Did anyone get drawn for one of the DFG dove hunts? Has anyone ever been on one in the past? Good experience, bad experience, or what? I ask because I've been drawn, but I have not heard anything positive about these hunts yet.
I did not apply this year as I have another spot, but I have gone on these hunts several times and on each one I got birds.
Where did you get drawn?
a few years ago I was drawn for Dos Amigos or something like that...9-10 miles south of Los banos - right off the I5 highway. I got there and was told by the DFG guy that was there to check us in, that the seed on all the sunflowers had fallen off in the past week and the mice had eatern it so there wouldn't be any birds. He suggested we try someplace else if I had one. Well, my brother and I did not have anywhere else to go, so we stayed and decided to see what it was like. Only about 4 other hunters stayed, and we all did GREAT!. The birds were all over the place. It is a small area and looks like nothing, but it sure was hot and heavy that morning. We ended the morning with 8 each. Should have limited out but missed a lot of shots.
I once hunted the Mendota hunt (Traction ranch area). We got in using the DFG hunt and had a few birds each, plus we did some scouting for pheasant season later on. They had rows of corn out there and we scared out several pheasants.
And we hunted another one (name I can't remeber) but it also produced some birds.
The nice thing was they limited the number of guys hunting so it was a lot safer than many refuge hunts I have been on. So, where are you headed? And, good luck!
The key to that piece of property was the sunfowers they planted. Although the mice had their fair share, the birds still worked the area (maybe from eating there a few days before). That was a morning shoot. Not sure how they did that afternoon/evening. Hunting the afternoon will allow you to see the area in daylight first and maybe getting there a little early you can see where they birds are flying. Again, if they haven't planted there, it could be a tough go. I wonder if you can check with DFG and see what plantings they made and how it looks for the opener?
I do remmber that we set out almost directly east from the parking lot they set up. We walked straight out, and then a little to the left where the plantings had been made. We sat down on the edge of the plantings and that is where we got them. Most flew over the planted area and then we got our shots as they passed into the clearings...easier to find too.
Most shooting was from that planting and around to the north...the guys that set out in the dark walking south east didn't do as well. Bring some binoculars and that may help.
Good Luck..you will have to let is knwo how it turned out.
I've been fortunate enough to be selected for the past 2 years and they were both great. Last year was an easy limit this year I ended up in the wrong spot (my fault) and had to move closer to their line of flight. It was a fun shoot anyway. The DFG at both of these hunts were very helpful.