Dove season is seriously like the New Year of the hunting world. When dove season comes in, you know that all the other seasons are about to come in right behind it. Dove season also means family time, and lots of yummy food. Every year my family hosts a dove shoot so that friends and family can gather together to hunt, eat, cheer on their favorite football teams, and make memories. This year we did something a little different. This year my family allowed me to host an all ladies dove shoot for Wildlife Women. This meant that I would be putting a lot of time into fields the upcoming weeks before opening day.
For four weeks I was on a tractor trying to get everything prepped for opening day. Everyday for a solid week and a half, I would go sit on our dam with my coffee and wait patiently to see if the birds had found their food. It was actually seeming almost impossible. Two weeks, exactly, before opening day; I went an dropped my kiddos off at school and headed to the dam. As I was pulling up, my heart was racing and my stomach was in knots. As I eased up on the dam, I felt tears streaming down my face. They had found the food. Not just a couple, but over 100 birds were flying off the line to the ground. I was so overwhelmed at what I was seeing. I was sitting there watching my hard work unfold before me.
Now your probably wondering why I was crying right? Well my reason for it was pretty solid. This ladies dove shoot was so important to me. I had ladies coming from different counties in Alabama to my event. The best part of it was, the majority of these ladies had never been to a dove shoot. So it was their first time, and for some it was their first time shooting something other than a rifle. Just seeing at all these birds gave me a sense of relief. I knew the ladies would have plenty of birds to shoot at if they continued to stick around. I had practically made a new routine; drop kids off and drink coffee on the dam while bird watching. I did this everyday all the way up to opening day.
The day arrives and I had a total of 8 ladies shooting. It was a perfect number for my setup. Game wardens came and okayed everything, and then we were ready to start. I put ladies out where I think they needed to be. As the shoot started I looked around watching my girls fall in love with a new season. Once the shoot was over it was time to stuff our bellies. We had grilled chicken, baked beans, potato salad, dessert, and sweet tea. As we are eating I am watching these ladies talk about the fun they had and how addicting it became. As they are talking, I am watching NEW friendships form. The beauty of it is, they all share the same passion. Once we are done eating I teach the ladies how to clean doves, with the help of a friend.
Once people were gone, I hopped on the ranger and drove up to the dam. It was peaceful, beautiful, and quiet. I sat there and I just smiled with a extremely happy and grateful heart. I was happy and sad that the hunt was over. Not only did these ladies accomplish their first dove shoot, BUT there was lots of memories made, and new friendships formed. I love what Wildlife Women stands for, and I am so completely blessed to be a part of this amazing group. The feeling that I had after my event is one that I still feel when I look back on it. It’s the feeling of accomplishment, passion, blessed, and just a happy heart. I am looking forward to my next event that is soon coming up.