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Posted By: Lloyd3 Dove Opener? - 09/05/13 02:15 AM
Good shoot in southern Colorado, how'd everybody else do?
Posted By: KDGJ Re: Dove Opener? - 09/05/13 02:29 AM

We did ok down in SE Colorado. We didn't see as many doves in years past and not sure if it's related to the limited irrigation due to water restrictions. I see the cold front will probably be here early next week--dove season will be over soon.

Posted By: Rookhawk Re: Dove Opener? - 09/05/13 02:29 AM
Limits Sunday, Monday, one short of limit Tuesday, limit today too. Northern IL has been great so far. We're seeing 30-40 shootable birds in 3 hours each day and probably 200-500 birds out past 50 yards in the same time.

One thing we're noticing is only about 50-50 young birds to old which doesn't bode well if this is common elsewhere this year.

Shot my first dove with a Fed band on it today so that's something new. I have to call it in and find out the bird's history.

No exotic doves seen yet this year in Northern IL though, just mourning doves. Central IL was overrun with Eurasian Collard doves last year so they are slowly invading.
Posted By: jerry66stl Re: Dove Opener? - 09/05/13 02:44 AM
Unusually poor in the St. Louis areas that I hunt. Very few birds. We haven't been seeing doves on electric wires, which is a bad indicator.
Posted By: Slowpokebill Re: Dove Opener? - 09/05/13 12:19 PM
How we did on the opening depends on your perspective. My friend and I only shot three mourning doves. I shot two and he shot one. We both went through over two boxes of shells. So, some might call it a bust and really poor shooting.

Of course, there were all those Eurasian collard doves we shot, to make up for the lack of mourning doves. There is no limit on them and I shot enough I didn't even count them. I have three gallon size bags of Eurasian breast in the freezer.

We had a blast.

Oh, and this season first ruff grouse hunt, Tuesday morning, went well. It was a little on the hot side so we kept it under and hour for the dogs sake. The dog work was good. It was nice feeling the weight of a bird in my vest. We moved five birds. I shot once and collected one bird. It really is early for grouse, only a leaf, here and there, show any of a hint of Fall colors to come.

Well I need to go load the dogs into the rig and head up the mountain for another quick hunt before I head off to work.
Posted By: Geo. Newbern Re: Dove Opener? - 09/05/13 01:33 PM
Georgia dove season usually opens Labor Day weekend. This year it was postponed to this coming Saturday so we are behind the rest of you for a change. Nice to hear the reports though!...Geo
Posted By: Lloyd3 Re: Dove Opener? - 09/05/13 07:17 PM
Late doves in Georgia and very early ruffies in Utah. Lots of options in this country. We really saw only mourning doves in the field (lots in town, however). I shot the only Eurasian we saw.
Posted By: Stanton Hillis Re: Dove Opener? - 09/05/13 10:42 PM
Originally Posted By: Geo. Newbern
Georgia dove season usually opens Labor Day weekend. This year it was postponed to this coming Saturday so we are behind the rest of you for a change. Nice to hear the reports though!...Geo

Gonna be like that next year, too, Geo. Bummer. Won't get back right until 2015.

Posted By: Geo. Newbern Re: Dove Opener? - 09/05/13 11:57 PM
Originally Posted By: Stan
Originally Posted By: Geo. Newbern
Georgia dove season usually opens Labor Day weekend. This year it was postponed to this coming Saturday so we are behind the rest of you for a change. Nice to hear the reports though!...Geo

Gonna be like that next year, too, Geo. Bummer. Won't get back right until 2015.


I'll try to make it!...Geo
Posted By: steve white Re: Dove Opener? - 09/06/13 04:18 AM
West of Gainesville, TX was great on the opener, but rained on Labor Day and scattered them. Steve
Posted By: wingshooter16 Re: Dove Opener? - 09/07/13 03:07 PM
On our lease a little NE of Midland, the mornings were (and typically are) a little slow, but the evening shoots fantastic. Waves and waves of birds, mostly mourning and a lot of youngsters.

Posted By: Geo. Newbern Re: Dove Opener? - 09/07/13 11:45 PM
Opening day in GA finally arrived. I had decided to shoot my doves this year with a fine old W&C Scott and Son hammergun.

