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First Dove Hunt of the Season.

ZeeZee Senior MemberPosts: 27,464 Senior Member
Had my first opportunity this season to go dove hunting. So, my boy and I went out with a friend to a small ranch. Weren't expecting much but, boy were we wrong! Probably the best flying I've seen in several years. I limited out in about an hour and a half. Would have been much sooner except for my misses and a couple unrecoverables.

Honestly, it was the ending to a crappy day that I sorely needed. Wonderful time with my boy and best friend with cool weather and pretty scenery. My boy had a great time playing bird dog and my friend and I shot rather well. Plenty of birds for a cookout next weekend. Hope to go a couple more times this week.

IMG_3830_zpse7b34035.jpg

Just for you, CPJ.
"To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
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Replies

  • CHIRO1989CHIRO1989 Senior Member Posts: 14,203 Senior Member
    I seem to recall you claiming to not shoot clay targets well, live ones look to be stacked up pretty well, nice picture. I would like to try some grilled dove some day.
    I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn away from their ways and live. Eze 33:11
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,464 Senior Member
    I am not an efficient wing shooter. There have to be enough for me to get warmed up. But, once my brain remembers what it is we did with this gun last year................I wouldn't starve. But, I wouldn't win any field trials either.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,464 Senior Member
    cpj wrote: »
    Tried to reply earlier, no signal.

    Anyway, you need some peppers and bacon. And to lose that stupid looking shotgun.

    There will be peppers..........peppered bacon..........and a grill involved next weekend. Oh yes.

    I shoot that shotgun better than I ever shot my 870. Come to think of it, I shoot my 20ga SxS better than my 870 as well!
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,464 Senior Member
    CHIRO1989 wrote: »
    I would like to try some grilled dove some day.


    These were last year.

    CookedDove10-133.jpg
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,464 Senior Member
    cpj wrote: »
    I don't care for the 870 for shooting flying things. It just don't fit me. For everything else it's fine.

    Now go back and shoot a proper double barreled gun, one with barrels that are beside, not on top of, each other.

    I'll try and use my 20ga next time.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • CHIRO1989CHIRO1989 Senior Member Posts: 14,203 Senior Member
    Zee wrote: »
    I am not an efficient wing shooter. There have to be enough for me to get warmed up. But, once my brain remembers what it is we did with this gun last year................I wouldn't starve. But, I wouldn't win any field trials either.

    Doofus, everybody wing shoots better once they get warmed up, you are hardly a poor shotgunner, especially with a double, I have been known to empty a semi-auto or 2 until I get warmed up, I just keep pulling the trigger until I catch up:guns:
    I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn away from their ways and live. Eze 33:11
  • CHIRO1989CHIRO1989 Senior Member Posts: 14,203 Senior Member
    Zee wrote: »
    These were last year.

    CookedDove10-133.jpg

    Are they breasted out so you can you justpop them in your mouth or do you have to eat around the breast bone? Looks like food just begging to be enjoyed with a beer.
    I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn away from their ways and live. Eze 33:11
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,464 Senior Member
    CHIRO1989 wrote: »
    Doofus, everybody wing shoots better once they get warmed up, you are hardly a poor shotgunner, especially with a double, I have been known to empty a semi-auto or 2 until I get warmed up, I just keep pulling the trigger until I catch up:guns:

    Biggest problem I have is getting my head down on the stock. I want to shoot with my head up and end up shooting over the bird. If I get my view down the rib, I can usually hit them. If I snap shoot, I tend to keep my head up and I'll miss cleaner than snot.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,464 Senior Member
    CHIRO1989 wrote: »
    Are they breasted out so you can you justpop them in your mouth or do you have to eat around the breast bone? Looks like food just begging to be enjoyed with a beer.

    They are still on the bone. Yes, beer goes well with them.

    Dove10-133.jpg
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,464 Senior Member
    cpj wrote: »
    Now go back and shoot a proper double barreled gun, one with barrels that are beside, not on top of, each other.

    Here is my SxS with some birds from several years ago.

    DoveHunt2.jpg
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • CHIRO1989CHIRO1989 Senior Member Posts: 14,203 Senior Member
    Zee wrote: »
    Biggest problem I have is getting my head down on the stock. I want to shoot with my head up and end up shooting over the bird. If I get my view down the rib, I can usually hit them. If I snap shoot, I tend to keep my head up and I'll miss cleaner than snot.

