As of July 1st next week...it will only be 2 months until the opening of Dove Season. The Federal Government sets the dates for hunting this migratory bird...which is most challenging to shoot. Doves are very fast,very wary and very agile. At our Hunting Club the Farmer plants several acres of Sunflowers just about this time of Summer. By September 1st...the opening day...the Sunflowers will have bloomed and be fairly dry...just how the Doves like 'em. The field is planted near a tree line and near the tidal river that runs along the edge of our Farm where our Club is located.
Each year,opening day of Dove Season finds a large group of Club Members, guests,sons and daughters ready to engage in some spirited wing-shooting. The day opens with a Barbecue Lunch and a Club Meeting. Then around 2 or 3 p.m. we take to the field. The shooters are positioned at set locations in and around the Sunflowers to optimize safety and coverage. It is generally a hot day so one's gear includes a camo cooler for water and ice. The normal uniform for Doves is camo shorts and shirt and hat. I have featured some examples of same in the posted pictures to demonstrate to the ladies and jangle the purient interest of you other knuckleheads.
After the shooting is over...and we all generally get close to the bag limit of birds...it is back to the Clubhouse for ice cold beers and a cleaning session. We will get several men and kids cleaing the days bag...which are then skewered and grilled. Often we will score a bushel of Steamed Crabs from the Delaware bay and have a "Wing & Claw" feast. Freshly shot Dove, grilled over coal and steamed crabs and a frosty keg makes for one damn fine Summer evening.
Last season my son made his first wing shot in the dove field...a fine 25 yard crossing shot with a 20 Guage. This Sportsman was practically levitating with pride.
Also of note, and in relation to the title of this post, are the exploits of a fine Sportswomen. My hunting buddy Ned...to whom I have referred in prior posts...has a daughter that is an excellent shot and loves to shoot doves. She aquits herself with poise and skill and has dove hunted with us the last 3 seasons. She recently won her age class in a local Sporting Clays Competition and is going to be better with a double gun than both her Dad and this writer combined. Suffice it to say this young lady is not attired like the scantily clad tarts depicted above. Again, those shots are purely eye-catchers for some of the lower brow element that stops by on occassion. Indeed, Ned always has the best gear and kit for both himself and his kids when we go hunting.
So, while there is lots of Summer between now and the Dove "Opener"...us Sportmen and Sportswomen are counting the days and cleaning the guns and keeping the dogs in shape...See you in the field.