Special Hunt: Dove - San Felipe Oak Grove Area

KayakAngler

New Member
Sep 19, 2018
15
16
3
41
I was fortunate to get drawn for the special dove hunt on 9/7/19 in the San Felipe Oak Grove Unit. This was a fun event. The DFW folks working the event were very nice and helpful with info about the hunting grounds. I’m not one to hold back info, because I don't see the point and I want everyone who hunts to succeed and have fun. So here goes….

When we first started in the morning, there were a ton of doves located in the south end of the field (referring to the field that has the tree-lined perimeter). That is the end nearest the parking lot. I teamed up with another hunter and we decided to space out to a safe distance and then walk the field together, watching our line of fire of course. This was an effective method. About every 20-30 steps we took, we’d see anywhere between one and three doves fly up out of the cover. I must have seen about 20 doves in total within the first 20 minutes of the hunt. I took many shots but was only able to shoot one dove. In total, I took 12 shots during the day, and ended up with only one dove. This was my first time shooting at a moving target, and I learned how challenging it can be. The gentleman walking the field with me had one dove at that point. We separated after about ½ hour.

A friend came with me to the hunt – he ended up with no doves. We met another hunter who ended up with two doves.

My strategy was to cover ground as much as possible. In all, my phone app recorded 18,000+ steps and 7.8 miles. I was hot, so I brought water with my in my bag.

The wildlife there was thriving. I saw more quail and rabbits than I'd ever seen in an area. I even saw a bobcat.

I learned a lot yesterday, but for those seasoned upland game hunters I have a lot of questions:
  • What do you think is the best strategy to hunt dove: sitting in place or moving to cover ground?
  • How do you carry the doves you shoot if you are walking?
  • Any tips for locating the bird once it hits ground (assuming you don’t have a dog)? This was so challenging – very difficult to find them on ground/in brush.IMG_0741.jpgIMG_0742.jpg
 
Last edited by a moderator:

longbowhunter2

Well-Known Member
Oct 16, 2013
6,078
2,445
113
on the mountain
Hunting dove and quail.
It all depends bon the lay of the land and the situation....
For my experience
Hunting dove, I like to sit, and be still
And camo up.. seems when I wear bright colored clothing they tend to steer away..
But just sit, set up decoys and wait for dove. If it is a good flight pattern..
And it between feedings and water..

Quail spot stalk unless there is a dog. It does the work..
 

WaterDawg

Well-Known Member
Nov 20, 2016
1,230
1,041
113
55
Buy a game vest or belt with bags for shells and birds. If the dove aren’t flying, and you have to kick them up from brush, then it sounds like you worked the field right but just didn’t make your shots. Get some clay pigeons and a buddy and go practice shooting moving targets. Congrats on your first effort!
 

Aeon

just a dude who duck hunts
Feb 16, 2011
2,747
994
113
go some place with more dove.... like the IV

get this to hold your dead animals and ammo. buy once cry once, it lasts a lifetime. i have 20 years on mine
 

Jason

Member
Mar 27, 2018
45
47
18
47
RANCHO CUCAMONGA
I was fortunate to get drawn for the special dove hunt on 9/7/19 in the San Felipe Oak Grove Unit. This was a fun event. The DFW folks working the event were very nice and helpful with info about the hunting grounds. I’m not one to hold back info, because I don't see the point and I want everyone who hunts to succeed and have fun. So here goes….

When we first started in the morning, there were a ton of doves located in the south end of the field (referring to the field that has the tree-lined perimeter). That is the end nearest the parking lot. I teamed up with another hunter and we decided to space out to a safe distance and then walk the field together, watching our line of fire of course. This was an effective method. About every 20-30 steps we took, we’d see anywhere between one and three doves fly up out of the cover. I must have seen about 20 doves in total within the first 20 minutes of the hunt. I took many shots but was only able to shoot one dove. In total, I took 12 shots during the day, and ended up with only one dove. This was my first time shooting at a moving target, and I learned how challenging it can be. The gentleman walking the field with me had one dove at that point. We separated after about ½ hour.

A friend came with me to the hunt – he ended up with no doves. We met another hunter who ended up with two doves.

My strategy was to cover ground as much as possible. In all, my phone app recorded 18,000+ steps and 7.8 miles. I was hot, so I brought water with my in my bag.

The wildlife there was thriving. I saw more quail and rabbits than I'd ever seen in an area. I even saw a bobcat.

I learned a lot yesterday, but for those seasoned upland game hunters I have a lot of questions:
  • What do you think is the best strategy to hunt dove: sitting in place or moving to cover ground?
  • How do you carry the doves you shoot if you are walking?
  • Any tips for locating the bird once it hits ground (assuming you don’t have a dog)? This was so challenging – very difficult to find them on ground/in brush.View attachment 40861View attachment 40862
That’s awesome that you got a dove there and really worked the field. I think I went to far up into the canyon and should have stayed in the field area. Im really glad I read your post and realized what I was doing wrong yesterday. Next time I will know better
 

KayakAngler

New Member
Sep 19, 2018
15
16
3
41
That’s awesome that you got a dove there and really worked the field. I think I went to far up into the canyon and should have stayed in the field area. I'm really glad I read your post and realized what I was doing wrong yesterday. Next time I will know better
Yes, I went up the canyon too, but after about 15 minutes in I hadn't see a single dove so turned around back to the field. By that time I was exhausted. I should have worked the field more as well.
 

ilovesprig

Moderator
Staff member
Aug 3, 2012
9,761
5,344
113
Escondido
Boys...For the most part, dove shooting shouldn't be exhausting...Mourning doves are very early flyers...If I were to see a "Ton" of doves in an area...I would've parked my rear in the shade with a dove spinner out in front of me...They were in that area for a reason...FOOD...After that, if there's a water source on the property, I'd park my rear in the shade near that with the spinner out in front of me...The afternoon shoot could've been your better bet, knowing where they were in the morning... ;)

Great start, and it will get easier and better the more times you go...Remember, you have to hunt where the game is...From here on out, the game (doves) will be much better in the IV.

Good luck
 

KayakAngler

New Member
Sep 19, 2018
15
16
3
41
Boys...For the most part, dove shooting shouldn't be exhausting...Mourning doves are very early flyers...If I were to see a "Ton" of doves in an area...I would've parked my rear in the shade with a dove spinner out in front of me...They were in that area for a reason...FOOD...After that, if there's a water source on the property, I'd park my rear in the shade near that with the spinner out in front of me...The afternoon shoot could've been your better bet, knowing where they were in the morning... ;)

Great start, and it will get easier and better the more times you go...Remember, you have to hunt where the game is...From here on out, the game (doves) will be much better in the IV.

Good luck
Really appreciate the advice. Thanks!
 
  • Like
Reactions: ilovesprig