Dove Hunting Tips: Early Season Doves | Bass Pro Shops

oil up your shotguns, unpack your camouflage and shoot a few drill rounds. Dove hunting season is on rap. Although they can be hunted into January in most states, the real agitation of doves is that they offer some of the beginning blast of the year .
Seasons typically open in early September, and now is the clock time to brush up on your squab cognition. here are some tips I ‘ve learned through test and error over three decades of hunting this excite gray gamebird with the farseeing, orient fag end .
Dove laying by shotgunDove guns come in a variety of price ranges, but
the main thing is to find one you’re comfortable
Use the right load: Although doves are strong enough to fly hundreds of miles south just months after being born, they ‘re actually small-bodied birds and weigh merely a few ounces. Because of this, early season doves are best brought down with a light load of # 8 or # 9 shot. Later in drop, as they gain weight from run, go with size 7 1/2 inject in heavier high brass shotgun loads .
Use the right gauge: Dove guns can range from a $ 100 individual guess to a $ 10,000 european import with flowery engravings. The independent thing is that it feels comfortable to the taw and fits right. Any gauge from 12 to .410 will work, but the truth is only technical shots should use a 28 bore or a .410.

Stevens Model 555 Silver Over/Under Shotgun
Stevens Model 555 Silver Over/Under
sometimes these light guns are given to youngsters with good intentions, but they make it supremely unmanageable for the novitiate who is good learning shooting skills to connect successfully on his or her prey. Stick with a 16 or 20 gauge shotgun if you have a young or small-framed orion you are introducing to the sport. The “ kick ” from these guns is identical modest. Most hunters will be happiest with the 12 bore .
Use the right choke for dove hunting: There is no one best choke for columba hunt. In some situations a wide-open skeet bear is good if birds are coming to a urine hole or passing 15 to 25 yards from your position. For a more typical situation of pass fritter birds at random distances, go with improved, modified, or in a doubly, a combination of those two chokes. A full choke is rarely needed for dove hunt .
Wear camouflage or drab clothing and avoid movement: Blaze orange hunting dress has its place in hunting, but not dove hunting. These birds see color and will flare when they detect bright-hued invest that sticks out from its surroundings. A tan or olive-colored kit is merely about adenine thoroughly as camouflage clothe, but no matter what you wear, be certain to besides avoid moving when a bird or troop is in view. Once they ‘ve been exposed to a snatch of hunting imperativeness, doves become particularly wary and will flare if a orion repositions himself or starts to raise his accelerator before they are in range .
Hunt early and hunt late: Opening day is the best clock to hunt doves. The birds have not been shot at yet and they often fly airless, presenting easy shots. Another reason to be in the field on open day is that lots of other hunters are extinct. That tends to keep the birds moving from airfield to battlefield, giving you more shoot opportunities .
Do n’t stash your dove gunman away after the undoer, though. After a few days, many hunters call it quits. By scouting, you can find fields with lots of birds that have settled down and little competition for them. The belated season can be specially beneficial .
Man in dusk shadow holding shotgunDon’t take low-angle shots — there will be plenty of other opportunities. Bring the right stuff: Gear for a dove hunt should include ear plugs, sunscreen, worm repellent, a hat with a brim to keep the sun out of your eyes, snacks, cold drinks or water system, binoculars to track columba movements and shooting glasses or sunglasses. Decoys are an optional detail you can add to the list .
Pre-scout before dove season opens: Spend at least a couple of afternoons scouting before dove season opens. Stay back far enough that the doves are n’t alarmed by you or the vehicle and simply watch, using both your bare eyes and binoculars. broadly you ‘ll see most fly bodily process from 2 or 3 post meridiem forth. Try to figure out what routes the birds are using flying into fields and pick out several prime ambush points .
Focus on the right dove stand locations: When selecting a web site for a dive stand, search for spots that are different than the surrounding habitat. Look for a lone tree sticking up along a fence rowing, a charge of unplowed weedy land jutting out into a cultivated field, the corner of a field where it adjoins woods, a dip or col in an otherwise straight line of tree tops. Take your digest close to these spots and you should enjoy fast fritter .
Avoid low angle shots: This is full of life for safety during a columba hunt. A low fish shoot could put your pellets flying towards another hunter ‘s position. Pass up low-flying birds up. There will be batch of others .
Don’t stop your swing: This is one of the most common mistakes in shooting doves. Pull up on the bird, keep your cheek polish close to the stock and fire as the barrel covers the quarry. BUT KEEP SWINGING. If you do n’t, you ‘ll surely send a chew of pellets flying through the air behind the quarry.