I've shot lots of targets with the gun but this afternoon's dove shoot with it was the first time on game and it about whipped my butt. I managed a limit but it took two full boxes of RST 2.5" low pressure (and all afternoon)to do it.

On targets I pull the hammers back before calling for the claybird. This afternoon I had to pull the hammer as the shot presented and that was just enough to rattle my timing.

I never did manage to pull the 2nd hammer for a followup when I missed though I did manage to get a couple of doubles when I had time to pull both hammers to some far out incomers. My thumb's sore but I plan to use the Scott again tomorrow afternoon...Geo

Posted By: Stanton Hillis Re: Dove Opener? - 09/08/13 12:28 AM
Great shoot for us this afternoon. Grandson Jackson, 11, took 11 doves on the wing towards a limit. I got my 15 bird limit with the Yildiz .410 S x S again. We didn't even go to the field until 4:00 p.m. Worked out just about right, as the birds were just beginning to feed good.

I am about to post a full report on the ongoing thread "The Dove Field Chronicles", which I began back in April, I think, to show the full extent of planting, growing and shooting a sunflower field for dove shooting.

Posted By: mel5141 Re: Dove Opener? - 09/09/13 02:23 PM
The Sept. 1 opener found a motley crew of worldly Wingshooters in my den before dawn in anticipation of a new season.
This year it was my frequent guest from the North Country , a pair of dedicated Woodcock and Grouse scholars, a fine friend from Costal Ca. Ranch Country, and the Long legged Oklahoma Gun Peddler, who many of those here know well.
A Fine opening it was. Great Shooting, good food and ample libations to go with the stories and gun talk.
A week plus into the Texas season still finds Abundant birds on the Rolling Plains area of West Central Texas.
I have shot every day, and we are alternating between two large fields of native sunflowers here on the ranch.
The water hole shooting, as painted by nearly every wildlife artist past and present (none of whom have exceeded John Cowan's original rendition) has been Excellent as well.
Even on days that I have gotten back to the ranch late for a field shoot the water holes have provided superb 7:00 pm shoots.
I intend to indulge this afternoon as well.
Good Shooting to all,
Posted By: Stanton Hillis Re: Dove Opener? - 09/09/13 11:34 PM

I shore would like to see some pictures of the dove areas ya'll shoot. Especially the waterholes.

I shoot small waterholes here. Are you talking about ground water holes, or stock tanks (as in metal tanks)?

Posted By: GLS Re: Dove Opener? - 09/09/13 11:50 PM
Went out at 230 pm Saturday and was finished by 4 pm. When I came out, a man was sitting under the pecans with a broken Remington 1148. He took my Ithaca M37 16 gauge and came in an hour and half later with a limit. Stan, that's confidence not going out until 4 pm. My Mojo drew them in like a magnet. I had it up 12' off the ground and it made a big difference in flight patterns.
Posted By: Stanton Hillis Re: Dove Opener? - 09/10/13 12:16 AM
Mojos are awesome at times. We had so many birds Saturday that I didn't even put mine up, or use any still decoys. Just didn't need to.

When I finished my limit of 15 I picked up my .410 hulls. There were 28 of them. If I could just make myself quit shooting at those 40 yard birds with that little gun my average would go way up. Finally settled down, after missing a few that were too long, and tried to be patient and wait on those close birds to shoot. Inside 30 yards that 11/16 oz. load is not much of a handicap. Outside 35 it starts getting mighty sketchy.

Posted By: GLS Re: Dove Opener? - 09/10/13 12:24 AM
Stan, that's outstanding shooting something I am capable of only in my dreams. Gil
Posted By: Lloyd3 Re: Dove Opener? - 09/11/13 02:29 AM
I burned a pile of shells as well, but I was switching back and forth from side by side to a pump and there are some minor mental adjustments that need to be made. What I found is that my English 16 needs to be bent just a bit to keep this southpaw from shooting a bit right of the target (and that is in the works as we speak). The pumpgun mafia that surrounded me in the dove field applauded my defection, reminding me on several ocations that "pumpguns are the only truly American shotgun". I'm not at all sure about that, but I can say that I had a great deal of fun anyway. Is it a sin to love them both?
Posted By: GaryW Re: Dove Opener? - 09/11/13 03:28 AM
Texas Panhandle....any waterhole will attract doves and a few mojo decoys are just magnets for doves. Today was the 410's day to play. DeHaan S2 with 30" IC&M barrels and Remington's 2.5" Sporting load of 1/2oz of 8's.
Posted By: Stanton Hillis Re: Dove Opener? - 09/12/13 01:21 AM
I could just sit and look at that scenery around that waterhole even if no birds came in. Great pic, Gary.

