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Old September 5, 2011, 05:32 PM   #1
jaughtman
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Humiliated at the dove field.....

this weekend. One box of shells.....2 doves! Yikes. Got to practice more. I blame it on the wimpy 7/8 ounce load shells I bought to try to make my 12 more like a 20.

J
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Old September 5, 2011, 05:38 PM   #2
michaelcj
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It's kinda like "the cowboy that's never been "throwed". The only folks who have never been "humiliated" as you feel you were in the dove fields, are ones who have never actually been dove hunting. Sure is fun though isn't it? Suckers are kinda fast don't ya think?

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Old September 5, 2011, 05:53 PM   #3
oneounceload
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hmmmmmmmm, lots of folks shoot even lighter loads - 3/4 oz, so your excuse doesn't wash.............perhaps a visit to a skeet field is in order...
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Old September 5, 2011, 06:08 PM   #4
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New kids on the block.

This is the first year that we have had a Dove season, in Iowa. Fortunately our new Govenor overturned a new law prohibiting lead shot. .....
We are not blessed with Dove fields and have lost most of our Pheasant population. Other state's have developed fantastic fields. I suspect in time, we will have these as well. Until we do, we will continue to envy the other states. I have hunted the fields in Missouri, Illinois and Texas and know what great shooting that can be. ...


Be Safe !!!
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Old September 5, 2011, 06:33 PM   #5
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That's exactly the reason I like 1 1/8 oz loads (or even heavier if I can get them). I need all the pattern I can get.
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Old September 5, 2011, 07:15 PM   #6
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Be happy you had plenty of opportunity......

On Saturday, I had to work. I looked out thewindow of the jobsite about 5PM and there were a dozen doves lined up on the telephone wires behind he house...... reminding me that dove season was a couple days old and I had not gone yet.... I got to plannin' while I worked....

Sunday afternoon, my daughter and I hit our hotspot (a pond with a huge cottonwood snag next to it, surrounded by ditchweed (wild marijauna) patches) about 4:30 PM ..... we saw a grand total of 9 doves- 3 singles and 2 groups of 3- and bagged only 1...... I've seen only one all day today.

What gives? I have my suspicions: Saturday night/Sunday morning, the temperature dropped .... we had highs in the low 90's and lows on the 70's...... when I knocked off work Sunday in the wee hours, it was 61, and getting colder.... Sunday's high was 74..... I suspect that most of the local birds have gone south already .....
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Old September 5, 2011, 07:31 PM   #7
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The only load I ever used for doves was a 1-1/8 load that mimicked the Winchester AA load I used on the skeet field. It moved that charge of shot at just under 1200 fps and I used it for everything. Doves, rabbits, squirrels, ducks. Yeah, ducks were once killed with lead shot. I never changed the load, only varied the shot size. I had the leads on that load nailed firmly into my cranium, so I stayed with it and used it with much success.

Don't feel bad about being humiliated on the dove fields. Better men than you have been humbled by the little speedsters.
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Old September 5, 2011, 07:39 PM   #8
Rugerismisticness
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Those doves are tough. I made my limit on my first dove hunt, but I can't tell you how many just seemed to absorb hits and leave behind a few feathers. I used 1 1/8oz Rem Nitros and 1 1/4oz Rem express long range; two shells that don't work so well. I switched to some federal 1 1/4oz 1330fps loads that worked very well.
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Old September 5, 2011, 10:05 PM   #9
AllenJ
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I'm with Jimbob on this one, I shot at 7 doves opening morning. I saw a few others but they were either to far or by me before I saw them.
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Old September 6, 2011, 07:08 AM   #10
toolmaan
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Last night was my first Dove hunt. I got 4 dove and unloaded 45 shells. Hoping to get out there a couple of nights this week before it gets colder.
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Old September 6, 2011, 09:18 AM   #11
BigJimP
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7/8 oz of shot is plenty ...and a load of 8's is plenty as well...but confidence is a different thing.

I'd suggest a trip to a Skeet field ...and tune up on your basics ...lead and follow-thru....and maybe a few hours at a sporting clays field, where they may have a station or two - that will mimick the kinds of shots you saw / or shots you were missing.

But my point is to get your confidence back - and assuming your gun "fits" you ...it just takes a little time and a few boxes to get it back.

Try shooting a sustained lead method ...so you can make adjustments in your lead ...and can try different leads ...and quantify your results. What I would not do ...is go to heavier loads ( 1 1/8 oz of shot ) to try and get my confidence back ...and what are you going to do then, if your results are no different ??? Work it out on the Skeet or Sporting Clays fields before you go again ...I'll bet it pays off.
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Old September 6, 2011, 09:22 AM   #12
jimbob86
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Quote:
I got 4 dove and unloaded 45 shells
I don't feel bad at all, then: I got one and only fired 5 times.
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Old September 6, 2011, 10:45 AM   #13
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Quote:
this weekend. One box of shells.....2 doves! Yikes. Got to practice more. I blame it on the wimpy 7/8 ounce load shells I bought to try to make my 12 more like a 20.
Did you miss a lot or were you unable to bring down a dove with the shells you had?
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Old September 6, 2011, 11:13 AM   #14
hogdogs
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My mistakes were not enuff lead and overestimating distance so my payload was going behind and above them...

Near the end of that day's hunt, a feller with "fast eyes" who could actually see the payload quite often told me of my mistakes...

Brent
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Old September 6, 2011, 12:46 PM   #15
.300 Weatherby Mag
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Quote:
this weekend. One box of shells.....2 doves! Yikes. Got to practice more. I blame it on the wimpy 7/8 ounce load shells I bought to try to make my 12 more like a 20.
You can't blame the shells.. I kill the heck out of them with 7/8 oz of 8's at 1200 FPS in my 20 gauges... You need more practice and to work on your range estimation...

