10 Dove Hunting Tips for Beginners

Doves can be a good choice for perfecting your hunting skills. The birds are plenty in the world, and over 70 million are hunted yearly. Doves are easy to hunt compared to waterfowl and big game. Although you only need a little gear and equipment, you must adequately prepare for the hunting to be successful.

Do you have your hunting license and migratory bird permit? If so, arm yourself with a shotgun and some shells and head to the hunting location.

Here are a few dove shooting tips when hunting these swift-moving creatures.

Wear Camouflage

Suppose you want a successful kill. Wear gloves, a net face mask, and drab clothing. Any other type of clothing will scare away the birds. Also, hide in nearby bushes or trees and only move once the birds enter your range marker’s sphere.

Carry the Right Accessories

The right accessories and hunting gear increase your chances of landing a kill. Good polarized glasses help in enhancing visibility, no matter the light conditions. Also, consider carrying snake chaps if you will be hunting in an area infested with snakes.


Scouting helps you learn the dove’s flight routes to water dens, food fields, and back to the roosting areas. It allows you to set up their most-used route. Exploring also comes in handy when hunting in the fields. Early scouting will guarantee better results.

Use Decoys

Placing decoys near your hiding position presents opportunities for shooting doves at close range. Ensure you erect several on the ground and others on fence lines and dead trees. Use battery-powered decoys so you can spin their wings and look as natural as possible.

Take Cover

Do not waste your ammunition by standing in a hunting field and shooting randomly at the doves. Planning the hunt and staying out of the dove’s sight will improve your hunting success.

Choose an Appropriate Rifle

While every hunter prefers a rifle, there are some basics that one must uphold when choosing a gun for dove hunting. Consider using a 12-20 gauge shotgun for quick shifting and high-flying doves. Use an improved choke tube for first doves flying close by and a modified one for those flying far off.

Use Range Markers

Shooting out of range results in wasted ammo and missed shots. Setting range markers around 35 yards from your hiding place and marking them with fluorescent clothing ensures you only shoot doves that are within range.

Only shoot at doves within the decoy’s circumference.

Concentrate on A Dove at A Time

A hunting field has many bird species. As a beginner, focusing only on one bird at a time is essential. Focusing on more birds than one ends up in many missed chances. Once you spot a target, stick with it until you hit it.

Avoid the Light

As you strategically place the decoys, check the direction of the sun. The sun has a blinding effect; it will affect the effectiveness of your shots. Let the sun be on your backside.

Be Patient

Patience is critical when hunting doves. As much as dove hunting is easy, you will make plenty of mistakes as a beginner. But don’t give up. Stay calm, and you will improve with time.

Keep practicing

The more you practice, the more you will enjoy and get better at dove hunting. Hunting airborne targets can be challenging. But with the right dove-hunting strategies, the learning curve is significantly shortened. Now go out and get them!