For many hunters, the first day of dove season is often also the last day, as they quickly shift their attention to deer and the excellent fishing that September generally provides. While the dove population takes a major hit on Labor Day weekend, the rest of the season shouldn’t be ignored.
Doves don’t enjoy being a target at their kitchen table. If the shooting doesn’t subside quickly, they will find a new place to feed without guns blazing every time they try to get a kernel of corn in their crawl. It doesn’t take long to send a flock of doves off into the sunset, but most will flee to the nearest substantial food source where they can feed undisturbed by hunters.
After Labor Day weekend, hunters can scan the countryside for fields that haven’t been harvested or haven’t been hunted. You may not see doves dive-bombing these fields, but they will often give away their location by resting on nearby power lines and in trees surrounding the field.
Hunters with access to multiple, productive fields should try to hold back a field or two through the early season assault until the time is right for a mid-season hunt. Often, these fields will serve as sanctuaries where hundreds of birds will gather when the sound of shotguns abounds everywhere else.
Even though the Labor Day weekend hunts seem to have fizzled out, there can be plenty of great places to find doves throughout the rest of the season.