Southern Tradition Of Dove Hunting

Words by Addison Edmonds, Gunner Founder

There’s one weekend I look forward to over all others and that’s Labor Day. It’s the hinge of my year, when summer swings to cooler weather and college football, and the waterfowl migration begins filtering into the South.

Paired with dove hunt, and it’s hard to find me in a better mood.

Addison Edmonds and Gunner going dove hunting

For me – and I think many of us in the South – dove season has never really been about shooting countless boxes of shells or seeing who can kill the most birds. Don’t get me wrong, my mouth waters just thinking about those bacon-wrapped mouthfuls searing on the grill. Little cream cheese, a slice of jalapeno… but this is more about the camaraderie and watching our dogs come to life.

For as long as I can remember I’ve been attending a dove hunt somewhere on opening weekend. If the birds are there, great, that’s just an additive to BBQ, catching up with friends, that good feeling as the starting gate to SEC football flies open – and of course watching my old dog work.

By September Gunner is almost in top form. Getting a few feathers in his mouth are all it takes for him to make the transition into full hunting mode. That said, being September it’s still hot down here, so I always make sure to keep him cool no matter what, even if that means occasionally leaving the field no matter how much I’m shooting.

Most times as the sun begins its retreat into the western horizon, we all gather back at the house or cook shed to watch more football and stuff ourselves with the aforementioned barbeque and all the fixings (cole slaw, baked beans, potato salad, etc.). In my younger days my friends and I were tasked with cleaning everyone’s birds.

For me, it’s something that only happens once a year, twice if I’m really lucky. I try to embrace each moment, knowing that good things are on the horizon as we continue to build one dog crate at a time, providing Man’s Best Kennel for Man’s Best Friend.

Gunner with his first dove, on the very same day Addison picked him up

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