This year we had the great fortune to hunt the opening day of the Texas dove season.
Here we are, getting after it on opening day!! That is me with the side by side and that is my wife just before she shoots her big toe off.
Select friends and relatives join in.
This is of course a joke. I found these ridiculous pictures on the LIFE website. They are quite funny. Click HERE to check them out.
Now for the real stuff. We hunted on family land near the town of Hico, Texas. There are thousands of these wonderful small towns in Texas and a good part of the fun on these trips is exploring them. This town was established in the 1800′s and is full of character. Here are a few of the more colorful buildings.
The Koffee Kup, it turns out, is renowned for Texas comfort fare. Chicken fried steak, fried chicken livers, rib-eye steaks, fried okra, the best onion rings, pecan pie, strawberry pie . . . holy crap. We ate every meal here.
The ranch house. Modest and perfect hunting accommodations. Thank God that it has air conditioning.
Dove roosting trees. Pretty Texas country.
We hunted on these ponds. There was a steady flow of dove but particularly in the evening as they return from feeding on the way to their roost.
A perfect dove hunting venue.
Hunting pal and brother Jim.
In Texas the heat can be brutal, tough on both dogs and hunters. Most of our hunt was bearable but there were moments when the breeze died, the humidity felt like it was 150% and the sun beat on you without mercy. You would stand there, gun in the crook of your arm, and you would feel the sweat running down your neck, down your back and down your stomach, soaking your clothes. You might think this unbearable but the incessant parade of flies and mosquitoes buzzing in your ear, crawling on your face and on your hands, arms and legs takes your mind off of the heat. Luckily, you need not wait long to be reminded that you are in some of the best dove hunting in the world and the misery is quickly forgotten as a fat flock comes screaming in. Had I not been gobbling down platters of fried chicken livers and pecan pie I might have lost a pound or two.
Tex spent a lot of this hunt swimming laps in the stock ponds! It did not seem to bother the doves. The heat was rough on poor Tex. These ponds were a god-send for him.
A single flies by. There were plenty of lone flyers but the real fun is when a flock of 5 or more comes swooping in!
That bird you are looking for is right here. Tex did a fine job finding downed birds.
Dusk, the last few minutes of the hunt.
Not sure if this is a sunfower or just a weed. No matter, there are plenty of them and they add nice color to the landscape.