Stories of the South - Dove Hunting
I am going to talk about hunting in this post. I am going to talk about guns. There will be a picture of a dead animal. If you can't handle that please move along. I do not want to hear about the ethics of hunting. I do not want to hear about how I should not be shooting poor defenseless little animals. Yes, I do know I can go to the grocery store and buy meat. I am a Southerner and we like guns, hunting, and eating wild game.
You have been warned.
Dove hunting is something I’ve come to appreciate since I met my husband. Not that I didn’t grow up hunting because I did, but my dad is not a big bird hunter and very few people that I knew dove hunted back home.
BUT, Noxubee county might as well declare the opening day of dove season a county holiday. (The town observes Confederate Memorial Day, they might as well.) The men have been prepping for months before hand, planting food plots, spreading out wheat and corn to feed the doves and encourage them to stay in the area. Normally the season opens at daylight the Saturday before Labor Day but this year it opened in the afternoon. I was able to go even though I never shot a shell. It was hotter than heck and the birds just didn’t fly. (How is it when I go the birds never fly, but when I don't go the sky is BLACK WITH DOVES!!!!@!#! In 6 years I’ve been on one good hunt.) In October I was able to go for the second time this year. My relationship with dove hunting is somewhat complicated for many reasons.
I also apparently suck at hitting a moving target. I learned to shoot while I was on the .22 rifle shooting team in 4-H. Competitive target shooting is all about technique, timing, and being very specific with your shot. If you don’t feel like you can hit it you don’t shoot it. It’s very slow and controlled, you learn how not to rush and take your time. You're shooting at what looks like a pencil eraser at 33 feet. Shotgun shooting is the complete and polar opposite. It's fast and instinctive shooting. Shotguns I’m learning are all about timing and feel. Neither of which I have developed yet with my 20 gauge.
I have a nice gun, my hubby made sure of that, so no there's not a gun issue. It's just me.
It’s damn hard. And me, being me I like stuff that’s a challenge. I want to be able to do it. I like the sport, and when I connect it’s pretty awesome. But again, it’s the most challenging shooting sport I’ve ever done. Doves are small, fast, and can change direction on the turn of a dime.
Have I mentioned they’re fast?
I also have overly developed perfectionist tendencies. I tend to get frustrated by my inconsistency. I can’t consistently bring down the birds and it makes me madder than hell when I do and don’t know how I did it when I was shooting the same way I had been a 100 times before.
I also get intimidated. I freely admit it. I’m usually one of one or two women on the field. This normally doesn't bother me, but the guys I’m hunting with have been doing this their entire lives. The average age is somewhere in the 40s and most started hunting at oh say 5. They've been doing this a long time and are very good. M.K. can shoot twice and bring down two birds, so can my hubby. It’s impressive. It's infuriating. And there I am, sitting on my stool, shooting and not hitting diddly squat. I wonder what the hell I’m doing out there.
|No, I did not shoot all these doves|
But, I persevere and as my husband and dad love to tell me if you don’t shoot you’ll never hit anything. This last hunt I shot at 4 birds and hit 2. Pretty good for me. Hopefully I can get it figured out. I have a family reputation to live up to if nothing else. Even if I’m never the best shot it’s still a lot of fun, you get to meet good people, I get to spend time with my honey, and the scenery isn't bad.
I'd still rather go squirrel hunting.
Have a great day my lovelies!
(And I'm sorry about the craziness of the text in this post. It looks one way when I type it up and another once I hit post. Trying to fix it!)