Dove hunting is a relatively straight forward process. If you have never been before, now is the time to make plans for your trip. Depending on where you decide to go in the United States, the season is pretty much all year long. It’s a really relaxing experience, and percent for the notice hunter to start off with. You may try to hunt different types of doves including the mourning dove, Eurasian collared dove, or the elusive white-winged dove. But whatever type of dove you are going for, you’ll enjoy the beautiful ease of dove hunting with these tips.
You Don’t Need Much
The best part about dove hunting is that you don’t need to bring much on the hunt. All you need is a shotgun, something to sit on, and some patience. Or you could just stand and wait for the doves to fly up around you. Try to wear something that is camo, but otherwise you don’t have to worry too much about your clothing.
Don’t Forget About the Harvest Information Program (HIP)
September 1st is the start of early dove hunting season in many areas. They may have a later season too. You do need to get your regular hunting license to hunt birds, but you should have an extra stamp from the Harvest Information Program (HIP), since doves are the type of birds authorities want to keep track of. This is true of any migratory birds, such as waterfowl, woodcock, sandhill crane, or snipe.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service tracks the number of birds randomly going off of these HIP stamps on each hunting license. This helps them decide when hunting seasons should be set up in the future.
Shotguns and Ammo
In picking out the best shogun for dove hunting, you can pretty much go with any type of 12 or 20 gauge. Keep in mind that if you have a repeating shotgun, it can only carry three shotshells, one in the chamber and two in the magazine. That’s a federal law regulation when it comes to shooting doves.
For ammo, a smaller shot size works of 7 to 8 works because it doesn’t take much to bring a dove down. It just requires some accuracy. Make sure you check with whatever state you are in because they do have some with different regulations on the type of ammo you can use. Some require a non-toxic shot or even steel, so it’s best to check on that before you go.
Here’s the best part about the hunt — getting to eat the birds that you’ve snagged. Dove tastes delicious, and it’s a delicacy you don’t get very often. So whether you roast them in the oven when you get home, grill them, or put them over an open campfire, you are in for a culinary treat. Happy dove hunting everyone!