Sept. 1st in Texas is a date of legendary proportions to those of us who dove hunt. This is the day that we prove, time and again, that migratory game birds can read calenders. The last days of August typically bring the pulsing wingbeat of the mourning dove across our sight, so often that we find ourselves swerving off of I-35, I-20, I-30, or I-10, following their flights. Early Sept, however, shows the cruelty that is Mother Nature's trademark, when we stand sweating in a heat thought reserved only for July , August, or Hades, and observe only the taunting flights of scissor-tails, swifts, or other members of the specious chi-chi-birdus no-goodus.
When, at long last, we do get a shot that actually brings down the bird, we go wandering through the tall grass, looking for a tiny bird that has been bestowed with such superb camouflage, you wonder why in the world they fly, rather than creep along the ground, where'd they'd never be seen.
Then, you find the little bugger. If you're smart, you've got a little cooler to put him in, to keep from lettin' the meat go bad. If you're --er... not smart, you'll not only not cool it off, but you'll set that bleeding morsel on the hot ground, to be gathered up at the end of your hunt, whereupon you'll be reminded of why the dove-birds would rather fly-- FIRE ANTS! They're drawn to the blood, and they'll make themselves some more, soon as they've all gotten on your hands, feet, legs, and nether regions in a smoothly-distributed net, and then spew forth some devious phermone that makes them all sting at ONCE.
Then, the hunt is over. You've seen 3 dove. You've fired 2 boxes of shells. (how'd that happen?) You have one bird, and now you have to clean it.
And you'll be pacing the floors to do it again....!
Will you, too, be one who stands in the gap?