As fall is quickly approaching many hunters are looking for their first opportunity to get outside and start the hunting season and get tuned up for early teal season. One of my favorite early season hunts just happens to be going after doves.
There are several reasons for this. First, it’s usually beautiful weather and a great way to spend a morning or afternoon. Secondly, it’s a fun hunt that can be very social. Third, I believe it’s a great way to get in some much needed real life practice which will help you for the upcoming waterfowl season.
Over the years spending time out hunting doves there are a few things I’ve picked up to make your hunt more enjoyable. One of the most important is to ensure you have a nice chair to sit on. We usually use 5-gallon buckets with a spinning lid. This is an easy solution that keeps you comfortable and mobile throughout the entire hunt.
Next, I actually like using Winchester AA TrAAcker in the field for the hunt. The reason for this is simple. Just like you can see why you’re missing clay targets, you can also see why you’re missing doves. The wad follows the shot string and you can visually see if you were in front or behind the doves. I’ve found this to be a big help at the start of the season. This can also be helpful if you’re coming off a waterfowl hunt where the birds are flying much slower than doves. Of course we can all learn to shoot at the varying speeds, but this simply speeds up the learning curve for me.
Doves can be a fun and exciting hunt to bring younger kids on and allows them to enjoy the nice weather and also see an action packed hunt. One very important thing to remember however is ear protection. More than likely there will be quite a bit of shooting and everyone needs to remember the importance of ear protection at all times.
Lastly, when it comes to cleaning and eating your doves they may be a little work but it’s well worth it! I was in Argentina a few years ago and had the privilege of trying dove numerous different ways. If you’re looking for some new and improved recipes to share with your family and friends, I always recommend checking out Scott Leyseth’s Sporting Chef website. He’s one of the best chef’s I’ve ever met and is a master at cooking wild game. You never know, you may end up with a new favorite recipe and just another reason to get back out hunting in the fall.