Night Hawk Stories... Entry 22
Dove Hunting Accessories
EDITOR'S NOTE: The folks at Mossy Oak in West Point, Mississippi, enjoy the tradition of dove hunting and probably like it as much as eating black-eyed peas, speckled butter beans, a pone of cornbread and a glass of buttermilk. But just because you go out and sweat in the hot sun of early fall, get bitten by redbugs in the grass and punctured by industrial-strength mosquitoes, you still may not take home a mess of doves. Here's some secrets for finding and taking doves that will make this season's gunning better than ever.
*Insect Repellant -- When you prepare for a dove hunt, start with insect repellent. A strong concentration of Deet in the repellent will keep off redbugs, ticks and mosquitoes. You can't shoot doves, scratch redbugs and swat mosquitoes all at the same time.
* Camouflage/Eye Accessories/Ear Protectors -- Next, put on full camouflage, including a headnet and gloves. Then you won't cause any birds to flare when they see the whites of your hands and face. Never wear a solid-colored shirt because doves can see solid blocks of color more easily than they can broken patches of color like camouflage. Wear either shooting glasses, sunglasses or regular glasses to protect your eyes when doves rain into a field, numbers of hunters shoot, and shells fall. Don't damage your hearing. Even the small foam inserts you place in your ears will protect you somewhat from hearing loss.
* Dogs -- If you have some type of retriever, taking a dog on a dove shoot really makes the hunt more enjoyable. On a good hunt, a sportsman often picks up seven or eight doves of the 10 he shoots. But a retriever will locate all 10 birds, even in high grass or in you've shot a double.
Tomorrow: Dove Decoys and Calls