Dove Hunt at RRR Ranch

On Saturday, September 26, Warren Blesh had some hunters come out to his RRR Ranch in Mills County, Texas for a dove hunt. Mickey Donahoo, a softball buddy, and I were two of the lucky invitees. For almost all of the hunters it was a perfect day, not too hot, a few clouds and light wind, but for me it was a challenge.

Two weeks before I had undergone extensive surgery on my nose, including a skin graft, and my doc was hesitant to let me hunt. When I told him that I was using a minimum recoil, twenty gauge, shotgun, he relented and said for me not to lift any heavy objects and be sure to wear a surgical mask. The day of the surgery he had given me a supply of masks to be used when I was doing tractor work and mowing my yard. He never mentioned about hunting!

Here, Warren, sitting in his Ranger, is giving some instructions to Mickey, left, and another hunter.

Mickey and I were assigned spots around a newly planted oat field and I snapped this picture of him walking toward his “hide”.

My first dove came in low and as it tried to gain altitude, I blasted it. Retrieving the bird, I checked myself out, no recoil on my shoulder where the skin graft was taken, no injury to my nose since I was careful not to ram it down on to the stock and I looked forward to a great day of gunning!

On the following birds my great day turned sour. Consistently shooting over the doves, my birds down to shots fired was awful. With the surgical mask and bandages on my nose, I couldn’t put my face down on the stock, hence my over shooting. Therefore, I did decline any dramatic, pictures of me in my surgical mask,

Ending the day with five birds for nineteen shots taken, my misses were more than made up by the other hunters, here shown cleaning the days kill.

We take a lot for granted, our health, our physical well being and excellence in what we do, but this hunt was a wake up call for me. Taking it for granted that I would have a successful hunt, my score and birds per shot was awful, but the hunt was a success for a lot of reasons. I met some nice folks, renewed acquaintances with others and, most important, got to be out in God’s great outdoors!