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I hunted the Yakima area and it was very poor hunting. I scouted for a day and a half and we had a hard time finding fields that had a decent number of birds. Fair number of wheat fields in the Toppenish valley, but very few birds compared to years ago. The nights were getting very cold (40 degrees ) and a few sprinkles the evening before. We got to the field we picked very early, got our chosen spot and waited and waited. First light had a small handfull of birds coming back out of the field and I got the only one I shot at. Sun came up and they just weren't there. People started leaving the field after about an hour of probably not seeing more than a dozen birds in the whole field. The hardest part was this was my 11 year old son's first hunting trip. He got his certificate this summer and spent the weekend driving around with me, only to not get a single shot off. We ran off to another field that was a poor backup and came up empty there too. Pretty desparate to find something, I went to a little hidden area that I knew about that birds sometimes went to get gravel and water. Finally stumbled onto a couple birds, he got a shot at a dove and dropped it. I'm not sure who was more surprised that he hit it, or who was happier. It took a while of searching in the sagebrush to find it, but we finally did and after that it didn't really matter if we saw another one or not. Mission accomplished. We got shots at another 4 or 5 birds and I picked up a couple and he took some shots. He got to shoot at some real birds and even though he only got one, that was all he needed to have a great day of hunting. I've shot more doves than I can count and can't remember the last time I didn't limit, but this was still the best dove hunt I've had. Worst shooting ever as far as numbers of doves, but the joy in my boys voice made me happy to go home with 4 birds in the truck. He couldn't have been happier. However, it might be time to start looking for a new area to hunt.



Our young springer had a great day too. She didn't have a very busy day of retrieving, but she did find a couple that I dropped and retrieved them very nicely, including one across a small irrigation ditch. Not a tooth mark on a single one of the birds. The loose feathers didn't seem to bother her at all. She had fun, we had fun, it was a great day of hunting.
 

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That's great! Wonderful pictures and congrats of the first bird! I hope it is the first of many for him!
 

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Awesome stuff. I still remember my first dove. I remember where it was at, when it was, my uncles lever single shot .410 i was using, just a great memory and one you both will never forget as I shared that with my dad too. Im planning on heading over to toppenish this weekend and am a little disappointed about the report though. That sucks there isnt very many birds in the area. I didnt watch the weather the past week or so over there but im guessing it was crap like over here and that affected the birds. Hopefully our little secret squirrel spot will produce some action for us. Anywho, congrats again for you and your son.


-Fin
 

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Right on David!! Congrats to your son and it was a pleasure hunting with this past spring at the Gamefishin event. Tup:
 

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Congrats guys! I'll be heading over in a couple of weeks so my boy and new pup can hunt some upland on the youth opener!
 

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September 1 st, was always the day we hoped the weather would hold and the Dove's would not head South. When they didn't it was Heaven, especially for a Kid searching for his first Dove. " TRAPPER "

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