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Old February 19, 2012, 12:54 PM   #1
Creek Henry
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Pigeon/Rock Doves hunting?

So, we've covered crow hunting recently and, reviewing my state's hunting regs, found out rock doves are open game all of the time, so I thought I'd open that topic up.

I saw a bunch of these birds out in the country last season, which is odd as they are city dwellers mostly, but I couldn't get close enough to nail a few. I wanted to compare their taste to mourning dove. I love pidgeon and squab from Uncle Julios, btw :)

What's these guys 411?

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Old February 19, 2012, 02:23 PM   #2
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They love these birds in the English countryside, and shoot 'em hundreds at a time for the dinner plate. Also have a few friends from the Southwest and Midwest that swear the are better tasting than Dove. Gerneraly easier to shoot because they are much slower flyers, and tend to congregate in much larger groups (took 2 down with one shoot this year) I've got them in the freezer, and have not yet worked up the courage to try them.

I think what's most important about eating Rock Pigeons, is what they have been eating. After you shoot one, check the craw. If it is full food that looks like it came from a dumpster, don't eat the bird. If it's full of seeds, and maybe a bit if grass, it's probably a safe bet to eat the bird. Also as in most small game, the colder the average weather of the past few weeks prior to hunting, the less likely you are to run into birds with parasites and/or other heath issues. Good luck, and good hunting.
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Old February 19, 2012, 03:00 PM   #3
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A hunting buddy of mine was talking about his love of rock doves.
I had never seen one until dove season two years ago, I shot it and dressed it like I do dove. I noticed that it was field feed vs dumpster, so I grilled it with the rest of my birds. They yield about twice as much meat as our dove here in Texas. I didn't have any interest in eating it so I took it with some dove by my buddy's house for him. He insisted that I try a piece , I did and to my surprise it tasted just like dove.
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Old February 19, 2012, 06:00 PM   #4
Creek Henry
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I read somewhere that hobos used to hunt them with a net. Basically, the strategy is that you sit under a bridge and when they fly in to the water you snag them in the net with a loooooong handle and smack them onto the ground. Then, you cook them like hobo chicken...

Here is a partial recipe for hobo chicken, btw:

Step 1) Steal 2 chickens
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Old February 19, 2012, 06:11 PM   #5
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I read somewhere that hobos used to hunt them with a net
You calling me a hobo?

Actually that's an accepted way of catching them for dog training. Years ago I had a whole passle of cops show up when we were netting pigeons. By the time we were done the cops were helping. The cops got half the pigeons for dog training. It's easier to put out traps around elevators these days, no midnight forays that attract unwanted attention. All ya need with traps is a piece of paper with permission written on it.
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Old February 19, 2012, 06:53 PM   #6
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I usually kill a few dove hunting here in MS. every year. Some will usually find the dove fields. Good eating and doesn't count toward your limit, they are just big doves, after all.
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Old February 20, 2012, 05:41 PM   #7
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I used to hunt'm when I lived near Galveston. They were a little stronger than Mourning Dove and kinda stringy.
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Old February 22, 2012, 04:59 PM   #8
Smokey Joe
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European Rock Dove...

Creek Henry--That's the formal name for the common "city pigeon" you see in every large city in the US that I've ever visited. (Scientific name: Columba livia.) They leave ugly poo on statues. On the plus side, they help clean up edible debris in parks. I wouldn't eat a city pigeon on a bet.

Now, the VERY SAME BIRD also lives on every farm I've ever visited, and there they eat seeds, bugs, cattle feed and other wholesome fodder. They do leave poo in the haymow, but not enough to be much of a problem.

Anyhow, as other posters have stated, if what they've been eating recently is OK, then the birds are OK. On the farm, I've shot 'em myself with my FIL and son, and my MIL cooked 'em. My son used to refer to them as "flying meals." When we cleaned 'em, the cats ate the leavings (except the feathers!) so that part didn't get wasted, either.

Don't know what recipe my MIL used, and she's gone now, but the pigeons she fixed were DEE-licious. Your question has stirred up fond memories for me!
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Last edited by Smokey Joe; February 22, 2012 at 05:00 PM. Reason: The usual--had another thought.
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Old February 22, 2012, 09:09 PM   #9
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When I was in college, I ate everything I could shoot. It was an excuse to participate in 2 of my favorite passtimes. I ate pigeons, shot them with either a 22 or a shotgun. We had a couple of old barns we hunted them at, and a few old railroad bridges. They taste very good, just like dove (well, DUH!). I also shot cottontail rabbits, and occasionally starlings (yes, they can be quite good).
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Old February 23, 2012, 09:54 PM   #10
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One day at church me and the preacher were talking about dove hunting and planning a trip on opening day. A couple of the old ladies heard us and they couldnt believe we would shoot some of "The Lords doves." The preacher turned around and said, "Dont worry ladies, we dont shoot the white ones, their to slow with that olive branch in their mouth." HaHa! They still werent very happy.
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dove , fine dining , pigeon

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