It’s the 3rd week of September and more importantly the 3rd week of dove season. This weekend I head back to the place that started it all as far as my hunting career is concerned, my grandfathers field. Nothing too special at first glance, pines planted down both sides and a set of hard wood trees in the back, but oh the stories I could tell. This is the place where I killed my first dove, where I learned to drive a tractor, and it would be the same place that I watched my wife kill her first deer. I like to think that a little piece of who I am is because of that field and the woods surrounding it. So it just makes sense that with a place like that, if you’re gonna hunt it, you do it with people you enjoy being around. And that’s what I did.
Saturday’s journal entry:
- Dove hunt at the farm with Mollie
- Overcast, temperature low 70’s, nice N.E. Wind
- Shot the Beretta
- Killed 4 doves, the group killed 8
- Shooting time 6:34am
This morning was a fun one, nice and simple hunt with close friends and Mollie. The birds certainly tested our patience first thing in the morning. Even though shooting time was at 6:34, I don’t think the first shot was fired until an hour after.
Mollie handled the doves well, like she always does. The first one took her a minute to find, but after that she knew the deal. It’s mornings like these that make me regret not taking her more. Maybe this year, I’ll take more chances.
My shooting went the way its been going since the season started, strong start to a rocky finish. It’s your typical case of letting the negative get inside your head after an easy miss. Those slower type dove hunts do nothing but magnify the illness. After a miss, you are left to stew over what you did wrong, how you could fix it, and if thats the last chance you’re gonna get that day. All of those thoughts create an anxiety around the next shot, and believe me, it shows when that next chance comes. But, today, after a miss or two and a long bout of stewing over the if’s and what’s of it all, I decided that I was actually leading the bird too far. This was gutsy conclusion on my part because all of the pro’s will tell you to double your lead if you’re missing a dove. Still, I held to my convictions on the matter and when the next bird came, I would test it. The shot came, it was a crossing, left to right, about 25 yards or so and when I pulled the trigger it was as if the bird froze in mid air, the only forces left in his little body were momentum and gravity, pulling him to earth. Mollie ran out to pick him up. When she returned it back to me, we called it a day.