Dove Day Hunt 2016

If you want to shoot some Doves and help us protect the skies over Texas from the insidious, most worrisome doves that peck the eyes out of small children, wandering nuns, virgins and other fine folks like that, then pay attention to the information below. Join today, do your civic duty.

At this point our early head count indicates there will be 5 ride-along non-shooters, and 20 guns.

It is almost time to purchase your 2016-17 Texas Hunting License with migratory bird stamp and HIP certification Starting August 15th. The additional migratory bird stamp and HIP certifications are important. If you are coming in from out of state you may purchase a 5 day special license for $48 plus the $7 Texas migratory bird stamp and free HIP certification. This can be done at both sporting goods and a lot of grocery stores here in Texas.

A special note, please refrain from wearing bright colors because doves have incredible vision and for some reason blue jeans are said to stand out for doves like bright orange for us human peoples. Clothing the color of weeds and dirt and camo work best, generally the cheaper Walmart quality is most adequate and perhaps preferred.

This list might not contain everything you need for Dove Day hunt and your mileage may vary but here are some of my suggestions. Shotgun with proper chokes installed in good working order and about three or four boxes of shells, field loads 7 1/2 or 8 shot. Please shoot your shotgun a time or two before you come and make sure it works, even better go shoot a round or two of skeet. A shooting vest or belt with pouches to hold shells and birds is handy. Remember to keep your dead doves off the ground and don’t put a dove in a tree or on a fence post because the ants will eat them in about 45 seconds, just ask Larry. You need a camo or buff color hat to keep the sun out of your eyes and off your head, especially if you are bald. Shooting glasses/sun glasses for eye protection and hearing protection are necessary.

Your gear list will include an ice chest/bucket to keep lots cold water on hand and cool dead doves as you shoot them and put your individual doves in your own zip lock bag with your name on the bag. Dead Doves are unique and personal for you and they are not fungible, you cannot mix your doves with others. A camp stool or chair is very helpful because there is a lot of sitting around hoping and waiting for the dove flights to come in.

Bug spray and sunscreen will make your life better after the hunt when you are not eaten and burned up but that’s up to you. Also take along any medication you need and remember to continue hydration all the time you are outside, especially if you have been living 24 hours a day in air conditioning for the past few years. A few breakfast bars will help keep your blood sugar balanced and leave room for a good meal when we go back to town.

Now if you have some decoys including Mojos they might help bring the doves to your end of the field. We will not clean our doves in the field unless all the guts, feathers and other parts go into a trash bag and we pick up all spent shells along with all trash. We leave everything the way we find it, if a gate is closed we close it and if it is open we leave it open and all that good visitor sort of stuff.

About the Author

Joe McElyea
I am an original member and founder of the esteemed High Plains Shooting and Dining Society which is dedicated to fellowship of bird hunters and shooters who also enjoy finding great local places to eat large, unhealthy portions of breaded and fried meats and gravies washed down with the appropriate libations. I am also a retired old man who enjoys fishing, shooting and my wonderful family.