5 Dove Hunting Accessories You Didn't Know You Need

Late summer in Texas and Oklahoma means that hunting season is right around the corner, and the first taste is the most social hunting activity of all: dove hunting.

While most hunters are familiar with the standard equipment such as a dove bucket featuring a swivel seat on the lid, or a breezy moisture-wicking long sleeve camo shirt to keep the sun off but let the wind through, here are some unexpected yet simple accessories that can make a big difference in both your opening day fun and hunting success.

Fiber Optic Sights

If you don’t already have an aftermarket sight on your shotgun, prepare to gain a serious edge in your marksmanship this season. Fiber optic sights are simple, inexpensive devices that are easy to install, with options for clip-on, magentic or tap-and-screw for a more permanent installation. They tend to catch even the slightest bit of daylight to illuminate a bright dot where your bead foresight would normally be. Fiber optic sights really stand out in the low light of dawn, and can also help you quickly identify common aiming mistakes. Most dove hunters in the South are going to be shooting a vent rib shotgun, which allows for a clip-on sight, such as the Allen 5/16" model for perhaps the most popular pump shotgun: the Remington 870. If you can't find one that is brand specific, you can pretty much fit any shotgun on the market with a universal barrel clip on sight

Game Bag

A lot of dove hunters use a game vest, which is a simple and handy device, providing pockets for shells, and a large storage for harvested game on your lower back. But when it’s pushing 100 degrees and the sun is beating down on you, a vest can be just plain hot. This is when a Dove Belt comes in handy. Featuring two big pockets for shells and gear, along with a game pocket in the rear, dove belts provide the same features as a vest without blocking the breeze. I like to keep a box of shells in the right pocket for quick reloading, while sunscreen, bug spray and water go in the left pocket. My empty shells go in the rear game bag with the birds. 

Shotgun Sling with Neoprene Pad

You may already have a sling, as most people will come Opening Day, but if you have any distance at all to cover by foot, consider a padded sling with a neoprene backing. This is a really key feature for keeping your firearm firmly in place over your shoulder while high-stepping through hay or milo fields. When built right, it doesn’t slip or shift. I have been using an Allen brand sling for years, which is simple to adjust, has quick-release hardware and the critical feature of a non-slip textured neoprene underside.

Keychain Microfiber

From scopes to binoculars, sunglasses and readers, having a compact microfiber glasses cleaner within reach can really change the tone of a day in the field. Keychain microfiber bags are a really smart, simple design that’s an easy addition to your hunting gear, and they’re not that expensive.

Glasses Holder

Another handy accessory for eyewear is a way to hold or store glasses when they’re not on your face. Most outdoorsmen prefer either a neoprene or cable strap so that you can drop them around your neck, but I find that can get in the way. A handy alternative I have discovered this year is the Readerest, an ingenious little magnetic clip that you can mount anywhere on your clothing, and lets glasses hang out of the way. This is especially useful if you wear glasses normally and want to switch to and from sunglasses throughout the day – you can even put them on your back collar to keep them out of the way of shooting. I especially like that they are Texas-made.

Get out there and have some fun this upcoming season, be safe, shoot straight and bag some birds.

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Fishing Report from TPWD (May 22)

GOOD. Water stained; 75 degrees; 5.29 feet above pool. Water clarity is muddy up the river and creeks, clearing south on the main lake. Lots of freshwater with bass in the brush and trees. Jigs and soft plastics are standard, but spinnerbaits and small crankbaits in some areas. Bass on humps and pockets Carolina rigs and big crankbaits. Crappie are moving around a lot because of the freshwater. Some are still shallow and others are on timber and brush in 20-27 feet using minnows and jigs. Catfish are moving to the points and creek channels on cut bait. White bass are roaming the points using crankbaits and spoons the best. Report by Captain Lynn Atkinson, Reel Um N Guide Service. Water is currently 5.1 feet high and rising 2 inches every 12 hours. Large populations of fish, shallow and flooded bushes and grass using a hollow body frog, quarter, three eights, and half ounce Texas rig to flip bushes. Also targeting secondary and main Lake shallow points for offshore schools using deep diving crankbait or Carolina rigs. Report by Captain Hank Harrison, Double H Precision Fishing.

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