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Iowa Dove Season Opens After 93 Years

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September 02, 2011

Iowa Dove Season Opens After 93 Years

By Phil Bourjaily

Iowa Dove Opener

Here are words I never thought I would write: yesterday Iowa celebrated the opening dove season. After years of legislative wrangling, we Iowans finally get to hunt doves.

I went, and had a great morning hunt. I hope the rest of you did, too, wherever you hunt. Here are a few observations from the day:

Plot Fail = Dove Success

I hunted a dove field on our local wildlife area. Because the season passed at the last minute our DNR rushed to put in sunflower plots. Not all the hasty plantings were successful. I chose the one that failed and produced a bumper crop of ragweed instead. My thinking was, it wouldn’t attract any hunters, but doves would probably eat ragweed seeds as happily as they eat sunflowers. And, based on yesterday’s hunt, they do.

And, as I thought, the crowds were elsewhere. Only one other person shared my field. He had to go to work at 7:30 leaving me to peck away at the doves on my own all morning. I have hunted crowded public dove fields before, in Illinois, and I know what it’s like to have to root for a bird to get by everyone else so you can kill it. I liked this better.

Getting My Mojo Working

After I had shot some doves and the sun came up high enough to shine on the field, I stuck my Mojo teal in the dirt to see what would happen. Immediately the doves that had been flying over the field started landing with the decoy. Having already made several more difficult shots, I proceeded to empty my gun at the first dove hanging over the decoy and watched it fly away untouched.

My impression of the spinner – and those of you who have used them more than I have can tell me if I’m right – is that they work best on doves that want to land. That is, if a dove is going to light in the field anyway, it will land with the decoy. And, it will make its approach into the wind, making the shots both easier and more predictable.

Bonus Band

The third dove I shot yesterday was banded, which made my inaugural Iowa dove hunt even more special. I reported the band online and found that the dove was ancient by dove standards. It had been banded on the same wildlife area in 2008 as an adult bird, meaning it was at least four years old.

So that was my dove opener. How was yours?

Comments (46)

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from chargeaway wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

I hunted in SE Phoenix Area and limited out my ten bird limit in 45 minutes. It was a great hunt. I hunted a desert area that was adjacent to a watering hole and some recently plowed grain fields. I had scouted the field the two previous mornings and lined myself up on their incoming flight paths to the water and fields were. I did not need to use a decoy as the doves were not landing just flying through. The one downside was that it was packed and their were about 50 other hunters in the field. But when hundred and hundreds of doves are coming through there are plenty for everyone.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Double D wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Welcome, Phil. How good did it feel to hunt doves close to home? Had a good day here in Nebraska yesterday. Shot at a lot of birds. Missed most. Hit a few. Spent the afternoon with good friends. Favorite opening day of the year (until the pheasant opener, then the deer opener, then goose...)

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

4 year old Dove tells you allot about the health of the ecosystem with the high mortality of 60% of doves years ago.

chargeaway

Years ago, Avra Valley was very good, probably all houses and shopping centers who knows!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Beekeeper wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Congrats on the ancient dove and the band. We used the mojo doves down here when they first came out. You are correct in that every dove that wanted to land would drop in on the Mojo. After about 3 seasons the birds would not get near one and actually flair off. Haven't had mine out of the box in 3 seasons.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from auburn_hunter wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Season opens for most of Alabama tomorrow at noon (still do not understand the afternoon only Opening Day, but that is Alabama for you). I can't justify sitting in mid-90s temps for the prospect of a few doves, but I am itching to go - it just won't be tomorrow. It seems like I have seen more doves this summer than ever before, they are just in areas that we cannot hunt, i.e. alleyways and the few fields in downtown Birmingham (and no, I am not talking about pigeons, though we have WAY too many of those as well).

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from pbshooter1217 wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Is that Remington's new Versamax?

