Vintage Hunting Photos: Texas White-Winged Dove Hunting Circa 1961

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Hunters came from as far away as New York to shoot. They stood shoulder-to-shoulder and bumper-to-bumper.
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Although there are lots of pictures in the gallery of women and men shooting, only women are shown plucking doves. In 1961, cleaning game was apparently still “woman’s work.”
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Why switch to a tighter choke when you can climb closer to the doves on a stepladder instead? It makes perfect sense, sort of–except “higher up” is the last place you want to be when people are pointing shotguns in the air all around you.
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It wasn’t total mayhem everyone on the firing line. Some people, like this guy, found spots of their own and looked at the hunt as a time to take it easy.
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Correspondent David Nevin wrote, “[Photograper Ralph] Crane and I went flat several times as gun barrels swung in our direction.” This might be one of those times, as this woman looks dangerously close to toppling with her feet stuck in the mud as she twists to shoot. Fortunately, both men survived and brought this gallery back. Today we have it as a remarkable time capsule of the Texas hunting culture circa 1961.

Visit Life.com to see the rest of the classic photos from this gallery.