Arriving at the McLennan County property intending to do some mowing, scout for teal and attend a high school football game, something caught my attention as I unlocked the gate — something that was mostly absent during the opening weekend.
Dove were using the field and lining the fenceline.
An inch of rain had fallen Thursday morning, so mowing was out. Teal scouting could be Friday morning, and the game was Friday night.
So for the last few hours of daylight I headed to the fenceline with my decoys, Mojo and T-Topper.
The shooting was going to be difficult, but not because of the birds. The fenceline on the right was fine, but the vegetation was thick behind it and I didn’t want to lose any birds. On the left was another fence — it was on an old easement. The new fence was six-strand barbed wire with an electric line running about four inches inside of it.
Access wasn’t an issue; it was a matter of convenience. I decided to try to land my birds in the 50-foot window.
After missing a few, I dropped the next three as intended. The fourth, though, landed just out of reach.
Was there power to the wire? No cows were in the field. Checking the electric line with a long, wet blade of grass didn’t produce a shock. Don’t really know where I heard that works, but at least I didn’t fall for the “pee on the wire” trick that gave a jolt to so many of my childhood friends.
Knowing that fire ants would be on the bird in minutes, I lifted my leg across, trying to get my leg beyond the wire. My right calf, though, couldn’t reach that far.
It was on, and it hurt. Had someone been watching, I wondered whether they could have seen my skeleton like in the movies. And I learned how effective the wires are on keeping cows away from the fence.
Sitting down to gather my thoughts, another bird flew by on that side.
“I have to go over anyway,” I thought, and pulled the trigger.
Down the fenceline, I found a place I could crawl under the wire, and the birds were retrieved without further trauma.
The rest of the shots were true and the last four birds dropped in the intended zone before the flying stopped.
After scouting for teal on Friday morning, the intention was to try to “finish my limit.” But the welcome but annoying rain never stopped, so after a few minutes of trying the dove hunting was over.
But it was nice to see them back.