    Most, if not all, of my misses at the clays range involve me lifting my head, just got to join a league and burn some ammo, I can shoot 3 of my shotguns reasonably well now at the clays range, but it took 1000's of rounds to get there.
    I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn away from their ways and live. Eze 33:11
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,464 Senior Member
    Is keeping my head up a fitting issue with the stock or just bad form?
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,464 Senior Member
    Kalamata Olives.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • timctimc Senior Member Posts: 6,684 Senior Member
    Zee wrote: »
    Is keeping my head up a fitting issue with the stock or just bad form?

    Any time you get to get out and throw some BB's at fast flying feathered ballistic missiles it is pure fun!

    Stock fit while shotguning is critical, you should be able to shoulder the shotgun without having to move it away from your body, cant is also important. When I had my Citori professionally fitted I improved a lot. And yes head down is very important along with following through the bird with your swing. A lot of people tend to want to stop as they are pulling the trigger which causes a lot shots missed by shooting behind the bird.
    timc - formerly known as timc on the last G&A forum and timc on the G&A forum before that and the G&A forum before that.....
    AKA: Former Founding Member
  • LinefinderLinefinder Moderator Posts: 7,749 Senior Member
    Nice shotgun, nice birds, and good times!

    I miss hunting dove down in your neck of the woods.

    Mike
    "Walking away seems to be a lost art form."
    N454casull
  • Gene LGene L Senior Member Posts: 12,575 Senior Member
    Down here, we call it "shooting" rather than "hunting." Wonder if that is how it's referred to in the South, or other regions.

    I'm a terrible wing shot. I've got some guns that I don't deserve. Also, I believe the more the merrier in dove shooting. A number of guns will keep the birds moving.
    Concealed carry is for protection, open carry is for attention.
  • jaywaptijaywapti Senior Member Posts: 5,032 Senior Member
    timc wrote: »
    Stock fit while shotguning is critical, you should be able to shoulder the shotgun without having to move it away from your body, cant is also important. When I had my Citori professionally fitted I improved a lot. And yes head down is very important along with following through the bird with your swing. A lot of people tend to want to stop as they are pulling the trigger which causes a lot shots missed by shooting behind the bird.

    :that: :agree: Shotgun fit is very important, the only shotguns that ever fit me without alterations are Win. 1300, 1400, & IZH O/U.
    I was never a good wing shot until I moved to Houston and started duck and goose hunting. A buddy started me shooting sporting Clays, told me to shoot with the gun in the down position, the way you would carry it if hunting, not at the shoulder, like trap & skeet shooters. Within 4 - 5 months I went from using a box of shells and getting a few birds to limiting out and only using a couple more than my limit.

    JAY
    THE DEFINITION OF GUN CONTROL IS HITTING THE TARGET WITH YOUR FIRST SHOT
  • CHIRO1989CHIRO1989 Senior Member Posts: 14,203 Senior Member
    Zee wrote: »
    Is keeping my head up a fitting issue with the stock or just bad form?
    timc wrote: »
    Any time you get to get out and throw some BB's at fast flying feathered ballistic missiles it is pure fun!

    Stock fit while shotguning is critical, you should be able to shoulder the shotgun without having to move it away from your body, cant is also important. When I had my Citori professionally fitted I improved a lot. And yes head down is very important along with following through the bird with your swing. A lot of people tend to want to stop as they are pulling the trigger which causes a lot shots missed by shooting behind the bird.

    I agree with Tim, I have not had a shotgun fitted to me just because I don't know of anybody local that does it, but the idea to fitting is smooth mounting and cheek weld. The kids Scholastic Clays coaches preach practicing your mount and swing in the off season by putting a mini-mag light in the muzzle of you shotgun and have some one use a laser pointer or tightly focused flash light to give you some random spots on a wall to practice your mount from the low position.
    I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn away from their ways and live. Eze 33:11
  • orchidmanorchidman Senior Member Posts: 8,364 Senior Member
    jaywapti wrote: »
    :that: :agree: Shotgun fit is very important, the only shotguns that ever fit me without alterations are Win. 1300, 1400, & IZH O/U.
    I was never a good wing shot until I moved to Houston and started duck and goose hunting. A buddy started me shooting sporting Clays, told me to shoot with the gun in the down position, the way you would carry it if hunting, not at the shoulder, like trap & skeet shooters. Within 4 - 5 months I went from using a box of shells and getting a few birds to limiting out and only using a couple more than my limit.

