John's Journal...


Moving Doves from the Water to the Field

EDITOR'S NOTE: Decoying and calling doves makes dove hunting an exciting, fun-filled sport. It also allows the land-bound hunter to experience the thrills of waterfowl-type hunting, calling and decoying, while actually hunting doves. It makes the sport of doveing on the same level as good waterfowling without the inclement weather. Dove season will open soon all across the U.S. This week we’ll give you tips and information to help you enjoy better dove hunting this fall.

Click to enlargeThe hunter decided if his calling and decoying techniques helped him bag more doves over water, he assumed these same tactics also would pay dividends in the field. To give his strategy the best test, he found a tree on the edge of a field where doves liked to work, feed and rest. He reasoned that calling doves in to decoys should follow the same principle that successfully calling any other game followed. That principle claimed, "If you try to call from an area where the game normally and naturally wants to go, then the game will come in easier and quicker. If you try to call from a region out of the game's way or where the game doesn't want to go, the calling often can become difficult and unsuccessful."

Click to enlargeSo he set his decoys in a tree where he'd seen many doves sitting at different times of the day. He designated this tree a loafin' tree because doves flew into the tree and sat there for long periods when not hungry, thirsty, in need of gravel or wanting to roost. A dove would use a loafin' tree like a rural resident would a country store -- a place to hang around to pick up all the local information and socialize with folks. When the doves saw other birds perched in a loafin' tree, they'd come in for a social call. "When you take a stand under a loafin' tree, place at least two of the decoys on the same limb sitting side by side," Harold Knight, one of the creators of Knight and Hale Game Calls of Cadiz, Kentucky, says. "If you'll look at doves when they sit in a tree, you almost always see two birds sitting close together on the same limb. So if you want to use your decoys effectively, place Click to enlargethem to look as lifelike as possible." When he tried decoying doves in to his favorite loafin' tree, he set two of the decoys side by side as Knight had suggested. Backing off and looking at his setup, the scene did appear much more natural than having birds scattered all over the tree. After putting the decoys out, he moved in close to the trunk of the tree to look for incoming birds. When he saw doves passing close by, he cooed on the owl hooter and watched what happened to the doves. Although he couldn't say for sure whether the calling or the decoying worked most effectively, by using decoys and calls, he brought in many more doves than if he simply had sat down next to a tree and prayed that doves would fly overhead.


Check back each day this week for more about “HOW TO DECOY AND CALL DOVES”

Day 1: Dove Hunting
Day 2: Dove Hunting After Opening Day
Day 3: Dove Decoying
Day 4: Moving Doves from the Water to the Field
Day 5: Making Your Spreads for Doves



Entry 315, Day 4