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Effect of rain on dove hunting? #7286068 09/13/18 11:33 PM
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foodieguy Offline OP
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It's been raining in CENTX for the past 11 days and more is forecast for next week too. How does rain like this change the way the birds move? Do you make any adjustments on how or when you hunt?

The place I hunt is outside of the Austin suburbs but not quite close enough to get a lot of whitewings. We see mourning dove mostly. Its my first year doing anything besides a day hunt around opening weekend, wanted to see what to expect with the current conditions. It also sucks because some of the fields are too muddy and I don't wanna get stuck.


New fish, looking for advice.

Re: Effect of rain on dove hunting? [Re: foodieguy] #7286078 09/13/18 11:46 PM
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We are having the same problems here also but we are getting a few each trip

Re: Effect of rain on dove hunting? [Re: foodieguy] #7286099 09/14/18 12:11 AM
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I think the rain affects the hunter more than the birds. Birds fly and feed even if raining. Hunters stay home. Short of it pouring down , I am going in the morning. Better that sitting at home.



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Re: Effect of rain on dove hunting? [Re: foodieguy] #7286207 09/14/18 02:08 AM
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I've been dove hunting a long time (34 years now, which is crazy when I think about it) and more times than not dove hunting in general is better when it's dry. The birds tend to be more active. When it's wet and muddy, sure, they have to feed, but they tend to loaf and hang around on power wires for longer periods of time. No question it's easier to get to where the birds are when dry if you're hunting a large field. I find muddy conditions keep them closer to roads, especially gravel roads, and the power lines.

If you hunt agricultural areas like I do most of the time the birds will lose interest in a field over time as the scattered grain, corn, etc gets washed down or buried in mud. Rain causes freshly cut fields to re-sprout and cover bare areas where they like to feed. The longer the rain sticks around, or the amount they have to deal with, the sooner it seems they leave for other areas.

I do find that hunting pressure is generally less on dove when guys can't get out or refuse to bother with it. Most hunters give up on dove after a few weeks no matter the conditions. Less pressure equals more birds around when it finally does dry out some.

I had a tremendous opening weekend and last weekend was still great despite muddier conditions. Even then I'm hopeful the best is still yet to come. Good luck to you!

Re: Effect of rain on dove hunting? [Re: Michael W.] #7286252 09/14/18 03:01 AM
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7mag Offline
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Originally Posted By: Michael W.
I think the rain affects the hunter more than the birds. Birds fly and feed even if raining. Hunters stay home. Short of it pouring down , I am going in the morning. Better that sitting at home.


So we had down pours last Friday. I am talking up to 4 inches in some places. Water was standing everywhere when we went out Sunday evening and was cloudy with scattered rain throughout the weekend.

The "if it rains the dove hunting will be bad" is now BS. If you have birds, you will have birds. Sunday evening we saw numerous flocks of whitewings. 6 of us went out. 3 got their limits the other 3 should have got limits but shooting wasn't great.

Moral of the sotry? If you HAVE birds you will have a good hunt, period.


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Re: Effect of rain on dove hunting? [Re: 7mag] #7287338 09/15/18 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted By: 7mag
Originally Posted By: Michael W.
I think the rain affects the hunter more than the birds. Birds fly and feed even if raining. Hunters stay home. Short of it pouring down , I am going in the morning. Better that sitting at home.


So we had down pours last Friday. I am talking up to 4 inches in some places. Water was standing everywhere when we went out Sunday evening and was cloudy with scattered rain throughout the weekend.

The "if it rains the dove hunting will be bad" is now BS. If you have birds, you will have birds. Sunday evening we saw numerous flocks of whitewings. 6 of us went out. 3 got their limits the other 3 should have got limits but shooting wasn't great.

Moral of the sotry? If you HAVE birds you will have a good hunt, period.



Rain does not dissolve birds so yes there is still dove in Texas. They will be much more consistent and plentiful when it is dry.

Re: Effect of rain on dove hunting? [Re: foodieguy] #7292079 09/20/18 11:54 AM
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Agreed.

The thing i will add - my morning hunts in the rain have been slow, the action picked up around 10/11. Sometimes the rain was done, sometimes it was still coming down. I think the rain changes their schedule most, but they still have to water, feed, etc.


My pack is usually heavier when I leave. I really need to stop collecting rocks.
Re: Effect of rain on dove hunting? [Re: foodieguy] #7292268 09/20/18 03:30 PM
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The birds don't pattern near as well after periods of significant rains. They don't need to move as much for water when it's all around their feeding areas so tank hunting that is usually a surer limit in dry weather might only produce a couple of birds. I hunted in S. TX last weekend after 11" of rain during the week and the tanks were VERY slow both morning and evenings, but the fields were loaded with birds. We basically walked the fields and shot them flushing like quail. The guys that didn't want to walk hung out under trees and shot the moving birds that were a result of our walking efforts. All of the white wings were hanging in the brush (catclaw is loaded with seeds right now) so hunting the edges of long brush lines produced good results as well. If you hunt sandy areas that don't hold water, it shouldn't be an issue and the birds will still move. Good luck



Re: Effect of rain on dove hunting? [Re: First_Chance] #7292338 09/20/18 04:20 PM
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Originally Posted By: First_Chance
The birds don't pattern near as well after periods of significant rains. They don't need to move as much for water when it's all around their feeding areas so tank hunting that is usually a surer limit in dry weather might only produce a couple of birds. I hunted in S. TX last weekend after 11" of rain during the week and the tanks were VERY slow both morning and evenings, but the fields were loaded with birds. We basically walked the fields and shot them flushing like quail. The guys that didn't want to walk hung out under trees and shot the moving birds that were a result of our walking efforts. All of the white wings were hanging in the brush (catclaw is loaded with seeds right now) so hunting the edges of long brush lines produced good results as well. If you hunt sandy areas that don't hold water, it shouldn't be an issue and the birds will still move. Good luck


This is spot on. A puddle can draw doves, but they have to eat.

Re: Effect of rain on dove hunting? [Re: foodieguy] #7294008 09/22/18 10:51 AM
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Donít get too Worried..the fall migration hasnít really begun in earnest, yet. The information shared above from a couple of the guys is spot on. Basically, I have only experienced a couple of bad dove years. Unfortunately, both were in extended rain type weather patterns. Highline wires, runnng through a grain field or pass shooting a flyway around feeding or graveling areas, are usually the ticket during theses situations.

Forget waterholes, heck dove can get water off the tree leaves. Good luck and good hunting!

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