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from philbourjaily wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

PBshooter1217 -- That's a Beretta 391. The VersaMax does look a lot like a Beretta/Benelli.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from FirstBubba wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Season opened yesterday here. It was 107 degrees. Today hit 105! Our local TV station reports 86 days of 100+ temps this summer. Over forty consecutive days and something like 14 or 15 days above 110 degrees! July DID NOT have a "Daily High" below 100 degrees!
I ain't goin' out there!
Not yet anyway!

Bubba

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from tybostev5 wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

hunted southern NM all 5 of us who went got our 15 bird limit in 30 minutes

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ralph the Rifleman wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

We ALMOST had a dove season here in Michigan, but thanks to the likes of the Humane Society it was defeated at the polls. I do miss the dove hunts from North Dakota, in my younger years while stationed at Minot AFB. Aww, those were the days!

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from Nathan Ross wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Had a great day yesterday at chain of lakes, limited out in less than an hour. Tonight I hunted the next plot to the west off Half moon, and the doves were few and far between. still had fun but the heat put a damper on things

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from PbHead wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Congratulations Phil. I took a banded dove three years ago. I did not notice the band until I was dressing the bird. I believe you are correct about the decoys. I use a non motorized one. It also serves as a marker for downed doves for those of us lacking canine company.

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from buckstopper wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

AuburnHunter,
The afternoon season start is so that Marks Outdoors can still sell stuff before everyone goes to the BBQ lunch before the first hunt...WDE... (thats WAR DAMN EAGLE to those who don't know)

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from wingshooter54 wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Congratulations, Phil. Dove season is my favorite bird season. The drought in the Texas Panhandle has hurt dove hunting; no food or water, but those fortunate to have a yet to be dried up tank or windmill overflow had a limit day. What made it even more fun was using a vintage Birmingham side by side hammer gun....what a hoot!

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from Nathan Ross wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Good luck with Urban goose if if you're going.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Del in KS wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Phil,

Congrats on the old dove.A few years ago I bagged a Drake Mallard that was over 6 years old at Cheyenne Bottoms in Kansas. Last year took a banded dove that was banded only weeks before my shot brought him down.
Our opener yesterday was the worst in 15 years. Fired 9 28 ga shells dropped 5 doves found 3 by 1130 am. Nobody else on that field took more than 1 bird. Last year in the same spot took a 15 bird limit by about 9 am.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

buckstopper & Auburn Hunter

Let me know how those pulled pork barbeques at Mark's were!

Roll Tide, Roll! (Best of luck to you War Damn Eagles, too!)

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from tbartos42 wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

I LIVE IN MICHIGAN AND THE TREE HUGGERS GOT US. WISH I COULD HUNT THEM HERE BUT HAVE TO TRAVEL SOUTH. OH WELL, IT IS STILL PRACTICE FOR UPLAND.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Zermoid wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Sorry, doves aren't worth shooting IMO. Gotta kill dozens to have enough meat to find on a plate.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from philbourjaily wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Nathan Ross -- Are you the same Nathan Ross I know from Scouts?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Artie wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

"What made it even more fun was using a vintage Birmingham side by side hammer gun....what a hoot!"

---------------------------------

Yeah, what a hoot. And then, hunting over the few water sources available to the birds in drought-stricken areas. That's some sport. The comments here make me grateful that the hunt was at least blocked in Michigan. I can't even fathom the numbers of these beautiful birds killed for a "hoot" each year -- anywhere between 20 and 60 million. I realize most people eat the doves they shoot. But the amount of birds taken to indulge this passion is impossible to rationalize. As Zermoid wrote, "Gotta kill dozens to have enough meat to find on a plate." The sporting atmosphere of dove hunts, and the quantity of hunters and doves taken by those hunters, is pretty disgusting to those of us who don't hunt, and who do our best to care for the wild birds in our midst. Shooting over planted food and water sources makes the "ethics" of this so-called hunt highly questionable.

