John’s Note: Plenty of fields, gravel pits and industrial sites around urban areas home large populations of doves. I’d always dreamed of hunting these regions but assumed they were off-limits because they were situated so close to the city. However, after checking with my local conservation officer, I learned these areas could be hunted if the sportsmen had the landowner’s consent. You can find lands nearby your home to hunt for doves.
Having to go to school during dove season traditionally was a problem for most teenagers who liked to hunt.
I had to deal with this problem when I was a boy, and my son, John, did as well. But because of my brother’s reconnoitering the suburbs and locating some urban dove hot spots, my son John had the advantage of getting out of school at 3:00 p.m., coming home, changing his clothes and going with his Uncle Archie and me on a dove shoot any afternoon he didn’t have soccer or basketball practice. If John had a ballgame on the weekend, he still could participate in his school’s athletic program and urban dove hunt with his family.
Today, six or seven of us who live around the city or go dove hunting through the week or on weekends on short notice. Our hunting doesn’t interfere with our work schedules or family responsibilities. With five to eight people, we all can take stands around brickyards, abandoned construction sites, storage areas or fields that have been mowed for the winter and have some outstanding shooting closer to our homes.
Although I prefer the aesthetics of woodland fields, old dirt roads and doves flying into agricultural crops away from the hustle and bustle of city life, I gladly will accept airplanes screaming overhead, train whistles tooting and the rattle and racket of industry on the move to be able to have dove hunting close to my home. As American lands become more urbanized, we’ll all have to look for small pockets of hunting close to home to increase our opportunities to hunt. Urban doving provides these.
About the Author
John Phillips, winner of the 2012 Homer Circle Fishing Award for outstanding fishing writer by the American Sportfishing Association (ASA) and the Professional Outdoor Media Association (POMA), the 2008 Crossbow Communicator of the year and the 2007 Legendary Communicator chosen for induction into the National Fresh Water Hall of Fame, is a freelance writer (over 6,000 magazine articles for about 100 magazines and several thousand newspaper columns published), magazine editor, photographer for print media as well as industry catalogues (over 25,000 photos published), lecturer, outdoor consultant, marketing consultant, book author and daily internet content provider with an overview of the outdoors.