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 Post subject: Euro-trash Dove hunt. Imperial Valley (Southern CA) 4/03/21
PostPosted: Sat Apr 03, 2021 10:03 pm 
Field Grade

Joined: Mon Jan 13, 2014 3:56 pm
Posts: 56
I tried to attach a picture to the beginning of this post, but it said the file was too big. So here is a link to the picture:

https://flic.kr/p/2kQVnHP

So the plan was to be up at 5am, be out the door at 5:30, and drive the 160 miles so I could be in the field- gun in hand by 8:30ish. This is usually about the time I see Collard Eurasian Dove pull off the roost and start moving around.

I didn’t drag my sorry butt out of bed until 6:30.....

I wasn’t able to fire my first shot ‘till 10:30, but I nailed two birds with the 28 gauge O/U right out of the gate. After two more quick attempts, the little gun seemed to be lacking with size 6 steel pellets for passing shots on these bigger dove, so I switch to my Franchi autoloader 12.

Ran through over a box of 12 gauge #5 Kent FastSteel yielding about 10 more birds. The 1400fps steel loads we’re starting to rock my noggin a bit, so I switched over to my little Remington 870 twenty gauge at about 2 pm.

Over the next 30 minutes the action was fast and fun! Dropped 7 birds with only 11 shells (20 gauge Kent Upland Steel 7/8 oz with #6 shot at 1500fps). Shout-out to Kent!

The next 90 minutes were a bit slower with a lot of high flyers, but I managed to scrape out 4 more birds. As I walked back to the car to pack up about 100 yards away from my hunting spot, I got lucky on a group of three coming in at about 25 yards on a right to left crossing shot, and pulled off my one-and-only double of the day (and with a pump gun!). I was packed up and on the road before 4:30pm. Birds were still trickling by as I started to drive home.

Overall, it was a killer solo hunt! The weather never got hotter than 99°, and the humidity stayed well below 10% all day so I was never wildly uncomfortable. The Mourning Dove we’re all over the place! I had to be really careful not to shoot any, but they were honestly easier to pick out today because they seemed to be flying lower and slower than most of the Euros (and they are obviously smaller and a different color). Didn’t see any White Wing dove today which I thought was odd because I always see at least a few in this particular spot.

Walked with 24 birds. Should’ve been 25, but I couldn’t find one in the bushes... Such is life!


https://flic.kr/p/2kQVnHP




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 Post subject: Re: Euro-trash Dove hunt. Imperial Valley (Southern CA) 4/03
PostPosted: Sat Apr 03, 2021 10:31 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Tue May 26, 2015 5:27 pm
Posts: 7698
Location: southern Ohio
Great shoot!!!

_________________
biden has dementia, and is anti 2nd amendment


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 Post subject: Re: Euro-trash Dove hunt. Imperial Valley (Southern CA) 4/03
PostPosted: Sun Apr 04, 2021 9:42 am 
Field Grade

Joined: Mon Jan 13, 2014 3:56 pm
Posts: 56
Turkinator wrote:
Great shoot!!!


Thank you. Think I’m gonna do it again in about a month.


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 Post subject: Re: Euro-trash Dove hunt. Imperial Valley (Southern CA) 4/03
PostPosted: Sun Apr 04, 2021 11:28 am 
Diamond Grade

Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2007 2:36 pm
Posts: 1701
Location: Northeast Ohio
Interesting.

Do folks eat those things? My guess is yes, and that hopefully they taste better than a pigeon and closer to a dove.

I've been a serious dove hunter (Ohio) since our first season in the 1970's. For a short while when we lost our season until a ballot initiative straightened that out, I hunted them in nearby next door Pennsylvania. Never anywhere else.

I'd heard of the Collared dove, but we don't have them here. My instincts are telling me I hope we don't start seeing them. Do they compete against our native dove?


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 Post subject: Re: Euro-trash Dove hunt. Imperial Valley (Southern CA) 4/03
PostPosted: Sun Apr 04, 2021 11:56 am 
Field Grade

Joined: Mon Jan 13, 2014 3:56 pm
Posts: 56
GG- I’ve got a lengthy post (that I don’t have the time to finish right now) answering all your questions above. I’ll try and get it posted up within the next few hours.


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 Post subject: Re: Euro-trash Dove hunt. Imperial Valley (Southern CA) 4/03
PostPosted: Sun Apr 04, 2021 1:39 pm 
Diamond Grade

Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2007 2:36 pm
Posts: 1701
Location: Northeast Ohio
PoorRichRichard wrote:
GG- I’ve got a lengthy post (that I don’t have the time to finish right now) answering all your questions above. I’ll try and get it posted up within the next few hours.



