Florida Dove Hunter

It would not sound manly; Dove Hunter. Somehow it doesn’t appear to conjure up the identical rough and tumble pics of a deer hunter or hog hunter or duck hunter. Dove Hunter. More like pix of tea time and fancy little chocolates in the afternoon underneath an umbrella in a white in shape whilst preserving a old fashioned side via side double barrel shotgun. Dove Hunter, they are saying doves are the maximum hunted chook in America. I’ve wondered that before and someone recommended I close the hell up or attempt it before I write it off as a interest now not really worth the effort. That appeared like a task to me.

First of all just what’s a dove? According to the dictionary it is either a stocky seed or fruit ingesting bird of the pigeon family, with a small head, short legs and cooing voice, or someone who advocates peaceful or conciliatory guidelines… With a small head, brief legs and cooing voice.

Hmmm. Tell me greater.

OK, doves are often seen in rural settings or farm regions or virtually open areas round metropolis in which they prefer to feed on seeds of many forms of vegetation. Doves are very productive breeders often producing up to 6 broods a 12 months. In the fall there is a trendy migration south and within the spring they head north. But a variety of them really live inside the same location all yr specially within the southern states.

The subsequent factor I needed to find out became exactly wherein these doves hang out in large sufficient numbers that would justify seeking to hunt them. If I lived in Texas I would have hundreds of thousands to shoot at. It’s considered the dove looking Mecca of the USA. Florida isn’t always.

I should go to a non-public looking hold however I did not want to spend quite a few money. Further research revealed kingdom flora and fauna managed dove fields of approximately fifteen had been scattered about Florida, the nearest to me being the DuPuis dove fields simply east of Lake Okeechobee.

But what the heck is a dove discipline? Apparently it’s a huge plot of land with special seed plants being grown so that it will draw those birds’ attention. These unique fields at DuPuis are two fields facet by means of side approximately 16 acres apiece. In the afternoon toward the evening, the birds begin to fly out to the fields for a chew to devour. One Sunday afternoon a week all through the season, hunters are allowed to shoot on the perimeter of the fields.

The gun of choice, of direction, is the twelve gauge pump so as to hold three shells of wide variety 7 ½ or eight lead shot. Two or 3 bins consistent with hunter are recommended.

There’s a permit software length wherein you publish your software and a drawing for the season’s spots then takes area. My son and I had drawn three lets in for the season at distinctive fields. Beginner’s luck I bet. These are single use permits and non transferable which sort of sucks due to the fact in case you need to bring a guest they must come in as a walk-in. At 3 o-clock you have to be at the attendant’s shack to look if you can get in which you generally do from what the attendant told me. But in case you check in at eleven:00 together with your permit as it’s first come first choose at the to be had spots, you need to force a mile up the street from the fields back to the shack in your guest to get a allow. You should be in a comfortable temper to seek dove.

We arrived at ten thirty to look at least a dozen hunters wearing complete camo standing round ready. X-guy’s white t-blouse wasn’t going to cut it. We had delivered Dakota, our rushing Golden Retriever, and he was glad just to get out of the truck and take a leak. I idea I would impress the opposite hunters with his retrieving competencies, so I tossed a stick out into the freshly mowed grass. Dakota just checked out it and proceeded to take a unload. Don’t even think I was approximately to pick out that up. Laid is played.

Not having hunted right here before we didn’t have a clue what the excellent spots were but I knew I did not’ want to face into the placing sun. I picked a niche in the center west edge of one of the fields so we’d be facing east.

I had read thru the WMA regulations and found out that I ought to technically accompany my son with out waiting to go in as a stroll-in because he has a mentor license because of this I could ought to supervise him as the permit became in his call. We might, however must share the bag restriction of 15. Somehow I did not assume that would be a hassle.

The capturing might begin at noon but the birds would not be flying till after 4. This is the component where you need to have a little persistence and consider something to do for 3 hours. That’s why dove looking can involve fishing poles. I knew that Lake Okeechobee turned into only some miles down the street so we drove available and fished from one of the access regions on the levee street. Nothing became biting for us even though however a little kid caught a decent length bass.

Our next quest changed into to run down the road a chunk to discover a handy keep for some snacks. How a ways may want to it be I requested, however ended up eight miles away at a tiny rundown migrant community referred to as Canal Point. Note to self, if you want to get some thing to devour or drink before popping out to this location, forestall in Indiantown in your way in first that’s the final vicinity you can get something higher than stale potato chips everywhere near the fields. This is sugar cane country. There isn’t plenty else out here.

