Dove Hunting Basics

Columbina_passerina dove huntingDove hunting is one of the easiest and most challenging outdoors hunting sports. Unlike deer and big game hunting, all you need for dove hunting is:

  1. The proper license
  2. A shotgun
  3. A place to hunt.

Dove hunting, although requiring very little equipment, demands a large amount of skill in the way of shooting. 

Dove Definitions:

Any of various widely distributed birds of the family Columbidae, which includes the pigeons, having a small head and a characteristic cooing call. Pigeons and doves constitute the bird clade Columbidae, which includes about 310 species. Clade – A group of organisms, such as a species, whose members share homologous features derived from a common ancestor.

Hunting for Dove is challenging and hitting a bird in flight is harder than you would think! To prepare for the fast action and trigger timing that is required for dove hunting you will need to put in some time at the range! Skeet shooting will train you to get on target during the tricky Doves elusive flight. 

How and Where to Find Dove to Hunt

Before you can hunt dove you need to know a little bit about their habits and where they live. 

Knowing Dove Traits and HabitsGeopelia_striata_NBII dove

Dove is normally found in an area where there are a lot of trees, a water source, a food source, a graveling spot, and a place to roost. 

Doves eat seeds from crops such as wheat, sunflowers, mullet and other seed producing grain crops. Dove also eat seeds from many types of weeds. Because the dove have week legs they have trouble scratching for food through ground cover, these seeds will be consumed on bare ground if possible. 

Doves swallow gravel to help them digest the seeds that they eat. This small gravel is found along streams, sand bars, dirt roads, gravel pits, and many other areas. Doves will gravel during midday for an hour or two. 

dove by riverDove can be found around watering holes right after dawn and before dusk. These watering spots will be near the dove’s roost and usually are an open area of water with banks free of vegetation. 

During the day dove feed until midday, then they can be found graveling, perched on power lines or roosts, or around watering sites near the feeding area. After an hour or two of resting the dove will go back to feeding for the rest of the afternoon. Just before roosting the dove will swing by to grab a drink from a nearby stream, pond or mud puddle. 

Scouting for Dove Hunting Spots

After reading the habits and traits of doves, you should have a good idea of where and when to hunt doves. You will need to scout for dove hunting spots well before the season begins. Doves are creatures of habit and easy to pattern once you have located them. 

By reviewing the habits and traits of dove we have learned where they can be found: dirt-road dove hunt

  • Along Trees and Power Lines
  • Fields – Especially just harvested grain fields
  • Watering Holes and streams
  • Graveling Sites

Now you can set off with a pair of binoculars and before you know it you will be on the doves, scouting the above areas. If you watch a group of dove you will find out when and where to hunt them in your area. 

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Posted in: Gregory Beckman, Scrolls
gregory Beckman

About the Author:

Hi, I am Gregory Beckman, as the main owner of Military Hunting and Fishing let me tell you a little bit more about myself. I am currently an active duty member in the United States Coast Guard. I have been an active duty member for seven years and counting, traveling the world, and defending my country! My experiences have shaped the way that I see the world and my memories will stick with me for a lifetime. Although I may not live in the country, the country lives in me. Traveling the world I have had the chance to experience the wonders of nature in many different places, meeting many different people and tasting wild game that the normal person would not get to experience. Although these experiences have kept me away from home, it has instilled a deep passion of hunting and fishing in my blood. Thank you for joining our site, and I look forward to interacting and sharing stories of our hunting adventures. Gregory A. Beckman
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