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from crowman wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

If someone has to tell you [Artie] about what dove hunting is about your never going to understand. You ought to try to stick to things a little Mangina like yourself would understand like cramps and periods. As for quoting Zermoid about needing dozens of birds to make a meal I think this guy only eats in places that say All You Can Eat. A 10 bird limit makes for a great meal for two.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from wingshooter54 wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Artie:
"....pretty disgusting to those of us who don't hunt."
Those of you who don't hunt think anything hunters do is pretty disgusting,so this is not earth-shattering news, nor does it elicit any emotion from me except disdain, as "those of you who don't hunt" are the people who will meekly stand by as your freedoms are slowly stripped from you. I will not waste time explaining how much money hunters put into conservation, nor the fact that many animal populations would be dwindling today if not for the efforts of hunters for the last 100 years as these facts are completely lost on "those of you who don't hunt" If you don't hunt, why are you reading a hunting/shooting blog associated with a hunting/shooting magazine? I do not care if you hunt or not; I will not try to force you to participate in my sport, so please enjoy what if is you do and stop criticizing "those of us who do hunt".

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from Oryx wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Not hunting doves in the spots they are likely to be? That's like going sneaker shopping at a butcher shop.

Artie, I don't know how to tell you this...we really don't hunt for food. Once, maybe, and I'll be the first to tell you that my family eats very little store-bought protein these days, but eating what we hunt is only the natural progression of things. Men, at least those that haven't been spiritually emasculated by bad ideas, feel the need to hunt. It's the nature of things.

Ever notice how your toy poodle growls when something threatens it? I really doubt that Paris or Lindsay or whomever trained it to do that. That's nature too. You can only condition, stupefy and reality-television a soul "yea-much" until ones true self shows up again. Some of us choose to be true to ourselves and just cut the crap.

I have more formal education than all of my Mother and Father's families combined, know how to tie a double-Windsor, enjoy jazz, sushi, good coffee and fine wine. I cry when my children tell me they love me, and care about how I treat my wife. I've watched (and enjoyed) a few Woody Allen movies, and can iron my own shirts.

None of which has anything to do with the fact that I love the sight of blood under my fingernails, and the feeling of having located, stalked, and ended the life of a really magnificent animal (and moreso having done it well) as well as the camaraderie of associating with like-minded people.

All this is a long-winded way of saying that we don't hunt doves because we are looking to have dove noodle soup for supper, but because we are hunters and that's what we do. No apologies.

+10 Good Comment? | | Report
from RES1956 wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Had a pretty good day on the opener Saturday. 97 degrees was a bit warm but plenty of water was on hand for the pups, even though, I'm glad I shot well and did not have to subject the dogs to extended work in the heat.
I thought it was gonna be a perfect day, birds flying well, I shot well, dogs did great, Alabama won, but the fly in the ointment was that Auburn screwed around and finally won. Well, you can't have everything, RTR-Penn State next week!!!

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from JohnR wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

I can't believe I forgot all about it. There wasn't many birds anyway thanks to Irene. I've been so wrapped up in hurricane cleanup I lost track of time.
Kudos and a thumbs up to ya'll whi got out to hunt :-).

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from JackM wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

I live in Massachusttes and doves are still considered to be "songbirds". Good luck and good hunting to all you folks living in the regular world.

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from Nathan Ross wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Yes I am.

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from TAM9492 wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Don't think I've ever heard it put so well, Oryx. Thank you.

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from SD Bob wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

I hunted opening day along the still swollen but receding Missouri River in South Dakota. It's a favorite spot of mine and a great place to sit and relax. I put out the Mojo and my thoughts of the 95 degree heat making the birds thirstier was spot on.

Phil, your report reminds me what I've seen from the wind powered spinning wing dove decoys, buy a Mojo Dove. They are smaller and spin faster and will pull in doves from quite a ways and you'll be shooting "floating" birds as they look for places to land. I've used the teal too and they work but not near as good as the smaller faster spinning Dove Mojo.

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from willie boy wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

this weekend was my first ever dove hunt, and it was incredibly fun and i'm going again this weekend!

