Summer gives way to September and it has been months since you last picked up your gun. The tinge of excitement is in the air with opening day upon us. You gather up all your gear with great anticipation. A slight sample of Autumn with it beautiful leaves and a crisp morning tease you, only to succumb to the oppressive heat that overtakes those sweet but elusive breezes. But it is opening day and there is so much to be thankful for. Couple that with football and it doesn’t get much better.
Dove hunting is a very special to me. It is a time to hang out with our couple friends who hunt together. When I first started hunting doves, my main concern was mistaking a tweety bird for a dove. But after a while, you will be able to detect a dove with its amazing acrobatics – they dive, they corkscrew, they are not easy to shoot for sure!
There are a lot of things to keep in mind when hunting doves. Most important, do not shoot any low birds for safety reasons of course- 45 degree of the horizon rule – If you are hunting with a club, there will be a set of written rules for you to follow. My focus is to stay safe, stay hydrated, keep alert, and shoot doves.
I never get tired of watching doves. There is a distinct difference from a “city” dove to a “country” dove. First, doves who live in residential areas have it made. They fly about knowing they are not ever going to be on anyone’s dinner plate. They are fat and happy and sing their mellow tunes with no worries in the world. They make themselves at home on your property and they especially like building their nests on top of your outdoor fans. No matter how many times I discourage this, they keep coming back. Sometimes I get home and there are thousands of tiny twigs all about my lanai from this crazy nest building. The only way to get the message to them is to turn on the fan and hope they fly off before they get their tales caught in the fan. Country doves on the other hand are always looking for food and trying to stay out of the way of predators. Their flying maneuvers and their skills are what keeps them alive with all the challenges they encounter in the country. But now September is here and they have to outsmart the dove hunters who can’t wait to kick off this favorite hunting sport. My question is why would you choose to be a country dove when you could be a city dove?