Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Stake In The Heart. Dove Opener Cancelled For Me

Well almost, with the fires raging in SoCal my dove opener looked grim. I had to cancel plans to head to Blythe to film the Big Breast Contest. That's biggest "dove breast" for all you knuckle draggers.

So today I went into the bosses office and made a pest of myself, more like I threw a fit a 3 year old would have been proud of. I had been doing yeoman's work all weekend working at the La Canada fire and I asked for just a bit of time to go shoot some gray rockets. It must have been when I ran my bosses favorite thumb drive through the shredder when he decided it might be in his best interest to get rid of me for the night

Off I raced home to sneak out for an evening hunt.

A few singles all out of range at first. No worries, I had scouted the old haunt a few times in the month before.

Friendly sheriff volunteers stopped by to say hello. They let me know they had seen 8 rattlesnakes in my spot earlier in the day. Lovely. I was overjoyed at the news since I'm known as a snake magnet on dove hunts.



Right about sunset a flight of 4 low fliers came in from behind me and I missed the lead bird going off into the sunset. I dropped the 2nd bird but it was out a bit far and it dropped into a boulder strewn wash I was next to. I scrambled down the dirt berm to get the bird when I heard that distinct sound, a snake buzzin'.

Crap.

I could see my bird but them big boulders are easy to get bit by a snake in since you can't see under them real good and the light was fading. I wasn't real sure where the buzzing was coming from either and I wasn't going to press my luck so I ended up leaving my only bird.

Old orange orchard where I set up.




I repositioned so as not to drop any birds into the wash again but never saw any more birds in range. A few high fliers going to roost and that was it.

Sunset on another dove opener. Haze is from the smoke from all the fires here. Twas good to take the shotgun for a walk and bust the first caps of the season on live game.

4 comments:

Ben G. said...

It's to bad you lost your only bird. I'm glad we don't have rattle snakes up here in Minnesota.

Anonymous said...

How far are you from the fire zone? I ask because it seems that the stress on wildlife in nearby areas is such that people could voluntarily abstain from adding further stress.

My friends in Southern California are finding wildlife utterly disoriented and often injured in their backyards, in places the birds and animals don't normally travel -- owing to the fires.

I based this question on my experience working the Cosco Busan oil spill in San Francisco. The bird populations were under terrible duress, and yet waterfowl hunting season went on. I realize it's legal but there are times I think we should give wild animals a break -- such as when their habitat is dramatically affected like this. IMHO.

I do hope this territory is far removed and that the birds who are your prey in this zone are not birds seeking sanctuary from the fire zone or otherwise affected by the Southern California disaster progressing.

Jesses Hunting And Outdoors said...

Anonymous, the place where I was hunting was far from the fire zone. Doves are migratory and usually move through here pretty fast. The only birds I do see a lot in the fire area are doves, they seem to like the burn areas, I guess because thre fire releases seed onto the ground.

NorCal Cazadora said...

Man, that sounded like my opener; fortunately, I got a second chance and had my first successful dove hunt on Labor Day. No rattlesnakes that day, but I did lose a couple over a high deer fence, which sucked.