Sunday, September 2, 2012

Dove season opener - Federal Leg Band report

Opening day dove with a federal leg band - my first!
Outdoorsmen like jewelry too!!
The annual September 1 dove season opener means different things to everyone, but for wingshooters it means a return to the field and a chance to burn some gunpowder. With clear and sunny skies it was burning hot in the dove field, causing hunters to drink water and use ample sunscreen - but no one decided to skip taking their gun, shells, stool and dog out into the open ground for a chance to shoot a few doves. Joining a distinguished band of all-around outdoorsmen in a sunflower field on Edisto Island, the first dove I harvested fell to the ground after a single shot. Picking up the dove I found that I had joined the exclusive club of those who picked up a dove with a federal leg band! A fist pump celebration with hunting partner Charles Waring was all that was required to celebrate until after the hunt so that we could keep our eyes peeled for more doves. The heat of the day did not relent though, and the doves did not fly well for us, and while a few more birds were gathered, no one would record a limit of 15 doves on this hunt. Gathering back at the equipment shed with host Bill Snow, everyone shared stories from the hunt and I was able to show the federal leg band to others and make a few photos. This was my first dove with a federal leg band - and I am grateful for the milestone, having previously  collected a federal leg band from a Canada goose in 2002, mallard duck in 2006 and a green-winged teal in 2010. I have reported the band number to 1-800-Leg-Band and will be sent details about when and where the dove was banded, which extends the excitement of the opening day dove hunt.
Showing some doves in the sunflowers

To view my article in the Colletonian click here.

To view past blog entries about federal leg bands on migratory birds click here.

To view past blog entries about the opening day of dove season click here.

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