I hope it has been an enjoyable season for most and that you have seen some birds flying. As predicted, they have been spread out but they are in town and shopping! We have had some success on weedy fields in the morning and sitting between feeding and water holes in the evening. Overall we have not seen the large groups but mostly singles and doubles here and there. The action has been sporadic but fast. I really like the motion decoys as they have pulled most of the birds we shot at. They seem to like the motion? Even had one land amongst our decoys. You guessed it…he got away unscathed. Oh sure, we launched plenty of steel his direction but the stars were lined in his favor… A few tips from the tool box of what little I know…
1. Find weedy fields that link to shallow ponds and hunt the flyway between the two when in doubt.
2. In the morning, set up closer to the weedy fields or cut wheat. Good weeds include sunflower, hemp, etc.
3. Decoys work! Set them in areas highly visible. Doves love to land in disturbed areas of bare dirt within the field and these are good locations for decoys. Also, fences, trees near water or weedy fields, pasture edges, etc. Use one with motion.
4. Hide yourself in a shady sport, near a clump of brush, woodys, near a tree, etc.
5. Identify flying birds at a distance so you will be ready when they give you the fly-by.
6. This is an excellent time to bring your hunting dog and get in some early season retrieval practice! Dove feathers are mealy and can bother some dogs when them get a mouth full. Bring a water bottle to rinse their mouth out after retrieves.
7. Remember swinging on game is one of the top safety violations we have in NE so be sure of your target and what lies beyond it!
8. Late summer hunts can involved pests such as mosquitoes so bring your Thermacell!
9. Drink plenty of water and make sure your dog has access to plenty as well.
10. Bring a new hunter along, have plenty of shells and just have FUN!
Get Em’ Out There