This Man Needs a Psychiatrist

This past August 28, I visited Scott and White Clinic in Temple, Texas to have the skin Docs look at a small, rough place below my left eye. My personal diagnosis was a pre cancerous spot they would freeze off and I would then continue to prepare for the opening of Dove season the coming Saturday, September 1. One look at the spot under my eye and my Doctor went into high gear, not even bothering to do a biopsy, calling in the head of the Dermatology Department for a look, scheduling me for surgery at 8:00 AM the next morning and chiding me for not noticing the spot sooner.

The squamous cell cancer, all of 7/8” long and 3/8” wide and deep, was removed in its entirety and as I was being closed up, 30 stitches worth, I remarked to my Doctor that Dove season opened on the coming Saturday and I saw no reason why I couldn’t shoot my gun since the incision and stitches were on the left side of my face. With my comment, he placed his sewing tools on the table and announced to his staff in attendance, “This man doesn’t need a surgeon, he needs a psychiatrist!” Finishing the job he told me no shooting for 4 weeks but I could play softball in a national championship tournament in 3 weeks, but be sure to cover and pad the incision.

A sunny afternoon, the last week in September, found me at a friends place in San Saba, Texas loading up my Remington 1100 for a late season opener. Being almost a month after opening day, the swarms of White Wing and Mourning Doves were now replaced by scattered bunches and the shooting was spotty, just like I knew it would be. However, it is better to be out hunting than to be on the DL!


Notice the difference in size between the smaller White Wing and larger “Ring Neck Dove”. In Texas there is no closed season or bag limit on Ring Necks.

Shortly, several large Doves, not White Wings Doves, Zenaida Asiatica, are boring in on me and picking one out I swing, and BAM, the bird crumples. I retrieve and identify it as a, what we call, Ring Neck Dove, better known as an European Collared Dove, Streptopelia Decacto. This bird is twice as big as a Mourning Dove and half again as big as a White Wing and just as tasty as a Mourner, especially if you wrap them in bacon and tuck a sliced jalapeno in their breast bone cavity.

The White Wings are flying way high and by leading them 3 or 4 feet, I knock down several, ending up with a nice mess of birds. Not a scorching, gun barrel bird hunt, but they’ll taste great on the grill (especially wrapped in bacon, stuffed with a slice of jalapeno)!