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Tune Up for Doves

nyone who hunts doves will tell you that they are one of the most challenging birds in the air to shoot. Their swift, unpredictable, and erratic flight pattern can leave hunters staring at a pile of empty shell casings on the ground with little to show for their expended effort.

Dove season is usually the first opportunity for scatter gunners to take the field, and as a result, hunters can find their shooting technique a bit rusty, and in need of tuning up.

This article may come too late for anyone to heed my advice this season, but I encourage all dove hunters to consider what I propose. It has worked well for me and my hunting pals over a span of many years.

As many hunters know, feral pigeons exist in great numbers throughout most of the United States and elsewhere. In California, there is no established season or bag limit, and these birds can be taken year-round. They exist in great numbers, and show no evidence of a declining population.

Tune Up For Doves, my outdoor buddy, myoutdoorbuddy, Mike Mogler, Hunting, hunting dove, dove hunting, California dove hunting, feral pigeons, hunting feral pigeons, outdoor sport

On the contrary, their numbers continue to increase exponentially. These birds tend to take up residence in urban and suburban locations, usually on rooftops. They raise their young there. They fly out to agricultural areas to feed, either in the morning or in the afternoon, sometimes both.

My advice is to do some preliminary scouting and locate a few places where it is permissible to shoot feral pigeons. It’s a good idea to shoot them off and on, all year long, especially right before dove season opens.

Tune Up For Doves, my outdoor buddy, myoutdoorbuddy, Mike Mogler, Hunting, hunting dove, dove hunting, California dove hunting, feral pigeons, hunting feral pigeons, outdoor sport

Feral pigeons offer a sizeable number of birds to hunt, and although they are larger than doves, they are powerful flyers and can be a challenging target, especially after the first shot is fired.

A couple of pigeon hunts prior to the opening of dove season can provide an exciting opportunity to hone your wing-shooting skills. It’s an effective way to shake the rust off your shooting technique, and to be better prepared for the dove opener.

Don E. Webster has been engaged in a wide variety of outdoor pursuits for over 60 years. His recently published book, Bury Me In My Waders-An Old Duck Hunter Recalls His Fowl Past, currently ranks among the most popular, best-selling duck hunting books on Amazon Books and Amazon Kindle. His next book, a selection of his columns from MyOutdoorBuddy.Com, entitled Bears, Beer, Trout Tacos, Etc" will be published in mid-summer. Don's website is


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