Page 1 of 13 12311 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 259

Thread: Dove Field Etiquette

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    "Yella"
    Posts
    1,358

    Default Dove Field Etiquette

    The season’s finally upon us, though it’s three weeks out I find myself paying more attention to powerlines and ag fields during my daily commute to and from work. As well, my spare time has migrated from odd and end jobs around the house to getting my dove gear ready for another season. Instead of buying little gadgets and gizmos while “grocery” shopping at Wal-Mart I find myself picking up an extra box of shells.

    While my mind is racing, recalling dove hunts from the past several years and daydreaming about hunts to come I find myself going over my “Dove Field Etiquette” checklist… it seems to get more detailed the older I get and the more “mature” I become. I’ve decided to take a minute to jot down a few thoughts on this subject in hopes of serving two purposes; 1) to remind myself of how I should act and 2) to help a few others avoid a sticky situation.


    Know the Rules & Regs and know the field’s “code.”
    I’ve hunted many fields in many states and while the general “code of ethics” is similar there are things you should be aware of. For example, I hunt a field in TN which has a 50 shell limit. Not meaning you could only have up to 50 shells in your possession while on your stand, but meaning you could only shoot 50 times. There was a guy on the field who didn’t pay attention to this code back in 2000. That’s the last time I saw the guy. Whether you’re hunting a public field or are going as a guest on a private field, make sure you know that field’s code of conduct.


    Be prepared! Be sure to take what you need. License, picture ID, shells, gun, water, etc. Don’t be that guy who runs out of something important (shells) and has to ask others to lend him something.


    Be on time! There’s nothing more frustrating than showing up for what is projected to be a barn-burner, all of my mess is ready and I’m eager to listen to the Hunt Master go over his checklist then draw for my stand and hit the field. However, there’s always “that guy” who shows up late and causes the whole group to wait on him before the Hunt Master can get things underway. Don’t be “that guy!” Be early and prepared! You’ll also have a some time to shoot the breeze with other fellas in the club who you may not know. It’s nice to know the names of the guys you’ll be hunting with.


    Shoot on time! Be sure you know what to expect. If the Hunt Master is going to signal by airhorn when it’s time to shoot or if you’re not to shoot until you’re nestled into your “stand.” For safety’s and enjoyment sake it’s a good practice to keep your shotgun’s action open (or gun in case) until you have settled in to your “stand.” You’ll have plenty of opportunities to shoot birds and it helps your attitude and mindset when the first time you shoulder your gun you’re in the set and ready position. Be patient and don’t start off on the wrong foot by being “that guy” who starts shooting at birds before he reaches his stand or before “shoot at will” is signaled. That’s a sure fire way to never get invited back.


    Only point your gun at what you want to kill. My biggest pet peeve on a dove field is two-fold; 1) when an acquaintance or stranger walks up to me on the dove field to say hey and he’s paying more attention to what he’s going to say than where his gun is pointed and 2) when that same person walks up to me with the action of his gun closed (if auto or pump) or if his double barrel is locked. Unless you are on your “stand” keep the action of your gun open or if carrying a double keep your gun breeched.

    Only shoot when you’re on your stand. I’ve seen too many times a guy who wings a bird which sails into the woods behind his position and other patrons. He leaves his stand to claim his bird and walks behind other hunters and is out of their site. As fate has it, while searching for his bird he finds himself in a place where more birds are. He gets caught up in the moment and starts shooting – not knowing exactly where other hunters are. It’s an unsettling feeling when you’re in proximity of someone who’s caught up in the moment and blasting away in every direction. Unload your gun and leave it on your “stand.” Collect the bird and return to your stand, reload and get ready. You’ll have plenty more opportunities to shoot birds. Also, when you fell a bird in front of you and within sight of the patrons around you, open the action of your gun and leave it on your stand while you pick up the bird you just shot. There’s no reason to get in a hurry and run out to pick up your bird with a loaded gun which you probably forgot to put the safety on after the excitement of felling the fowl.

    Low bird! Enough said, don’t be an idiot! If it’s a low bird don’t even shoulder your gun, just shout “Low bird!”

