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Oregon Dove Hunting

Discussion in 'Northwest Hunting' started by gallogiro, Jul 14, 2011.

  1. gallogiro

    gallogiro Willamette Valley Active Member

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    So I got an invitation to go to the Hermiston area next week to dove hunt. I've never been and I believe the person who sent the invite has not tried it either; they just have access to some land that apparantly has doves.

    Does anyone have any experience shooting doves? I've never hunted for any type of bird so all I know is what I see on TV and I don't own any dogs. I'd like to know what to expect so if anyone has ever done it could you please share the technique used. I'm just thinking there will be lots of walking.

    Thanks in advance!
    GG
     
  2. wupddu

    wupddu Beaverton, OR Member

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    I used to dove hunt quite a bit with my brother in law back in Georgia. It wasn't rocket science. We would always wear camo, olive green or tan t-shirts and jeans. Bring a 5 gallon bucket, for a seat and to hold birds. We would use a freshly harvested and tilled corn field. Try to find a tuft of vegetation or use the edge of the field to hide in and the doves would just fly in most of the day. They are fast little devils though, bring lots of shells.

    Also hunted them with my dad in Arizona, we would find a cattle watering hole. Go out late afternoon, just as the sun would start to set the birds would come in for water. I have never seen so many dove at one time. They were difficult to shoot, you would draw a bead on them and five more would fly by, good shooting though.

    Tiny little birds, we just used to breast them. Take the cleaned breast meat wrap it in a piece of bacon and put it on the BBQ grilled, awesome food.

    Good luck and let me know how it goes!
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2011
  3. Spitpatch

    Spitpatch Forest Grove, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Wup has it all about right:

    1) Bring wads of ammo. For a day with doves, 5-10 boxes would NOT be excessive. Usually you are positioned in a flyway during dove travel time (morning and evening) to water/feed/roost.

    2) Usually NO walking (except to the place where you're gonna shoot).

    3) Consider your 20ga (reduced recoil) in lieu of the 12.

    4) NOT cost-effective hunting: a good shot on doves may average one bird for every 5-7 shells expended. Novices cannot figure out how they're missing, and might go thru a box before connecting. Doves will actually correct their flight AFTER the shot, sometimes enough to escape.

    5) Have fun. If you can, bring a kid to be "bird dog". Or bring a bird dog that acts like a kid. They'll have more fun than you.
     
  4. ZigZagZeke

    ZigZagZeke Eugene Silver Supporter Silver Supporter 2015 Volunteer

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    If you can get there the day before, scout for feeding areas in the morning and water holes in the evening. You'll see doves perched on the fences or power lines, then dropping into fields to feed, or into ponds to drink. Be in those spots in the next day about sunup for feeding areas, and around sundown for water holes.

    Opening day, sit down where you have a good view of the areas they are using at that time of day. Be observant and ready to move if you see a better flyway or the birds have changed their patterns. Do not wear anything like a white T-shirt. If you see birds making sharp turns as they approach you they are flaring off because they see you. Wear camo or tan.

    Doves can fly at 70 mph and make 90 degree turns without slowing down. You want to start off by leading a passing bird about 3 to 6 feet depending on how far out it is. It will take a while to get the hang of it. I have seen crack shots at skeet sit and cry because they have gone through a box of shells or more without disturbing a feather on a dove. Take along at least 3 boxes of shells for each day you plan to hunt. #8 shot is best, maybe #7-1/2 if it's windy. Don't use trap loads. I prefer high base 1-1/8 oz. of shot. A 20 gauge is actually a better gun for doves than a 12 gauge. I usually park my 12 gauge Citori in favor of my old Ithaca Model 37 featherweight 20 gauge for doves. You'll be shooting 75 to 100 rounds just in the morning if you find good flyways, so there is the black and blue factor. A smaller gauge is also faster to swing and get on target.

    Most shooting will be before 8am and after 5 pm. Mid-day the birds find trees to roost in. I usually take a mid-day nap, but if you want to walk you and a partner can flush them from their roosts in the trees. It's often maddening because they are expert at keeping the tree between you and them as they bug out.

    Do not be discouraged by all you've read here. Dove hunting is the most fun you can have with a shotgun. When the birds are coming into water in the evening it can be like playing tennis with a shotgun.

    That said, there's one small problem with you going next week. The season doesn't open until September 1st. Maybe you missed that?
     
  5. gallogiro

    gallogiro Willamette Valley Active Member

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    :( Son of a #*!!! Thanks for the heads up Zig! I assumed my buddy knew the dates for dove season. Like I said I've never done any bird hunting but I knew/ heard you needed to get a stamp of sorts. I had planned to ask on daily bag limits and other regs the day I went to get that. That would of been a loooong trip back from Hermiston.

    Ok, I gotta call my buddy and tell him he's a dumba$$ for not looking at that before he called me, lol. Looks like I'm free this weekend to practice on clay pigeons.

    Either way, I appreciate all the info guys! Lots of great tips. Hopefully I can put them to use after Sept 1st!:pound:

    GG
     
  6. ZigZagZeke

    ZigZagZeke Eugene Silver Supporter Silver Supporter 2015 Volunteer

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    You don't need a stamp. All you need is a HIP endorsement on your license. It's free. Just go to any license dealer and ask.
     
  7. sprocket3

    sprocket3 Oregon - Wet Side Member

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  8. ZigZagZeke

    ZigZagZeke Eugene Silver Supporter Silver Supporter 2015 Volunteer

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    My dad started me out on doves at about 10 with a Mossberg, bolt action .410 because I had the same experience with his 12 ga. I learned to make the first shot count.