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Denizens of dark and dreary skies
Unread 01-22-2023, 09:12 AM   #1
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Stan Hillis
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Default Denizens of dark and dreary skies

There is no wing shooting that draws me like doves. I have enjoyed many other types of bird hunting but these great speedsters haunt my dreams like no other. Late season doves are a special breed ......... wary, fast, tough and capable of changing direction at speed in ways that will leave the most adept gunner scratching his head. I have often tipped my hat when I missed one due to an aerobatic "shuck and jive". Yesterday afternoon was a typical late season day in the peanut field ....... cold, windy and drizzly. But they came, as the elements that try men seem to give them impetus and "drive".

I used Susie, the LC Smith 16 ga. FWE Field Grade. It's 32" barrels are choked .025" and .026". It is an ejector gun (obviously), and it has a HOT: a most unusual set of options for a Field Grade gun. But it is ultimately suited for late season doves. I used Fiocchi Dove Loads, 1 oz. at 1165 fps mostly, but employed a couple of ancient Western Xpert vintage papers for fun. Missed with one of them, but connected squarely with the other and a big old mature dove became tablefare with a shell that is likely as old as me. Not a limit, but a hard earned "mess" of ten. Fifteen would have been no more satisfying.

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Unread 01-22-2023, 10:00 AM   #2
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Drew

When does your late season end? Our season is generally Sept-Oct and then a 1 week December season. Our birds have mostly migrated out by New Years.
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Unread 01-22-2023, 10:21 AM   #3
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I'd call that taking dove in "grand fashion" (a phrase my Pop would often use). There's so much more to hunting than just killing birds. You have a great recipe for doing right by your quarry.
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Unread 01-22-2023, 11:24 AM   #4
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I enjoyed this hunt with you......charlie
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Unread 01-22-2023, 03:11 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arthur Shaffer View Post
Drew

When does your late season end? Our season is generally Sept-Oct and then a 1 week December season. Our birds have mostly migrated out by New Years.
Don't mean to barge in on your question for Drew, Art ......... but ours ends Jan. 31, same as ducks.
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Unread 01-22-2023, 03:31 PM   #6
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Stan - what is a "HOT"?





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Unread 01-22-2023, 04:03 PM   #7
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Quote:
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Stan - what is a "HOT"?





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Unread 01-22-2023, 04:20 PM   #8
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Thanks!





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Not because I think they're better than the other breeds,
but because I'm a romantic - stuck on tradition - and to me, a Setter just "belongs" in the grouse picture."

George King, "That's Ruff", 2010 - a timeless classic.
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Unread 01-22-2023, 06:12 PM   #9
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Sorry, Dean. I'm bad to use abbreviations carelessly.

Thanks, Garry.

Forgot to mention a little personal "triumph" of the afternoon, a double. Birds number 8 and 9 came straight towards me with another dove. I took the first, no. 8, straight on. At the shot the other two veered to my left and I took the second, no.9, with the left barrel, as a crosser. Maybe three seconds separated the two shots.

Bird no. 10 was a hard left to right crosser with a stiff north tailwind. When I picked it up I paced the distance back to my blind. Though I shot it at a much closer distance, between it's forward speed helped by the stiff wind and how high it was it had fallen 134 paces from where I shot it.
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Unread 01-24-2023, 11:08 AM   #10
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Our season on the coast is effectively over after the first few weeks in September. I miss the Thanksgiving and late season hunts we used to have, mostly when top sowed wheat was still legal.
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