December Dove- What's Different?

I hadn’t shot many late season doves until a few years ago and after making several hits on birds that kept going after leaving a pile of feathers floating down. I started shooting #6 shot on late season birds with the thicker down. I know #8 is still fine on a good shot but the marginal hits and higher birds the 6 brings them down better. Less wounded birds. And I really haven’t seen much more destruction of the meat.


Senior Member
Birds are wary, flare easy with movement, need to be concealed. I saw a bunch of folks sitting in chairs or stools with no cover in middle of fields in September, cannot do that at all in December
The birds you shoot in September are in large part first year birds that we hatched here, which is why you kill a lot on which the feathers aren’t fully developed. By December nearly all of the birds hatched here have move south and you are shooting migratory birds that were hatched North of here and moved down. They are generally bigger overall because the young birds have had 3 months to grow and plum out, and typically a little more skittish because they have often times been shot at all the way down North America.


Senior Member
Cooler and the birds come in bigger groups. Migratory birds are really spooky they can be there today and on your neighbors land tomorrow. So when you see them you better shoot them. Don't use cheap shells.


Senior Member
Also, most row crop fields have little food remaining by the time January comes along, so whoever has a field with food in it has a huge advantage. Take that as you will. If your field has food, you can have a barnburner.