This weekend I decided to go out dove hunting with a good friend. We headed up north on a tip and hunted near Cordes Lakes. I am pretty sure that neither of us have an eye for dove. I think total for the day we each saw and shot at one, with no hits. After awhile we gave up on the dove and decided to do some calling with my FoxPro caller. We put in two 20 minute stands and didn’t see a thing. The whole area was infested with giant grasshoppers, maybe the foxes and coyote are full up on them. I have never seen such big grasshoppers or so many in one place.
Even if the hunting was lacking, it was a great way to spend a day with a great friend. He has a lot more experience dove hunting then I do, and he did his best to pass some knowledge on to me without actually shooting at anything. This got me pretty fired up about hunting doves, so I decided to head out on my own the next day.
I overslept in the morning and had a few things to do around the house. So I made plans to hit the road about 3pm, which would give me the last 2 hours of the day to hunt. I decided to hit up some of the big cattle tanks West of Four Peaks. With all the rain this season I figured that they would be full, and there is no ranching going on out there so I wouldn’t have cows to deal with.
On the way out to Four Peaks, just a couple miles passed the Verde River, I had to swerve to miss a desert tortoise that was crossing the 87. It was right in the middle of the highway, so I spun around, flipped on my emergency lights, and stood in the highway in a blaze orange shirt directing traffic around it until it was well on its way.
When I got to the area I wanted to hike into I grabbed a box of dove shot for my 870, and an extra 3 rounds of Dead Coyote #T shot. I had my FoxPro SpitFire in my backpack and figured that I could do some calling if the dove hunting didn’t work out. Within the first few steps from the road I nearly stepped on the biggest desert cottontail that I have ever seen. It looks like the rain has done more than just green up the desert, I will be chasing those fat rabbits in about 2 months.
The rest of the hike to the tank had me jump 3 coveys of Gambel’s quail and one big red striped rosy boa.
I hiked around the tank a few times, there were a bunch of coyote tracks in the soft sand. I also found some bobcat tracks, and the tracks of 2 other hunters, one with a big dog. Most of these were a few days old, but the coyote tracks were fresh. So not seeing any doves I decided to change tactics.
I hiked just short of a mile from the tank and set up the caller on top of a staghorn cactus. Then I climbed a hill about 30 yards, and put the three Dead Coyote ammo in the 870.
About 7-8 minutes into the call I saw some movement to my right. A grey fox was coming up out of a rocky wash and headed right to my caller. I waited until he was about 15 yards from the caller before I dropped him.
Normally at this point I would shut off the caller and pick up the fox. But I decided to sit tight and let it run. About 2 minutes later, another fox came up out of the same wash. This one was following right in the first ones steps and I wasn’t sure what it would do when it came up on the first one. So I shot it about 60 yards out from where I was sitting.
This was my first fox ‘double’, and on a dove hunt. Not what I drove out there for, but it definitely made my day.