    JAY

    What Jay said.

    Try this little experiment. Close your eyes while you hold the shotgun with the butt touching your belt. Keep your eyes closed as you shoulder the gun smoothly and get it settled into your shoulder with your cheek firmly 'welded' to the stock. When it is at what feels like a comfortable position, open your eyes and look at your 'sight' picture. If the stock is too long you will be looking at the back of the receiver and wont be able to see the rib. If the stock is too short, you will be looking at the whole rib from a slightly elevated position. ( think of the view a pilot has of a runway just before he touches down)

    The first will cause you to shoot underneath the bird normally, the latter will cause you to shoot over.

    ( If you want to test this, cut a few pieces of cardboard the same size as the butt plate and tape them on.....You will notice that your view of the rib will disappear)

    If the gun is a good fit, you should just be able to see the length of the whole rib......and if the gun has a mid bead it should line up with the end bead.

    If the gun is too long, other thing you can try is taping some cardboard to the stock where your cheek rests so that it 'lifts' your head up to get a good sight pic.

    If the gun does fit, practice shouldering the gun with your eyes closed. After a while, muscle memory will take over and you will find that you can consistently place the shotgun in the same place. It will also help you to 'remember' to keep your cheek on the stock.

    The gun should be a natural extension of your body and when shouldered should follow your eyes as you track a target.

    Here are a couple of other things that seem to help............

    Don't look at the birds body, focus on its beak. It will help you with your swing.

    When birds approach, don't shoulder the gun till you are ready to shoot. Follow the bird with your eyes only till it is in range and hold the gun at the ready. If you hold the butt on your belt line with the muzzles up ( keeping the end of the barrel in line with your eyes and the bird), as you raise the gun the only movement should be the butt moving to your shoulder....the barrels should continue to track the bird. This will help with a smooth swing. As the butt touches the shoulder, increase the speed of the swing and 'slap' the trigger....and follow through.

    Before I head out shotgunning I always practice shouldering the gun a few times by standing in a room and looking at the point where the wall meets the roof. I hold the gun down with the barrels in line with where I am looking...............then close my eyes and shoulder the gun and swing along the roof/wall line. Halfway through the swing I open my eyes to check that I am still tracking along the wall/roof line and that I have the correct sight picture.

    In the field I am not aware of looking down the barrel, my focus is solely on the bird and I rely on 'muscle memory' to have the gun in the right place.

    Tracking the bird with the gun shouldered as it comes in tends to make you want to 'rifle' shoot it and hinders the ability to get the barrel in front.

    If a bird flys past at 30mph it is going to travel at about 13.8m a second. It will take your shot string about a quarter of that time to get there from the time you pull the trigger.... which means that when the shot arrives the bird is 9-10 feet past that point. Depending on the load, your shot string can be up to 16' long ( that is from the lead pellet to the trailing pellet.)

    It is highly unlikely that you will miss if the barrels are in front of the bird..........it is guaranteed you will miss if the barrels are pointed at the bird.

    The above is all basic stuff and I apologise for posting it, but sometimes it helps to look at the basics and refresh our memories.
    Still enjoying the trip of a lifetime and making the best of what I have.....
  • jaywaptijaywapti Senior Member Posts: 5,032 Senior Member
    Orchidman, Thanks for finishing where I left off, lots of great info. The cardboard thing is something I never thought of, I just cut up 1/4" plywood and taped them on.

    JAY
    THE DEFINITION OF GUN CONTROL IS HITTING THE TARGET WITH YOUR FIRST SHOT
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,429 Senior Member
    I agree with all Jay and Alec said and will add, take the advice, do as was said and then go practice and when you get tired of that, practice some more. And when your tired go practice some more. Practice does make perfect when shotgunning. I wore out a Lee Loadall loader reloading for skeet and trap. But I haven't had the opportunity since I retired since they don't let retirees have access to the old Union Carbide Trap and Skeet range. That was a blast and a first class operation. Anyway, go practice if you want to be a good shot with a shotgun.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,429 Senior Member
    Also, I like the dove grilled in bacon and peppers, but I was raised on fried dove and gravy. And while it ain't health food, it's definitely manna from heaven. I could eat my weight in fried dove back in the day.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,464 Senior Member
    Went out again with my kids today. Took the 20ga SxS this time. just for you, CPJ.

