How to Throw A Last Minute Dove Hunt
Dove hunting is a tradition, especially in the South. Many of us learned how to hunt shooting at these fast-flying birds. The memories of warm afternoons, hot barrels, the smell of gunpowder and the sound of our favorite college football announcers on the radio is just too good to forget. So why have we gotten away from this wonderful pastime for so long? If you’re starting to notice some birds in your area, it’s not too late to throw together a last minute dove hunt, despite how close we are to opening day.
PICK THE PROPER FIELD
Several factors will determine what makes a field “proper,” including elevation, its proximity to roosting areas, power lines, gravel roads and water. When we say elevation, we don’t mean high altitude. Just be sure to designate a field that’s higher up; basically not a river bottom. If it’s near roost trees and a water source, then you’ve solved a lot of problems. Gravel roads serve as a means for dove to get their fill of grit. And everybody knows dove love lighting on power lines.
CREATE A POWER LINE
If you don’t have a power line strewn through your property, create one by erecting two tall poles with a taut wire or cable in between. There’s nothing illegal about this though you should maintain sound sporting etiquette - shoot them on the wing.
SCATTER THE RIGHT SEED
This needs to be a conservation practice. Don’t just sling piles of cracked corn on a field and expect to get away with it. The game warden will likely frown upon it as he’s writing you a ticket.
Dove like small grains such as millet and wheat. Many farmers in the South who also keep a perennial eye on dove season plant millet in late May, which they then cut for hay in late August. The seed that falls off onto the ground is a natural food source. Then, to get ready for fall and winter, those very same farmers will begin spreading wheat on those very same fields after they’ve run a disc and culti-packer over the ground to create a seedbed.
GATHER FRIENDS & FAMILY
Call a few close friends and family to help with the labor, and of course participate in the hunt. Many hands make light work, as they say. Also, you’ll need the right amount of people depending on the size of the field to help keep the birds moving once they start flying. And most importantly, should you find yourself out there on a Saturday, don’t forget the radio.