By Mike Giles / Outdoors Writer
Mike Giles ©
I’d never met Katrina before, never even heard of her. But I remember the first mention of her name. It was the Hurricane part of her name that got my attention. And then she spoiled our dove hunting party! I really didn’t like the lady then. Yes, she destroyed our hunt and fun!
But wait; after about three weeks of non-stop work and survival, a few of us got a call. Katrina might have brought about massive destruction and chaos, but she wasn’t going to ruin everything. Scott Davis called and told us the dove hunt was back on! He was going to make sure she didn’t spoil it all.
I could hardly believe it. Would there be any doves left to hunt? I didn’t know but I was sure that this lady wasn’t going to ruin my fun twice in one season. I’d go and enjoy whatever happened.
To say that we were elated to be at the dove field was an understatement. We’d all been affected deeply by the storm and some of us had our lives turned upside down, at least for a little while. But for now our attention turned to hunting; dove hunting that is.
We met in a rural area of Clarke County, about half a dozen camo clad hunters ready for relief and fast paced action if we could get it. We were we in for a surprise, and a pleasant one at that. We didn’t even know if any birds had survived the storm or if there would be enough to hunt.
After getting to our assigned spots around the field the sound was almost deafening, or lack of sound that is. Not a shot was heard in the distance, nobody was hunting within hearing distance of us? Maybe nobody else was hunting, or maybe there were not any doves?
And then I heard a shot across the field from John Lucas. And then another shot and another and then I saw them coming. A group of grey intruders dipped darted and dove into the field and tried to light on top of us. I took a fine bead and my first Katrina bird was history.
Scott and Richard Davis started hammering them with John Lucas burning them up as well. Volley after volley rang out and doves fell like rain. The more we shot the faster they came in.
Large and Small
Mourning doves were descending upon us along with bigger prettier doves. Ringnecks or collared doves were dropping in for the party too. They were new to the area, probably blown in by the lady. The collared doves were bigger than our native mourning doves but not quite as big as pigeons.
Wave after wave of doves dropped in out of the sky upon us. So many birds were flying in from all directions that it was literally chaos and sounded like a small war. The roar was deafening and birds were crumpling in mid-flight and plummeting to the ground.
And then it was over, as fast as it had begun. The silence was deafening once again. But not for a lack of birds as they continued lighting on top of us and flying in by the dozens. After a short 30 minutes we’d all harvested our limit! It was fantastic, a very memorable hunt indeed. Hurricane Katrina had been very destructive but she’d also blown a lot of doves into our area. Our first hunt in that field in Clarke County had been more successful than we’d even dreamed and remains the best hunt I’ve had there since that day. I can only dream and wish that this year’s hunt will be anywhere near as good. Only time will tell if Isaac is as kind to us as Katrina was, but we’ll be in the field waiting for our guests!
Contact Mike Giles at 601-917-3898
or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org