|Sunrise in the corn field|
With all that in mind, dove season is not something that only marks the beginning of hunting season for me. Some of my earliest memories of hunting revolve around doves and squirrels, long before I ever knew anything about tree stands or scrapes. It was a wonderful introduction to hunting, because as a child I didn't have to worry about being really quiet and still for long hours at a time when dove hunting. Some of us that dove hunt together every year have been hunting together since before we had our drivers licenses. We keep in touch throughout the year, but not nearly as much as we used to when we were all in school together. Dove season is one of the few times that I know I will see some of these people, and it's about catching up as much as it is about hunting doves.
This year's dove hunting was a wonderful time, just like it is every year. Everyone was excited for the opportunity to hunt, and there was a good crowd hunting on opening day. We were hunting some recently harvested corn fields, and while there weren't huge numbers of birds there were enough to keep things interesting all morning. I didn't get a limit, or even close to it, but I did manage enough birds to have a few to eat. This wasn't due to lack of opportunity, it just took me awhile to get back in the groove after neglecting to shoot my shotgun much over the last year. It's funny to me when I look back over all the years I've been hunting. When I started, my main focus was trying to get a limit of 12 doves (back then, it's 15 now). Now my focus seems to be more about the whole experience of being outdoors with good friends. I'm still there to hunt, and I love grilled dove, but my total focus is no longer on "limiting out".
After hunting on Saturday morning, we decided to meet up and hunt a different field on Labor Day. After Saturday's 90 something degree heat, Monday was a refreshing change. I did have the new experience of dove hunting in a fog, and the weather was a lot cooler on Monday. We had some birds flying in spite of the foggy conditions, and the weather was much nicer than the usual Labor Day temperatures here in the South. I managed to get a few birds again on Monday, but fell far short of a limit once again.
|Monday Morning Fog|
|After the rain|
|Doves and Venison|
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