This year’s dove opener found me being invited to join Todd Herthel and several of our Ducks Unlimited Chapter Members at the Clinton Lake Dove fields. Since they have done well there in the past and I always enjoy good fellowship with other outdoorsman, I was quick to accept the offer. Then I was told we would be meeting at 3:15 AM so we could be at the dove field to get a prime spot… Oh, wait… did I just commit to that??? So with a bright eyes and a very excited Lab I meet Todd and the designated spot at 3:15 and off we went. We arrived at the dove field long before sun rise to find we where the first ones there. Mission accomplished!!! We get the choice spot. So, three of us ventured out into the field to secure our position as 2 other members would be joining us shortly. After a few nice cups of coffee the sudden flash of lightening made all of us look at each other (since we could see each other for a few seconds) and wonder what the! After a short check of the radar on cell phones we decided we would go to the car if the rain started. Well after 30 minutes of no rain but close lightening the storm passed. Or so we thought when a bolt of lightning hit in the dove field right at sun rise. No chance to run now, just hunker down and take it, and we did. All in all not a bad storm which did cool off the 85 degree temps some. Here is a picture of the departing rain clouds just as the sun was rising in the east.
After the storm passed it was time to get down to some serious dove hunting; only problem was the doves just aren’t in KS yet in large concentrations. With the weather this year being so warm and dry the doves have just not migrated yet to KS. As a group of 5 we all got some shots off, some connected many did not. I was lucky enough to be in the “hot” spot and knocked down 6 doves, all of which Dakota started off the season with great fetches. Everyone got at least one bird and had fun ribbing the misses with ample time in-between birds. All in all not a great number of birds were harvested but a great time was had.
With this being the first hunt of the year, you can imagine how the dogs where bouncing off the wall ready to go. Here is the evolution of a Lab’s energy on the open. Notice how the ears and tail never drop.