The fall hunting season has finally arrived and the long hot summer dog days will soon be only a memory, I hope! Dove season started yesterday across the part of Alabama that most of us are in called the North Zone. The great news is that this year it will be TWENTY DAYS LONGER than previous seasons lasting into November 9th!
The season takes a break until December7th and then last all the way through December 31st! This gives us all many more changes to sharpen our aim and also to hunt a mixed bag of Dove and Small game or Dove and Deer through until the end of the year. I love to start a fall Saturday from a tree stand at daylight and end it with laughter around a dove field cheering in between for my college team and razzing my buddies about theirs.
Dove shooting is the most social of all the fall hunting sports and can be done all hours of the day so even if you go to a football game, you can still have time to go shoot at some “birds” before or after, depending on kickoff time. One of the best shoots I was able to go on in the last four years was on a Saturday when Alabama had an open date and we had the opportunity to attend a Troy game that had an early kick. After the game, we went to a shoot in Brundidge that was “crazy-good”. I was given a spot on the “valley end” of a long hayfield down near a small pond that looked like a livestock pond but, there were no cattle left on the farm. It had been recently harvested and had the big round hay bales along terraces across the field. A good many oh the participants used the bales for cover and I had a prime spot in the bottom, between the pond and the woods.
The later part of the afternoon, a little past 4:00 doves started to show up in sufficient numbers to make the hunt start to get exciting. By 5:00, it sounded like a small war, with shouts, whooping, hollering and I was hearing about a half dozen shots every few seconds! Now that is when dove hunting is some of the most fun you can have!
There were probably 45 to 50 hunters on this shoot including probably more than a dozen kids. I am talking below 13, not teenage shooters, who can be as good or better than some of us adults. I am talking about kids from 7 to 12 and they were being introduced to the “magic” that is a great dove shoot. Squeals of laughter, fathers proclaiming “great shot son” (or daughter) and the excitement was almost breathable!
That is what good dove shoots can do. Make memories a father and son can share for the rest of their lives, indoctrination for kids into the brotherhood of the greatest sport of all, Hunting!
When you go to the outdoors this fall, make it a point to take your kids or young relatives so they can experience the magic that is found in the dove fields of fall, the hardwoods chasing early season squirrels or a combination hunting and fishing trip to a local farm with a pond. They will remember the hunt and you long into the future!
TGIF THANK GOD ITS FALL!!
NOW, GO ENJOY THE OUTDOORS!!