Dove opener good for locals

KINGMAN - The first of two general dove hunts will come to a close on Sept. 15, but for the few local bird hunters who made it out on Sept 1 for the first day of the hunt, they're finding plenty of birds in the desert throughout Mohave County.

Rad Green and two of his friends hunted a water tank in the desert north of Kingman. Green said he had to move around a little but finished up with his 10 mourning dove limit by 11 a.m.

The highlight of his outing was when he bagged a pair of the fast-moving doves with one shot!

Jim Rich, who lives in Mohave Valley, said that area was full of mourning doves but very few whitewings. Rich, who was hunting next to an agriculture field, limited out on mourning doves in just about an hour.

I went out with a friend from the Kingman Bass Club, Travis Deathridge, and we decided to hunt a stock tank off of north Stockton Hill Road.

We were joined at the small pond by about 20 other hunters, but the place was loaded with birds and everyone seemed to have plenty of shooting opportunities.

For me, I found out that the pre-season practice I had done at the skeet range at the Mohave Sportsman Club's 7 Mile Hill Range had paid off.

I started off on a roll, hitting seven out of the first eight birds I shot at.

The highlight of my morning was getting my first ever Eurasian collared dove, a large feral exotic dove that originated from India, which now inhabits much of America.

I saw a group of five of these birds fly over a group of other hunters, and 10 shots later, they were all still flying. One veered toward the decoy spread I had put out on a fence line, and in short order, I had my first Eurasian.

Travis also started out pretty good, hitting three birds out of the first four shots. In the end, I was lucky to get a limit of mourning doves, while Deathridge got six.

We had a good time, though, and saw some pretty good shooting from fellow sportsmen Dave and Don Lash, who are always at this pond on opening day.