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Thread: Sunflowers & Doves

  1. #1
    Boolit Master

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    Sunflowers & Doves

    As some of you know, I have been hosting a Dove Hunt for several years. In earlier years we legally baited with Wheat but have been planting Sunflowers for the last few years. I sprayed for weeds a few weeks ago and fertilized them last week. I just got back from checking on them. The weeds are mostly gone and the plants are heading out. We caught a nice rain last night, that we badly needed. I'm a little later than normal, as I had to wait for a planter to come available. Anyway, I'll post some pictures afterwhile. I know a few of you guys Dove Hunt so tell us about your fields!

  2. #2
    Boolit Master


    richhodg66's Avatar
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    I never have dove hunted really and want to this year. The public land I hunt on usually has a lot of them when I'm out during muzzle loader season, and there are usually fields of milo planted. I have a few corners I could sit in and wait for them.

    One problem is we're required to use non lead shot. I bought four boxes of steel #7s in 12 gauge which ought to be good. I need to get out and pattern the gun with some of them.

    I sure wouldn't mind any pointers from you experienced guys.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
    Tom W.'s Avatar
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    My experience is that if I hit a dove it was going to die that day anyway.......
    Tom
    μολὼν λαβέ

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    Shooting doves is about as much fun as a man can have with a gun. Sunflowers are about the best attractant. You can hav some weeds but grass needs to be gone. When heads begin to dry birds will sit on them and beat with their wings to dislodge some. Suggest mowing strips down to the ground when they're dry and leaving some for shooters cover. If you usd bin run seeds you may not get the big heads you want so a little "supplement" on the bare spots nver hurts. We've got a lot of volunteer millet ready now and about 300 birds already using. About 10 days before the season we'll mow strips in what we planted. It will be good for 15 bird limits several times on about 20 acres, a dozen or so of us shooting. 20 ga with #9 for me the first season. 8s then 7 1/2 later. Counting the days!
    "My main ambition in life is to be on the devil's most wanted list."
    Leonard Ravenhill

  5. #5
    Boolit Master

    LUCKYDAWG13's Avatar
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    on the public hunting land were we dove hunt the state plants sunflower plots for us to hunt over it's a blast
    kids that hunt and fish dont mug old ladies

  6. #6
    Boolit Master popper's Avatar
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    Sunflowers, mesquite trees and a good fence row..
    Whatever!

  7. #7
    Boolit Master


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    Dove hunting......public land......everyone in a circle around the field....guns pointed in to the center. I took shot in the shoulder, my son....in his man parts. That was funny. They just rained down, no velocity. Kinda reminded me of a Bugs Bunny cartoon looking at all the hunters.
    Pro Patria-Ne Desit Virtus

  8. #8
    Boolit Master


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    Game warden says I can hunt Eurasian dove in my back yard all I want with a pellet rifle as long as I have a hunting license. I told him I had a suppressed Gamo and he said he wanted one for the same The season is from April 1 to March 31; no closed season. No bag limit. Don't have to eat them. They're so plentiful that they're a nuisance. I wish they would place the same (no) restrictions on grackles.
    Sometimes life taps you on the shoulder and reminds you it's a one way street. Jim Morris

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
    Hogtamer's Avatar
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    Lucky you! And they are excellent table fare BTW. Lots of feathers but you can just pull the breasts.
    "My main ambition in life is to be on the devil's most wanted list."
    Leonard Ravenhill

  10. #10
    There is a outfit down here that hunts over sunflower fields. They have clouds of dove.
    On every question of construction let us carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text or invented against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed.

    Thomas Jefferson, letter to William Johnson, June 12, 1823

  11. #11
    Boolit Master

    Uncle Grinch's Avatar
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    My son and I hunted pheasants in Kimball, SD in sunflower fields. Most of you know, you walk the fields and sunflowers, while great attractors, are pure hell to walk through. Understand these are unharvested fields. Dried stalks cut and scratch and the heads interlock to trip you up.

