By Mike Giles / Outdoors Writer
Mike Giles ©
Andy and Tucker Mayatt took aim at a dove as it flew across the field near them and squeezed off shots almost in unison and the dove quickly folded up and fell to the ground. And another fall dove season had begun and father and son were making more memories together!
Dove season is a time to renew old friendships, meet new friends and participate in a cherished tradition of fall hunting. There’s nothing quite like dove hunting as it affords people an opportunity to get together, make some noise, have some fun and maybe even harvest a few doves.
Prepared properly, there’s nothing quite like the scrumptious taste of fresh doves fried up, and served with biscuits and gravy, or cooked on the grill. Yes, they make for some mighty fine eating, but the feast is only a small part of the equation.
Dove season serves as an “unofficial” kick off of the fall hunting season as it is the first chance for people to get outdoors and hunt again. Thousands of birds will fall to sharpshooting hunters each fall on weekend hunts around the South, including Mississippi. Probably tens of thousands of shotgun shells are expended futility as well. But the spent shells are not shot in vain as it gives hunters an opportunity to hone their shooting skills and hopefully harvest a few doves in the process. And it is fun indeed.
Missing doves is just a part of the game, much like in baseball where a hitter is a success if he connects with the ball 3 out of 10 tries. If he can hit 4 out of 10 over the course of a season he’s hailed as one of the great ones!
Dove hunters know that they’re going to miss some. In fact, nationally the ratio of kills to shots is something like 1 in 11. Now that’s not too good, but there are also a lot of sharpshooting country boys and a few young ladies who hit most everything they shoot at. Give them a field with a few veteran hunters, let them choose their shots and they will rarely miss.
But miss we do, most of us that is. But that is beside the point. Dove hunting is about getting back to the basics and that’s fall hunting season. Good food, fun and fellowship are experienced by all ages and can be a lifetime memory! No need to be quiet in the dove field as you have to be in a deer stand, or in the turkey woods.
Young children and future hunters can participate in the festivities and make good memories while watching the seasoned hunters shine. Sausage and burgers on the grill, drinks and desserts are all a part of the good times and add value to the hunts.
There’s nothing quite like spending a day in the field with friends, family and other hunters! I’m thankful to live here in the greatest country, smack dab in the heart of the Southern Promised Land! Get outdoors and enjoy yourself soon. Doves are flying, fish are biting and fall is upon us. It just doesn’t get much better than this.
Contact Mike Giles at 601-917-3898
or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org