Dove hunting is huge in Texas. Everyone I know talks about it for months. Even though September 1 was "Opening Day," most hunters won't be out in full force until the weekend. If you're anywhere near a hunt, it will sound like the fourth of July. There are places where people can hunt legally in the DFW area -- even within the city limits of Frisco.
And yes, I'm a super cool wife (born in Texas, own hunting land, even approve of the sport). Last night after our daughter went to bed, my husband gave me a refresher course on the proper stance, the proper way to eyeball that moving target and general safety tips. (Good idea, huh?)
So Much For Birds, Barbecue and Bros
I practiced loading and unloading shells in my master bathroom -- in front of the mirror. I stared down the length of the shotgun. I'm ready. Isn't that what every "normal" wife does? My husband and I often drive down the city streets and he quizzes me: "Dove or Tweety?" "Tweety" is the term our friends use for anything that's not a dove. In other words, don't shoot at the tweetys. Only shoot at dove.
Don't Get Your Feathers All Ruffled
Don't worry. I've only made a few birds angry. Do you know how hard it is to hit something that's flying away from you at 50 mph? I peppered a few dove -- only made them fly away faster. I really blew away some leaves off the pecan trees last year. I go to spend time with friends at our ranch and enjoy the barbecue feast they prepare.
The Impossible Dream
I did envision getting my first dove this year. Using my Dad's 20-guage I'll shoot my first bird. And once I do bag that bird, there's a good chance I'll cry like a baby in front of 20-25 male hunters. I always thought of myself as a pretty tough person. But one time I couldn't even get rid of a teeny mouse in the garage because I kept thinking of Michael J. Fox's voice from the movie "Stuart Little." He was a cute little mouse and he drove a car. Now why would my dove-hunting experience be any different?
Fear me dove. But fly very fast and erratically. You'll be safe. I'll keep you posted on my results.
You can't go hunting without a license or you could be severely fined. A 2010-11 hunting license costs $25 but it isn't the only document dove hunters need. Texas requires everyone ages 17-and-up to also obtain a Texas migratory game bird stamp endorsement on their license, which is another $7.
You don't have to hunt very hard for a license. They're available at most sporting goods stores like Academy Sports + Outdoors. For general license questions, please call TPWD Headquarters in Austin at (800) 792-1112. Be safe.