Three dove hunts stand out. The first was when I was probably my daughter's age, back at the old ammo plant outside of Grand Island. It was the first bird I ever shot, and it was a mix of elation, power, and sadness. I also remember my Dad suffering like hell through a ragweed attack.
The second hunt was one we did a few years ago with some buddies north of Manhattan. We took position around a burned wheat field. It was a great time... and the only time I can brag about taking my limit of 15 dove with one shell shy of a box (with my 28 gauge, no less). And yes, I have witnesses.
The final one was on the Nooner Ranch outside of Hondo, Texas. I never have and never will see more birds that my Dad and I saw that opening day. We shot our limit in 30 minutes or so... and that was with some pretty poor flock shooting, I suspect.
Anyhow, the season is here, and I plan on taking part very, very soon. And the opportunities only get more abundant from here. So if you see me with a little extra spring in my step, now you know why.
Be safe out there, everyone.