Written By Casey Hartwell
The Best Loads For Dove Season
It’s that time of year again when the air cools slightly, and the familiar soft cooing of doves fills the air. Yes, dove season is upon us, and it’s time to gear up for some spectacular hunting experiences!
Picking the right dove hunting load can make or break your experience. The right load can deliver efficient, clean, ethical shots, contributing to a successful hunt.
To help you make the right choice, let’s take a deeper dive into the best loads for dove season.
Winchester AA has been a beloved choice among hunters for years, and it’s easy to see why. Their 12-gauge, 2¾-inch, 1⅛-ounce, No. 8 shot, traveling at 1,200 feet per second (fps), is an ideal balance of power and shot density for hunting doves. The consistent patterns and manageable recoil make this load a dove season favorite.
The Federal Game-Shok line provides excellent performance at a wallet-friendly price. The Hi-Brass 12-gauge, 2¾-inch, 1¼-ounce, No. 7½ shot, moving at 1,330 fps, gives hunters an extra punch to reach doves on the wing at a variety of ranges. This load has earned a reputation for its reliability and effectiveness, especially for hunters who like to take longer shots.
The Remington Nitro-Steel 12-gauge, 2¾-inch, 1⅛-ounce, No. 7 shot at 1,275 fps is another excellent choice. It provides superb stopping power with impressive velocity, ensuring a clean, efficient kill. Plus, its pattern consistency is ideal for those challenging shots that dove hunting often presents.
For hunters looking for a non-toxic, eco-friendly option, the Kent Bismuth Upland loads are a great choice. These 12-gauge, 2¾-inch, 1⅛-ounce, No. 6 shot loads offer high performance, maintaining incredible velocity at 1,350 fps. The Bismuth pellets have a density close to lead, providing excellent lethality on doves without harming the environment.
Don’t be misled by the name; the Fiocchi Golden Pheasant shells are superb for dove hunting. Their 12-gauge, 2¾-inch, 1⅜-ounce, No. 7½ nickel-plated lead shot at 1,250 fps ensures good penetration and excellent pattern density. They’re a bit more pricey, but they are worth every penny for hunters who demand premium performance.
When selecting the best loads, remember that each dove hunting situation is unique. Factors such as your shotgun’s gauge, choke, and personal shooting style all play a role in determining what load is best for you. Always pattern your shotgun with different loads to find the most effective for your situation.
On that note; If you’re looking for the perfect shotgun for dove season, we’ve got some recommendations for The Best Shotguns for Dove Hunting.
So, there you have it — the top picks for dove hunting loads this season. Choose wisely, stay safe, and, most importantly, enjoy the thrill that only dove season can bring. Happy hunting, Hunt Bums!
Remember, every hunt is an opportunity to learn, respect nature, and foster ethical hunting practices. Let’s keep the spirit of the hunt alive!
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