Avoid shooting at waterholes: You can hunt a water hole or pond that ‘s presently being used by doves and enjoy fast and easy shoot. But if you want the birds to keep using it, set up rather on the main migration route they use approaching it and pass fritter. That direction they wo n’t associate the pond with danger and avoid it. Why burn out a estimable spot with merely one good afternoon ‘s shoot ?
Carry a hunting seat: When squab hunt, a little camouflaged fold-up stool with a compartment built in below the seat is a handy detail to have. You can put supernumerary shells, sunglasses, a drink, sandwiches and sugarcoat bars in the compartment and use the seat to reduce the tenor on your legs and back throughout the long good afternoon. alternately, you can take a bombastic plastic paint bucket and camouflage it, carrying your gear in it for the hike in and out and using it as a induct during the hunt .
Person sitting in a field holding a shotgunTry to sit back against a bit of cover
when dove hunting instead of out in the
Watch for flurries of dove activity: Some hunters think all the best shoot will occur in the final examination hour or two of day. That ‘s not constantly the sheath. Often throughout the afternoon there will be “ flurries ” of dive activity when several groups of birds fly in and out of fields for five or ten minutes, followed by a lull in activity. Be ready when those waves of flights occur and you ‘ll be well on your manner towards a limit even before the concluding good afternoon crescendo of natural process takes stead .
Don’t raise your gun too soon: If you do this, you lose the natural swing motion that makes wingshooting a fluid, rhythmical natural process of raising the gunman, aiming and firing. Another problem with raising your gun besides soon is that the birds might see your campaign and flare out of stove or swerve, making for a more difficult inject. Wait until the dove is just approximately into shooting rate, meaning 40 yards or less, and then raise the shotgun in one smooth motion, firing as the barrel tracks ahead of the target .
Find the food doves eat: good crop fields for doves include cut corn, wheat, peanuts, millet, sorghum, milo and sunflowers. Weed seeds such as thistle and croton are besides favored by these birds .
Take care of your bounty: Dove hunting often takes rate in hot weather, making spoilage of the game a concern. Do n’t pile doves up in the back of a hunt vest, but preferably, lay them out in a fly-by-night sphere outspread out thus their body hotness can dissipate. alternately, you can carry a cooler with ice and put them in that, but be certain to spread them out .
Retrieve downed birds immediately: When birds are flying fast and angered, it ‘s tempting to try to bag several before you go pick them up. That ‘s normally a error, unless the cover is highly low and open .
Doves are well camouflaged and easy to lose. You need to mark precisely where the quarry fell and walk directly towards it after shooting. It only takes a few minutes to retrieve the bird, and doves are besides commodity on the dining board to waste. Of course if you have a well-trained retriever, he ‘ll solve this trouble for you .
Keep your hunting options open: alternatively of figuring you ‘ll hunt one descry, judge to have two or three possible hunting locations lined up in overture. That room if one field has other hunters on it, or the birds merely are n’t flying well there, you can promptly have an alternative site to turn to.

Take cover: You do n’t need to build a blind, but try to locate a bit of natural cover to sit or stand next to. Find a cedar, fence post, bosky point or uncut row of corn to hide near. You do n’t have to hide yourself adenine well as you would to lure in a flock of wary ducks, but standing out in the open is a surely room to make doves flare out of range .
Keep these hunting tips in mind and you should have the makings for a delightful dinner at the end of the day in a dive field, arsenic well as plenty of exciting memories of the elusive “ grey ghostwriter ” to tide you over until your next hound .

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