Texas Dove Hunting and The Heat!

Texas dove hunting is almost a national sport in the state of Texas.  We start looking forward to it about mid July.  Yeah, it’s still hot out there but we don’t mind.  It’s always amazing to see how many people get out for opening day – especially the kids who can look forward to a day out of school if their parents are hunters.  Texas dove hunting is not something that you’d want to miss if you’re a hunter!

 

 

 

Texas Dove Hunting in the Early Morning

Texas dove hunting in Green fields and blue sky with grey and white mojo dove spinners
Cool green fields are very inviting for early morning bird hunting in Texas.

Almost all of the fields look great early in the morning – cool, green and inviting for the migrating whitewing and mourning doves in the area.  We are blessed in Central Texas for Texas dove hunting to have a year-round population of white wing doves to watch and monitor during the off season.  Mojo spinning wing decoys continue to work well for us.  Sometimes, if your patient, the doves will actually land right at the decoy!

 

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Staying Cool While Texas Dove Hunting

Orange and White dog sits in blue bath container to cool off.
Little Dog cools off in her own doggy bath during a hot Texas dove hunt.

The summer heat still persists in Texas during September and keeping a dog cool while Texas bird hunting can be a challenge.  The easy approach is hunt near water where the birds come to drink.  I prefer to have more options and hunt longer so I tend to hunt fields without water and bring my own water.  I’ve repurposed a discount doggy bath as a portable water trough for my dog and I keep it filled next to the truck for drinking and cooling off.  I also make sure that she is in very good condition when the season starts.  I’ve sen too many fat, out of shape dogs get heat stroke during Texas dove hunting season.

 

 

 

 

 

Hot Dry Fields = Texas Bird Hunting

Dry Brown Grass Field used for Texas Bird Hunting
Hot, dry short grass fields are sometimes good locations for Texas bird hunting.

It’s not uncommon to find yourself Texas dove hunting in parched, brown, dry fields.  Don’t be fooled.  There are many many seeds laying on the ground and white wing and mourning doves are very opportunistic feeders.  Some scouting late in the evening or early morning will give you your best clues as to where the birds are to hunt in Texas.

 

 

 

Texas Bird Hunting Buddy

Orange and White Brittany holding Whitewing Dove
Little Dog finds retrieving dove hot, thirsty work in September!

No matter what, Texas dove hunting with your best friend is always the best.  My best friend for hunting is my dog – and she works like crazy to make sure that we collect every bird we hunt – no matter how hot it is.  Doves have a ton of feathers and getting a mouthful of air around all those feathers can be a challenge.

 

 

 

 

 

Summary of Texas Dove Hunting

Texas dove hunting is an eagerly awaited sport for many thousands of Texas hunters.  Mornings bring cool, green inviting fields and the mid morning and afternoon heat can be parching!  It’s important to stay hydrated during the heat – especially your dog!

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Summer Practice for Quail Hunting in Texas

Summer Practice for Quail Hunting in Texas

Summer doldrums – time for some practice for quail hunting in Texas. My dog is a naturally bred pointer but those pointing dogs can also develop some nasty and unsafe habits if they aren’t trained on a regular basis. Particularly, breaking from steady to wing and steady to shot…read more

 

A Bird Launcher to Practice Quail Hunting in Texas

Green and White Bird Launcher for Training Quail Hunting in Texas
Bird Launcher for Training Quail Hunting in Texas

A bird launcher looked to be a very good tool for training the dog to be steady to wing and shot. My dog trainer used it very successfully…read more

 

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Pigeons are Not a Texas Pheasant Hunt

Grey and White Pigeons for Practicing Texas Pheasant Hunting
Pigeons for Practicing Texas Pheasant Hunting

I don’t have a ready source of quail in the Spring and Summer so I had to go find some pigeons. I don’t have any access to pheasants either and I do enjoy a Texas pheasant hunt…read more

 

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Practice for Texas Bird Hunting

Grey and Blue Pigeon Training for Texas Bird Hunting
Pigeon Training for Texas Bird Hunting

Pigeons are big birds and my dog really got excited about the idea. It was actually great training…read more

 

Launching Practice Birds for Quail Hunting in Texas

Launching Pigeons in Green Grass for Practice Quail Hunting in Texas
Launching Pigeons for Practice Quail Hunting in Texas

I loaded a single pigeon in the trap and set it. I then hunted the dog around the area until she went on point. Once she went on point, I released the bird and corrected her if she broke from point when the bird launched. It only took once to remind the dog what the program was. Following that, I used a starter pistol with blanks to mimic shooting at the bird. Again, she only broke once with a reminder before she remembered that part of the game as well. On all subsequent birds, she did her job when it was evident to her that I had missed again – she stayed on point and then looked back at me with a disgusted look on her face as I missed yet again. Nevertheless, it was good training as an occasional reminder during the Summer to keep her memory fresh about the rules of the game of quail hunting in Texas.

 

 

Summary of Summer Practice for Quail Hunting in Texas

There is a long dry stretch between the seasons for quail hunting in Texas and a dog’s memory regarding the rules of the game – steady to wing and steady to shot – can get a little rusty since our last time Texas bird hunting. I purchased a bird launcher and a few pigeons to give a try at some backyard training for a Texas pheasant hunt. The training went well – although I wouldn’t do it often as it was labor intensive – and the dog’s memory was successfully refreshed and she’s ready again for another season of quail hunting in Texas.

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A Bird Launcher to Practice Quail Hunting in Texas

A Bird Launcher to Practice Quail Hunting in Texas

Green and White Bird Launcher for Training Quail Hunting in Texas
Bird Launcher for Training Quail Hunting in Texas

A bird launcher looked to be a very good tool for training the dog to be steady to wing and shot. My dog trainer used it very successfully during the early training sessions. So, I bought one myself to see if it would work for me to maintain my dog’s training for quail hunting in Texas. It is simply a spring loaded trap that is triggered mechanically to launch the bird a few feet into the air at the pull of a string.