|Dove season means a return to time spent with hunting friends|
The first shots of the 2013 dove season rang out on Labor Day for some dove hunters, but most opening hunts will commence on Saturday September 7. All across the Palmetto State, and across the Southeast, this largely social type of hunting will welcome scores of sportsmen back to the field. The 2013 – 2014 mourning dove season begins September 2 – 7, and during this opening week, the legal hunting hours are abbreviated from noon until sunset. Dove season continues September 8 through October 5 with shooting hours from thirty minutes before sunrise until sunset. The daily bag limit for doves is 15 birds per day. Experience from previous seasons will be applied to this years hunting conditions, and the smell of gunpowder will sharpen the senses. Hunters love their hunting dogs, and dove season makes these canine companions light up again. It’s like the proverbial switch turning on when the dog sees his master rise up, swing his shotgun and shoot at the target. If the dog can see, or mark, the falling bird then he will rely on his sense of sight and smell to guide him, so that he can fetch up the gamebird. For dog lovers, this first retrieve is a signal of success, and each successive retrieve will remind the owner of why using a canine is such a source of joy. Some pro tips for all dove hunters includes trying to get in the field as early as possible in the afternoon and then leave as early as possible, usually no later than 5 p.m., so that the remaining doves can come in and feed. Try to give a two-week interval between hunts for any one field. No dove field is immune to hunting pressure because too much shooting will cause them to leave and not return, so a dove field manager must always keep an eye out for scheduling the next hunting opportunity.
To view my feature article on dove season click on Colletonian.
To view past blog entries about past dove season opening hunts click here.