You look forward to opening day for months. You have new boxes of shells, a clean gun and hopes higher than a dove can fly. Everything will be perfect.
But of course, sometimes it’s not.
“We planned to go with an outfitter near Riesel, Terry Myers, on Saturday afternoon,” LSON Executive Editor Craig Nyhus said. “He called a few days before and said that he didn’t know what happened, but all his dove left and we might want to think about a Plan B. There’s nothing better than an honest outfitter.”
Operations Manger Mike Hughs, Founder David Sams, his wife and youngest daughter, in addition to a few friends, joined Nyhus. Plan B consisted of hunting the 170 acres around the house where the group was staying.
“On Saturday we hunted around the property in Axtell,” Nyhus said. “There weren’t many dove, but it was enough to keep you from going to sleep.”
The group shot about 15 dove the first morning, and about the same amount that evening. Due to the slow action, they turned to other activities.
“During the day people caught plenty of bass and people bow-fished for carp and shot carp with .22s,” Nyhus said. “In the early morning, one of the guys saw a hog swimming away from an island on the lake. At night, one bunch went spotlighting with the Mule, and shot a 60-plus pound beaver.”
Turning their focus back to dove, the group hunted near Coolidge on Sunday evening.
“We shot 19, but right after legal shooting hours ended, there was a lot of activity,” he said. “I don’t know if the full moon had anything to do with it, but they flew real late.
“Our guns were put away and we were standing there talking to the game wardens as the birds buzzed overhead.”
The north winds that blew for several days tempered the group’s enthusiasm for the dove hunts.
“We knew the hunting was going to be below average,” Nyhus said. “But we made the best of it with fishing, shooting, good food and cold beer.”