This year I ended up shooting 1 oz of 7.5's @ 1290 out of my 12 gauge because the birds were flying so darn high...

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Old September 6, 2011, 01:07 PM   #16
Jim Watson
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A 7/8 oz cheap-o promotional 12 gauge is not the same as a good quality 7/8 oz 20.

My late Uncle complained that the cheap stuff - then 1 oz - was "picking" the doves and that while Express loads were good killers, they kicked a lot.
So I ordered him some of the old "Pigeon" load, 3 1/4 DE 1 1/4 oz #7 1/2 (hard to get the traditional #7 any more) and he was a happy hunter.
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Old September 6, 2011, 02:08 PM   #17
Dave McC
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Been there, done like that. Doves have been my reality check. Every time I get to thinking I'm Hot Stuff with a shotgun, dove season reminds me there's still a ways to go.

I have gotten better over the last half century. Haven't been out yet this season, but last year I used the little SKB 20 and 7/8 oz loads to good effect.

IIRC, 9 birds in 17 shots. Of course, I've returned plenty of lead to the earth getting to this point,including 500 or so through that SKB just prior to the season. That's a hint....

Here's a couple things that may help boost your average....

Know what 40 yards really looks like. Pace it off when you set up and limit your shots to within that. I've used decoys as range markers for the longest time.

Pattern your shotgun with the load and choke you'll be using. Check for POI and spread. While us writers like to talk about 30" of spread, 26-28" of good distribution is much more common. POI should relate well with POA, a little high is OK.

I prefer 7 1/2s to 8s, but the difference may just be in my head. More important than shot size is shot quality. Hard round shot is the way to go.

I used to use trap loads, but now I load target quality reloads that pattern tightly and keep all the pellets effective. 7/8 oz works for me.

And know your gun. Shoot just that one and do so frequently.
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Old September 6, 2011, 10:19 PM   #18
jaughtman
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No arguing here....

I HAVE to get more practice....did not shoot the new gun much over the off season - barely a couple practice sessions with our informal clays set-up. Totally user-error but I feel better blaming it on the "weak" loads. Haha.

J
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Old September 6, 2011, 11:09 PM   #19
rc
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If you aren't correctly leading with 7/8oz, you are note likely to do it with more shot. I love 20 guage 7/8 oz for skeet and dove/quail! I even use my 20 guage with 3 inch for pheasant and kill as many birds as my friends who incinerate them with 12s. You don't have as much range, but if you pick your shots and are good at swinging through your target you will bag birds. Doves can be fast birds so you may be firing behind them.
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Old September 7, 2011, 12:52 AM   #20
olddrum1
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"The only load I ever used for doves was a 1-1/8 load that mimicked the Winchester AA load I used on the skeet field. It moved that charge of shot at just under 1200 fps and I used it for everything. Doves, rabbits, squirrels, ducks. Yeah, ducks were once killed with lead shot. I never changed the load, only varied the shot size. I had the leads on that load nailed firmly into my cranium, so I stayed with it and used it with much success."

Here in Missouri, hunting open corn fields, I totally agree.
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Old September 7, 2011, 05:02 AM   #21
sxm1
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For me having plenty of doves and being able to pick my shots is the key to a good average. With few shots I tend to shoot at birds I know I can't hit. This year I'm shooting reloads, 1 1/8 oz. of #7 1/2 at about 1250 fps.
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Old September 7, 2011, 06:05 AM   #22
LSnSC
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Its not the shells. Ive shot lots of limits with the Wally world promo loads. If you can get to a sporting clays range and shoot some high incoming and crossing birds it will greatly improve your shooting. Thats about the only presentation that is similar to dove hunting. Ive seen alot of good skeet and trap shooters get a reality check in the dove field. Dove dont fly the same path at the same speed every time.
Our shooting was slow Saturday. I doubled on the first two birds right after I got into the field. I figured it would be an hour or so hunt. Wrong. It took the rest of the afternoon to scratch out a 15 bird limit. We had hundreds of birds prior to hurricane Irene, I doubt there were a hundred in the field Saturday. Hopefully this week will be better.
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Old September 7, 2011, 08:49 AM   #23
oneounceload
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Quote:
I used 1 1/8oz Rem Nitros and 1 1/4oz Rem express long range; two shells that don't work so well. I switched to some federal 1 1/4oz 1330fps loads that worked very well.
For dove? Seriously?

Sounds more like a lot more practice is in order. 3/4 oz 28 gauge loads and 7/8 oz 20 gauge loads at 1200 fps will save the shoulder and kill any dove as dead.
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Old September 7, 2011, 02:03 PM   #24
Dave McC
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A couple more things.....

Thinking it over, I realize I use swing through on quartering birds, sustained lead or pull away on crossers. Know how each works for you and when to switch. That will take experience, of course.

Do not move until it's time to mount and shoot. Camo is a little better than earth tone clothing but the best camo in the world is betrayed by movement.

I've used chokes from None to You've Got To Be Kidding. Best seems to be IC, LM or Mod. Take some tubes along, but remember chokes give you inches while misses are usually by feet.

HTH....
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Old September 7, 2011, 06:23 PM   #25
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One box and two doves? I wish my average was that good. Shooting Skeet and Sporting Clays is great practice, and a bunch of FUN! However, a clay target flies nothing like a dove with a tailwind! No dips and dives, and dodging shot strings. That can't be duplicated on a Sporting Clays course. Dove hunt for a few days, then go shoot Sporting Clays. The targets look like they're moving in slow motion.

The cheap, aluminum head "promo" loads also have cheap wads and inferior shot. They will NOT pattern as well as good lite target loads by any of the leading manufacturers. They are also DIRTY! Don't waste money on crappy shells.
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