Dove season begins this month across the south, and the first few days — if not opening day — are the best times to take a limit. So does it work out that way? Is it the timing of the migration, the amount of birds available, or what?
September is situated during the middle of the migratory season when doves make their way south, and there are absolutely more doves available on the first day than the last because of hunter mortality. But one of the primary reasons the first week of the season is so productive is due to the mere volume of hunters out there keeping the birds in the air.
A dove hunter’s worst nightmare is to hunt alone or try to cover a 100-acre field with only two shotguns. Doves are spooky of hunters blazing lead shot in their direction, but it doesn’t take a very wide berth for the doves to reach safety that may be only a hundred yards away. While most types of hunting are better with fewer people firing weapons, dove hunts are much, much better when there are very few places available for doves to land and feed. For dove hunting, the more hunters who show up to cover a field, the lower the chances doves will find a place to land.
In addition to efficiently covering a field, another way to improve hunting success is to schedule hunts on days when other hunters in the area are holding large-scale hunts. There are more dove hunters in the fields during September than any other time, and the first day of the season and every September Saturday are the best days to schedule hunts to encourage the best success rates. Network with local dove clubs and make sure to hunt on the same days.