    Don't drink prior to or during a hunt! This is right up there with shooting a low bird. Stupidity on your part will put others in harms' way. There'll be time after the hunt to have a coldbeer.


    Pick up your shells! When the hunt is over, take a few minutes to pick up your spent shotgun shells and empty water bottles. Use the Boy Scout motto, “Leave it cleaner than you found it.” When walking back to the hill pick up any trash/empties you happen upon.


    Thank the host/huntmaster. At the end of the hunt make a point to thank 1) the guy who invited you on the hunt and 2) the host of the hunt. You should feel honored that one of your buddies thought enough of you to invite you to hunt with him. You should also recognize all of the hard work, time and money it takes to have a dove field. Take a minute to introduce yourself to the host/huntmaster, compliment him on his field and thank him for the opportunity to hunt that day. I have a pile of “camo hats,” some are DU some are Delta and some are FF. It’s a good gesture to keep ‘em in your truck and give ‘em to kids that are on the shoot. Kids always look up to the guys in the field.


    Keep your bag separate! It’s good practice to take a grocery bag with you for the sole purpose of putting your kill in the bag and in the cooler before you drive home. If you have a couple guys riding with you it’ll make things easier and legal if you keep your bags separate.


    Take a kid! Take a kid on a dove shoot this year, be it a son/daughter, grandson/daughter or a friend’s kid. The dove field is a great start to introducing a youngun to the world of hunting.

    Have a great season, Gents! I look forward to hearing about your tales afield in the months to come!
    Last edited by SCTurkeyGuide; 08-17-2009 at 09:13 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by GBelly View Post
    I had a sales guy lock my keys in my truck on a friday afternoon at 5 pm...and told me to call a locksmith. i almost knocked his teeth out.
    Columbia DU Volunteer & member / supporter of Delta and FF

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    In the thick of it.
    Posts
    5,019

    Default

    Well spoken. I WISH I could surrond myself with hunting buddies with an outlook on bird hunting such as that. People like that are hard to come by these days.
    Quote Originally Posted by ecu1984 View Post
    Go Tigers!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    SC
    Posts
    528

    Default

    Don't forget to properly plug your shotgun and it is agin the law to be under the influence of alcohol and discharge a gun in SC...just saying

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Newport News, VA
    Posts
    302

    Default

    I wish everybody would read this before going out on the public fields.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Down by the river...
    Posts
    7,502

    Default

    Right on.
    Warning: The Surgeon General has determined that turkey hunting is an addictive activity that will disrupt normal sleep patterns!


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Near Prime Time Hunting & Fishing
    Posts
    554

    Default

    Good Post SCTG!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Scumter
    Posts
    19,060

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SCTurkeyGuide View Post
    ... while “grocery” shopping at Wal-Mart I find myself picking up an extra box of shells.

    2th, I'll say it for ya, f*** Walmart! I'll drive outta town before I buy shells from them...

    Amen to all you said T., spoken like a true gentleman.

    Sorry to interupt, carry on...
    Last edited by willyworm; 08-17-2009 at 12:40 PM.

    Delta in a nutshell: Breeding grounds + small wetlands + big blocks of grass cover + predator removal + nesting structures + enough money to do the job= plenty of ducks to keep everyone smiling!

    "For those that will fight for it...FREEDOM...has a flavor the protected shall never know."
    -L/Cpl Edwin L. "Tim" Craft

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    "Yella"
    Posts
    1,358

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by willyworm View Post
    2th, I'll say it for ya, f*** Walmart! I'll drive outta town before I buy shells from them...
    Yeah, I set myself up for that !
    Quote Originally Posted by GBelly View Post
    I had a sales guy lock my keys in my truck on a friday afternoon at 5 pm...and told me to call a locksmith. i almost knocked his teeth out.
    Columbia DU Volunteer & member / supporter of Delta and FF

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Diameter at Breast Height aka "DBH"
    Posts
    3,074

    Default

    Ty excellent post......just tell me what time your gonna pick me up and I promise to be well mannered.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Chapin
    Posts
    542

    Default

    Well said!!!!.....Can't wait to get out in the field!!!!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    SC
    Posts
    3,182

    Default

    Dove field ettiqutte can be shattered by one mis-behaving dog.

