Experienced dove hunters go into 3rd season with not a lot of anticipation for a great hunt. Typically there are not that many birds, and if they come in, they are fast, smart, and heavily feathered for the winter making their acrobatic maneuvers even more impressive if you could imagine that. But this past Saturday was an amazing day. The weather was perfect and members started arriving at Honey Camp Dove Club at noon. We stood around the barrel fire excited about the cold front… 45 degrees, nice sun and cloud cover. It was time to draw for stands and finally, I drew the coveted pear tree stand – guaranteed to be the best stand in the field! This stand is so good if only 4 birds showed up. it would be at the pear tree. The pear tree stand could never be bought, though many have tried! Honey Camp rules would never allow that! Nervously I anticipated the pressure I was under to hold up the high success rate other members have had at this fantastic stand especially being the the only female full member.
I was loaded up with ammo – two new boxes of Fiocchi, awesome shells I had gotten for my birthday and another box at the bottom of my dove pail. Immediately, the doves started flying. I swore those shells had to be duds as I did not drop a bird! I tried everything…sitting down and standing up. I dragged my dove pail here, then there, hoping to get the best angle. I was humiliated as I missed each bird. I had a lot more success my first hunt of the year; what has happened? Are my contacts in backwards?
My husband texted me from across the field and I had to tell him I hadn’t shot a thing. He said, “It’s ok.. a lot of people are missing. They are flying high and hard to hit”. I felt a bit better. He reminded me to lead the bird. So I settled down and I finally shot one. Eagerly, I started after the bird and as fast as it dropped to the ground, it got up and flew! The afternoon was flying by as fast as the lead was flying. I was about to be skunked at the coveted pear tree stand when finally, I dropped one!! The bird hit the ground! Whew I got a bird!! What a humbling hunt. But, I did have a great time being outdoors and everyone was kind to me. I took a bit of teasing and I deserved that. I told everyone I had set two new records- most shells shot and least birds down at the pear tree stand!
Thankfully, my husband dropped 12 birds so we had a great dinner of bacon wrapped doves and creamy yellow grits! Going back this Saturday and I am going to redeem myself. But, I won’t be at the coveted pear tree stand- rules state that you cannot draw that stand two weeks in a row!
Skip was waiting for me to drop a bird!!