It’s probably almost too late to get in much practice time at the range in preparation for the opening day of dove season on Saturday, but you still have time to stock up on supplies you might need in the field.
And with the state’s Second Amendment Sales Tax holiday kicking off Friday, you can avoid paying all local and some state sales tax on a wide variety of hunting-related items and accessories that will come in handy on opening day.
Kelly Neuville, general manager of Buckfins-N-Feathers in Broussard, shared a few key tips to keep in mind if you’re scrambling to get ready for Saturday morning.
1. Make sure your gun is cleaned and functioning properly, and has the plug inserted.
Nothing dampens opening day like a gun that won’t fire when the barrage begins, so clean it up and make sure it’s good to go.
And be sure your plug is inserted - that will be one of the things enforcement agents with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will be checking.
2. Buy the right ammo, and enough of it, to get you through your hunt.
“I like shooting 8 high-power because it’s a better spread with more, smaller BBs,” Neuville said. “It does less damage to the birds and puts more BBs on them.”
3. Use the right choke.
Typically, on opening weekend, the doves won’t be as high as they will later in the season.
“I would say improved cylinder to modified would be the way to go,” he said.
4. Make sure you have appropriate dry-fit clothing for September.
“Drake has a short-sleeved shirt called the Vented Wingshooter,” Neuville said. “It’s 100-percent polyester instead of cotton, and will keep you cooler early in the season.”
5. Get a good bucket swivel seat for a more comfortable hunt.
“I like the bucket seats because you can put your shells and a little ice chest inside, and it swivels,” he said. “Find some shade if you can, and bring along plenty of water, a good wide-breamed hat and some sunglasses.”
Opening day hunters on private land can begin hunting doves one-half hour before sunrise, but on LDWF-leased fields and WMAs, shooting time begins at 12 noon.