I called DeHaan about one like that several years ago. I just want one with ejectors and 30" barrels so bad I can't stand it. He told me they were working on ejectors for the .410s but hadn't gotten a good design yet.

I wonder what's so hard about putting ejectors on a .410 S x S? Is it because they just have to be so little they can't hold up, and tend to break? Didn't some of the O/U .410s have ejectors that worked successfully?

Posted By: GaryW Re: Dove Opener? - 09/12/13 01:48 AM
Wish I could answer that question for you on the 410 ejectors...some forum member more knowledgeable than me will have to. DeHaan O/U guns could be had with ejectors, but the SxS always came with extractors. Personally, I prefer extractors in my older's hell sometimes picking up those hulls when the back and knees ain't what they used to be. A shooting buddy of mine ordered a custom gun from Mark some years back that is a 2 barrel set; 28 ga. & .410 bore, both sets of barrels being 32" long! Even though it was the highest grade (in engraving and #4 wood), both gauges were extractor barrels. Quite a gun, may be the only 2 barrel 28&410 SxS with 32" barrels.
Posted By: steve voss Re: Dove Opener? - 09/12/13 01:59 AM
I was invited to Wingshooter16s lease north of Midland, TX. This pic is from scouting the day before the season opened.

The last morning...

I did kill the first dove I shot at in eight years.

A 16 gauge choked Sk1/Sk2 with 3/4 ounce of #8s is a perfect choice for doves.

Lots of birds for everyone, including me.

We had a great time!
Posted By: Joe Wood Re: Dove Opener? - 09/12/13 02:06 PM
George, at the risk of being excommunicated from this esteemed forum, I hunt doves in the manner W.W. Greener recommended, carrying hammer guns at full cock and carefully observing safe handling. After all, shouldn't all guns be treated as being lethal at all times until broken down and cased? I actually feel I am safer using a full cocked hammer gun because i am acutely aware of the situation and proper gun handling trumps everything else.

Hammer guns and dove were made for each other.

Source: "Modern Breechloaders and Their Use", W.W. Greener, available free on Google Books.
Posted By: Geo. Newbern Re: Dove Opener? - 09/12/13 03:17 PM
Joe, I cannot disagree with you about keeping the hammers back, but I just ain't quite there yet. I sure am not going to carry a hammergun around in the woods cocked, but sitting alone on a dove stool is a different matter. My problem with the Scott I was using this weekend is that I cannot break open the gun with the hammers back and I'm not really comfortable thumbing the hammers and pulling the triggers on live ammo. With my other hammerguns, I just break open the barrels when I need to let down a hammer...Geo
Posted By: Joe Wood Re: Dove Opener? - 09/12/13 04:32 PM
Totally understand, George. That's why hammerless replaced the former so quickly. But still, we who love to shoot the hammer guns must have situation awareness foremost in mind at all times. Evidently there were a lot of accidents in olden times with slipping hammers and careless attention. Dove hunting though is custom tailored for these old guns--sitting alone and not having to stumble through brush. When I'm walking you'd better believe my hammers are down! I do not believe in hunting with the action open. Too much dirt and too much stress on the action.

Good hunting to you! I'm heading out this afternoon with my 1870 Scott and 1872 Greener. Might even take along my 1867 Thomas Johnson--it needs baptizing.
Posted By: John Roberts Re: Dove Opener? - 09/13/13 02:50 AM
I just do not trust myself with an exposed hammer gun with the hammers back in the field. Clays, no problem.
Posted By: GaryW Re: Dove Opener? - 09/13/13 04:42 AM
Had the honor of shooting with two of Amarillo Gun Club's Tuesday Morning Loafers today with a lesson from Professor Joe Wood on high birds with a hammer gun while SkeetX displayed championship form with his .410's. They are so good my lab deserted me and retrieved for them. Good companionship, good guns, good times.
Posted By: Replacement Re: Dove Opener? - 09/13/13 04:52 AM
I hunt with hammer guns when I am off by myself. Hammers back, action open, close it when a shot presents itself.
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