One of my lifelong favorite traditions is right around the corner, dove season! As a kid, the first day of dove season was on the same level, or even better, than the thrill of Christmas morning. My grandmother would cook a huge homemade breakfast for all of our friends and relatives that would show up. Before I could even shoot, I played the part of bird retriever and snack vendor. Now, at 31, it remains a highlight on my calendar. It may be so fun because of it’s simplicity and fellowship, and while it remains a sport that requires very little investment there are a few accessory items that are MUST HAVES for the dove field.
A Good Vest
While the plan is to find a nice field edge to bury up in, we all know that most of the action comes while you’re moving around in search of a downed bird. Being able to have quick access to ammo, as well as a being able to quickly store your kill while on the move is essential. I can make do without a lot of things in the dove field, but a good vest is hardly one of them! If there were one item to purchase before the first day of season (besides a gun and shells, of course), this would be it.
A Good Bucket
I’ve spent many a day with my rear-end in the dirt and my back against a hay bale. I can now say that the comfort of a good bucket/seat is invaluable for a long day in the field. I say bucket, rather than seat, simply because it’s a little more versatile. I can personally recommend the Bruin Cooler Bucket, as it offers a nice seat and will also keep any drinks cold or offer a good place to keep your game once you’ve located and got back to your sitting area.
I never had access to decoys growing up in the dove field. If I did, they were makeshift decoys of just aluminum cans spread out around me! I will never forget the first season I’d ever seen such when my uncle purchased some Mojo Doves and placed them in the field, just within shooting range. Since then, I have been a believer that it can make a difference, especially when there’s a smaller crowd of shooter and you want to attract more birds your way. While not as necessary as a good vest, I truly believe that decoys are a great investment that will help you throughout the season!
With season coming up, a lot of experienced and inexperienced hunters alike will be taking to the field for some enjoyable days of wing shooting! On those days, remember to be respectful, aware, and safe. And, most of all, have a great time making memories that will last for years to come!