Today was September 1. so that meant it was opening day of dove season. It was also the first day of squirrel season so I went early and hunted squirrels for a little while. No rifles are allowed in the hunting area not even rimfires. I still have the first gun I ever bought which is a Stevens 311 410 ga that was ordered out of the Sears catalogue in 1958 for the grand price of $64.99. I had been given the profits from one acre of the cotton that we grew that year and it was enough to pay for the gun. A lot of hard work went into earning that gun. Armed with the little side by side I wandered around the edge of the sunflower field and after a while managed to find a squirrel up in the a tree and kill him. Being satisfied that I was still the best squirrel hunter to trod the earth I decided to give the rest of the squirrels the day off and went and put him in the cooler and got all of my dove gear and set it up in the field.
The dove field is a Md DNR sunflower field managed strictly for doves and on opening day there can be as many as 100 people there so it is important to get there early and get one of the flight lanes that the doves use. I have shot the same lane for four years and the other three best lanes are shot by the same guys for the same amount of time. We all get there very early and set up out chairs and then catch up on each others adventure for the last year. It is strange, but we only see each other this one day of the year, but we all remember each other. The guy to my left has two entries in the Md DNR photo contest and spends a lot of time photographing wild life. He had caught three fawns early one morning at the edge of the sunflower field while the field was in full bloom and that is one of his entries. So we killed a lot of time catching up on each others adventures and finally it was noon time. I used a Remington 11-87 in 20 gauge with imp. cyl. and the reason I like my flight lane is that I do not have to argue with people much. I get the first shot as they come through the cut in the trees and I either make my shot or I don’t. While I no longer have the lightening reflexes of years ago, I am still fast enough that I can take care of myself when it comes to wing shooting. About 3:00 I had my limit and was the first person to get a limit so I went to the guy who was set up behind me with his son and told him I was leaving and he could bring his son up and if they were fast enough they would limit out by the end of the day. As I was kneeling down getting all of my gear together to leave, a dove came breezing through the cut in the trees and the young boy made a good shot on it and that pleased me greatly.
I stopped by and told all of my one-day-a-year buddies good bye and came on home.
I didn’t make any spectacular 50-60 yard shots today. There were really too many people to be shooting that far even though some days I can do it pretty regularly.