I stepped out my front door Sunday, and I almost got nailed by three doves flying by so low I could have knocked them out of the air with my hands. When I used to live in town, or even on the outskirts of Cheyenne and Riverton, I thought doves vanished completely by about September third. They gave us a couple days of the season, then they high-tailed it for Argentina.
But that’s not the case out in the less inhabited parts of Laramie County, and I suspect it’s the same in much of the rest of the state. Maybe it’s because there’s more out here for them to eat and fewer people to bother them, or maybe it’s because most of them are those dang Eurasian collared doves, rather than the more stately mourning doves. Either way, it means the dove season isn’t over quite yet.
After I nearly got beheaded by that winged trio, I turned right around and went back inside to get my shotgun and hunting vest. I loaded up the pockets with No. 7 shot, then tramped outside again to see if more birds would make an appearance. I spent about an hour out there, waiting for another flight to come over, but none came, so I headed back in again. As I was unloading my shotgun on the front porch, one more dove flew past, and this one was for sure a mourning dove, so I know they’re still out there.
If you can find a field that still has some seeds, you might be able to add a few more doves to your freezer. Don’t count out the Eurasian collared doves, because they taste about the same as mourning doves. Better yet, since they’re considered an invasive species, there’s no limit on them. They stick around all year, eating what the native mourning doves should eat, so help knock down the population, and get a few tasty morsels in the process.