Thanks Richard. Very gracious of you. No need to hurry responding on my account. It's a busy world and ANY time spent responding for anothers benefit is an unselfish act. While not perfect, but none the less, this is overwhelmingly a good site for friendly, helpful, unselfish, information.

If you get time, we'll look forward to your post. In the meantime I'm going to do a little research of my own. I have a vestige of a personal interest in wildlife biology, and invasive species' impact on native fauna.


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 Post subject: Re: Euro-trash Dove hunt. Imperial Valley (Southern CA) 4/03
PostPosted: Sun Apr 04, 2021 3:53 pm 
Field Grade

Joined: Mon Jan 13, 2014 3:56 pm
Posts: 56
GG, they taste exactly like Mourning Dove, only you get about twice as much meat. I’ve seen them as far north as Helena Montana, and they seem to be able to survive cold weather because I’ve seen them at elevations above 7000 feet while there is still snow on the ground. Being that they are descended from relatively small groups of escapees from southern Florida in the 1960’s and 70’s, I’m surprised you are not seeing them.

My guess is you’ve already seen them and didn’t realize what they were, just maybe not so much in your traditional dove hunting areas. Unlike Mourning Dove who are seen in both wild and suburban/urban areas, you generally only find the Collard Dove in agricultural and urban/suburban areas. I’ve seen striking evidence of this in my local dove hunting spot which I’ll explain in the next paragraph. They seem to love being where people are.

My local hunt spot is right at the base of the foothills that lead up to the mountains just outside of a national forest boundary. The Mourning Dove fly in along a Eucalyptus tree line into a wide flat bottom canyon where I set up my mojo decoys in wait. I’ve hunted this spot probably 100-150 times over the past 10 years and generally take an average of at least one Mourning Dove per hour hunted. Less than one mile away from this spot is a residential street that skirts the base of the foothills where on any given day I can see multiple Collard dove hanging out on the power lines and in the trees. However I have never even seen one in my local hunting spot just north of this street.

The Eurasian Dove seem to thus far coexist peacefully with Mourning and White Wing Dove. There is currently no scientific evidence (to my knowledge) that supports any kind of pressure on native North American Dove populations. I frequently see all three species feeding together on the ground, and hanging out together in trees with no apparent aggressive behavior towards one-another. Their is some scientific conjecture that the Collard Eurasians are filling the North American ecological niche left behind by the now extinct Passenger Pigeon.

As an avid wing shooter, I absolutely love hunting these avians for a few different reasons. With their exploding numbers, the state of CA ran a pilot program in Imperial County opening the season on them all year long with no bag limit. Didn’t even make a dent in the population, so the following year they were opened up state wide with an unlimited bag limit. If you learn their flight patters/favored environment, you’ll most likely smash a few on any given day of the year. In general they fly a bit slower than their smaller cousins, but they are capable of the same frustrating acrobatics once they know you are trying to drop them. For me, they are one of the very few advantages of wing shooting in Southern California.


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 Post subject: Re: Euro-trash Dove hunt. Imperial Valley (Southern CA) 4/03
PostPosted: Thu Apr 08, 2021 12:21 pm 
Utility Grade

Joined: Thu Apr 08, 2021 12:03 pm
Posts: 1
What an informative response! Thanks for sharing your expertise, I'm smarter today for it.


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 Post subject: Re: Euro-trash Dove hunt. Imperial Valley (Southern CA) 4/03
PostPosted: Thu Apr 08, 2021 3:22 pm 
Field Grade

Joined: Wed Aug 08, 2018 1:21 pm
Posts: 59
Really great write up. I need to get out there to try and hunt these.


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 Post subject: Re: Euro-trash Dove hunt. Imperial Valley (Southern CA) 4/03
PostPosted: Thu Apr 08, 2021 9:37 pm 
Field Grade

Joined: Mon Jan 13, 2014 3:56 pm
Posts: 56
Thank you Harbor and Papa. I wish I could find a job guiding these types of hunts...


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 Post subject: Re: Euro-trash Dove hunt. Imperial Valley (Souther CA) 4/03/
PostPosted: Thu Apr 08, 2021 10:18 pm 
Field Grade

Joined: Wed Aug 08, 2018 1:21 pm
Posts: 59
I’m very familiar with the Imperial Valley. The heat just gets brutal starting about now!