    Dove09-29-147_zpsf0d1019d.jpg

    They weren't flying as well today and they flew late. They were coming low and fast out of the fields into the trees like rockets!!!!

    Just shy of my limit tonight. I found my nemesis. Using a SxS on birds coming at me fast. I lose them as I swing in front of them to lead since the double barrels effectively obscure the bird and I lose my track. Missed them like MAD tonight when they came straight at me. I obviously SUCK at that direction. The barrels covered them and I couldn't tell my lead.

    Suggestions?

    Regardless, we had a good time. The kids enjoy bird hunting. It's relatively fast paced. And they hey enjoy playing with the birds.

    Dove09-29-144-Copy_zpsb4f314f1.jpg
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • bellcatbellcat Senior Member Posts: 2,035 Senior Member
    Good Hustle!
    "Kindness is the language the deaf can hear and the blind can see." Mark Twain
  • gatorgator Senior Member Posts: 1,746 Senior Member
    Can you let them fly over and turn around and shoot them as they go away?
    USMC 80-84
    -96 lbs
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 13,877 Senior Member
    Dove shooting with your son.... enjoy these days. I hope and pray your son does, too. It's been a while since I've gone dove shooting. Since my Dad passed, it just hasn't been the same. He was my hunting mentor and partner.

    Enjoy these days, both of you. May there be many, many more.
    I'm just here for snark.
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,464 Senior Member
    gator wrote: »
    Can you let them fly over and turn around and shoot them as they go away?

    No. I was on the tree line itself. They were coming out of the overgrown field and into the trees to roost tonight. Couldn't see them until they were almost right on top of me and coming at me. To either side, I did alright. I think I only hit ONE coming at me. Just couldn't see them with the barrels obscuring them.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,464 Senior Member
    Dove shooting with your son.... enjoy these days. I hope and pray your son does, too. It's been a while since I've gone dove shooting. Since my Dad passed, it just hasn't been the same. He was my hunting mentor and partner.

    Enjoy these days, both of you. May there be many, many more.

    It was cool, my dad called while we were out hunting and spike to the kids. Told them about taking me out dove hunting when I was a kid and now they got to do it with me. He said he was proud of them and of me for passing on the "tradition".
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • gatorgator Senior Member Posts: 1,746 Senior Member
    Zee wrote: »
    No. I was on the tree line itself. They were coming out of the overgrown field and into the trees to roost tonight. Couldn't see them until they were almost right on top of me and coming at me. To either side, I did alright. I think I only hit ONE coming at me. Just couldn't see them with the barrels obscuring them.

    Had that same problem this year myself...trees behind and cotton field in front...only had about a 30 yard wide space to drop them in. They can cover that 30 yards pretty darn quick.


    Oh, try the overtake method when they are coming straight at you.....swing up from behind and as soon as the bead is on the bird pull the trigger and follow through.
    USMC 80-84
    -96 lbs
  • orchidmanorchidman Senior Member Posts: 8,364 Senior Member
    Zee wrote: »
    Just shy of my limit tonight. I found my nemesis. Using a SxS on birds coming at me fast. I lose them as I swing in front of them to lead since the double barrels effectively obscure the bird and I lose my track. Missed them like MAD tonight when they came straight at me. I obviously SUCK at that direction. The barrels covered them and I couldn't tell my lead.

    Suggestions?

    Most people have a tendency to stop the swing or slow it down when they lose their view of the bird in those circumstances. I do it myself sometimes when I get a bit rusty.

    If they are flying parallel to the ground directly at you then shoulder the gun at a point just below the bird and when you want to take the shot, 'blot' the bird out. You just have to trust your instincts that you are on target and keep swinging the gun. If you still miss, then gradually increase the speed of the upward swing until you start knocking them down.

    If they are flying in an arc from ground level to treetop, then don't start your swing till they are at about a 45degree angle to you.

    Do you shoot 'sustained lead.............ie you track the bird with the barrels, swing in front to the distance that your brain tells you is the correct lead and then try to maintain that distance.................Or do you shoot by swinging the gun through the bird at a faster rate than the bird is travelling and hit the trigger as soon as you see daylight between the barrels and the bird?
    Still enjoying the trip of a lifetime and making the best of what I have.....
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