Here's some secrets that will help you take more doves this season.
1. Look for loafing trees to find doves. Doves always seem to light in certain trees around fields, water, roosting areas or flyways to rest. If you'll take a stand close to one of these loafing trees, you'll bag more doves.
2. Search for water in the first part of dove season, which usually has very warm weather. Take a stand by creeks, lakes or even puddles where doves will come to drink, particularly later on in the mornings.
3. Use dove decoys. Often, a dove passing high and fast over a field will drop down and come into range if the bird sees a decoy.
4. Don't move when you hunt doves. Doves have very good eyesight. If you move before the bird comes into range, more than likely, you'll cause it to flare, and the dove will present a more difficult shot.
5. Shoot XX skeet load shells. These shells cost about $1 more a box than the dove shells most hunters use. But these more-expensive, better-made shells will produce better patterns at greater distances.
6. Put the bead of your shotgun on the bird's nose, and pull up as you shoot, when a dove flies straight at you. If you don't pull up just as you shoot, you'll shoot behind the dove.
7. Mark the spot where a dove falls with some type of landmark. Then go straight to the bird. Don't worry about trying to take a second or third target. Recover the dove you have already downed.
8. Mount your gun, and prepare to shoot at the next bird, if you've missed some doves. However, instead of squeezing the trigger when the bird comes into range, stop. Make sure you have your face against the stock, your eye looking straight down the barrel, the stock in the right position on your shoulder and correct shooting form. You may miss doves because you have incorrect form.
9. Never take a second shot at a dove. Often a hunter will rely on his second shot if he misses the first one. However, if you learn to take only one shot at the doves you see, you'll make sure the dove has come into range before you shoot and use correct form before you squeeze the trigger.
10. Don't take out-of-range shots, hoping to get lucky. Instead, each time you shoot, try and execute a perfect shot. Then you'll take more birds.