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 Post subject: Re: Euro-trash Dove hunt. Imperial Valley (Southern CA) 4/03
PostPosted: Mon Apr 12, 2021 5:49 am 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Sun Sep 25, 2016 6:55 pm
Posts: 130
Location: Atlanta
Richard, how far would this be from San Luis Obispo? My daughter will be in school there next year and I could make some extended trips.


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 Post subject: Re: Euro-trash Dove hunt. Imperial Valley (Southern CA) 4/03
PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2021 12:04 am 
Field Grade

Joined: Mon Jan 13, 2014 3:56 pm
Posts: 56
7dawg9 wrote:
Richard, how far would this be from San Luis Obispo? My daughter will be in school there next year and I could make some extended trips.


Not really close at all. Probably a five hour drive, and potentially 2-3 longer due to traffic if you don’t time it right. If you are going to be in the San Luis Obispo area, you’ll be much closer to some decent California valley quail hunting. Also lots of good duck hunting in the San Joaquin Valley in central California.


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 Post subject: Re: Euro-trash Dove hunt. Imperial Valley (Southern CA) 4/03
PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2021 6:16 pm 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Sun Sep 25, 2016 6:55 pm
Posts: 130
Location: Atlanta
Thanks, Richard. I’ve located and contacted some guides in the SLO area for dove and quail hunts next year.


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 Post subject: Re: Euro-trash Dove hunt. Imperial Valley (Southern CA) 4/03
PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2021 9:11 pm 
Field Grade

Joined: Wed Aug 08, 2018 1:21 pm
Posts: 59
I would gladly pay you to show me the ropes in the Valley!


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 Post subject: Re: Euro-trash Dove hunt. Imperial Valley (Southern CA) 4/03
PostPosted: Sat Apr 17, 2021 10:39 am 
Field Grade

Joined: Fri Apr 09, 2021 1:55 pm
Posts: 24
Location: So Cal
Hi PoorRichRichard,

Thanks so much for your post. It brought back fond memories of my youth when I hunted doves with my dad and very close friends who're now with God.

September 1st was a ritual. Opening day of dove season was always exciting. From memory alone, we hunted off of Wert Rd next to the All American Canal. We hunted perimeters of cotton fields and next to huge rows of haystacks. We usually had our limits by noon. We sat in shade while one of our closest friends BBQ'd fresh doves. They were delicious. Within a couple years, the bag limit was increased to 15. The timeline didn't change: we had our limits by noon. I used an ancient 20 gauge SxS. If I remember correctly, it didn't have a serial number. It must have been manufactured in the very early 20th century when it was common for inexpensive shotguns to not have serial numbers. Regardless, it dropped doves. I bought it used, and used it to the point of questionable safety. My dad began to worry that it had become unsafe. By then I had turned 18. I bought a new 12 gauge Wingmaster. It killed doves just as dead as my 20 gauge.

I can vividly remember walking into Grant Boys in Costa Mesa, CA and seeing dove hunting displays. Remington, Winchester, and Federal promotional shot shells were a $1.99 a box. Even White Front on Harbor Blvd in Costa Mesa had dove opener displays. If you remember Gemco, it had dove opener displays.

There was a discernible difference in performance between promotional shot shells and better quality shells like Sure-Shot. My dad began reloading shot shells to replicate Sure-Shot for doves and upland game.

A common sight were huge vultures perched on high tension wires that seemed to reach clouds. Imperial County is the only place I've seen such vultures. They looked as big as navy jets that did practice bombing at a distant mountain range.

I can vividly remember talking with a then senior hunter at the bank of the All American Canal. He pulled up a pants leg to show us his severely disfigured foreleg. He had been hit by a sidewinder while he was crawling under one of those tall, fern-like bushes (trees?) to retrieve a dove. He cautioned us to be vigilant for those destructive serpents.

I have a lot of treasured memories of hunting darting doves in Imperial County. It exposed me to the necessity of hand-eye coordination working in harmony with a shotgun and predicting doves' darting movements.

Some 20 years ago, I road tripped down memory lane. The area that created so many treasured memories for me had "No Hunting" signs posted. CA is not the same state in which I as born and lived my entire life. I have difficulty recognizing it. It seems as though it has become a satellite state of e Third World country. Who would have thought that it would become easier to buy marijuana than it is for a law abiding citizen to buy a bird gun?




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