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from MReeder wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Not that facts would matter to Artie, I'm sure, but hunting has essentially zero impact on dove mortality rates. Fewer than 25-percent live beyond one year and only about three-percent make it past age two. Hunters harvest the surplus that would die out anyway. The only difference is that the doves they shoot provide recreation and food for the table and the fees and special taxes hunters pay on their equipment finance the management of birds that I bet Artie has never spent a nickle to support.
As for me, I'm on the south side of I-10 in Texas and still waiting for the Sept. 23rd opener. It had been over 105 here in San Antonio every day for the past two weeks, but the same norther that's been pushing the fires the past couple of days also finally dropped temperatures down into the 60s last night, and my trigger finger really started itching. There is nothing like the first hint of fall if you're a hunter.

Incidentally, here are a few more facts Artie might want to check, if he actually had any interest in the truth, from a recent article I wrote for the San Antonio Express-News: http://www.mysanantonio.com/community/northwest/news/article/Dove-hunter...

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

While out to dinner tonight, had a Fella walk by me who can, not could, but can pass as Sir Phil's twin Brother! I'll even bet, His Moma would have to look twice!

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from Mike Diehl wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

"Yeah, what a hoot. And then, hunting blah blah blah..."

OK who let the PETArded troll out of the dungeon?

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from Mike Diehl wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

BTW Artie, my 10 year old son says "I *love* dove!" with great enthusiasm. He's talking about eating them, not watching them, in case that wasn't obvious. He likes 'em with ketchup.

I had a really good opening day. 9 birds for 18 shots fired. For me a personal best in terms of shots to birds. I'm sure there are people here who make it ten shots ten birds but hey, we all strive for self-improvement! ;)

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from auburn_hunter wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

way to go Mike! I fall in somewhere behind you, but have fun doing it and definitely enjoy the bounty after the harvest.

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from auburn_hunter wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Oryx -

Very well stated...I've copied it for later use (and will of course credit you, when used).

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from badcapone wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Hey Artie do you think the animals in the store committed suicide? Some people like to hunt for their food and some for the sport this is America it's our right

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

This just in -

Barbarian hunters decimate world's dove population

Oh wait. They're the most populous bird there is. Oops.

Somebody looks stupid...

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

If hunting is "disgusting", then hiring a hit man is a morally acceptable alternative to murder.

In any case, hunting your own food locally is far more green and sustainable than having it processed and shipped all over the damn country.

Want to go green? Kill some meat.

It's especially sustainable when the food source is as ridiculously abundant as mourning doves are in any state that has a season.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Tigerbeetle wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

It was hot in Georgia Saturday afternoon, but my son, his son and I had a great afternoon. We sat in the shade and ate our lunches and drank gator aid until the pesky doves woke up about 3:30 and slowly began to make a presence. My grandson is a healthy 9 year old, but still to small for the 20 ga., so he was shooting a .410 I gave him several years ago to grow into. He will start shooting a 20 ga next year, either an Ithaca pump or a Rem 11-87. My son had his Beretta O/U and I had my Citori (both in 12 ga, (IC\mod) and we had some great shooting. We even hit a few, but I lost one in a swampy tangle of underbrush. We didn't have our limits, but a great day was had by all. I hope to get out another time or two this fall, but in the meantime, we are all looking forward to opening day next year!

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from Tigerbeetle wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

BTW, Phil. Were you able to use lead shot? It seems I remember hearing saner heads finally came to the rescue over the use of steel shot.

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from dtownley wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

I don't hunt them any more but talk about an economy boosting critter ? I have never (and mean it) had more fun hunting with others close by, than dove in TX., its like someone had baby or twins ! Smiles, everyones recounting a fine shot on passers & going aways. One of the friendliest family shoots that everyone can enjoy. I personally would have never believed it coming from MI. these grey sky rockets are to good to believe and BACON, JALEPENO, SHARP CHEDDER,HOT MESQUITE COALS and being from MI. ICE COLD PABST or TX. SHINER BOCK tough to beat after the iron is safely locked up...it will take a lot to give up my two buckets, a bag of six shot, and a pack of black cats... less recoil. Have a great time, all y'all deserve it !

