This last weekend, I got out to scout for dove just 5 days before the season opener. This year has been marked by drought and rough conditions for any animal, let alone dove. I started scouting by checking a pond that isn't visible from the road. A secluded waterhole, must be a perfect ambush spot, right? I flushed a single bird as I came over the dam on the back side of the pond. It would appear as though this might be a secondary location for a setup after the birds quit going to the fields at first light.
I make my way to a field that was a weak excuse for wheat a few weeks ago. I'm surprised to find that it has since been cut. Immediately I spot 2 dove on the side of the field. As I get my gear ready (I'm also out here to clear a few stand locations for deer season), I spot a group of 10 dove circling the field. They circle 3 or 4 times before lighting into the trees on the far side of the field. All dove disappear as another prospective hunter appears to do some scouting of his own. We make small talk as I pray that the dove do not return while he's there. He doesn't see the one or two that fly over. I need all the luck I can get.
After I clear some stand locations, I stop by another pond and spot 5 dove perched in the trees surrounding it. This pond is but a quarter of it's original size due to the drought. Dove season opens Thursday, I'll be hunting with the video camera as my wingman.