Author Topic: Epic Dove Hunting Day  (Read 453 times)

steveoh

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1688
    • Airgun FPE Calculator
Epic Dove Hunting Day
« on: September 02, 2019, 09:56:17 AM »
Indeed, it was an Epic Dove Hunting Day with Kevin at the family dairy.

Met at Kevin’s place a little after noon. The plan was to do some pesting at Kevin’s family dairy farm. The pests were starlings, Eurasian Doves (aka collared), and Pigeons.

No Texans, and no other high power big bores were seen, only a .25 Marauder, .25 Sumatra Carbine, .25 FX Dreamline, and the much anticipated JSAR Raptor!

We loaded up Kevin’s truck with his stuff and my stuff including rifles, ammo, airtanks, two Born Wild Shooting Chairs, etc and headed to the farm.

As we arrived, we immediately saw the quarry, here,  there and bloody everywhere. Birds on the ground, birds in the air, birds on power lines, birds in the grain, birds in the rafters, birds in the trees, birds on the roofs, birds on fences. There were brown birds, Sparrow’s, pigeons, black birds, ravens, red wing black birds, hawks overhead, massive flocks of starlings, and there were beautiful Eurasian Doves. Even though it was Mourning Dove opener, we saw few. We didn’t bring shotguns so the point was mute.

It was already getting a bit toasty, and my thoughts went to seeking shade. Kevin in his ever generous nature points to the shade of a truck and trailer and suggests I set up there directly from crushed grains we’d seen birds ravenously eating. We put out decoys, and waited for about ten seconds before Kevin takes a shot and a Eurasian
Dove hits the ground. Big grins!

I shot a couple starlings to make sure the Sumatra was still sighted in. The thump of the pellets answered that question. Then we both settled down to a pretty steady set of targets flying in. I thought this will be perfect for getting a mess of doves for the table. Thought about pigeons but the face Kevin made, and his comment about pigeons eating cow dung made me rethink. Maybe next time I’ll take a few pigeons home and give them a taste.

When I was a kid in South Carolina, I ate pigeon, along with frogs legs, Sparrow’s, doves, etc. Good eats, after a successful morning of hunting the two Zey brothers and I would cook them up in an iron skillet over a small fire with a bit of bacon fat grease.

Set up in the shade, I had a perfect view of the grain storage where we had the decoys set up, and to the right were some power lines. The closest wire was about 20-25 yards and further back was one that was 48.5 yards. Most of the doves I took were at this distance. The Sumatra was dead on from 20-50 yards, and no mildot ciphering was required.

Later I went for some reconnoitering down by the creek and according to the range finder I saw half a dozen of the EuroCollared doves sitting in a tree. I leaned against a fence post and with Concentration was able to calm my breathing and take the shot. Whack, and the dove plummeted to the ground. I hiked through a cow filled paddock, down into the rocky creek bed and over the creek, up the bank and found my dove. 65 yards was my longest successful shot of the day.

At one point I decided it was time to pull the Marauder and ATN out to record some dove kills. I immediately missed two doves at the same 48.5 yard power line, and I scratched my head. Pointed to a fence post and knot to see how far things were off. At about 35 yards the Marauder was shooting 2 1/2 inches to the left. Hmmm I just killed rats a few days ago at 35 yards, what on earth. Maybe I banged the rifle around. Sighted in I shoot at another dove and miss. What?

Right after this miss the ATN X-Sight freezes up. It’s hot now and I wonder if that’s the issue. I’ve seen this behavior on other hot days and nights, and I think maybe this is the issue. I park the Marauder and go back to the truck for the Sumatra and immediately bonk another dove as soon as I put the Sumatra in the chair sling. Going to test the Marauder again sometime this week.

Kevin would walk around the other side of the barn or down to the Creek and come back with one or two birds in hand. The dude took so many off hand shots and made kills. I’d have missed. The Born Wild Chair has me spoiled.

Such an amazing day! We ended up with 22 doves that we were able to retrieve. There were others we winged or wounded only to have them fall out of the sky hundreds of yards away. We shot a bunch of Starlings and a handful of pigeons. I had one dove fly away to about three hundred yards away before it nose dived to the pasture. I hiked over to disturb a hawk that landed and started plucking feathers. That was pretty amazing.

Got home, ate some food and drank a gallon of water. Then I took about an hour to breast out the doves. At first I skinned them but then switched to leaving a patch of skin. I like crispy bird skin! Some of the breasts are missing one complete side from the hard hitting pellets and one was so completely mangled I recycled it. Next shoot I’ll see if I can’t manage more headshots.

Kevin’s new JSAR Raptor is pretty sweet. I can see that these things are going to be mighty popular. I can dream about an olive drab version in .257 thank you. Though I must say Kevin’s.22 is flinging those pellets at just under the speed of sound. .22 slug gun? Uh huh.

Pictures on way...


