John's Journal...

Dove Hunting Vs. Dove Shooting

Day 5: Other Areas for Calling and Decoying Doves

Editor’s Note: Dove season arrives soon all across the United States. As a sport, dove shooting is as traditional as a southern barbecue. But something new has been added: calling and decoying the gray speedsters.

Click for Larger ViewClick for Larger ViewI soon learned that the dove decoys and calling would lure birds in to hunters around water and loafin’ trees. But these were not the only areas where I incorporated calling and decoying into my dove-hunt plan. If you observe doves, you’ll also notice that one of their favorite places to sit and rest is on the edges of fences. And, putting decoys on fences makes luring the doves in relatively easy. However, there is a problem with using a fence to put decoys on, if you’re to get the birds within gun range. The kinds of fences that doves usually like to light-on are the ones in open fields where there are no trees or bushes. This situation makes finding a place for the hunter to hide, so the doves won’t spot him when they come in to his calling and decoying, very difficult. Therefore I don’t utilize fences for decoying doves – unless there is a ditch at the edge of the fence where I can hide. If a dove can see the decoys, it also can spot a hunter, unless the sportsman is hidden well, or his silhouette is broken-up by the backdrop of bushes or trees.

I believe the easiest place to decoy doves is in a roosting area. Doves want to come to roost, and in my region of the South, one of their favorite places to roost is in cedar thickets. By blowing on my owl hooter, I can concentrate most of the doves that want to roost to fly-in right over my decoys. Many times when I’m shooting a roost, the doves will come in, begin to cup their wings and look for places to light right beside the decoys. So, when I set up a roost spread, I don’t take a stand under the decoys. I move 20-yards away from the decoys and watch the birds work into my spread.

Click for Larger ViewClick for Larger ViewDecoying and calling doves is an exciting, fun-filled sport. This tactic allows the land-bound hunter the thrills of waterfowl-type hunting, calling and decoying when he is actually hunting doves. The decoying and calling makes the sport of dove hunting more than a shooting sport and more than a hunting sport – putting it on the same level as good waterfowling without the bad weather. And, with the proper equipment and knowledge about doves, decoying and calling doves may very well be one of the best wing-shooting sports in America today.

How to Hunt Deer Like a ProTo learn more about John E. Phillips’ beautifully-photographed books, many complete with how-to videos, go to, type in “Hunt Deer Like a Pro,” and when that comes up, click on the John E. Phillips’ author’s page to see a list of about 20 of his outdoor e-Books available on Kindle.

Check back each day this week for more about "Dove Hunting Vs. Dove Shooting"

Day 1: Hunting the Beginning of Dove Season
Day 2: Dove Hunting – Not Dove Shooting
Day 3: Dove Calling
Day 4: The Flight Patterns of Doves and Where to Make Decoy Spreads
Day 5: Other Areas for Calling and Decoying Doves

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Entry 680, Day 5