Saturday, September 10, 2011

Dove Season Starts with a Bang!

The 2011 dove season in Texas began on Thursday, September 1st and found myself in a rare situation - sitting in my office that morning instead of being afield. I can count on one hand the number of times I have missed an opening day dove hunt in my entire life. This year I had more family obligations with school having already started back, and my duties of dropping little ones off at preschool took precedence over my need to be in the field. But I knew the weekend would arrive in two short days, which meant I would be making a trip to my hunting lease for some dove hunting with my Dad and my friend Lee Flannery.

The weekend turned out to be a very memorable one. All three of us were able to bag a limit of doves on Saturday morning. My dad was the first to dominoe, with his 15th bird being bagged at 7:30 AM, approximately 52 minutes after legal shooting hours began. I was next to fill a limit with number 15 falling at 7:45 AM to my 34th shotshell of the morning. This may sound like a lot of shots to you if you have never tried your hand at shooting doves, but according to this article on the Bass Pro Shops website, "Studies indicate dove hunters average about three birds bagged per 25 shots." This means the average person has a .120 batting average when it comes to dove hunting, and Saturday morning's hunt for me would be equivalent to a .441 batting average. I'll take that number any day of the week! Lee finished up the trifecta with a limit of his own by 8:30 that morning. Here we are with our birds.

Another memorable moment that morning was the fact that I shot my first ever White-winged Dove. These are very similar to Mourning Doves, but have a white patch on their wings and have historically been in the southern part of the state. In the last few years we have seen more and more of them here in the northern part of Texas, and I was fortunate to get to bag this one as part of my limit.

Also of a very memorable note was Lee's son, Sean, bagging his first dove of his young hunting career. Not only did he get his first - he got several - and put on quite a shooting exhibition in the process! Way to go Sean!

So, even though I missed opening day the weekend turned out to be spectacular. I guess the best things do come to those who wait.

2 comments:

Ian Nance said...

Those white wings are handsome birds. Congrats.

Trey said...

Congrats on a great hunt!