Doves are great fun to hunt and eat. Their fast and acrobatic flying skills make them challenging shotgun targets. When smoked or grilled, when wrapped in bacon, nothing tastes better.
Each fall dove season is often the first chance, shotgun hunters, get at wild game. Flocks of migratory doves can be found along freshly harvested wheat and crop fields. Pass or jump shooting can quickly fill your limits with fun and food.
Always know your local rules and limits for doves. They can change with management issues. Most states offer 12-15 doves each day. Hunters keep them cool until they can dress them later. Breasting the doves presents a dark meat treat that can be marinated, wrapped in bacon and slowly grilled. These tasty morsels are amazing eating.
Usually doves head south after the first frost. Getting out early can be hot, sweaty hunting, and shooting. A good retriever will help you find doves dropped in heavy cover. The key to shooting a dove is allow them to come into range. 30 -40 yards is maximum for shot that is 71/2 – 9 and a modified to improved cylinder barrel. You do not want to ruin the dove with too much choke or shot. When shooting a dove, swing, swing, swing. Do not stop the gun. Always mark where the dove drops and go right to the spot. Drop your hat and start making circles until you find them. They are too precious to waste.
Doves are a great way to train new and young hunters. Gun safety, excitement, and sportsmanship are all a part of “Lovin Dovin!” Try using some decoys, sit along observed fly zones, and take some water for the hot days. Sitting on a bucket or stool adds some comfort. Wear camo as needed and carry an orange hat when travelling to and from your hunting spot.
Dove Days are almost here!
‘For more Montana Grant, hunt him up at www.montanagrantfishing.com.