Well, here we are, May… one-third of the year is behind us. For all practical purposes, hunting season is over until the first Saturday in September when dove season will most likely open here in Louisiana.
Which brings us to food plots. To my knowledge there are two basic types of sunflower seed: large and small. We want the small black seed for our doves. There are two basic small seeds — 90 days and 110 days to maturity. One should find out which seed is economically available.
Our sunflowers should mature before dove season. So back your planting dates up to match your seed maturity dates. I have found planting with a conventional planter in 38-inch or 30-inch rows allows for spraying (herbicide) or cultivating.
Doves like to land and feed in a rather clean open area. Planting near a water source will improve your set up.
If you miss the planting window for the first split of dove season, be ready for planting for the second split, which usually occurs in October in Louisiana.
A quick check with your consultant will provide you with the appropriate herbicide to help keep your sunflowers weed-free.
As always, check with your state conservation law enforcement agency — the feds are always looking for a way to keep us from having a good time.
Those of you who really take dove hunting and shooting serious — go dove hunting in Argentina! If I can do it, you can. I'm telling you, it is all you've ever heard it is. You absolutely cannot believe the numbers of doves. And they are all flying in the same direction — none of the hiding and twisting all around, looking for something that isn't there. I'm telling you, the birds fly in one direction.
I don't know where they are going or where they have been, but for some reason the guides know where to put you. College buddy Jerry McGee of West Plains, Mo., made the trip with me in February. Remember, it's summertime in the southern hemisphere in February. But trips can be arranged from September on.
Today is the day to call Junior Maers in Argentina, cell (54) 9 343 611-8980, fax (54) 343-423-0381 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have any inkling at all of ever going on such a hunt, make this first phone call.
The very next thing to start on is a passport. These are now commonly available at most major U.S. Post Offices. Start now.
Figure out which two shotguns you wish to carry. Junior will make sure your shotguns arrive in Argentina so that you can hunt with them. And, no, you won't have to buy a Benelli or Lord knows what else to hunt. Any good gas-operated semi-automatic will do. Try to have one with screw-in chokes.
You will be hard-pressed, if you really like to shoot, to have a better hunting trip with a buddy or two. While you are deciding on how to go, get on the computer and check air fare from Miami to Santiago, Chile, to Cordoba, Argentina. Jerry and I started planning our trip about this time last year and time flew as we committed on a departure date.
Boy, I would like to see some of the hands from Delta Farm Press get something going (hint, hint) so I could make one more trip before me and Ruff and Chunk go.
If you get a chance, take a kid hunting or fishing. For that matter, take anyone. One doesn't have to kill to enjoy the outdoors.