My friend Mike Jordan, a recent inductee to the ATA Trapshooting Hall of Fame and a fine field shot, used to scoff at the “limit inside a box” dove hunting mentality of shooters who make a big deal out of killing a limit with under 25 shells. “Shooting your gun is fun,” he would say. “Who wants to brag about how much fun they didn’t have?”

Of course, Mike worked for Winchester ammunition so it was in his interest for people to shoot a lot of shells at doves.

By Mike’s definition, I had a ton of fun on the opening day of Iowa’s second-ever dove season, which featured lots of doves in a stiff wind and there were a few pigeons involved, too. I settled down after a while and killed my limit, but I was definitely well “outside a box.”

Perhaps even outside more than one box. I’m not telling. I could have had even more of Mike Jordan’s brand of fun — up to 50 percent more — if I had brought a three-shot semiauto instead of my two-shot Browning Cynergy. I like the Cynergy a lot and enjoy shooting it at targets and the occasional pheasant. However as far as I can tell, the only advantages of an O/U in the dove field are, they save you money by eliminating futile third shots, and you don’t have to look around for your empty hulls when you’re done as you do with a semiauto.

The disadvantage is, the gun is often broken open just when you need it to be loaded, like those times when you have missed a bird and a second one comes floating in over your head as you scrabble in your pocket for more shells. I like being able to “top up” a semiauto without taking it out of battery. I like semiautos for waterfowl for the same reason. The few times I have hunted waterfowl with an O/U, I have not only not enjoyed it, but I have wondered why anyone takes an O/U waterfowling.

Obviously, this is not a life or death problem for us — it is for the doves, but not for us. If shooting an O/U or double gun in the dove field makes you happy, do it. I do sometimes myself, as I did Saturday, but I usually bring a semiauto when I go.