hunter easily could make this shot, and if he got lucky, he could double-up on this pair of birds. But as he watched the birds come in, he saw movement in the sky slightly off to his left. Another dove flew straight for the tree under which he sat. Looking at that bird and then turning swiftly to face the two incoming birds, the hunter calculated that the three doves would pass by his shooting position at approximately the same time. So, his brain began to work overtime trying to figure out his distance from the birds and which bird he should take a Click to enlargeshot at first. But according to hunter, the pea-sized computer between his ears became overloaded with information and failed to give him an accurate answer as to which bird to shoot first. He had no time for recalculations, because the doves had flown well within gun range. He had to shoot rapidly or miss his opportunity.

Instinctively, the hunter swung to try and take the lead bird of the pair of doves off to his right. Just as he squeezed the trigger, the bird that had come in straight in front of him dove across his sight plane and broke his concentration as the gun Click to enlargefired. Although he missed, he recovered quickly to try to take the trailing dove of the twosome that had flown in from his right. His second shot missed too. However, just as the last bird slipped over a small beech tree on the edge of the field, he fired again. A cloud of feathers indicated that he finally had corrected his aim.

Opening day of dove season often can result in a frustrating frenzy of fast shooting, plenty of birds and much-spent powder. But after opening day, the wild and timid surviving doves know how to dodge hunters. Dove shooting then becomes dove hunting -- an altogether different sport.


Check back each day this week for more about “HOW TO DECOY AND CALL DOVES”

Day 1: Dove Hunting
Day 2: Dove Hunting After Opening Day
Day 3: Dove Decoying
Day 4: Moving Doves from the Water to the Field
Day 5: Making Your Spreads for Doves



Entry 315, Day 1