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from RES1956 wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Artie,
You can kiss my redneck, rebel, Alabama educated a$$. Go feed your cat and stay off this site, we don't need or want your commentary, since obviously you have nothing of value to add.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Gtbigsky wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

to Oryx:

Man, that is a great response to Artie's nonsense. Well played sir!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from dtownley wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

I don't hunt them any more but talk about an economy boosting critter ? I have never (and mean it) had more fun hunting with others close by, than dove in TX., its like someone had baby or twins ! Smiles, everyones recounting a fine shot on passers & going aways. One of the friendliest family shoots that everyone can enjoy. I personally would have never believed it coming from MI. these grey sky rockets are to good to believe and BACON, JALEPENO, SHARP CHEDDER, HOT MESQUITE COALS and being from MI. ICE COLD PABST or TX. SHINER BOCK tough to beat after the iron is safely locked up...it will take a lot to give up my two buckets, a bag of six shot, and a pack of black cats... less recoil. Have a great time, all y'all deserve it !

+1 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from Oryx wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Not hunting doves in the spots they are likely to be? That's like going sneaker shopping at a butcher shop.

Artie, I don't know how to tell you this...we really don't hunt for food. Once, maybe, and I'll be the first to tell you that my family eats very little store-bought protein these days, but eating what we hunt is only the natural progression of things. Men, at least those that haven't been spiritually emasculated by bad ideas, feel the need to hunt. It's the nature of things.

Ever notice how your toy poodle growls when something threatens it? I really doubt that Paris or Lindsay or whomever trained it to do that. That's nature too. You can only condition, stupefy and reality-television a soul "yea-much" until ones true self shows up again. Some of us choose to be true to ourselves and just cut the crap.

I have more formal education than all of my Mother and Father's families combined, know how to tie a double-Windsor, enjoy jazz, sushi, good coffee and fine wine. I cry when my children tell me they love me, and care about how I treat my wife. I've watched (and enjoyed) a few Woody Allen movies, and can iron my own shirts.

None of which has anything to do with the fact that I love the sight of blood under my fingernails, and the feeling of having located, stalked, and ended the life of a really magnificent animal (and moreso having done it well) as well as the camaraderie of associating with like-minded people.

All this is a long-winded way of saying that we don't hunt doves because we are looking to have dove noodle soup for supper, but because we are hunters and that's what we do. No apologies.

+10 Good Comment? | | Report
from wingshooter54 wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Artie:
"....pretty disgusting to those of us who don't hunt."
Those of you who don't hunt think anything hunters do is pretty disgusting,so this is not earth-shattering news, nor does it elicit any emotion from me except disdain, as "those of you who don't hunt" are the people who will meekly stand by as your freedoms are slowly stripped from you. I will not waste time explaining how much money hunters put into conservation, nor the fact that many animal populations would be dwindling today if not for the efforts of hunters for the last 100 years as these facts are completely lost on "those of you who don't hunt" If you don't hunt, why are you reading a hunting/shooting blog associated with a hunting/shooting magazine? I do not care if you hunt or not; I will not try to force you to participate in my sport, so please enjoy what if is you do and stop criticizing "those of us who do hunt".

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from auburn_hunter wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Season opens for most of Alabama tomorrow at noon (still do not understand the afternoon only Opening Day, but that is Alabama for you). I can't justify sitting in mid-90s temps for the prospect of a few doves, but I am itching to go - it just won't be tomorrow. It seems like I have seen more doves this summer than ever before, they are just in areas that we cannot hunt, i.e. alleyways and the few fields in downtown Birmingham (and no, I am not talking about pigeons, though we have WAY too many of those as well).

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ralph the Rifleman wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

We ALMOST had a dove season here in Michigan, but thanks to the likes of the Humane Society it was defeated at the polls. I do miss the dove hunts from North Dakota, in my younger years while stationed at Minot AFB. Aww, those were the days!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from crowman wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

If someone has to tell you [Artie] about what dove hunting is about your never going to understand. You ought to try to stick to things a little Mangina like yourself would understand like cramps and periods. As for quoting Zermoid about needing dozens of birds to make a meal I think this guy only eats in places that say All You Can Eat. A 10 bird limit makes for a great meal for two.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mike Diehl wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

"Yeah, what a hoot. And then, hunting blah blah blah..."

