Doves & Pigeon
South Africa has an abundance of pigeons and doves
And they occur throughout the country. When shooting near/in sunflower and sorghum fields you will find considerable numbers of all below-mentioned species. The rock pigeons are the most challenging pigeon in the world; it’s build like a fighter jet and can swirl and dive in a split second and disappear right in front of your eyes.
With three dove species and the rock pigeons together in the same field, you will have to adjust to the different speeds and heights these birds fly at. This kind of hunting is much more sporty than shooting only one species.
The rock pigeon (large reddish-grey pigeon of about 34cm ) is found almost everywhere in South Africa and has adapted to all conditions, living along cliffs, trees, towns and cities. The eye is yellow and a red ring of skin surrounds it and the legs and feet are purplish red. They are very strong fliers and travel long distances to feed – sometimes appearing in large numbers in sunflower and sorghum fields. This is without a question the most challenging game bird in South Africa that can be legally hunted. Even to the very best shot, this incredibly fast flying, unpredictable pigeon that is a master of weaving and plunging will test your skills to the limited. It can fly sometimes very high and other times very low over fields at breath taking speeds. It is extremely important that the hunter is well hidden in the sunflower fields or put in a camouflage hide because these birds have fantastic eyesight.
The redeye dove (large pinkish colored dove of about 32cm) with orange or red eyes, and red ring of skin around the eye. It has adapted living in urban areas and prefer large trees in parks and gardens. Shooting the redeye dove can provides very good shooting in a radius of 3 to 8 km around towns and cities. They are also fast and elusive, but they play more within the rules than the rock pigeons.
They are commonly found in sunflower and sorghum fields from midmorning till dusk.
The cape turtledove is a medium sized grey dove with a black half-collar on the back of the neck of 28cm and is found throughout the country in very large numbers. It has a dark brown eye, and no bare skin around the eye. It is black with purplish-red legs. They are very common in most urban areas were they favor large to small trees in gardens and in parks. Around towns and cities in sunflower and sorghum fields they offer very good sporting shooting because they are fast but tend to fly lower as the rock pigeon giving the hunter a better opportunity to shoot. It seems that the hunter don’t need to be so well hidden as with the rock pigeon but it is still to your advantage if you use the natural cover
The laughing doves (small pinkish colored dove of about 20 cm) and are found throughout South Africa in very large numbers close to urban areas. Their wing feathers are blue-grey with a grey colored head, neck and under parts. Shooting the laughing dove can provides very good shooting in a radius of 3 to 5 km around towns and cities near sunflower and sorghum fields were they will feed during the day. These doves are not as fast as the other species but it is still a challenge to shoot them.
Season : All year but from April to end of Jun is the best.
Bag limit : No bag limit on doves and pigeons.