September 1st, 2014 was my first time dove hunting. It seems like every year I’ve tried to go something has come up and I’ve had to cancel. This year I was finally able to go. Time to knock the dust of the shotgun and start putting together a plan of attack.
Dove Hunting – Target Practice and Scouting
The weekend prior to opening day me and another Marine bought some clays and did some target practice. Thank God we did because we were a little rusty. We spent a couple of hours shooting and finally got back in the swing of things.
Two days prior to the big day I decided to check out a few spots to see how it was looking. I really wish that I would have started a week prior to give me a few more days of scouting. I had made some phone calls to friends that have lived in Yuma for a while and they pointed me to a couple of spots. I checked them out and they looked good. I finally decided on the main spot that I wanted to hunt and had a few backup spots in case the birds weren’t where we wanted them.
Dove Hunting – Day 1
This is where more scouting would have immensely helped. I was told that there are usually a ton of people at this spot and most people reach their bag limit within a couple of hours. We rolled up at around 5am, unloaded everything and waited around until 30 minutes prior to sunrise. Once that time hit, it sounded like a war zone about a half of a mile west of us. We, on the other hand saw very little birds. Matter of fact, I think we only killed three dove in the two hours we hunted this field. It was time for plan b.
We moved east toward a pond and parked along an empty riverbed. This area was great. Birds were flying all over the place but there were a ton of people walking around there. There was some very thick brush which made retrieving your birds tough at times because you just couldn’t get to them. At the end of the day we killed twelve birds but were only able to bring home 6.
Dove Hunting – Day 2
Day one was kind of a bust but we were determined! We talked to a few friends that got their bag limit quickly on day one and they told us where some other spots are. We decided to check out one field that is easy to get to. Again, we find ourselves there at around 4:45am. Just like the day before, the sun came up, World War Two was happening two hundred yards west of us but we had one bird in an hour. People started leaving so we moved west where they were getting into the birds and we did pretty well. We stayed there until 9am and were able to bring home 14 birds. We would have stayed longer but it started to get pretty hot so we decided to leave.
Dove Hunting – Next Year
Now that I got my first time out of the way I have a much better idea of what I want to do next year. I have a plan of attack and I definitely think I’ll be much more successful next time. I may go out again next weekend but we’ll see. I have many more hunts to look forward to in the near future. Quail in October, Deer in December, and Javelina in January.
If you went out for dove this year let us know how you did and definitely send us photos on facebook!