Dove shooting tends to come right at the beginning of the hunting season. It is easily one of the simplest bird hunting sports out there, but can still be deceptively challenging, especially if you are a beginner. So if you’re asking yourself why to hunt doves, then the answer is pretty simple. They are a lot less hassle than a waterfowl or large game such as deer, but can be just as much fun. With this handy guide on how to hunt doves, you will be armed with all the basic knowledge on how to take on these birds.
Before you go and dive right into dove hunting, you will want to prepare yourself. If you have never gone dove hunting before you might want to check out a few dove hunting videos to learn some important dove hunting tips and tricks to help you out. If you plan on shooting the practice shooting skeet before dove hunting as doves are adept at flying and can often be elusive prey. If you plan on using a bow and arrow, look at few tips on shooting. It is always best to go in prepared so you can enjoy a successful hunt.
* Where to hunt doves
Doves are generally found in places where there are a lot of trees. They will be close to a water source and a food source. Doves eat seeds from crops such as wheat, sunflowers and several other grain crops. They often search on bare grounds. You may them around watering holes right after dawn or before dusk. It is best to go out and scout for doves before you actually go on your hunt to figure out where to hunt doves.
* When to hunt
Doves are easily found around their watering holes right after dawn and before dusk when they are about to head back to their roosts. You will see them perched on power lines around their feeding time which is after their watering till about mid day. Once you figure out their feeding times, you will know when to hunt doves and can easily just go to their feeding spots and wait for them to perch themselves on power lines. From there you can pick them off.
* How to close in
As with any other prey that you go hunting you will need to be quite and careful. They will be alert and prepared, and if you want to take them by surprise, then you should wear clothes that help you camouflage. You may even cover you hunting equipment with camouflage tape. Remain calm and quiet. Make sure you have your shot before you pull the trigger because once you fire all the birds in the surroundings will flee. If decoys are legal in your area, they can be very useful when hunting doves.
In order to make sure that you are completely prepared for you to hunt you need to check that you are hunting, and safety equipment is in order. First of all, decide what you are going to be hunting with. You can look at a few bows that are easy and fast to shoot with. Invest in a specialised bow if you hunt regularly. Try and pick up some tips on how to hunt doves with a bow if this will be your first time. With good preparation, you can be sure to have an enjoyable and successful hunt.
* Knowing the season
Dove hunting usually tends to be right at the beginning of the hunting season. It starts out around September and may have more than one session. You should check in with your local wildlife department to confirm the exact dates before you plan your trip. Once you know when it starts you can go make a scouting trip to find the perfect place to hunt. With the proper equipment a license you are all set to head out on your dove hunting mission.
* Hunting gear
You can use either guns or a bow and arrow to hunt doves. The best guns to go with would be a shotgun of 20, 16 or 12 gauge. You can also use an autoloader. If you choose to hunt with a bow, you can use an excellent takedown recurve bow that offers top notch features at a top notch price. No matter what you choose to hunt with make sure that, you care comfortable shooting with it and have had some practice before you go and do the actual shooting.
* Other gear
Hunting gear isn’t all that you are going to need for you trip. You must carry emergency supplies and bottled water with you at all times. If you plan on shooting, wear the necessary ear plugs and goggles. Cover up well if you are heading into rough terrain so you can save yourself some scrapes. And always remember to wear bright orange clothing that can mark out a fellow hunter to someone else hunting in the area.
3. Dove handling
* How to clean the dove
The first step is plucking. You simply have to grab all the feathers and pull them off until the entire breast is exposed. Next is the breasting. And finally the cleaning. You can watch a simple instructional video beforehand, so you know how to go about it. Make sure to wash your bird thoroughly and remove all the feathers and blood.
* How to cook it
There are several different recipes that you can use to cook your bird. You can go with a traditional one that involves slicing up the breasts and throwing them into a pot with some fresh spices. Let it stew and you have a delicious meal that you worked hard for.
* How to preserve it
Preserving the dove means making sure that you have it the fridge before it gets spoilt. Carry something cool with your to store it in and right after you get back to camp or to your house put it in the fridge at about 50 F. You can then take it out and cook it anytime you like, but the fresher it is the better it is going to taste so try and get to it within a week.
Hunting doves is a great way to kick off the hunting season. It can get you warmed up to move up to larger, more challenging game and can be a source of fun at the same time. With this thorough guide on how to hunt doves, you can head out to the hunting grounds and bag all the birds that you want. Make sure that you have all your equipment and licenses in order so that your trip does not face any unexpected and unnecessary setbacks. Have a great time dove hunting and enjoy your meal with doves that you shot and cleaned on your own.