Doves up and left!

Discussion in 'Bird Hunting' started by OkieKubota, Sep 7, 2022.

  1. OkieKubota

    OkieKubota Moderator Staff Member

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    Our dove season opened last Thursday and we had a few birds around...not hundreds but I did see about 40-50 on the opener...every day they have steadily gotten fewer and fewer to the point that this morning I saw 3 and I got 2 of those. I think it may be due to the seed on top of the ground being either moldy or slightly starting to germinate. I threw out a 5 gallon bucket of wheat to see if anything comes back or they have completely moved on. Anybody else seeing dove numbers dwindling?
     
  2. cutman

    cutman Administrator Staff Member

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    I have none right now despite my beautiful sesame field.

    You might want to double check the laws in your state - in South Carolina you would be breaking the law by hunting over that seed you spread and the wheat.
     
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  3. swat1018

    swat1018 Well-Known Member

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    7 of us shot 100 on the opener in central IN. Production sunflower field with a bunch of drown out spots. 2 of us shot limits in an hour the next morning. Left it be till Labor Day afternoon, and it was bad. No idea where they all went. 6 of us shot 24.
     
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  4. OkieKubota

    OkieKubota Moderator Staff Member

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    Well I’ll be...looked it up so guess I am not hunting that field now. It is my food plot that I planted in august and with 3 small rains the seed is up somewhat. I will just hunt where I have been dozing and clearing trees on my other property. Thanks for the heads up! For the record I haven’t really ever dove hunted before this year and I plant my food plot the same way every time the clover gets killed off due to drought. I use my spring tooth chisel plow to turn the dirt, use a 3 point cone spreader to spread seed and then I just drive over it...never have put it out for doves purposely until the bucket spread over the field today but I haven’t hunted it so all is good on that one.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2022
  5. cutman

    cutman Administrator Staff Member

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    Yeah, I figured you weren’t doing anything intentionally. However, game wardens around here are notorious about not caring about intent. Last year I no-till drilled 10 acres of wheat for my buddies’ dove club. It was the first week of December so a couple of days outside the Oct 1-Nov 30 window DNR days is normal wheat planting time. The field was loaded with birds because there was about 10 acres of standing corn.

    The game warden determined that my wheat planting was considered baiting, and we couldn’t hunt the field until 10 days after the last wheat seed had germinated. It was complete BS, but we didn’t hunt for a month.
     
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  6. bearcat

    bearcat Active Member

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    Location:
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    We were pretty loaded up with birds in SC OK until an awful storm blew in Sunday around lunch. Not much around since then


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
     
  7. lakngolf

    lakngolf Well-Known Member

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    The Dove Hunting laws in Alabama have always been hard to follow, and mainly subject to the Game Warden looking at the field. Anything that is a "normal agricultural procedure is legal". So if you hit a field lightly with a chisel plow and throw wheat out and hope for a rain, is that legal? Or do you have to attempt to cover the wheat? Hey, no till planting is a thing these days.
    My brother used to prepare a very good field each year at the farm....always knowing that "Bait is in the eye of the Enforcement"
     
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  8. OkieKubota

    OkieKubota Moderator Staff Member

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    As is throw n mow... the closest I have ever come to actually covering seed is dragging a big branch behind my quad because it seems the clover does better just broadcast and since I plant in one planting in a mix it really doesn’t make sense to cover it and negate most of the clover...
     
  9. catscratch

    catscratch Well-Known Member

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    We got 11 limits with 11 hunters in two hunts over the weekend. My dad reported that there were less birds and they were skitish for a few days after that. Says they are back to normal now. Chance of front moving in this weekend. Might move birds out, but might bring in migratory birds. Hitting a migration has been the best hunts of my life! Hope you guys get some birds in soon!
     
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  10. SwampCat

    SwampCat Well-Known Member

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    My doves started leaving end of July and were gone by first of Sept. plenty of food - they just left. I have seen them do this before. In my state, normal farming practice - which is considered the standard for legal dove hunting - allows for top sown wheat, beginning Aug 15, up to 240 lbs per acre. I have seen doves leave the country - even with that much wheat seed available - as they did this year.
     
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  11. lakngolf

    lakngolf Well-Known Member

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    Five bags per acre ought to keep them there! Maybe it becomes a good food plot
     
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  12. massey

    massey Well-Known Member

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    Here the thing with doves…same as deer. They’ll go to the best available habitat. You could have 20 acres of sunflower Laying on the ground but if a guy 5 miles away has 2 acres of sunflower with a power line stretched over it, a small water source with dirt around it and lots of grit, you’re screwed. Best dove hunts I ever had were in an old horse ring where they came to get grit after eating corn 2 miles away.


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  13. SwampCat

    SwampCat Well-Known Member

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    That is the thing about it - I would plant the five acre field for a deer food plot anyway - just later. There is always enough top sown wheat to make a good plot. And no, 5 bags of wheat per acre will not ensure the doves stay - but the crows sure do like it.
     
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  14. Drycreek

    Drycreek Well-Known Member

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    The best dove hunting we ever had was sunflowers. The lease I used to have had a 75 acre field that the rancher had disced every year and the sunflowers volunteered. It was great !
     
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  15. Mennoniteman

    Mennoniteman Well-Known Member

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    I don't go out for doves, but my crew foreman had his limit of 15 in the first 2 hours of the season over an expired cantaloupe patch. He says that cantaloupe seeds is the number one dove habitat. [​IMG]
     
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  16. KSQ2

    KSQ2 Well-Known Member

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    I figured Cat would chime in on this thread, he’s a dove guy for sure and preps a wheat stubble field every year by burning. Perfectly legal here in KS, but sounds like your warden would find a way to make it illegal. :rolleyes:
     
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  17. KSQ2

    KSQ2 Well-Known Member

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    Interesting…. I’ve heard old pumpkin patches are great for deer. My dad grew up in MS and he said the neighbors had a miserable time trying to keep deer out of their sweet potatoes. Maybe we should all forget food plots and start just planting gardens for wildlife. :D
     
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  18. Mennoniteman

    Mennoniteman Well-Known Member

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    Talking of sweet potatoes, in New Jersey many hunters use piles of yams, which are almost the same as sweet potatoes, to bait deer. Yams are for sale for deer bait all over south Jersey.
     
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  19. OkieKubota

    OkieKubota Moderator Staff Member

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    FWIW I walked over and looked at the plot this evening and the wheat seed doesn’t seem to have drawn anything. By the looks of a dry cool front that moves in tonight Monday morning looks like it might be good over on our other place but :( Jury Duty :(
     

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