OK who let the PETArded troll out of the dungeon?

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from auburn_hunter wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

way to go Mike! I fall in somewhere behind you, but have fun doing it and definitely enjoy the bounty after the harvest.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from auburn_hunter wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Oryx -

Very well stated...I've copied it for later use (and will of course credit you, when used).

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from chargeaway wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

I hunted in SE Phoenix Area and limited out my ten bird limit in 45 minutes. It was a great hunt. I hunted a desert area that was adjacent to a watering hole and some recently plowed grain fields. I had scouted the field the two previous mornings and lined myself up on their incoming flight paths to the water and fields were. I did not need to use a decoy as the doves were not landing just flying through. The one downside was that it was packed and their were about 50 other hunters in the field. But when hundred and hundreds of doves are coming through there are plenty for everyone.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Double D wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Welcome, Phil. How good did it feel to hunt doves close to home? Had a good day here in Nebraska yesterday. Shot at a lot of birds. Missed most. Hit a few. Spent the afternoon with good friends. Favorite opening day of the year (until the pheasant opener, then the deer opener, then goose...)

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

4 year old Dove tells you allot about the health of the ecosystem with the high mortality of 60% of doves years ago.

chargeaway

Years ago, Avra Valley was very good, probably all houses and shopping centers who knows!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Beekeeper wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Congrats on the ancient dove and the band. We used the mojo doves down here when they first came out. You are correct in that every dove that wanted to land would drop in on the Mojo. After about 3 seasons the birds would not get near one and actually flair off. Haven't had mine out of the box in 3 seasons.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from philbourjaily wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

PBshooter1217 -- That's a Beretta 391. The VersaMax does look a lot like a Beretta/Benelli.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from tybostev5 wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

hunted southern NM all 5 of us who went got our 15 bird limit in 30 minutes

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Nathan Ross wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Had a great day yesterday at chain of lakes, limited out in less than an hour. Tonight I hunted the next plot to the west off Half moon, and the doves were few and far between. still had fun but the heat put a damper on things

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from PbHead wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Congratulations Phil. I took a banded dove three years ago. I did not notice the band until I was dressing the bird. I believe you are correct about the decoys. I use a non motorized one. It also serves as a marker for downed doves for those of us lacking canine company.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckstopper wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

AuburnHunter,
The afternoon season start is so that Marks Outdoors can still sell stuff before everyone goes to the BBQ lunch before the first hunt...WDE... (thats WAR DAMN EAGLE to those who don't know)

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Nathan Ross wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Good luck with Urban goose if if you're going.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Del in KS wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Phil,

Congrats on the old dove.A few years ago I bagged a Drake Mallard that was over 6 years old at Cheyenne Bottoms in Kansas. Last year took a banded dove that was banded only weeks before my shot brought him down.
Our opener yesterday was the worst in 15 years. Fired 9 28 ga shells dropped 5 doves found 3 by 1130 am. Nobody else on that field took more than 1 bird. Last year in the same spot took a 15 bird limit by about 9 am.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

buckstopper & Auburn Hunter

Let me know how those pulled pork barbeques at Mark's were!

Roll Tide, Roll! (Best of luck to you War Damn Eagles, too!)

