-By Rich Miller
I did something this year on the first weekend of September that I have never done before. I didn’t hunt doves on opening day. I had to work instead, so when I got off work I attended an opening day college football game. I did take a lot of slack from several of my buddies for not hunting with them but I will be there next year.
After missing opening day, I was on the way to the dove field as soon as I got off of work on Monday. My wife was off on Monday and my little boy had been with her all day. By the time I got home from work he had napped and was ready to go on his first dove hunt. I had been telling him that I would take him with me on Monday and he was really excited about going. Out of the two of us I don’t know who was more excited, me or him.
By the time we arrived at the field where we were going to hunt everyone else was already there. They were sitting at the trucks talking and waiting on the birds to pick up some before they hit the field. We said our hello’s and watched birds start to enter the field a little more frequently and decided to get after them.
Even though Tye is just shy of 2 ½ years old, he acted like he had been there before. About halfway to the hay bail that we were going to use as a blind some of the guys in the field started yelling at us, so we got down as our first dove of the season came floating by without a care in the world. I fired a couple of quick shots and watched the bird spiral into a nearby hedge row. After the shooting was over I looked down to check Tye’s reaction out and he was pointing the way the bird had fallen. His face lit up and he was smiling from ear to ear. Before we could pick up that bird we had a couple more on the ground.
The first bird landed in a hedge row and I had to climb in there to get it but the other two landed in the field. When we walked up to the second bird I wasn’t sure how he would react but he grabbed it right off the ground and handed the bird to me.
The rest of the afternoon the birds were few and far between, but my little man stayed with me the whole time and never complained at all. I think he and I both had a great time just being out there together. I remember when I was a little chap running around the dove field chasing everyone’s birds, and it looks like he is going to be doing the same thing. For the next couple of years I will have a good bird boy - that is until he is old enough to start shooting them himself.