Dove hunting is not as easy as what you see in the movies, particularly if you are just stepping into the hunting realm for the first time. There are many things that you will have to prepare, such as your hunting gear. But did you know that this also includes your attire? Well, now you do!
As much as I would like to say that you can look fancy while shooting into the sky with an expensive vest or sundress, I cannot. There are specific attire and accessories that you must have on or with you when you go dove hunting. So, what are they? I will offer dressing tips from head to toe. Find out by continuing to read!
For your head
Starting with your head, you will need a well-ventilated hat. Among the materials that exist in the market, my favorite is cotton. You can find cotton hats just about anywhere. Plus, they are very affordable.
When choosing your hat, opt for a ball cap or a brimmed hat. Do not go for hats that are brightly colored because they will flare, signaling to doves to stay away—instead, select ones with camouflage or natural colors. Save the fancy hats for another occasion.
For your eyes and ears
Going lower to the eyes, you will need shooting glasses. These not only protect your eyes but also help you see better, especially if you are glaring at the blazing sun. In some states, you must hunt with shooting glasses on.
Check out these best-selling glasses: https://amzn.to/3x3KpUD
At around the same level as your eyes, you will need accessories for your ears. They are just as vulnerable and in need of protection. Before you head out to hunt, make sure that you have earplugs. You can also choose to wear headsets or muffs, but in my opinion, these alternatives trap heat and nasty sweat. Nonetheless, there are many available options in the market. You can buy earplugs online or in physical stores. Local hunt shops may also be an excellent place to start your search.
For your body
Now, moving onto your main body area, a plain T-shirt in natural colors, like tan, brown, or camo, is best. If you intend to buy something new for your dove hunting venture, I suggest you get a loose-fitting shirt.
I know many of my hunting friends like to wear tight shirts, but loose-fitting ones tend to be more comfortable. If you are like my partner and are “allergic” to long-sleeved shirts, use insect shield sleeves.
But, I think it is better to wear long sleeves. Your skin will, without a doubt, appreciate that you have protected it from the angry sun and hungry mosquitoes. However, long sleeves can be difficult to bear under intense heat. So, it would be best if you got shirts that are lightweight and breathable. The same applies to your pants.
Both short and or long pants work but if you typically attract many mosquitoes, go for long ones. On online hunting forums, it is often recommended that you get pants with plenty of pockets to stay organized even while you are on the move.
For both tops and bottoms, you must avoid wearing white or very light colors. Even though these colors will reflect the sunlight and be less brutal on your skin, they are bright and can easily be noticed by doves at a distance.
Along with this advice is another quite significant one: no blaze orange. Many beginner hunters make this mistake because orange apparel is often cited as a necessity in hunting. While this is true, it is not welcomed in dove hunting. The vibrant orange is like a red flag to doves! They will sense it as danger and flee before you can even pull out your rifle.
For your feet
Moving onto the feet, you will need appropriate socks and boots. For socks, you should look for ones that have breathable fibers. Otherwise, your feet will become slimy and smelly!
You can consider merino wool socks - one of the most popular types that I see dove hunters using. In addition to socks, get a solid pair of hunting boots. They will protect you against elements and creatures like snakes. To ensure safety, you can also search for specific snake-proof boots.
For maximum performance and added comfort
Apart from the essential apparel, there are other things that you should bring along with you to hunt doves. Decoys and lures are neat accessories that you can have to attract doves. If you want to optimize your hunting venture, these will help.
Usually, dove hunters will place them on the ground or in the trees. The doves will come over, and while they are inspecting the decoys and lures, you have the chance to capture them. On top of that, you can use wind-spinning models to ensure that your decoys represent life-like behaviors and do not send the doves off!
Another accessory that you can consider adding to your shopping list before dove hunting is a hunting belt. This is sometimes also referred to as a dove belt. It is an alternative to the typical hunting vest. I find them less bulky and intrusive when I am trying to aim for the doves. You can choose from many affordable but quality variants that are available in the market. Get the one that fits your budget and style!
For added comfort, you can pack hunting stools and coolers. Though these are not a part of what you put on your body, you will regret it if you neglect them. They will make your hunting venture less tedious and more entertaining.
So, together we have gone through what to wear for dove hunting. You now have an excellent checklist from top to bottom before you head out to hunt. Hopefully, with these essential tips, you will have an effective hunting venture.
If you think there is anything else we should add, or if you are a seasoned hunter willing to pass down “hunting hacks,” feel free to leave a comment. We look forward to hearing from you!