View Full Version : Time to Start Practicing for Dove...

August 2, 2002, 10:11 AM
Well, it's that time again. Tennessee is starting to post info on its dove fields, and the season starts in exactly one month. I'm getting the hankering to get out the 1100 and whip my wingshooting into shape. Last year's opener was my first time dove hunting, and while I did okay (9 birds), I'd like to limit out this year (15 birds).

I don't shoot clays regularly simply because I can't afford, in terms of time and money, another costly habit right now. (Golf is my expensive outlet. I've been a golfer for 17 years.)

Anyway, what sort of tips can you all give me on the best means for gearing up for dove season? I assume skeet is the best prep here. Are some stations better to shoot than others? Is it best to shoot a tighter choke at the clays range (full or modified), and then loosen it up in the field (improved cylinder)? Any other advice?

August 2, 2002, 10:26 AM
I think skeet will hammer the basics home, those being swing mount shoot and THE most important, follow through. To hit a skeet target you have to lead it, and you have to follow through. Shoot the middle stations, 3, 4, and 5. Concentrate on follow through. Shooting an IC or mod is not going to help much, if you center them with a skeet choke you know. Another important point is practice like you hunt, if you swing through do it on the clay field etc. When skeet is getting easy look to some sporting for more angles and varied ranges.

August 2, 2002, 11:00 AM
Good points by HSMITH, to which I'll add--shoot skeet without mounting the gun, you won't have the gun mounted in the field, as you would a round of skeet. Have puller- pull without your calling for target--gray missles don't always give a heads up. I mean have puller , pull singles, doubles, while your loading, walking to next station...etc. Get permission from range first. we allowed "dove' practice on last field, others needed practice so we set up and allowed special circumstnces. Do a "quail walk"--range will know and set traps as such.

At home TRIPLE check gun UNLOADED, practice mounting and swinging. I used to do this with a pc of broken target suspended from ceiling, change "positions" (to simulate various stations).

Had my brother do this whom doesn't hunt much, using a small ball, he practiced (wife thought he'd gone nuts), but he did very well in the dove field, got his limit.

Focus on leading edge of target, whether clay or bird, better to miss in front - than behind. Prefer swing through method for all shotty uses. HTH


Jamie Young
August 2, 2002, 11:11 AM
I'm retiring My 16ga O/U for a 12gauge. My 16ga isn't a very commong gun and I had a heck of a time getting parts for it (it broke a couple months ago). I have to run around today and get a new gun.

Dave McC
August 2, 2002, 08:08 PM
Any of the clay games will help with dove shooting, some longer crossers on a SC range have some real benefit as well as skeet. Start from low gun.

As for choke, use what you'd use in the field, or a hair tighter.

FYI, a good trap load in 7 1/2 shot is the best dove load I've found, but plan on bringing lots of shells, humility is learned on a dove shoot.