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from tbartos42 wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

I LIVE IN MICHIGAN AND THE TREE HUGGERS GOT US. WISH I COULD HUNT THEM HERE BUT HAVE TO TRAVEL SOUTH. OH WELL, IT IS STILL PRACTICE FOR UPLAND.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Zermoid wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Sorry, doves aren't worth shooting IMO. Gotta kill dozens to have enough meat to find on a plate.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from philbourjaily wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Nathan Ross -- Are you the same Nathan Ross I know from Scouts?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from MReeder wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Not that facts would matter to Artie, I'm sure, but hunting has essentially zero impact on dove mortality rates. Fewer than 25-percent live beyond one year and only about three-percent make it past age two. Hunters harvest the surplus that would die out anyway. The only difference is that the doves they shoot provide recreation and food for the table and the fees and special taxes hunters pay on their equipment finance the management of birds that I bet Artie has never spent a nickle to support.
As for me, I'm on the south side of I-10 in Texas and still waiting for the Sept. 23rd opener. It had been over 105 here in San Antonio every day for the past two weeks, but the same norther that's been pushing the fires the past couple of days also finally dropped temperatures down into the 60s last night, and my trigger finger really started itching. There is nothing like the first hint of fall if you're a hunter.

Incidentally, here are a few more facts Artie might want to check, if he actually had any interest in the truth, from a recent article I wrote for the San Antonio Express-News: http://www.mysanantonio.com/community/northwest/news/article/Dove-hunter...

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from Mike Diehl wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

BTW Artie, my 10 year old son says "I *love* dove!" with great enthusiasm. He's talking about eating them, not watching them, in case that wasn't obvious. He likes 'em with ketchup.

I had a really good opening day. 9 birds for 18 shots fired. For me a personal best in terms of shots to birds. I'm sure there are people here who make it ten shots ten birds but hey, we all strive for self-improvement! ;)

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from badcapone wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Hey Artie do you think the animals in the store committed suicide? Some people like to hunt for their food and some for the sport this is America it's our right

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from RES1956 wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Artie,
You can kiss my redneck, rebel, Alabama educated a$$. Go feed your cat and stay off this site, we don't need or want your commentary, since obviously you have nothing of value to add.

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from dtownley wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

I don't hunt them any more but talk about an economy boosting critter ? I have never (and mean it) had more fun hunting with others close by, than dove in TX., its like someone had baby or twins ! Smiles, everyones recounting a fine shot on passers & going aways. One of the friendliest family shoots that everyone can enjoy. I personally would have never believed it coming from MI. these grey sky rockets are to good to believe and BACON, JALEPENO, SHARP CHEDDER, HOT MESQUITE COALS and being from MI. ICE COLD PABST or TX. SHINER BOCK tough to beat after the iron is safely locked up...it will take a lot to give up my two buckets, a bag of six shot, and a pack of black cats... less recoil. Have a great time, all y'all deserve it !

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from pbshooter1217 wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Is that Remington's new Versamax?

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from FirstBubba wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Season opened yesterday here. It was 107 degrees. Today hit 105! Our local TV station reports 86 days of 100+ temps this summer. Over forty consecutive days and something like 14 or 15 days above 110 degrees! July DID NOT have a "Daily High" below 100 degrees!
I ain't goin' out there!
Not yet anyway!

Bubba

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from wingshooter54 wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Congratulations, Phil. Dove season is my favorite bird season. The drought in the Texas Panhandle has hurt dove hunting; no food or water, but those fortunate to have a yet to be dried up tank or windmill overflow had a limit day. What made it even more fun was using a vintage Birmingham side by side hammer gun....what a hoot!

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from RES1956 wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Had a pretty good day on the opener Saturday. 97 degrees was a bit warm but plenty of water was on hand for the pups, even though, I'm glad I shot well and did not have to subject the dogs to extended work in the heat.
I thought it was gonna be a perfect day, birds flying well, I shot well, dogs did great, Alabama won, but the fly in the ointment was that Auburn screwed around and finally won. Well, you can't have everything, RTR-Penn State next week!!!

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from JohnR wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

I can't believe I forgot all about it. There wasn't many birds anyway thanks to Irene. I've been so wrapped up in hurricane cleanup I lost track of time.
Kudos and a thumbs up to ya'll whi got out to hunt :-).

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from JackM wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

I live in Massachusttes and doves are still considered to be "songbirds". Good luck and good hunting to all you folks living in the regular world.

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from Nathan Ross wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Yes I am.

