I didn't notice the sign the first time I drove to the hunting area. This time, however, I didn't miss it. As I approached Midlothian, I saw the exit sign, "Dove Ln".
I was invited to an afternoon hunt today and my host informed me that we'd be meeting at around 5:00pm at the hunt site. I marked the site on my nav the last time I was there, so I knew exactly where to go. As I saw that sign, I thought to myself that we'd have a good hunt.
What I didn't know is how much fun we'd have. Most of my experiences around dove hunting is that to have a long walk through pasture, while carrying your equipment, all while suffering in the Texas heat. And, once you get to your spot, you may not see a lot of birds or get a lot of shooting opportunities. Although I hunted hard last year, I only harvested a single bird. Since it wasn't enough for even a snack, I saved it for my sister so she could try a grilled breast.
However, since I hunted this site last week, I knew there would be lots of birds. And, although there were less birds than last week's morning hunt, we had better shooting opportunities tonight. My buddy put out two mojo decoys and they really worked, attracting a good number of birds closed to us. Additionally, we decided to hunt together, so we talked, laughed and shared a couple of beers while we scanned the sky for our quarry. I ended up harvesting three birds and my buddy six. We both shot almost two boxes each...it was great fun.
In addition to all of this, there were another ten people hunting with us, so there was a lot of shooting going on. In all, I brought home sixteen breasts, all of which are now vacuum packed and in the freezer.
After the hunt and cleaning the birds, we told stories of our hunt - yes, there were probably some exaggerations - shared another beer and a cigar and planned another day in the field. Given another opportunity, I will always choose to hunt with friends, both old and new, rather than by myself.
It is the way it was meant to be...