Improve Dove Odds With Timing, Practice, Shot Pattern

Improve Dove Odds With Timing, Practice, Shot Pattern
Doves can fly at speeds over 50 mph. Are you ready? (Shutterstock image)

You may be ready for the upcoming dove season, but consider these important tips to increase your odds.

By John Felsher

Extremely swift and agile fliers, doves can exceed 55 miles per hour, but appear to go much faster with what seems like an uncanny ability to avoid shots.

The best way to hit these birds is by bringing them in close and using the largest shot pattern possible.


dove season
Doves can fly at speeds over 50 mph. Are you ready? (Shutterstock image)


Doves might go down with only one pellet hitting the right place, but placing that pellet can sometimes embarrass even the best wing shots.

More G&F Dove Season Stories

A dove traveling 50 miles per hour will cover about 73 feet in one second. High-speed shot might take about a tenth of a second to go 40 yards, so shooters need to lead doves accordingly.

For closer shots and slower targets, decrease the lead. At long distances, increase the lead.

Before firing at live doves, spend some time on a range busting clay targets. Nothing helps wingshooting abilities like intense practice.

Try shooting targets flying in different directions at various speeds until the process of shouldering the shotgun and pointing it toward the target just becomes instinctive.

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