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Saturday was the first day of fall, but you wouldn’t have known it if you were in south Texas. That’s where JWT and I were, mostly sitting under the shade of a tree, tucked between some cacti in 100-degree heat, with shotguns on our laps and our eyes fixed on the sky.

We were posted up on the edge of a medium size field with a small watering hole at Frio County Hunts at the Wilson Ranch. It’s located in Frio Town outside Pearsall which is southwest of San Antonio, about 90 miles north of the border.

Frio County Hunts is a big (6000 acres?) great hunting facility on the Frio River that’s probably better known for its white tail, hog, and turkey hunting, but we were in an almost ideal spot for doves.

I’ve shot a lot of birds with this Remington V3 Field Sport 12 gauge. The new Remington Arms is making these great shotguns now under the V3 Waterfowl Pro and Field Pro names. It’s a great design that’s easy-shooting, ultra-reliable, and has been a fantastic field shotgun.

Despite a long, hot, dry summer, dove numbers in Texas were forecasted to be up this year thanks to a mild spring. I’ve been down here more than long enough now to have hunted dove, but somehow hadn’t managed to do that yet. My bad.

Despite the heat Saturday was a great day to check doves off my list. It didn’t take many birds to see why so many Texas hunters wait all year long for dove season. I love the shotgun sports and have hunted duck, quail, and pheasant, but this is a different game. These little birds are small, fast, and crafty.

LaCross Alpha Agility Snake Boots

If you’re going to be out in the field in central and south Texas, you’re well advised to invest in a good pair of snake boots. When the birds came in I tended to pay a lot more attention to getting the right lead on the speedy little avians than I did to the prickly flora around my feet. As you can see by the spines sticking out of them, those Lacrosse snake boots saved me from more than just serpents.

Texas dove hunt

It won’t please the folks at PETA to hear that the hunting was good. I managed to limit out (15) and had a hell of a good time doing it.

Dove hunting is challenging shooting given their speed and agility. They can and do dodge, bob, and weave at times to avoid even well-placed shot strings. It took me 54 rounds to down the birds I got. That’s not great shooting, but I’ll learn. And I definitely want to do it again.

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26 COMMENTS

  1. A properly done dove shoot is as much a social occasion as a hunt. In Mississippi my aunts would prepare a picnic lunch for everyone. Fried chicken, potatoe salad, string beans, etc. Everything except the potatoes grown on Grandpa’s farm. Here in N FL we like to ice down a bushel of oysters and stand around the tailgates until the birds start flying. The next day it’s bacon wrapped dove breast on the grill. With guests. Like I said, it’s a social occasion.

  2. Dove hunting is a big deal here in Texas. I don’t hunt so I don’t get involved. I am pleased other can, America and Texas, great places to live.

  3. Controlled regulated hunting is a must. And it must be done with as little government as possible. But the government must be involve.
    The organized culling of the herd must be done, to maintain the environment and the balance of animals in our world.

    Now let the utopians attack. They would be comfortable with every animal species on this planet killed to extinction.

    • “They would be comfortable with every animal species on this planet killed to extinction.”

      Mostly, they think just killing off all the humans will suffice. Of course, each one of them individually fantasizes that they are part of the select few humans to remain and enjoy the restoration of the natural order. Otherwise, they’d be lining up at the Soylent Green plant…proof they really don’t believe what they say.

      • The movie “Silent Running” also comes to mind.
        A space hippie killing his fellow humans in order to save plant life.

        • That the movie with Hughie, Louie, and Dewey the robots?

          Where after all the guy went through, he blew up his own space ship?

  4. Too bad they don’t allow dove (pigeon) hunting in Philadelphia. They are all over the place, creating a huge mess.

    But, then again, that is maybe one of the smallest problems the City of Brotherly Love is facing.

    Tranq, anyone?

    • you mean steinschwalben, of which there are two kinds. one lives beneath underpasses, the other on street corners.make soup.
      there are some haitians around here that net them and do weird voodoo stuff. and asians that make soup with them.

  5. A friend of mine went on a dove hunt in Tennessee (if I remember correctly) and brought some back to share with me. I have to say it was the best tasting meat that I have ever eaten.

    If you get the chance to hunt for doves and can prepare and eat them, I highly recommend it.

  6. In my younger days, a trip across the border for some fun was always a part of the Dove hunting experience. The corn fields outside of Uvalde, D’Hanis and Hondo took up the mornings and afternoons. The nights (and discretionary funds) were spent in Acuna. Saw many of the same women year after year. Lots of beer was consumed and debauchery indulged in.

  7. Ha, ha. I remember the same thing. Part of a lot of young mens education growing up in Texas. We did the same thing with uncles, never talking about it to mom or dad. I think dad had an idea, but he kept quiet and didn’t let on. Too bad culture and the cartels have ruined it for this generation.

  8. Wing shooting is always a great day.

    Growing up in Mississippi, I enjoyed the daybreak shoots. Especially, if we had some crisp weather.

    Surprised when I came to Florida and found out you couldn’t start until noon. But as noted by Gadsden, it’s a great opportunity to hobnob and make new friends.

    Also a great time let my Winchester 42 stretch it’s legs. Fun stuff.

  9. Dove hunting is very enjoyable. More so than just the kills. It’s the company, the ease of teaching new hunters and the ribbing one another. It’s the start of the whole season and a time to get the mind off all going on but the moment.

  10. Its public hunting for me and luckily there are plentiful dove and dove fields available.
    Theres beginning to be a lot of Collored Doves also.
    Morning doves out here we call them turtle doves. Didnt know why until I saw some eating on a dead turtle hit on the road.
    I like quail better however unfortunately the quail population has been declining for quite some time in this vicinity. Habitat perhaps, however the Turkey populations are high.
    I have watched a turkey eat up a brood of quail.

  11. I still recall the sweltering heat during a dove hunt near Sherman TX in September many years ago. There I miserably sat in scant shade, sweat pouring, mosquitoes swarming, maintaining the typical 2-3 rounds per bird downed average, when all of a sudden I experienced a “this ain’t much fun” epiphany. That was the year opening day of dove season in Texas ceased to be an annual event in my hunting itinerary.

  12. SO what do we have here, A ”HUNTER waiting for some ‘doves’ to fly down the barrels of his 12GAUGE ‘cos he can’yt hit if they dont. wearing SNAKE BOOTS and no doubt getting commission on Sales and added to that a truly incompentent shot
    A ‘tip; build a blooody HIDE or at least shoot from cover and use a CAMO net for hands a face -that’s what them ”speedy little devils;; are DODGING

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