I have been dove hunting for most of my life and have been lucky enough to generally have good places to hunt, especially on opening day. Where I have really improved my success is in the weeks following opening day. The birds are a little wary and the numbers of hunters have greatly diminished leading to little or no pressure on the birds.
This is the time when motion decoys really come into play. Many afternoons I have headed to the fields, set up a spinning wing dove decoy with static decoys on the ground around the spinner and before dark, I have a limit of doves in the bucket.
A spinning wing dove is so versatile it will be effective no matter where you hunt. Just like ducks, doves are attracted to flash. The realistic spinning wings and the postured bodies of a motion decoy draw birds in like you would never believe. When spinning, the color-contrasted wings on the decoy create the appearance of the flapping of a landing dove. Once the doves get close enough to spot the static decoys in a feeding pattern around the spinner, they make the fatal mistake of setting their wings and it’s only a matter of time before I am wrapping them with bacon and dropping them on the grill. A dove’s lifespan is not long so they never get a chance to become acclimated to a motion decoy making the longevity of its effectiveness remarkable.
I usually set up on a tree line and put up a MOJO® Dove Tree complete with a VooDoo spinning wing dove decoy and I put 10 to 15 static doves around the spinner to mimic feeding birds. I place the Dove Tree about 20 yards in from my location. One thing I have found that usually holds true is the first 6 or 8 dove that work your spread will generally show you how the majority of the birds will work during the remainder of the hunt. If your spread doesn’t include motion, now is the time to change that and I promise, you will be glad you did.
Motion decoys don’t make every hunt a slam dunk, but they will improve your overall success during the long haul of the season. It is well worth the small amount of money you will spend on a good dove setup. It doesn’t take but one hunt, where it seems every dove in the country comes straight into your spread and you will ask yourself — why haven’t I been using a motion dove decoy before now?
By Mike Morgan
“He who has the most decoys wins!”
-Phil Hechler TDHA member