Sunday, September 12, 2010

Trip Home For Dove Hunting - Sikeston, MO 2010

Upper field facing west
This year I finally got back to Sikeston to go dove hunting.  There is nothing better than going home to the farm and see all the doves flying.  Yes, there were a lot of doves flying this year.  Last year I did not have a chance to make it home to hunt because there was no corn cut until later in September.  This year my dad had almost finished cutting all the corn on all the farms so there was plenty of ground to hunt.  One of my favorite fields to hunt is a 120 acre filed that is split into a two-tiered filed.  The upper end is about 80 acres and lower end is about 40 acres.

Upper field with rob doves up

I decided to start hunting in the morning in the upper field by the irrigation walkie.  With the use of my blind I was able to get out in the field about 30 years with no cover around me.  I set my my robo doves on thier 10 foot poles out about 30 yards which was just about the range my Stoeger over/under with my light modified chokes would reach.  As you can see it was a perfect setup.  The birds flew all around my decoys and a few tried to light on them.  Notice how I place them at least 20 feet apart to get the impression of several birds lighting or getting up.

Upper field facing behind me

Lower field facing south
That evening I decided to go hunt the lower field which is surrounded on 3 sides by trees where the doves love to roost at night.  You might notice that this corn was cut but the stalks were not.  I really like fields like this because when the stalks are not cut it is easier for the birds to find the loose corn.  I was out in the field with no cover again, with my back to the sun, which made it easier to shoot.  Notice again my decoys are out about 30 yards.  This was a prime setup.  I probably saw more doves in the lower end than I did on the upper end.

A good start
I shot a total of 15 birds for the day.  Not bad for a day of shooting.  I shot a few times this summer but not near enough to get my shooting eye in shape. No matter what type of hunting you do, you have to be prepared.  It also did not help that I also made some shooting and hunting mistakes when I knew better.
I am my own worst critic when hunting.  As I said before I should have shot my limit on both hunts, but I was not patient enough.  There were more than enough birds flying in flocks to get a limit.  Too many times birds would come in and I was too excited and my shooting mechanics were poor.  I did not shoulder my gun correctly or lead enough.  If you don't shoulder your gun correctly first, then everything else will also be off.

The other bigger mistake I made was stupid and rookie like.  About 5 times I kept getting out of my blind and chasing birds that would light near me expecting to get a shot.  This is a terriable mistake made by dove hunters.  I should have just let them light and used them as decoys.  But again I knew to sit tight, but I kept getting up thinking I could shoot these lighting birds.  I was just too excited about getting a limit that I did not stick to the basics.  

As my friends will tell you I always carry my blackberry to keep in contact with family, work and friends.  In this day and age its not uncommon to carry your phone with you in the field.  You might call me a high-tech redneck.  

Field bag with blackberry
Good luck in the field, see you in a few weeks.  This week teal season started in KS and MO and I will be heading out to my hunting club Hunting Sports Plus for some more great action.