Five Tips For Shooting Doves
with George Mayfield
With dove season having already opened in many states and about to open in others, we asked George Mayfield, owner of The Roost hunting lodge in Aliceville, Alabama, for five dove-shooting tips. Mayfield hosts dove hunts on his loaded dove fields every week of the season.
No one should shoot a bird that is low on the ground for fear of shooting another hunter. However, many birds will come in low to the field, spot a hunter, pull their heads up and start to climb. If the bird comes in low from behind you and begins to climb as he's flying away from you, you should swing through the bird and shoot above him.
This is one of the most difficult shots for the average dove hunter to make. I usually don't take a shot at doves that are very far away from me. If the bird is fairly close when he starts to climb, I'll bring my gun barrel up from below the bird and pass the barrel through the birds wings. As my barrel gets above the bird, I'll squeeze the trigger and follow through.
Many times, when a bird passes by you and starts to climb, he'll veer to the left or right just as you pull the trigger. This is one of the biggest problems you will face because you will miss the dove even though you did everything right.
My favorite shot is the bird coming strait at me either head-on or slightly to the right or left. I really believe that this is the easiest shot to make.
One of the biggest mistakes that most dove hunters make is that they over-gun themselves. They'll shoot with a gun that's either too big or too heavy. To shoot accurately, you must be able to bring the gun up and swing it easily. The heavier and bigger the gun, the more difficult this process.
The other problem that many dove hunters have is that they shoot a gun that doesn't fit them properly. When you're shooting any type of winged target, the better the gun fits you, and the lighter and more maneuverable it is, the more accurately you will shoot. Most of the best dove shooters I've ever met shoot really light guns with barrels that are in a 26- to 28-inch range.
Dove hunting is a fun and exciting sport, and it can be more fun and more exciting if you practice shooting the birds with the proper techniques and take a little more time with your shot. If I can make only one suggestion to help you become a better dove shot, I'd suggest that you make sure you position your body to take the shot long before you squeeze the trigger. !
Click for the rest of George Mayfield's tips...
For more information on shooting doves, see
"How To Take More Doves"
on Night Hawk Publication's
Free Tips page.
If you would like to contact Mayfield, his address is:
Phone: (205) 373-3147