While visiting San Angelo, Texas to get some familiarization time on Remington’s Versa-Max shotguns, I’ve had the time to do some in-depth analysis of my individual shooting capabilities. That prognosis isn’t good.
At the end of another long day in the field, there was little doubt that the Versa-Max shotgun shot straight. Unfortunately, doves seldom fly a straight line, making the shooting somewhat more challenging. Jim Shepherd/OWDN photo.
And after having spent a long session on clay targets and two days shooting (at) doves, I’ve determined there’s more than one thing wrong.
Part of the problem’s my infrequent time spent on shotguns. I spend approximately 3,549 times practicing on rifles and handguns that the shotgun. That’s a problem that might be minimized by my reallocating practice time. Having someplace where shotgun shooting was offered near my home would probably help too, but not to the degree that I’m willing to move or build a trap field.
The larger problem, has no quick remedy. The major piece of the problem that confounds dove hunters worldwide is....the dove.
Half way through a second box of Remington dove loads, I’d determined that the Versa-Max shotgun wasn’t the problem, my glasses weren’t on upside down, and I was making smooth mounts and controlled swings in my largely unsuccessful efforts to put fifteen of these poor creatures (per day) out of their collective misery.
The dove, including the native and their unwelcome Eurasian kin, are cursed with aerodynamic issues. Unlike even the simplest clay target, doves are incapable of level flight, gradual altitude changes or slow curves.
No, these unfortunate birds dart around the sky like dragonflies. To imagine their flight path, visualize a squirrel hopped up on cocaine leaping madly through the trees.
Due to their particular affliction, the seem doomed to flit erratically across the skies, into and out of grain fields, and occasionally directly over the heads of the confounded shooters sitting, standing and occasionally cursing around the edges of those fields.
This milo field outside San Angelo, Texas, was regularly visited by large flocks of a variety of dove strains. The shooters stationed around the margins of the fields, however, were unable to do much to prevent their wreaking havoc on the defenseless milo. Jim Shepherd/OWDN photo.
Seems every species has its own respective problems.
The dove’s controlled flight issues, fortunately, don’t detract from the fact they are actually quite tasty. So tasty, in fact, that yesterday’s feature about the Remington shotgun that promulgated this venture brought the following request from one of our longtime readers: “your talking about doves has me craving them. When you write to tell us about your success, please include a good dove recipe.”
While I can’t fix the aerodynamic issues of those poor birds, I can certainly satisfy that request from a faithful reader. In fact, I’ve convinced our chef to share his special, personal recipe for bacon and jalapeno wrapped dove breasts.
Jason Powells Personal Recipe for Bacon-and-Jalapeno Wrapped Dove Breasts
(It’s a favorite with cowboys, ranch hands and hunting guides-and their customers)
- Take the dove and cut the breasts in half.
- Remove the meat and marinade it in milk for 5-10 minutes
- Set aside
- Take large jalapeno peppers and quarter them lengthwise
- Remove the seeds and devein
- Wrap the jalapeno around the dove
- Wrap bacon tightly around both and secure with a toothpick
- Sprinkle Tony Cachere’s cajun seasoning to taste
In the oven:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
- Put the wrapped breasts on a cookie sheet and cook until done
On the grill:
- If you have a fish basket, open and spray inside lightly with Pam
- Insert the wrapped dove breasts, close the basket and cook until done.
This fish basked method enables you to turn several at a time rather than having to hand turn each serving. A big help if you’re cooking for a group.
Jason tells me that if you don’t have dove breasts and want to offer something that your dinner guests will also enjoy, substitute fresh shrimp for the dove.
-- Jim Shepherd