    If you take a retriever, PLEASE keep him / her under control at all times and water the ever loving fool out of him. That goes for the children too.

    I always take my Lab, wouldn't hunt without him. I can promise you that no matter how well behaved he is, he is always on a lead before and after the hunt (and sometimes DURING depending on who's unruly dog is loose). Just as much for his safety as the safety of other dogs.
    Listen to your elders. Not because they are always right but because they have more experiences of being wrong.

    "We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give" Sir Winston Churchill

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    1,474

    Default

    Nice post. Well put. I would share the field with you any day.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Savannah
    Posts
    101

    Default

    There are also those people that think their shotguns will kill a bird as far as the eye can see. It is very irritating to have birds coming toward your stand only to have them turned by a person half way across the field. Sometimes they are turned before they even fly into the field.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    "Yella"
    Posts
    1,358

    Default

    Cajun & Caintgetright,

    Good insight! Tonight at our local DU Committee meeting I shared this "list" with a good friend and previous DU State Chairman. He added some good insight:

    1) Take enough provisions for the kid! When you are fortunate enough to take a youngun along, make sure you have enough bug spray, candy, water, coke etc. to keep him/her happy.

    2) Hearing & eye Protection! Have either "ear clogs" or "ear muffs" for the kid, as well as yourself. I've been shooting a shotgun on a regular basis for the past 25 years and am wishing now more than ever that I would have worn proper ear protection during said sessions. Same goes for eye protection. I thank the Lord that I have not been in a situation where eye protection was necessary in order for me to retain sight, but it's a good point. I've been fortunate over the past several years. Both of these (eyes and ears) are points I've added to my "list."

    Take care of your dog; leave him/her at home if need be! Sure, you have a retriever that is second to none. However, if he/she does a good job fetching a tennis ball that doesn't meant he/she will mind you on a dove field with shotgun blasts all around. If he/she won't pay attention to your commands while shooting is taking place do everyone a favor and leave him/her at home. If your K-9 is up to par then (like mentioned above) take enough water for him/her to last the hunt - worst case scenario. Too many people who hunt with their K-9 don't take into consideration the heat, not to mention the water demands that the dog needs in order to avoid a heat-stroke. Pay more attention to your dog's hydration than your own.

    Don't be a sky-buster! Get set up and take note of your surroundings. Hide yourself well and wait on shots that you are comfortable with. There is no sense in shooting at birds that are a "Dude, if I knock down that bird I'm the man" type of shots. Be patient and conceal yourself. You'll be amazed at the opportunities that present themselves.

    Thanks for the add-ons, Gents!
    Quote Originally Posted by GBelly View Post
    I had a sales guy lock my keys in my truck on a friday afternoon at 5 pm...and told me to call a locksmith. i almost knocked his teeth out.
    Columbia DU Volunteer & member / supporter of Delta and FF

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    14,204

    Default

    And dont steal your buddies banded dove just because your dog retrieved it.
    Amendment II A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Highstrung View Post
    I like fishing topwater. Will one of you jot down some of this redneck ghetto slang and the definitions for those of us who weren't born with a plastic spoon in our mouths?

  16. #16
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Ankle Deep in the Mud
    Posts
    5,334

    Default

    IF my dog come back with it, you'll never know it was banded!

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    bullocks creek sc
    Posts
    1,301

    Default

    and no tourist from york county and other stinky places.

    pap
    if you can meet with triumph and disaster and treat those two imposters just the same.....

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Lexington, SC
    Posts
    523

    Default

    Good points TY, didnt get to see that at the meeting tonight.
    "I am easily satisfied with the very best." -Winston Churchill

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Moncks Corner
    Posts
    4,293

    Default

    This list ought to be run-off and posted at every single public/private field in SC..... Come november, substitute "dove" with "duck" and do the same....

    Well put SCTG
    No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

    conservation permit holder
    #567465

    NBK Pro-staff


    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn View Post
    If I read 'mousetrap' in one more fishing thread I'm punching a puppy.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Lexington, SC
    Posts
    523

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck the Duck Slayer View Post
    And dont steal your buddies banded dove just because your dog retrieved it.
    That's what I am talking about!
    "I am easily satisfied with the very best." -Winston Churchill

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •