Friday, September 2, 2011

Dove Hunting 101 - Tips for a Beginning Dove Hunter

As most folks know, the Texas Dove Season, kick-off to the hunting season and near-religious event in my circle of friends, is rapidly approaching.  ("Yes, co-workers.... people SHOOT and EAT doves.  Yes,.... I understand they are called the 'bird of peace' and make a cute cooing sound.  Yes, they are quite tasty on the grill!")

A friend who only occasionally hunts is going on a dove hunt and asked me for some advice and more specifically on what NOT to do.  I thought about it a bit and sent him the following list:

The following activities should be on your "DO NOT DO THIS" LIST:

1. Shoot someone.
2. Shoot a dog(s).
3. Shoot yourself.
4. Shoot at EVERY bird you see no matter the distance.  Pace off 35 yards in your front yard.  It is not THAT far.  That is pretty much the effective range for that scatter gun in your hands.
5. Shoot 3 times, EVERY time no matter how far the birds fly away. This is best done with an auto-loader so you can waste more ammo, faster.
6. Don't pick up your empties. Cattle will eat these, get sick and ensure the rancher will not allow you to return in the future.
7. Don't clean up water bottles and other trash.
8. Shoot over a fence line or public road.  This is best done with a country sheriff nearby.
9. Shoot birds off a power line or sitting in a tree.
10. Don't offer to help look for downed birds.
11. Squeal like a girl when you have to kill a wounded bird with your bare hands.
12. Use words like boysenberry when describing the color purple.
13. Blow up your gun and possibly your face by putting a 20 gauge shell in a 12 gauge shotgun AND THEN loading a 12 gauge shell behind it. Pull trigger, wait for the LifeFlight helicopter to arrive, enjoy the ride.
14. Move around A LOT so the birds flying toward you actually SEE you and move away so the other guys in your party don't get a shot off.  Doves have pea sized brains but aren't (i) stupid and (ii) blind.

* To ensure there is NO CONFUSION, please appreciate and understand that the above listing should be considered sarcasm and is not, in actuality, true hunting and gun safety advice.  Use your brain, don't be stupid, always be safe!

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