Dove hunt afternoon

doveaaaSome people look forward to a trip to Europe, a visit to an established art museum, or a meal at a five star restaurant.

We’re a little more simple here at Lone Star Outdoor News — early September has us dreaming of dove.

Friend of LSON Jon Stolee recently called the crew and extended an invitation for an afternoon dove hunt over native sunflower in Haslet. Managing Editor Conor Harrison, Executive Editor Craig Nyhus, Operation’s Manager Mike Hughs and myself all accepted the excuse to leave work a couple of hours early. John is hosting a wounded warriors hunt in a few weeks and wanted to make sure the soldiers would have enough meat for a good meal.

Not only was the hunt for a good cause, but there was something else special about it for me. This would be my first Texas hunt of any kind. Being an Arkansas native notorious in the office for being passionate about waterfowl, some good-natured ribbing was aimed my way.

“Are you going to bring your cannon?” Craig asked me, referring to my 12-gauge duck gun.

Well, yes I am, Craig. Accuracy through volume.

Arriving at the ranch, we loaded up in John’s ATV and took off down the dirt road to the field. Once at the field we spread out and got ready to, hopefully, do some shooting.

While we were still getting ready to set up, Mike discovered a bit of a problem. He had grabbed his gun case with his .22 rifle, instead of the one with his shotgun.

“That’ll make it sporting,” said Conor, who luckily had brought an extra shotgun that Mike was able to use.

sunflowerIt didn’t take long for a dove to fly within range of my spot, and I scored a first for me hunting in Texas — a complete whiff.

Despite my inaccurate start, I told myself to keep my head down on the next bird, which succeeded in the bagging of my first Texas mourning dove.

The dove flights were mostly small and sporadic, and they seemed to want to fly the middle of the field, but at the end of the hunt we had bagged seven or eight birds.

Back at the truck, we made quick work of cleaning the dove, and finished the afternoon off with the cherry on top of a dove hunt — a cold beer.

I was thankful for my first opportunity to hunt in Texas, and can’t wait to get back after them.