« Last Edit: September 02, 2019, 12:39:44 PM by steveoh »


  • Benicia, California
Quackenbush .58 Outlaw
Shooting Chairs
Vallejo Ferry Schedule
DAQ .458 LA Outlaw Rifle
Sam Yang 909s .45
Sam Yang Sumatra .25
RWS Diana 350Magnum Compact Pro .22
QB-79 .177
Crosman 1322
Crosman 1377 - HoRodded 10 FPE
Diana Model 27 (childhood airgun)
Tolman Skiff
Airgun Calculator

rsterne

  • Member 2000+fps Club
  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1825
  • Mozey-On-Inn and see what Coalmont has to offer!
    • Mozey-On-Inn
Re: Epic Dove Hunting Day
« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2019, 11:08:35 AM »
Nice haul.... Tell me, can you pull the Doves apart like field dressing a Grouse?.... Flip them on their back, stand on the wings close to the body and slowly pull up on the feet.... The bird turns inside out almost, leaving a clean, skinned breast with no work except to cut off the wings.... The legs are attached to the backbone, guts, crop and head, and all the skin and feathers.... just chuck the whole thing in the bush to recycle it ala Coyote.... 8)

Bob
  • Coalmont, BC

steveoh

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1688
    • Airgun FPE Calculator
Re: Epic Dove Hunting Day
« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2019, 11:15:27 AM »
Nice haul.... Tell me, can you pull the Doves apart like field dressing a Grouse?.... Flip them on their back, stand on the wings close to the body and slowly pull up on the feet.... The bird turns inside out almost, leaving a clean, skinned breast with no work except to cut off the wings.... The legs are attached to the backbone, guts, crop and head, and all the skin and feathers.... just chuck the whole thing in the bush to recycle it ala Coyote.... 8)

Bob

Don’t know!  I just cut off wings close to body, plucked feathers at breast, then pinched the skin and peeled it back. Stuck thumb under lower breast while holding the legs and body and pulled firmly up and tear the breast from the neck /body. Trim off wing bones, rinse and you are done. Most of them I left the skin on and took a sharp knife and outlined bottom of the breasts and pulled free as above. I like the option of skin.

Next time I’m gonna keep them whole and just pluck, remove head and guts. I see a lot of roasted whole dove recipes and they look good.
  • Benicia, California
Quackenbush .58 Outlaw
Shooting Chairs
Vallejo Ferry Schedule
DAQ .458 LA Outlaw Rifle
Sam Yang 909s .45
Sam Yang Sumatra .25
RWS Diana 350Magnum Compact Pro .22
QB-79 .177
Crosman 1322
Crosman 1377 - HoRodded 10 FPE
Diana Model 27 (childhood airgun)
Tolman Skiff
Airgun Calculator

Alan

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2528
  • Set the example... Don't be one!
    • Mobile Amateur Radio
Re: Epic Dove Hunting Day
« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2019, 11:56:55 AM »
I do it like Bob does, as I try to save the skin over the breast. It is either that, or you have to wrap them in bacon to protect the meat from frying out.

The problem with doves, you have to have about 4 birds for each guest! And pigeons? You can eat them, but not around these parts unless you clean them carefully. Too many diseases, don't you know.
  • Roswell, New Mexico
Alan

I have an Omega compressor. If you're a fellow Guild member, and you pass through Roswell, NM, I'll fill your portable tank as a courtesy.

steveoh

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1688
    • Airgun FPE Calculator
Re: Epic Dove Hunting Day
« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2019, 05:51:58 PM »
Just had a couple dove breasts simply pan fried in olive oil and finished with an olive oil and vinegar/ lemon dressing. Cooked a minute and half on each side was too long I think as they were starting to get tough. Next batch I’ll pull them at a minute on each side.

Got any favorite recipes for Dove breast? I see the many bacon wrapped with cheese and jalapeño. Gotta be some more interesting recipes.
  • Benicia, California
Quackenbush .58 Outlaw
Shooting Chairs
Vallejo Ferry Schedule
DAQ .458 LA Outlaw Rifle
Sam Yang 909s .45
Sam Yang Sumatra .25
RWS Diana 350Magnum Compact Pro .22
QB-79 .177
Crosman 1322
Crosman 1377 - HoRodded 10 FPE
Diana Model 27 (childhood airgun)
Tolman Skiff
Airgun Calculator

oldpro

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 4
Re: Epic Dove Hunting Day
« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2019, 07:13:29 PM »
 Count me in on the next one!!!
  • mt shasta

steveoh

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1688
    • Airgun FPE Calculator
Re: Epic Dove Hunting Day
« Reply #6 on: September 09, 2019, 07:19:38 AM »

Forgot to post this short video!
  • Benicia, California
Quackenbush .58 Outlaw
Shooting Chairs
Vallejo Ferry Schedule
DAQ .458 LA Outlaw Rifle
Sam Yang 909s .45
Sam Yang Sumatra .25
RWS Diana 350Magnum Compact Pro .22
QB-79 .177
Crosman 1322
Crosman 1377 - HoRodded 10 FPE
Diana Model 27 (childhood airgun)
Tolman Skiff
Airgun Calculator

Alan

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2528
  • Set the example... Don't be one!
    • Mobile Amateur Radio
Re: Epic Dove Hunting Day
« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2019, 09:53:16 AM »
I guess I'm going to have to give you guys a few cooking lessons, not to mention shooting lessons!
  • Roswell, New Mexico
Alan

I have an Omega compressor. If you're a fellow Guild member, and you pass through Roswell, NM, I'll fill your portable tank as a courtesy.