A 12 or 20 gauge repeating shotgun makes a good dove gun.
I took a 20 last year and did fine with it and I didnt get beat to death. But this year I am taking my new 12ga.
As far as ammo goes. Most of us will get the cheapest thing we can find. I usually go through about 6 boxes. For a 12 or 20 gauge, just ride up to wal-mart and buy about 2 of those 4 box packs of Federal, winchester or remington shells for $14.88 a box of 4. Get them in # 8 or 7 /12 shot. (I like 8s, there are more pellets and I dont miss as easy.)
If you shoot at long distances then some 7 1/2s would reach up there a little higher, and you may want to buy a box of hi-brass in 7 1/2 shot for those last minute hi flyers.
A Improved cylinder or modifed choke works fine.
I wear a realtree camo t shirt and pants with non. insulated hiking boots. Just dont wear a bright colored shirt and you will be ok.
If I sit in the middle of a field then I will sometimes put a little blind up, but I dont think its that nessecary.
I also put dove decoys on the ground in front of me but again, you dont need them.
For cleaning, you can do like my dad and pull the head off and pluck and cut down the middle (like you do a fish) and remove guts and then the breast.
I like to pluck the breast feathers and twist the wings around a few times until they break off, and give the head a little twist and tug and it will come off. Next feel for the end of the breast bone, take your thumb and push in at that spot, (you can cut a small hole there if you want, but your thumb will usually bust through the skin.) Get your thumb up under the bone and pull upwards to about a 90 degree angle, this should remove the breast. If not, just cut what you have to to remove it.
Cooking, I like to batter and fry them in a skillet with a little canola oil. Flour or cornmeal works. We also cook them on the grill.
If you will be hunting with other people, then the decoys arent really nessecary because all the people will keep them moving around on the field. Also, if you cripple one just pick it up and knock his head on the gun barrel or hold his head and swing him around in circles, or just pull the head off. Dont be like some people I have seen and shoot them again or shoot at ones 2 miles in the air.
Take plenty of shells in # 8 shot
Gun with a mod. or improved cylinder choke
cooler with water to drink and ice to put birds on
and a seat to sit on, drab clothing and yourself and your ready
Where will you be hunting? Public land? Private farm? What water/food/cover is near? If you are hunting a friends land have him pick out a good spot for you. If he is familiar with the field he will know where the good sppots are.
As far as chokes, I would start out with a modified choke. If you have to you can adjust from there.
Cammo can be anything from khaki shorts and shirt to military cammo. Just blend in, wear colors you expect to see on the field.
cooking them...man o man, you might have to start another thread for that one. the most common way involves marinating them, wrapping them in bacon and grilling them. What to use for a marinade? Dales Steak Seasoning. Italian dressing. BBQ sauce. You pick, good stuff any way you do it.
Welcome to dove hunting the fastest shooting out there.
#7.5 or #8 shot in a IMPROVED OR SKEET choke, you'll hit more birds. It doesn't take but a couple of chunks of shot to take down a dove so no need to really concentrate them. TRUST ME ON THIS POINT. The only time I use Mod choke is pass shooting at 60mph birds in 20mph tailwind and they are sky high.
Camo netting makes great blind but it makes even better shade.
lots of water, bug spray, cooler for birds.
Check your game laws one more time before you leave about daily bag, hunting hours, legal light and such. Think Safety First then have a blast.
Cooking: breast the birds out and cut the meat off of the breast bone, alternate meat, fresh jalapeno slices and bacon on a skewer, hit the skewered meat with Lemmon Pepper and Tony Chacheres seasoning, grill over hot coals until medium at the very most, do not over cook. Grab a Coors (assuming here, since you're from Colorado) and enjoy.
I like full choke ith 2 3/4 game loads in 7 1/2 in my 12 GA - then again, I use full choke for clays too lol. I mis pass with jump shooting out on public lands here in UT and hit my lin in 1 1/2 hours this opening day. They say it takes an average of 8 shots/ kill on dove as the national average according to the shell manufacturers, but I believe that this due mostly to sky blasting and incorrect chokes used for the commonly used soft lead cheapo shells ( I use them also lol) If you are going to use the cheap loads, be aware that they pattern like hell at 40 yards hence the need for full choke with them. Full choke with these loads is not like full with steel shot - you will get a pattern large enough to to easily take dove 30-50 yards with this set up in 12 ga. The same holds true with the 20 ga( or even more so if you use 3 inch) as you will deform even more pellets with the smaller bore.
Also, take a dog if you have one to find those birds once you shoot them as they can be hard to find - especially if you take doubles. I would have wasted a lot of time looking in the tall grass today without my labradorable. Good luck!
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