Almost Sneaking In

When our State’s south zone, dove season opened in 1967 my Dad had just retired and I had received a nice promotion from the large computer company that I worked for. Because of the promotion my ex wife and I had sold our old home and bought another. Like so many times happens, our move-in date slipped a month and we had to find an apartment for our growing family; she and I and two boys, one 4 and the other, 11 months old. Storing most of our stuff we found a nice, two-bedroom one on Bellaire Blvd.

As usual, my Dad and I opened the south zone dove season south of Houston limiting out, see my post on November 17, 2008, “[Vacek’s]” and the Monday afternoon following the opener, my family and my Mom and Dad, drove out to see how the construction was progressing on our new home, progressing very slowly, of course! As we drove out Bellaire Blvd and crossed Highway 59 (the freeway was just under construction), south of Braes Bayou, my Dad and I noticed a lot of cars parked along the roadside and out in the cut, milo fields beside the road people were moving around, looked like hunters to me and one quick left turn confirmed this!

At this time, Houston had just passed a million folks and the city limits in our part of town had just been extended out past Gessner Rd. and the hunters were at least two miles out into the “country”. We watched them hammering away at the doves coming in to feed in the milo field, however one problem with this set up, the land was owned by a local oilman and real estate developer and later one of the “powers” behind construction of the Astrodome. He was also one of the benefactors of the Houston Medical Center.

My Dad and I got out of the car and talked to a hunter just going out into the field and asked him if he had permission to hunt in this spot? “No”, he replied, adding as he hurried out to get into the fun, “I was told this was an open spot since the construction would eventually eliminate most of the grain field.”

The next day, 3:30 in the afternoon found my Dad and I hunkered down with fifty or so other hunters in the milo field awaiting the doves. Our wait was a short one, we enjoyed some fine shooting and within an hour we both had our limits. We repeated this, limiting out, for the next three afternoons and after our Friday hunt and we had cleaned the birds, we hosted a tasty, dove, cook out for our apartment dwellers.

This was fine shooting while it lasted, but the road construction moved on, progress came to southwest Houston and today, the grain field is gone and the part of the area south of the bayou is taken up with a shopping center and the other part, to the north, is a nature conservancy.