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Dove season brings mixed results

By By Mike Giles / outdoor writer
Sept. 5, 2003
Although it still feels like the middle of summer, last Monday was the start of dove season. This year September first, the earliest date dove season can open due to federal regulation, fell on a Monday which happened to be Labor Day. So many hunters were off work and could make the opener. Wayne Jones of Pittman Game Calls invited us down to his neck of the woods for an opening day hunt near Richton. Dawn Monday morning found my nephew Justin and me positioned in a strategic spot alongside the field.
Although the morning started off slow, it wasn't long before flocks of doves were bombarding the grain field in search of seeds and grain. Most of the doves were entering the field directly across from us and dive-bombing towards the middle of the grain field. The ones that made it across were flying high and fast by the time they got to us. Many entered the field from our side while flying high over the trees. Those were hard to hit as well.
They say when the going gets tough the tough get going. And so it was with us, Justin and I took turns shooting and missing. It wasn't long before Justin scored on his first dove. As a twelve year old in only his second season of dove hunting he did pretty well.
Tough targets
Let me say right now that I have had better opening days. However, it wasn't because of a shortage of doves. I was doing plenty of shooting and a bunch of missing as well! After a lot of missing, I shot down a few birds.
Wayne Jones on the other hand wasn't having as much trouble as we were. Although Jones is well known for his love of turkey hunting and his turkey calling prowess, he is pretty proficient at dove hunting as well. He had a field day with the doves. He was really warming up that old Beretta 12 gauge shotgun. In fact, he made some almost unbelievable shots at birds that seemingly were up near the clouds. Now that might be a slight overstatement, but not by much.
After the morning action slowed down we took a siesta inside the cool air conditioning and lounged in Jones' game room while waiting for a snack. Talk about a noontime siesta, Jones really put on the feed with plenty of smoked sausage, chicken and barbecue beans. There were also plenty of soft drinks, chips and dip to go along. And to top it all off there was a scrumptious chocolate cake for desert.
Fulfilling hunt
What more could you ask for? Good food, plenty of doves and a lot of fellowship with new friends and fellow hunters made the hunt all the more worthwhile. Of course the doves that we brought home will really make a fitting end to an action-packed opening day.
If you're just itching for some fast and furious action you might find some in a local dove field this coming weekend since we spared a few. Just remember to leave those low flying birds alone and watch where you're shooting. No bird is worth injuring another hunter when there's surely plenty more to be had. Be safe, not sorry, and we just might meet somewhere in the outdoors.