At approximately three o clock we had been lower back at the fields getting our tools collectively; weapons, shells, garden chairs, small ice cooler and, of direction, snack bag. Dakota became ecstatic to get out and start sniffing and peeing, he is like a camel in opposite. There’s just no cease to the amount of pee that comes out of that canine. We walked a pair hundred yards down the dust path to find our range. Each area became separated by means of about eighty yards, and I should see the diverse hunters inside the distance going to their spots. On the opposite aspect I should see that a person had more than one dove mojos set out inside the discipline, and, what changed into that? A camouflaged umbrella? It became rather heat within the afternoon sun. I had given my tan looking vest to X-guy so he will be camouflaged a touch bit as a minimum. As it turns out, doves have quite correct vision and will flare away in case you stand out like a white guy at a P. Diddy live performance.

We settled into our chairs once I mashed down the weeds for Dakota to take a seat and blend in. He’s already the shade of dried grass so I wasn’t too involved. I sat back, popped a soda and waited. Now this was relaxing.

“What does a dove seem like again?” X-guy requested.

“Ah, it is the ones little fluttery gray looking birds that fly form of funny.” I replied, the eminent flora and fauna biologist, as I opened any other bag of stale chips and commenced munching.

“There, proper there to your left, that changed into one!” I exclaimed, spitting potato chips all over my shirt, looking it fly away.

“Didn’t see it.” X-man spoke back.

We heard some shots to the right of us. I couldn’t see in the event that they hit something or no longer. Then on the a long way aspect of the sector I heard extra taking pictures and could see every person shooting at the same small flock of birds.

“Right over your head.” I said, watching 3 more doves fly away.

“Didn’t see them either.” X-man replied.

“There’s some coming in on your left.” I stated.

“I see them dad.” X-man stated, like I became nagging. He took shots and ignored. Then some greater came in from behind us over his shoulder. “On your side again I stated.” This time he hit one and it fell inside the short grass.

“Was that a dove?” He asked.

” Uh, duh. OK, Dakota now, fetch.” I advised, pointing my hand. Dakota jumped up and simply wagged his tail like I become going to give him some thing to eat. “Go display him where it’s miles.” I instructed X-man, “I swear to god that canine needs glasses.”

“He’s cross eyed, dad.” He got up and went after the hen with Dakota following. When they had been near, Dakota subsequently saw the fowl and bolted after it for the retrieve. Then he brought it all of the manner lower back to where I changed into sitting.

“Good boy.” I said, taking the dove from his mouth. Once he sees it, he is going proper after it.

Some greater flew over from in the back of, I shot and one sailed out into the sector. I hustled out to wherein I notion it turned into with Dakota following proper in the back of. The hen flew up abruptly, I shot and neglected. Dakota looked at me like he become saying “What the hell? You suck.”

“Yeah? Well you’re blind. And you odor.”

“That changed into low.”

“Own it”

“Shut up and deliver me some of the ones potato chips you’re hoarding in that bag.”

I took the stroll of disgrace back to my spot and cursed myself until any other flock flew in the direction of my proper. I fired more than one pictures and one fell down toward the canal that marked the cease of our discipline. I went over to find it, and could see it floating inside the center of the canal. I pointed Dakota’s head in the direction of the dove till he noticed it and plunged into the canal to retrieve the bird. I appeared around paranoid of alligators.

I heard X-guy shoot as I was turning round and could listen him say, “Got it.”

We have been the usage of variety 7 ½ recreation hundreds and I felt that they must have sufficient knock down energy if we did not shoot too some distance out. But, there may be the rub.

Small groups and pairs, had been flying right across the men on the other side of the sphere. We heard a number of shooting. Some persisted flying close sufficient for us to take some shots. Flying doves with their erratic flight made us pass over plenty, however we controlled to deliver a pair more down.

During this taking pictures we ought to see a couple of FWC officials on the other side stopping at each searching institution to test out their licenses, I presumed. Shit, ours had been in the truck, oh well. It took them approximately forty five minutes to reach us, and that they requested to peer our guns to check the magazine potential of my Remington pump. Your shotgun is not meant be capable of keep extra than shells within the magazine. They insert a touch gauge up in there to measure it.

X-man become the usage of the twelve gauge over- and- below so there was nothing to check. I explained that our licenses were again on the truck. Then the officer quizzed me on what licenses we had. I have to have rattled off an appropriate solution because we have been permit off with a caution. Before they left, a small flock of doves flew right over us as the officers stood in the front. I figured it’d be bad shape to take a few shots, and watched the birds fly away.

Soon when they left some more doves flew close sufficient for a shot. X-man connected with one and it fell into the sphere. Dakota became starting to get the cling of this issue and ran out ahead of my son and sniffed this chicken out.

The solar had set over the horizon and the birds stopped flying. “I bet that’s it then.” I stated, “Let’s wrap it up and cross get some thing to consume.”

Dakota might not recognize the subtleties of the English language but he knows what “eat” way and jumped up, excited about the opportunities. The best element better than chasing after birds is scarfing down on a dollar hamburger.


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