The Guns and Gear You Should Pick Up for Dove Season
Doves are easily among the most popular game in the country, with more than a million hunters taking tens of millions of doves annually. That’s not surprising since dove hunting is both exciting and satisfying with a fascinating legacy of tradition. As you welcome the month of September, dove hunting season begins in earnest. If you are interested in giving this storied pastime a shot, there are some essential pieces of gear you might find useful. From the right semi-automatic or over under shotgun to effective eye and ear protection, be sure you’re prepared before you start!
A High-Quality Semi-Automatic Shotgun and Shells
Hunting with a semi-automatic shotgun has a lot of advantages. They hold more shells than double-barreled alternatives, shoot quickly, and tend to have less felt recoil. The thing is—there’s a world of high-quality semi-automatic shotguns and a variety of calibers out there to choose from. For the shotgun, look for a classic like the iconic Remington 1187 or 870. While some choose a smaller 410-bore, the most common dove sizes are 12, 16, and 20 gauge. No matter which you choose, be sure to find quality birdshot shells.
An Over Under Shotgun
With everything semi-automatic shotguns have to offer, you may wonder why someone would choose any other option. There are a few good reasons. For one, a quality over under shotgun is among the sturdiest options available—they are tough as nails and reliable as anything. They’re also straightforward and one of the easiest firearms to use. Plus, you might consider a slightly less practical yet no less important benefit—using an over under shotgun is about as classy and reliable as it comes. If you want to experience what it might be like to attend an elegant shooting party on a distinguished manor in the country, go for an over under shotgun.
A Dove Belt
While you’re hunting, you’ll need something to carry shells, for one. Doves are quick, small, and acrobatic birds. If you are new to dove hunting, you might be surprised how many shells you can burn through! That also means that you may bag an impressive number of doves. In addition, you may be curious about what other gear and accessories you decide to bring along. Many hunters opt for vests to carry their extra supplies. However, some vests can get in the way when loaded up and can make you too hot when the temperature is up there. A dove belt is an ideal alternative. Try it for yourself!
Eye and Ear Protection
At the risk of stating the obvious, shotgun blasts are loud. That’s even the case for smaller calibers. Protecting your hearing should always be a priority, no matter what kind of hunting or shooting you’re doing. However, that is especially true for a hobby like dove hunting when you may be popping off that scattergun a couple dozen times in short succession. Be sure you pack both ear and eye protection. The good news is that eye protection can double as yellow-tinted lenses for enhanced dove-sighting vision and polarized shades for particularly glary days. Good luck and good hunting!
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