DOVE HUNTING CAN BE FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY.
Dove hunting is as good an introduction to the recreation as any form of pursuing game. Observations and tips to make the experience as productive as possible for newcomers, as offered by veteran Valencia birder Derek Fong of the Santa Clarita Valley chapter of Quail Unlimited:
``It's fun, social hunting. It's not solitary, like deer hunting. It's a sport that you can take the entire family to and pretty much drive right to your hunting location. Most of all, the hunter can see instant gratification and success.''
``Hunting with a group of 25 to 40 people is not uncommon. And when you have a good population of doves, the more the merrier because the hunters keep the birds stirred and flying.''
``Take new hunters to a target-rich environment and don't shortchange them. Don't buy them one box of shells. Buy at least 6 boxes (at 25 rounds per box of 12- or 20-gauge shells). Figure at least five shots for every bird (with a daily bag limit of 10 doves and 20 in possession), if not seven shots to one bird, or more.''
Fong recommends visiting the Bard and Winterhaven areas of Southeastern Imperial Valley. ``It's the hub, the dove capital of the United States.''
``Wear clothes that will blend in. A desert camouflage T-shirt and hat; no need for full camo. Brown is OK for hiding near bushes.''
Have plenty of water, sunscreen, insect repellent and something to sit on - a hunting stool, box or bucket. This is often a sedentary recreation. Most important, have your hunting license.
``I wouldn't call it easy hunting, so the final tip is that the hunter go out to the local shooting range and get familiarized or refamiliarized with the shotgun and then practice shooting a couple of rounds of skeet.''
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|Publication:||Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)|
|Date:||Aug 26, 1999|
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