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Dove Hunting and how to shoot them

Doves are small with a lightweight bone structure. It doesn’t take a heavy load to knock one down as it only takes one pellet to kill. Cartridges with shot sized 7 1/2 work very well and you will find you won’t need much more oomph than that. When it comes to choice of gun a little 20-gauge shotgun is the ideal choice of weapon and of course would be kinder on the shoulder. The choice to open up the choke for a more spread out pattern would work well for coverage on the doves too at a reasonable range. However, a 12-gauge is heavy and can lead to an aching shoulder after an afternoon of shooting, but it does provide more shot in the air and will minimise recoil if it is balanced nicely.


Below gives you a few tips to help you bring down some Argentinean Doves and enjoy your shooting efficiently.

  • Birds that are incoming or outgoing are easier to hit than birds that are flying across in front of you as you don’t have to assess their speed and line as much.


  • For lead purposes you will need to shoot slightly in front of the bird. A good rule of thumb for knowing how much to lead the bird is to move with the dove until you see sky between the muzzle and the bird. Then, by keeping that swinging movement, pull the trigger.


  • Always, always move mount shoot. Give special attention to moving the muzzle at all times keeping that movement fluid.


  • The chance to shoot as many as you desire or as little as you want is the deal in Argentina. Ideally it is the best place to practice your shooting as you will be inundated with doves flooding in to the shooting areas and a good idea to see exactly what you’re up against. They say it’s good to see different types of targets and even to have a go will all be experience. What’s the worst that could happen? You will miss.


  • There are advantages to shooting different areas the lodge will situate you. They will make sure you shoot near the different roosts and fields which will give you a variation of topography which in turn gives you a range of targets to shoot.


  • Like a Pigeon the Dove is small, fast and erratic to shoot so you will need to have your wits about you


  • Keep the gun relaxed and soft at waist height to allow quick mounting into the shoulder.


  • Don’t lock onto far incoming birds too early as this will throw your concentration and possibly have you mount the gun too early in preparation. Therefore overthinking and coming off the line is likely.


  • Keep your weight firmly distributed on the front foot when moving into the shot with a supported back foot, lean into your shot with commitment which will allow for an easier swing.


  • Try and stand square to the direction of birds coming in as your line of swing won’t be affected should you need to move to either side. If you were to stand more side on you’ll run out of swing and end up shooting under your bird.


  • Keep your head pressed into your stock so that you don’t lift your head and shoot over the birds. This is very common as people tend to “Look” for the bird thus lift their head off the stock.


  • Keep your eye on the flocks and be ready for snap shooting as birds will be coming from all directions, angles and speeds and can prove very tricky if you’re not set up correctly.


  • The swing through method works well with capturing the line and speed of a bird, enabling you for a smoother swing and clean kill.


If you are looking for your next adventure and would love to experience the Dove shooting in Argentina dream then why not take a look at the amazing lodges which offer luxury accommodation, food and wines and of course the best shooting you could ever wish for.

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