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Dove Hunt
Dove Hunt Canoe the Cahaba About Time



Dove Hunt Report

Cahaba River Wildlife Management Area

September 7, 2002

WHAT I'D LIKE YOU TO BELIEVE:  It was terrible.  Unbearable heat, no birds, overcrowded and unprepared fields.  Don't go there ! ! !  Stay far, far away ! ! !

JUST BETWEEN YOU AND ME:  My son and I had a wonderful opening day hunt at the Cahaba River Wildlife Management Area.  We arrived at the field at 1:30PM and were surprised that there were not more vehicles there.  The field is a section of the power line right of way that has been planted in millet, sunflowers, and corn.  Rick Roberts, the Cahaba River Wildlife Management Area Biologist, had obviously done a great job of preparing the field.

The field is actually three fields, as it is divided into three distinct sections by the road and the lay of the land.  As you come to the field on Land View Road heading north, one section is on the right side of the road.  Another section is on the left side of the road all the way to the top of the hill, and the last section continues down the other side of the hill for a good ways.  The power lines run right down the middle of each of these "sections". 

With dove stools, a cooler, and shotguns in hand; we took up our stand at the top of the hill on the left side of the road.  There were only about 15 other hunters on the field(s) with us, and frankly the field(s) could not accommodate many more hunters (I would say 20 hunters total...25 would be pushing it).  Although the field is long, it is pretty narrow due to the fact that it is planted along the power lines.  The narrowness does not really allow for stands along the middle of the field if there are stands set up on the edges...it's an "either/or" kinda thing.  Fortunately for us, overcrowding was not an issue today, and we settled in for the days hunt.

I tuned in the Alabama pre-game show on the handheld radio that has accompanied me on many a dove shoot as Ryan, my son, got us both drinks from the cooler that we had carried with us.  Ryan, now sixteen and hunting with his first official hunting license, has not missed an opening day dove hunt since he was five years old.  He started with a "pop" gun, then moved to a BB gun, then to what was my first gun - an Ithaca Featherlight 20 gauge pump, and now a Belgian made Browning Auto5 12 gauge.  I know he tires of hearing it every year, but we went over gun safety...muzzle in a safe direction, safety on till ready to shoot.  We defined our shooting lanes and discussed what we considered to be a low bird.

We did not see many flocks of dove early in the day, but the singles came in fairly regularly, and we got off a few shots.  My shooting is off and we both missed some birds that we should have gotten.  I'm gonna blame it on the power lines throwing my aim off...that's my story and I'm sticking to it...never mind that I haven't picked up a shotgun since the close of duck season.  At mid-afternoon, Ryan and I were both entertained by a flock of nine turkeys that were feeding in the field across the road from us.  They were not bothered at all by the shooting and seemed unconcerned by the cars that would occasionally drive down the road next to them.  These are the same birds that, in the spring, will spook at the sound of my truck door closing 1/2 a mile away.

Throughout the day, it became apparent to me that there really was not a bad stand in the entire filed, as the birds wanted to fly right down the middle along the power lines.  They entered the field from just about any location, and by late afternoon we were getting some steady action with more singles flying into the field and occasional small flights of up to six birds at a time.  Ryan and I managed to harvest enough birds for a family meal and had a fabulous time enjoying the great outdoors together.

After policing our stands for trash and spent hulls, we called it a day at a little past 6 o'clock.  The birds were still coming as we left the field.

REMEMBER:  It was terrible.  Unbearable heat, no birds, overcrowded and unprepared fields.  Don't go there ! ! !  Stay far, far away ! ! !


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