First Time Dove Hunt - Public Field

Thread starter #1

Fletch_W

Senior Member
First dove hunt ever, I haven't decided which WMA yet, I was leaning toward Redlands but Walton is on the way and Clybel is about the same distance. I've been to Redlands a few times so I'm more familiar with the area in general. The positive about Clybel is they have a shotgun range (right?). The positive about Walton is it's a shorter drive. Reco's?

I've read a lot of beginner Dove 101 type articles and watched a few youtube videos and read alot here. I think I have the basics figured out.

Right now I have a 410 but am actively pursuing a 20 SA just haven't pulled the trigger on one yet, the ones I really want are out of stock. I'm open to suggestions to any reliable inexpensive 20 SA that are in stock somewhere, and shell recommendations as well.

I intend to get those mojo flickers. I also intend to get some warm weather camo because it will be warm, for sure.

I intend to get a nice seat to sit on that blends into the field.

A couple questions, should I expect the crops to be cut, or tall? A mix?

How crowded and goofy does it get?

I have read two different articles on etiquette, any other tidbits or unwritten rules you can share with me?

License in hand, about to buy migratory bird stamp.

Thanks in advance. Also, feel free to PM me anything you don't feel comfortable saying publicly.
 

delacroix

Senior Member
Why 20 vs 12? If it's recoil, just get a heavier 12 and lighter shell. If not recoil, those Winchester Supersport 1 1/8oz in the value pack at WalMart are good shells. Pair with a good extended Skeet 2, aka light modified, choke is usually a good all around choice.

You need a gun that fits you. So, it's hard to recommend a specific gun. Shells wasted missing with an ill-fitting shotgun make up the difference in cost quickly. Beretta A300 has a good amount of adjustability. If it is way off look at a Remington 1187. Those fit different.

Public doves shoots are a little trying. If you get on the flight line you don't need camo or dekes. If not, take a cooler and comfortable chair.
 
Thread starter #4

Fletch_W

Senior Member
.

You need a gun that fits you. So, it's hard to recommend a specific gun.

.
Good point. I have a short reach. Longer than a kid, but shorter than average man. My tshirt size is L. The distance between my elbow crease and tip of my index finger is 15 inches.
 

kmckinnie

Trump Supporting Moderator
Staff member
I would suggest a single shot shotgun til you find the one that suits you best.
It would teach u to make every shot count and your not as likely to just shoot knowing you don’t have another shot. Modified is a good learning choke.
20 or 12 ga.
 

Dustin Pate

Administrator
Try to find you a Yildiz A71 20 gauge from Academy. I guarantee you won't find a better gun for the price. If you don't like it, I'll buy it back from you. I agree on the Light Modified being a great choice, but either and IC or Modified will kill just as well.

I love hunting public ground, but it definitely comes with it's frustrations at times. I could write a small book on the crazy stuff I've seen on public dove fields. Go in with the mentality that you are going for fun, if you end up shooting birds then you've had a great day.

Scouting ahead of time will put you in a much better position come opening day. Make as many trips ahead of time as you can. You already have the low bird covered. Ideally, you'd like everyone to be spaced apart at safe distances. I know in my mind what that distance should be, a lot of public hunters don't. If you move in on me and I can shoot a bird cleanly over your head, then you are way too close. With that said, they will sit too close...and probably claim a bird or two that you shoot...make the best of it. Next, don't skybust. Try to take high percentage, ethical shots. It will make the experience better for everyone on the field if birds are allowed to work into the field. Unfortunately, there seems to be a movement where folks think you need an XX-full choke to shoot birds and therefore can shoot them at 60 yards +.
 

NCHillbilly

Administrator
If you get on a good field when they are flying and a bunch of other non-idiot hunters are there, it can be one of the most fun things you'll ever do. More hunters, especially spaced out, are a good thing. They keep the birds moving. It bears saying again to not shoot at low birds, and holler "low bird" if it looks like somebody else is going to. The keeping your eye on the bird is good advice to. Never looks away from that spot until you're holding it. I hunt one field sometimes that had knee-high broomsedge all around it, and they disappear amazingly well in that stuff. Take a lot more shells than you think you'll need, and lead the birds further than you think you need to. If there are any dead trees around the edge, try to get near them. And, have fun. Dove hunting is more of a community social event than a serious hunt sometimes, you can really enjoy yourself if you go with that attitude and don't resent the other hunters.
 
If your talking about opening day it is important to read the regs on where you can and can't hunt. I know Redlands and walton are quota youth only for the is as well. Clybel is a normal quota on the opener as well. After the opener they are open for specific dates that you can hunt.
 

Nicodemus

FREELANCE ADMINISTRATOR
Staff member
One more thing, especially if you`re ever on a dove shoot down here in South Georgia. This applies especially if you don`t go to your downed bird in a short time. As you walk up to the downed bird, look around good. Before you reach down to pick up that bird, look around real good, in particular, right around the bird itself. You don`t want to reach for that bird until you make sure a rattlesnake hasn`t lined up on that bird too. It doesn`t happen a real lot, but it does happen enough down here to be real mindful.
 

spring

Senior Member
Just wear short pants; gets hot out there. If you think you'll be out in a field without good cover, a simple portable blind can make a huge difference. Have plenty of water.
 

The Rodney

Senior Member
Clybel has an excellent range. Go there and shoot five stand to practice, practice, practice. They have a patterning board there too. You will need to go to the visitors center and purchase your rounds of clays, they load this onto a card like a debit card. Then go to the range with your WMA license in hand. Sky under your barrel, bring water, watch out for the yahoos that ruin for everyone, and don't shoot at birds you have no chance of hitting.... be safe and have fun!
 
No need to overthink the gun options. Get the new one you want, and if its not available in time, a .410 will kill doves. Any shell that fits and has a bunch of #8 or 7.5 shot will do.

It may sound strange but if you hunt a crowded field you may get peppered with falling shot. Its not as dangerous as it sounds, assuming you and your neighbors follow the low bird avoidance mentioned above. But a pair of glasses will protect the softest part of you.
 
Thread starter #16

Fletch_W

Senior Member
Followup question- vagueness in the regulation says opening day starts at noon, but subsequent days have dusk/dawn rule. The first days on these are youth Quota hunts. does the noon start apply to those, or does it apply to the subsequent "open to all" date?
 
Thread starter #17

Fletch_W

Senior Member
Followup question on the mojo flickers... do I set them up right around me, or a spot that's 50 ft away, or how do yall set up decoy placement?
 
Followup question on the mojo flickers... do I set them up right around me, or a spot that's 50 ft away, or how do yall set up decoy placement?
Honestly, I've about given up on mojo's on a crowded field. Two things happen. First, every single person has a flock of them out and I believe it flairs more birds than in brings in. Second, it can lead to a lot of low birds.

They can be great on a very open field where you need to try to bring them closer. I like them about a good shot out.
 
Followup question- vagueness in the regulation says opening day starts at noon, but subsequent days have dusk/dawn rule. The first days on these are youth Quota hunts. does the noon start apply to those, or does it apply to the subsequent "open to all" date?
That is only opening day.
 
Top