Five days to go to Dove Day- Check List

We in the final countdown for Dove Day and it appears that we will have 14 shooters and five observer/advisors in the field next Saturday morning, September 6th. We assume you have your hunting license with the migratory bird stamp and you are HIP certified. Please refrain from wearing bright colors because doves have incredible vision. Clothing the color of weeds and dirt and camo work best.

The good old days when Happy the Wonderdog was still with us and I did not have to go pick up my doves.  R.I.P. Happy.

The good old days when Happy the Wonderdog was still with us and I did not have to go pick up my doves. R.I.P. Happy.

This list might not contain everything you need to take to the 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. A shooting vest or belt with pouches to hold shells and birds, 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. 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 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 and keep track of how many you shoot. A camp stool or chair is very helpful because there is a lot of sitting around 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 the Mojo discussed a week or two ago that 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.