Sitting on a dove field in early September waiting on the first doves to fly in has a certain appeal to it, despite boiling hot Georgia temperatures.
Dove hunting, one of Georgia’s greatest hunting traditions, kicks off on Saturday, Sept. 2. With it, fields that were prepared in the spring will be filled with hunters in camo looking for delicious doves for the grill.
There are some great public-land dove-hunting opportunities that you can check out on pages 108-109. Some of those shoots are quota-only, while others are open to whoever wants to show up. Deadline to apply for dove quota hunts is Aug. 15, so act fast.
If you’re looking for a private field, a number of options are below. You’ll see a variety of dates, amenties and field sizes for these shoots. GON doesn’t endorse any of the below shoots. We simply provide this free opportunity for dove-field owners to fill their fields, while providing our readers with places to shoot birds and make a fun transition from summer fishing to fall hunting.
Dodge Co.: Shoot Date—Sept. 2, 4, Nov. 25. December and January will be extra and depends on migratory birds. Field—Four fields totaling 250 acres planted in corn and sunflowers Sept. 2, 4. Peanuts and wheat in November. Cost—$150 lets you hunt all three shoots. Kids younger than 16 sitting with a parent is $75. Amenities—BBQ cookout Sept. 2 for the 23rd annual dove shoot at the farm. Catered by award winning Holy Smokes BBQ from Dublin. Bathroom, skeet shooting, fishing and opening-day raffles for two guns and two coolers, along with other prizes. Contact—Radford Dunlap, (478) 960-0103 or radford firstname.lastname@example.org. I also do other dove shoots in other counties throughout the year if you are interested.
Dooly Co.: Shoot Date—Sept. 2, 4. Field—120-acre field planted in millet. Cost—$125 lets you hunt both hunts. Only selling 50 spots. Amenities—BBQ lunch Sept. 2. Contact—Call or text Caleb Justice, (478) 972-9321.
Elbert Co.: Shoot Date—Opening day; call for later shoots. Field—Two fields totaling 18 acres in millet. Cost—$150 for opening day. Call for later shoots. Amenities—Cabin rental, bathroom, RV hook-ups, BBQ lunch, drinks. Contact—Scott, (678) 361-7107.
Emanuel Co.: Shoot Date—Sept. 2, 17. Call for other dates. Field—10-acre field planted in sorghum, sunflower and corn. Cost—$100/gun; 16 and younger free with a paid adult. $275 for first-season pass. Amenities—Primitive camping, grill will be provided if needed. Paper plates, etc. Bottled water. Contact—Kevin, (478) 550-5308.
Glascock Co.: Shoot Date—Sept. 2, 16; Oct. 14; Dec. 2, 30; Jan. 13. Field—45 acres of sunflowers, wheat and millet. Cost—Shoot all six shoots for $400. Amenities—Lunch Sept. 2. Contact—Bayne Kelley, (706) 830-6015.
Jones Co.: Shoot Date—Sept. 2-3. Field—50-acre field planted in browntop millet and milo. Cost—$200/gun for both days; 10 spots remain. Amenities—Drinks and clean birds on site. Contact—Grady Miller, (478) 986-7684.
Lamar Co.: Shoot Date—Sept. 2. Seven more hunts on Saturday afternoons in Sept., Oct., Nov. and Dec. Dates have not been set yet. All hunts will take place at Red Bone Hunting Preserve and will be done through the purchase of a season pass. No daily hunting. Field—Several large fields that rotate after each hunt. Planted in corn, millet and sunflowers. Cost—$550 for a season pass.Amenities—Opening day BBQ chicken lunch prior to hunting; late October wild-game supper with live music; dove stand location by lottery drawing. In operation since 1965 with annual dove and quail hunts. Contact—Floyd Moye, (770) 358-1891 or www.redbonehunting.com.
Madison Co.: Shoot Date—Opening day and throughout season. Field—Four fields totaling 100 acres in white proso millet, browntop and sunflowers. Cost—$100 opening day, $200 season pass. Amenities—BBQ lunch, clays course, bathrooms, pole barn rest area. Contact—South Fork Hunting Preserve, 1211 Veterans Dr., Danielsville. Call Colby Phillips, (706) 255-9524 or Jacob Nash, (706) 255-6372.
Spalding/Pike Co.: Shoot Date—Sept. 2, 9. Field—Four fields ranging in size from 30 to 65 acres. Planted in browntop millet. Cost—Will lease entire field or it will be $125/gun. Contact—Alan Mobley, (770) 560-3441.
Taliaferro Co.: Shoot Date—Sept. 2. Rain date is Sept. 3. This is the annual Claibourne Darden dove-field fund-raiser for SEEDS. Cost—$125/shooter. Sponsorship spots $250. If you have a youth hunter 17 or younger, and he or she hunts from your stand, you can both attend the barbecue and hunt for an additional $50. Amenities—BBQ lunch. Contact—GON beginning Aug. 16, (800) 438-4663.
Washington Co.: Shoot Date—Hosted by Oconee Ridge Outfitters on Sept. 2, 4, 16. Other shoots may take place throughout the seasons. Please call for information. Field—Sept. 2, 42-acre field in sunflowers, standing wheat, corn, proso, sorghum and browntop millet. Sept. 4, 23-acre field planted with sunflowers, browntop millet, proso and sorghum. Sept. 16, same field as Sept. 2.
Cost—Sept. 2 is $125; Sept. 4 is $100; Sept. 16 is $75.
Amenities—Sept. 2, BBQ chicken plates at 11:15 a.m. Sept. 4, 16: Lunch is extra and will be served at 11:15 a.m. Shooting starts at 12 p.m. For Sept. 4, 16 hunts, lodging and combo hog hunt packages are also available. Call for availability.
Contact—Rusty Rhodes (478) 232-2559. Austin Rhodes (478) 232-1275 (after 5 p.m.). www.oconeeridge.com.
Washington Co.: Shoot Date—Sept. 2, 4. Other shoots will be scheduled. Field—Five fields totaling 115 acres in sunflowers and corn. Cost—Sept. 2, $135. Other shoots $50/shoot. Amenities—Sept. 2 BBQ and gun raffle. Contact—Bill Hartley, (478) 640-1001. Matt Hartley, (478) 232-5161 (c). Meeting location at 1276 Tyson Hartley Rd., Tennille, 31089.
2017-18 Dove Dates
Sept. 2-17; Oct. 14-Nov. 2
Nov. 23-Jan. 15