Dove hunting is one of the simplest forms of hunting and doesn’t require too much equipment, so it’s a great opportunity for getting your feet wet for your first hunt.
Doves, though, like all animals are pretty complex critters, so there’s a few dove hunting tips
that you can’t afford to be without.
I’m going to take you through some of the most important tips so that you know how to hunt dove better than ever.
Learn the Habits of a Dove
If you want to have a chance of landing some doves then you need to understand how they operate out in the wild.
First off, where are you going to find our feathered friends? Well, doves live off a diet made up of seeds, so you’re going to find them on the ground around crops.
What crops are we talking about? You’ll actually find them around most types of grain crops e.g. corn, wheat and sunflowers.
And due to their tiny little legs they don’t like to scratch around in leaves and undergrowth for their seeds. No, they prefer bare ground where they can easily eat up those seeds.
Doves also have movement patterns that you need to keep in mind.
You’ll discover that doves leave their night roost around dawn in order to find water. After drinking they tend to stay in these areas until midday before hitting feeding grounds until late afternoon. Once content they’ll head back to the watering hole before finding somewhere to roost.
Don’t Forget Graveling Sites
What many hunters fail to realize is that doves can’t process all those seeds through their body on their own.
They need a little help grinding it all up and to achieve this they turn to gravel.
Yep, it doesn’t sound appetizing to you or I, but doves can often be found in gravelling sites chowing down on precious gravel.
This makes graveling sites an ideal location to head to hunt down doves.
Great gear to make your dove hunting a success:
- Bird Hunting Vest– A good vest can really add to the success of your hunt. First of all you have quick easy access to your shells all at once. Secondly, you will have storage for the already bagged birds which allows you to keep moving and keep hunting easily.
- If sitting down and shooting is more your style than this Dove Hunting Chair will cover the same needs as a vest.
- Sometimes, depending on where you go to hunt, finding dove may be easy but finding cover is a different story. Using a Full Blind would be your best option.
One of the best dove hunting tips I can give you is to remain calm!
When you’re out hunting, say, elk then it’s unlikely you’ll see more than a couple of these beasts together.
But with doves it’s a whole different ball game!
You might encounter between 10 – 100 flying over all at once and it’s at this point that beginners get a little excited and start firing wildly.
Not only do you risk injuring yourself, but a rushed shot is never going to be accurate.
Instead, make sure you take your time and shoot with precision and order.
Concentrate on One Bird at a Time
As we’ve just covered, there are going to potentially be huge numbers of doves and, to a beginner, this can be a little overwhelming.
However, the best thing to do is concentrate on one bird at a time from the front of the formation. So, if you’re aiming at the leader make him your absolute priority until you’ve hit him.
If you’re worrying about the bird behind him then you’ll find your concentration and aim slipping and you’ll just be blasting holes in the air.
Take Plenty of Ammo
You’re going to encounter a lot of doves while out hunting and they’re evasive little birds, so you’re going to end up using a LOT of ammo.
Therefore, always take more ammo than you think you’ll need. Nothing ruins a hunt more than an empty pack of shells!
Use Decoys Wisely
If you want a better chance of enticing doves towards you then you can’t go far wrong with trusty old decoys!
This Mojo Voodoo Dove Decoy works extremely well! I have literally had dove drop straight from the sky and try to land right next to my Mojo Decoy. It will make all the difference in the world for you.
One thing that’s really important with your decoys is to ensure they’re facing into the wind. This is the natural landing and taking off position for doves, so you don’t want to rock the status quo or you’ll scare them off.
With this in mind you can use decoys in a variety of places, but they have to be highly visible.
At the edge of a watering hole is a great place as it gives off an air of safety to the area and encourages doves to come one down.
Placing them in a tree will also attract doves, but make sure you put your decoy as high as possible or they won’t be seen.
These tips should help you feel more confident in how to hunt doves, so get out there and try them out. Let me know how you got on in the comments!