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Dove Hunting Tips

Posted by C.J. Kausel on 9/9/2020 to Training Tips

Can you believe it? The fall hunting season is just 30 days away! It seems like just last week we were discussing the end of the season and what you and your dog could work on in the off-season.

Dove hunting, which starts on September 1st, is the annual kick-off for fall upland bird hunting. It is an outright ritual for family and friends to get together and enjoy the opening weekend of dove hunting. The weather is great, the birds are plentiful - creating a lot of action, and the camaraderie is unsurpassed. Good time to sharpen up the “old shooting eye”.

Thus, I thought I’d pass on some tips to help you have a successful dove hunt.

Ø   Many walk-in-access properties and state lands offer excellent dove hunting.

Ø   For those of you who are new to dove hunting, doves prefer to roost and loaf in tree groves near a water source and a food source. They love wild sunflower seeds and winter wheat. They will move from the trees to food, then to water, and back to the trees. They will do this all day long.

Ø   Set yourself up along a tree line where you have seen doves flying. Sit or stand in a shadowy area. Doves are less likely see you there. Wear lightweight camo clothing, whose color coordinates with your surroundings. I like to use decoys, as they will attract doves toward you. Set them in visible tree branches or on barbwire fences. A flock of 2 or 3 will do the trick.

Ø   Equipment needed:

·       A chair or bucket with a swivel top is great.

·       Lightweight camo clothing

·       2 - 3 dove decoys

·       Insect repellent applied to your clothing. Mosquitos and biting flies can be annoying.

·       Plenty of shotgun shells, as birds are very numerous and are elusive targets to hit. 12-, 20-, or 28-gauges with 7 1/2 or 8 shot are great for doves.

·       Sunglasses and sunscreen along with rain gear.

·       Plenty of water for you and your dog, if you bring one. This is a great opportunity for your dog to mark birds and work on retrieving.

·       Ear protection, as you will be doing a lot of shooting.

·       Orange flagging to mark your position, if you are hunting with others.

·       A day pack to carry above items.

Be sure to have a small game regulations booklet with you. The Eurasian or collared dove species inhabiting most states are an invasive species. Many states allow hunting them year-round with no bag limit. The thing to remember is when transporting them, they need to be fully feathered so as not to be counted toward your mourning dove or white wing dove harvests. Check your regulations for details.

Shawnee and I are looking forward to the upcoming season, as I’m sure you are as well. We will see you all again next month.

Our best to all,

       C J  ,  Shawnee  and  Duchess