Dove hunting is a very popular form of hunting that is embraced by many people in the United States, particularly in the southeast. When hunting for doves, there are numerous factors that can go into making every hunting excursion successful. Some helpful dove hunting tips would include such topics as the hunter’s choice of weapon, concealment, decoys, and a good working knowledge of a dove’s normal activity.
Choosing a Gun
Armament is the easiest external factor to control while hunting for this fowl. Try to keep in mind that doves are small birds and smaller caliber ammunition will be required. The best guns to use are either semi-automatic, pump action, or double barreled shotguns in 12, 16, or 20 gauge varieties. Some skilled shooters employ 28 gauge and .410 bore, but that is best left to the experts. Appropriate shot size would be from 9 on the small end up to 6 shot for late season birds.
Camo and Decoys
Concealment and decoys are both good ways to attract and shield one’s self from being spotted by potential prey. A decoy works by portraying the look of doves and attracting them into a predetermined kill zone. Most decoys have clips so they can be attached to trees or to sticks at ground level. Doves, like many birds, are pack animals and are attracted to other doves. However, when attracting doves, one must be well camouflaged because doves have very good eyesight.
Know your Bird
Finally, the knowledge of dove behavior and the seasons for hunting them are critical to being a good responsible ethical hunter. Doves are seed eating birds, so a dove hunter should place himself and his decoys in fields where there is a healthy supply of food. In some states, it is not legal to hunt doves till after noon, but in the states where morning hunting is legal, this is often very productive.
A Great Way to Spend an Afternoon
Dove hunting is a great way to introduce new hunters to the sport of hunting. There is always lots of action and it is easy to stay in close proximity to your young charges. Make sure they have completed a state approved hunter safety course and go over what they can expect. Most hunters were probably introduced to hunting on a dove shoot.
Dove hunting is a popular sport because they are a plentiful animal that can be found in many locations in the United States. Typically doves will raise three to four nests of young each season. Dove hunting is often conducted in large groups of hunters and the fellowship is often very enjoyable. It is very important that all hunting safety guidelines be followed. Most wing shooters will find that after years of hunting these fast moving birds, they will end up being a crack shot.