    I love to hunt dove over sunflower or peanuts, especially if you have a water hole nearby.
    Shoot Safe,
    Mike

    Retired Telephone Man
    NRA Endowment Member
    Marion Road Gun Club
    ( www.marionroad.com )

  12. #12
    Boolit Master

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    I'm in a new place this year, but very close (400 Yards) from our field of the last couple of years. I'll leave a strip down the middle and another along one edge. We'll start on one and move to the other if needed. In past years I just used bin quality seeds and broadcast them. This year I took soil samples and added what was recommended. I used Clearfield seeds and planted them with a drill, at the recommended spacing. I've sprayed and fertilized them. I also sprayed on a pre-emerge. I'm not sure if I'm going to mow and burn them or mow and disc them. Both methods have worked well. The are looking good! Dang, posting this is making me excited!

  13. #13
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by David2011 View Post
    Game warden says I can hunt Eurasian dove in my back yard all I want with a pellet rifle as long as I have a hunting license. I told him I had a suppressed Gamo and he said he wanted one for the same The season is from April 1 to March 31; no closed season. No bag limit. Don't have to eat them. They're so plentiful that they're a nuisance. I wish they would place the same (no) restrictions on grackles.
    We've got Eurasian Doves around here but we've never killed one. My Wife has been feeding several at home all year. Theres no limit on them here. They just seem to like it in town.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by richhodg66 View Post
    I never have dove hunted really and want to this year. I sure wouldn't mind any pointers from you experienced guys.
    Your shots can vary. If you are hunting over a legally baited field your shots will often be short with them trying to land. I call it having their flaps and gear down! A friend calls those high % shots. If you are pass shooting its much harder to hit them. They can fly at like 50+ MPH and they can also zig and zag. You have to learn to lead them and learn to follow through on your shots. Left to right, right to left, coming toward you or flying away from you are all different. It takes practice and experience so don't be disappointed if you miss some. Also, its harder to find the ones that you hit. Favored shot sizes vary from hunter to hunter but 7-1/2, 8 and 9 are favorites. Most stores will have promotional shells on sale, usually low brass with lighter shot weights. You might hit more with a heavier and faster charge. Good Luck and have fun!

  15. #15
    Boolit Master


    Fishman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by richhodg66 View Post
    I never have dove hunted really and want to this year. The public land I hunt on usually has a lot of them when I'm out during muzzle loader season, and there are usually fields of milo planted. I have a few corners I could sit in and wait for them.

    One problem is we're required to use non lead shot. I bought four boxes of steel #7s in 12 gauge which ought to be good. I need to get out and pattern the gun with some of them.

    I sure wouldn't mind any pointers from you experienced guys.
    In my experience, steel 7’s aren’t much good past 25 yards. I actually had better luck with 4’s back when I hunted where steel was required. Can’t explain it but the pattern seemed to be less relevant than the size of the shot. Maybe some 6’s?
    "Is all this REALLY necessary?"

  16. #16
    I switched over to #6 steel for dove due to the added speed. Worked very well for me.
    On every question of construction let us carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text or invented against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed.

    Thomas Jefferson, letter to William Johnson, June 12, 1823

  17. #17
    Boolit Master

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    I use steel for Ducks because its required, but not for anything else. Maybe I need to consider it for Doves. Faster may be better. I usually buy a case of 2-3/4 inch 3-1/4---- 1-1/4 oz of 7-1/2 or 8's. Expensive yes, but they last me a few years.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master


    richhodg66's Avatar
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    It's required on the public land here, otherwise, I'd use lead.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master Texas by God's Avatar
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    My first dove hunt at age 14 is fresh in my memory. Sitting on a creek bank under a Live Oak surrounded by sunflowers. Clouds of Mourning Dove came by and a box of WW Upland 7-1/2s yielded 4 birds. My H&R 490 jr. 20 ga. Didn't fit my tall skinny self so well but man, what a blast!

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk

  20. #20
    Boolit Buddy MyFlatline's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Texas by God View Post
    My first dove hunt at age 14 is fresh in my memory. Sitting on a creek bank under a Live Oak surrounded by sunflowers. Clouds of Mourning Dove came by and a box of WW Upland 7-1/2s yielded 4 birds. My H&R 490 jr. 20 ga. Didn't fit my tall skinny self so well but man, what a blast!

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk
    That is what is all about,,and the call it hunting not killing. I would starve to death If I was required to feed the family on doves but I sure do like shooting at them..

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