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from TAM9492 wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Don't think I've ever heard it put so well, Oryx. Thank you.

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from SD Bob wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

I hunted opening day along the still swollen but receding Missouri River in South Dakota. It's a favorite spot of mine and a great place to sit and relax. I put out the Mojo and my thoughts of the 95 degree heat making the birds thirstier was spot on.

Phil, your report reminds me what I've seen from the wind powered spinning wing dove decoys, buy a Mojo Dove. They are smaller and spin faster and will pull in doves from quite a ways and you'll be shooting "floating" birds as they look for places to land. I've used the teal too and they work but not near as good as the smaller faster spinning Dove Mojo.

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from willie boy wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

this weekend was my first ever dove hunt, and it was incredibly fun and i'm going again this weekend!

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from Clay Cooper wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

While out to dinner tonight, had a Fella walk by me who can, not could, but can pass as Sir Phil's twin Brother! I'll even bet, His Moma would have to look twice!

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from shane wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

This just in -

Barbarian hunters decimate world's dove population

Oh wait. They're the most populous bird there is. Oops.

Somebody looks stupid...

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from shane wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

If hunting is "disgusting", then hiring a hit man is a morally acceptable alternative to murder.

In any case, hunting your own food locally is far more green and sustainable than having it processed and shipped all over the damn country.

Want to go green? Kill some meat.

It's especially sustainable when the food source is as ridiculously abundant as mourning doves are in any state that has a season.

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from Tigerbeetle wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

It was hot in Georgia Saturday afternoon, but my son, his son and I had a great afternoon. We sat in the shade and ate our lunches and drank gator aid until the pesky doves woke up about 3:30 and slowly began to make a presence. My grandson is a healthy 9 year old, but still to small for the 20 ga., so he was shooting a .410 I gave him several years ago to grow into. He will start shooting a 20 ga next year, either an Ithaca pump or a Rem 11-87. My son had his Beretta O/U and I had my Citori (both in 12 ga, (IC\mod) and we had some great shooting. We even hit a few, but I lost one in a swampy tangle of underbrush. We didn't have our limits, but a great day was had by all. I hope to get out another time or two this fall, but in the meantime, we are all looking forward to opening day next year!

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from Tigerbeetle wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

BTW, Phil. Were you able to use lead shot? It seems I remember hearing saner heads finally came to the rescue over the use of steel shot.

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from dtownley wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

I don't hunt them any more but talk about an economy boosting critter ? I have never (and mean it) had more fun hunting with others close by, than dove in TX., its like someone had baby or twins ! Smiles, everyones recounting a fine shot on passers & going aways. One of the friendliest family shoots that everyone can enjoy. I personally would have never believed it coming from MI. these grey sky rockets are to good to believe and BACON, JALEPENO, SHARP CHEDDER,HOT MESQUITE COALS and being from MI. ICE COLD PABST or TX. SHINER BOCK tough to beat after the iron is safely locked up...it will take a lot to give up my two buckets, a bag of six shot, and a pack of black cats... less recoil. Have a great time, all y'all deserve it !

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from Gtbigsky wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

to Oryx:

Man, that is a great response to Artie's nonsense. Well played sir!

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from Artie wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

"What made it even more fun was using a vintage Birmingham side by side hammer gun....what a hoot!"

---------------------------------

Yeah, what a hoot. And then, hunting over the few water sources available to the birds in drought-stricken areas. That's some sport. The comments here make me grateful that the hunt was at least blocked in Michigan. I can't even fathom the numbers of these beautiful birds killed for a "hoot" each year -- anywhere between 20 and 60 million. I realize most people eat the doves they shoot. But the amount of birds taken to indulge this passion is impossible to rationalize. As Zermoid wrote, "Gotta kill dozens to have enough meat to find on a plate." The sporting atmosphere of dove hunts, and the quantity of hunters and doves taken by those hunters, is pretty disgusting to those of us who don't hunt, and who do our best to care for the wild birds in our midst. Shooting over planted food and water sources makes the "ethics" of this so-called hunt highly questionable.

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