Essentials To Make Your Next Dove Hunt a Blast
Whether it's your first dove hunt or your fiftieth there are some essential field items for a great hunt. The following is our checklist for a successful day of shooting birds.
Dove Seat (canvas or bucket)
- Doves have pretty good eyesight even when flying around at 50 mph. To prevent from being spotted and averted, nestle into tall brush or between standing row crops. Sometimes it can be a waiting game so a comfortable seat is key to staying concealed until the trigger is pulled. There are two seats that you will find at every shoot: buckets and canvas. The bucket, often upgraded with a 360 degree rotating seat, gives the hunter a place to store birds and beers together with spent shells. Affordable and lightweight, the bucket has earned its row in the field. Traditionalists favor the canvas seat for its comfort and compact design when folded up. The boys at Chama have quite the a** holder.
- Even in early September temperatures are still going to be a little toasty after lunch on the dove field. Therefore you need a shirt that will not only keep you cool but also concealed. Veterans know that short sleeves are the way to go. We think our Guide Shirt in Oxbow™ is the perfect top to turn you into a bird busting machine when the temps and birds are soaring.
- If you don’t wear hearing protection you’re an idiot. Some shoots can sound like war if the doves get to circling. Because dove hunting is a sport in which your fellow hunters help spot birds, having headphones that you can hear with such as the Walker Game Ears will alleviate miscommunications in the field. As a half-deaf person, electronic ear muffs have been a game changer in the field when silent and accurate communication is crucial for a fruitful hunt.
- Most of the time you are dove hunting in full sun. Keep your head protected and your eyes covered while out in the field. Much like the camo shirt, hats aid concealment. I’ve got a buddy who thinks that the lens color of his glasses, specifically their reflective property, can reveal hunters hiding in the grass. He might be onto something. We recommend a matte lens like the Grey Polycarbonate Lens from Bajio.
- Hopefully your next dove shoot is a full day of blasting birds but if you want to get invited back you must collect all of your shells before leaving. This is a courtesy that will be greatly appreciated by the farmer and increases your chances of being at the next hunt. Be prepared by bringing along a shell bag to discard discharged ammo. The artisans at Mission Mercantile know how to put a long-lasting bag together and their Shell Bag can be your shell holder for years to come.
- If you don’t have a gun strap you make things harder on yourself and more dangerous for others. Without a strap you have to carry the gun in your hand which is prone to being parallel to the ground putting your fellow shooters in the line of fire. Make things easier and the field safer, get a gun strap.
- September afternoons are still going to be toasty so you need to stay thoroughly hydrated in the field. Packing a water bottle can be the difference in you shooting at one clear bird or two fuzzy birds. A key to having a good time is keeping your refreshments chilled. The YETI Hopper Flip 12 is the perfect sidekick to keep your beverages cool. *Please shoot responsibly*
- Late summer temps are still warm enough for snakes. Be prepared for an encounter with Mr. ‘No-Shoulders’ by wearing a good pair of snake boots. And yes, snake boots with shorts are very acceptable in the dove field. If you get made fun out there it’s probably due to poor shooting. Check out the Lacrosse ZXT Guardsman Boot.