So I went a little 'dove crazy' this year and got a LOT of saddle time along I-20 for the opener. Here is the chronicle of my little adventure:
Day 1, Leg 1; Thursday 9/1/16. It's here! It is finally here! Dove season 2016. FTW-Rising Star-FTW, dodged thunderstorms and had a limit of birds clean and in the freezer. I am pretty sure it didn't get over 80 degrees this day. 250 miles down, 750 to go. No pics; cell phone didn't get charged up until after the birds were clean.
Day 2, Leg 2; This was supposed to be my big driving day. Initially the plan was to go from Fort Worth up to Collin County to get a limit with buddies in the afternoon and then 'shoot' west to Albany for a Saturday Morning shoot with clients. The Collin County plans got nixed, so I decided to go to the X again in Rising Star. Another round, another limit and a bonus pig as I was heading out of the gate for Albany. Disposing of the pig delayed me about 30 minutes, but I eventually made it to Albany before midnight. FTW to R-star to Albany, 275 more miles clicked off on the odometer.
Day 3, Leg 3; Today was the day of making friends. Woke in Albany and hunted at the client's place. The birds weren't thick, but I was able to get some shooting in; I only recovered 8, the other hunters had a fair showing, but no limits. I had a bobcat run off with my first bird, and had two that I lost in the tall grass. I HATE losing animals that I kill, especially these flying delicacies. Got in a meal of some delicious homemade enchiladas, watched most of the OU game, thanked my hosts and fired up the truck for Rising Star again to polish off a limit. I found a bottle of TX Whiskey in my passenger's seat as a gift from our client. I have never been given a gift after coming out to hunt somebody's land, but it was well appreciated.
On the way to Rising Star from Albany, I passed a buddy that has land not far from us. I was in a hurry to get to the ranch, so I texted him to find out his plans for the afternoon. He and his crew were watching football in Cross Plains then bird hunting. I secured an invite to watch the first half of the Aggie Game then went back to the killing field for a limit top-off. Two more limits came out of our field and I was invited to my friend's place for steak and beer that night; I'm not one to turn down a steak dinner. With all the back and forth and driving around that racked up another 175 miles on Day 3 and another limit.
Day 4, Sunday 9/4. I decided to stay put at the ranch today. I slept in this morning and got moving about 10. Checked feeders and cameras, fished a little bit and then got packed up to head home. My enthusiasm for shooting birds waned a little bit today. Had a leasee and his guest show up late afternoon and I was cleaning my shotguns. About the time I was ready to head out, they were in Field X and the shooting commenced. By now my camouflage could stand on its own and smells less than terrific. I decided to delay my departure since the shooting was hot and heavy again. I sat under a big mesquite tree in blue athletic shorts, flipflops, and my last clean camo tee-shirt for 90 minutes. I picked my shots and only shot birds that would crash in the short grass since I wasn't wearing boots, and limited out...again. Ended up in Cleburne via Fort Worth about midnight. 185 more miles.
Day 5. Monday. I found a little Johnson County honey hole and scored a few birds, no limits as this spot is usually a late season shoot for me. Not a bad way to wrap up the weekend though. Tack on another 95 miles - +/-980 miles in all. I will round that up to 1,000 miles, because that is how I want it to be remembered. Thanks for reading!