For the Love of Dove
September 1st is a major holiday in certain circles where I grew up in Southeast Missouri. It is opening day of dove season and hundreds of people will pile into cut corn fields, sunflower patches, or wherever else they are able to get passing shots at these fast, agile, and delicious birds. Those that are dedicated to the hunt will show up with grills, coolers, tent canopies, and the comfiest chair they own. I have personally been in dove fields before that one could easily mistake as an SEC tailgate.
One of the great things about dove hunting is that it is a great way to introduce someone new to the outdoors. All a person needs to get started is a seat (5-gallon buckets are great), a shotgun, shells (and have plenty, dove can send the best shots home crying to their mother), and the proper hunting licenses. A newcomer can almost always borrow a gun if they don’t already own one, getting entrance costs into the sport easily less than $40.
Dove season is also a great way to kick off the fall hunting season. It’s great for getting retrievers back in the field, getting some shot-gunning practice in, and just getting anticipation up for what is coming. A good dove hunt is so fun, sweet, and addictive that it is like having dessert before the main course comes out. If you have the opportunity this year, take a new person hunting! Any good dove hunter will tell you that the more people in a field, without jeopardizing anyone’s safety, the better in order to keep the birds moving around.
The hunting world is shrinking, and we need all the advocates we can get and the more we can educate the rest of the world about the heritage of hunting, the more likely they are to help us in our fight for our rights in the outdoors. So share the love...the love for dove.