Whether it’s your first trip or an annual tradition, dove hunting is something everyone can enjoy. As one of the easiest ways to bird hunt, it’s the perfect opportunity for beginners to learn and seasoned hunters to practice. And with the right spot, the right gear, and the right people, it can be a trip you’ll never forget.
When you’re planning, the top of your to-do list should be obtaining a new hunting license for the season. Stop by your Academy Sports + Outdoors store to purchase hunting and fishing licenses, learn about state regulations, and even get tips from our experts. It’s also a great stop for stocking up on all the essentials below.
While picking out gear, make sure you know where you’re setting up to hunt. If you don’t have access to private property, finding public land is easy through your state’s wildlife department website. When choosing a location, look for open areas, dense tree lines, and places doves might feed – like sunflower or corn fields.
With any activity involving a firearm, safety should always be your number one priority. Shotguns are powerful firearms, so using both eye protection and hearing protection on your hunting trip is a must.
When you’re doing something as high volume as dove hunting, selecting the right shotgun and ammo is key to a successful hunt. Practice makes perfect, so we always recommend taking your firearm and matching shotshells to the range to practice accuracy and speed before your trip.
From their vantage point high in the sky, doves tend to notice when something looks out of the ordinary. Wearing the right outfit isn’t as tricky or technology heavy as deer hunting, but picking a good pattern can keep you concealed, and wearing the right footwear helps keep you protected.
Although not necessary, dove decoys can help you reach bird limits and maximize your hunting trip. By placing them in trees and on the ground, you’ll lure in live doves to come over and inspect the decoy. When using wind-spinning models, make sure the decoy is faced toward the wind to mimic lifelike behaviors.
When you’re choosing what to pack, some added comfort can make all the difference. Hunting stools can help you stay in the field longer, and do double-duty as a place to relax with friends and family. If you want to bring food and drinks along, check out our cooler selection – like the YETI Tundra 35 cooler that provides cool temps all-day long.
With exclusive brands like Magellan Outdoors and Game Winner, Academy Sports + Outdoors has great quality at an affordable price point. And with hunting favorites Browning and Mossberg, we have the best brands you know and love in-store and online.
Finally, we believe your trip should be more than just hunting – it should be fun. Whether it’s hanging out with old friends or trying out new gear, a dove hunting trip is the perfect way to make time for what matters.