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 (Nov. 30)

GOOD. Water stained; 59 degrees; 4.25 feet low. GOOD. The water level is 167.7 with no generators running. Water temperature at the Dam is 59 degrees. The back feeder creeks are stained and muddy with lots of Fall leaves floating on the surface, and the main lake remains clear. We were blessed with some rain this week 2-3 inches. Not much has changed on the pattern this week. Chatter baits are still producing in 3/8 to 3/4 ounce white, chartreuse, watermelon pepper, and red/black skirts. To cover a lot of water, use a square bill crank bait or a flat side crank bait and smaller rattle traps from 0-8 feet in shad and perch imitation colors and the Rayburn red traps are still working. For deeper Bass, cast a Carolina rig with a worm or lizard. Jigging spoons are still producing quality bass on 1/2 to 3/4 ounce (silver with a white or yellow accent tail feather or a deep diving crank bait in citrus shad and Tennessee shad colors). The jig and pig bite has been strong. Cast your jig to long tapering points that drop off into deep water, the best colors are black and blue, PB&J football jigs 3/8 - 3/4 ounce with a 3-inch matching color craw trailer, and a green pumpkin jig with a chunk style trailer. The Crappie bite is still good in 12-20 feet on the edge of the river channels using 1/16- and 3/32-ounce Wager Baits, #46 Bluegrass, #3 Monkey Milk, #09 Electric Chicken, #10 Black and Chartreuse and small minnows depending on the cloud cover and cooling night temperatures. Now that the lake is at a Winter drawdown, it's prime time to go out scouting for new areas for Springtime fishing. Look for areas like feeder creeks, ditches, man-made structures, creek bends and undercuts, etc. Reminder: Keep and extra set of clothes in a dry bag stowed away on your vessel just in case you get caught in the rain, heavy winds, etc. Hypothermia happens quickly. Good luck and keep casting forward! Report from Master Captain Steve “Scooby” Stubbe, Mudfish Adventures LLC, Orv

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