Well it is just about time to wipe the excess oil off of the old scatter gun and get ready for fall

Well it is just about time to wipe the excess oil off of the old scatter gun and get ready for fall

Hunting season. Sept. 1is the traditional opener for Dove season. In many families this has become a traditional time to get together and do a little socializing and a lot of fast and furious gunning! With Dove season opening on Labor Day weekend many families are together enjoying the end of summer. This is a perfect time to head to the field for a good ole family hunt.

The first Dove season was held in the mid nineteen seventies. It took some serious lobbying in the State Legislature to make it a reality. One of the tradeoffs made to initiate the season was the elimination of roadside ditch hunting for Pheasants and Quail.

In many recent summers sometime in August there seems to be a short cold snap which tends to cause the Doves to migrate out of the state in large numbers. This tends to cause a less than impressive opening weekend for Dove hunting. We often get requests to move the season opener up a few weeks. The Commission would be happy to do so but the season opening date is not under our control. The Mourning Dove is a migratory bird and The US Fish and Wildlife Agency is responsible for the date of the season opener.

This year The Service has recommended changing possession limit from two times the daily bag

limit to three times the daily bag. The daily bag limit on Doves is fifteen so possession limit will be forty five doves. Remember that an ethical sportsman only harvests what they can reasonably consume or use.

A scouting trip in the early morning or late evening is the best way to prepare for the season. Look for concentrations of Doves in an area. Doves will come to the road to gravel and also need water. Preferred food sources are wheat sunflowers weed seeds and marijuana seeds

Because the birds are active at these times of the day it is easy to figure out their patterns.

There are several ways to hunt Doves but my favorite is hunting by waterholes. If you find a small pond with some mud flats or dry banks and possibly a dead tree nearby you have an ideal set up. I like to place a few decoys on the edge of the water. Then I position a couple of spinning wing decoys on four to six foot poles so they are visible to incoming Doves. It is amazing to watch the doves set their wings and decoy in. It is like watching ducks decoy!

The advantage of hunting this way is the fact that you are shooting at Doves that are flying at a slower speed. This greatly increases your success rate as compared to pass shooting doves that are screaming by you. In this case you may be shooting at Doves not shooting them.

This is a great way to start a young hunter in the wing shooting sports. Take a young hunter with you on a waterhole Dove hunt and mentor them closely. I guarantee you will both have a great time. Set aside some time this September and enjoy a Dove hunt. Remember your safety rules and just go hunting.