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The Shotem' and Caughtem' Blog is the place to find the latest reviews and commentary on gear, destinations, conditions, events, and general knowledge to inform our readers and give our opinions to anyone listening.

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Wednesday, 16 August 2017 21:54

It's Dove Season!

Dove Season Baby!

Yes our absolute favorite time of the year is quickly approaching.  Dove season has to be one of our most favorite hunts of the year.  High bag limits and just the overall fun of the hunt makes this one of our most exciting times of the year.  Barring an early cool front to hit our favorite spot we have had the opportunity over the past decade to hunt an outstanding set up when it comes to environment for great dove hunting.  Hopefully some of these key factors will help you find a great spot to hunt these delicious and probably one of the more exciting animals to hunt in our opinion this year.  Favorable weather, in the right spot a large amount of activity during peak hours and the lack f needing to be quiet with your hunting buddies in the field make this a hunt not to miss.

Key Hunting property for Dove

We feel there are four main factors that a perfect dove hunting spot should have in a close proximity to your set up. 

  1. Food
  2. Shelter
  3. Water
  4. Gravel/Sand

Main food sources for dove come in small packages.  Millet, wheat, milo, and sunflowers are probably the top seeds we have seen when harvesting dove.

Shelter in the form of dead branches are the doves favorite roosting place.  If you have ever as we call it "seen someone out planting dead trees", there is a reason.  Dove love them.  We plant dead trees close to our favorite spots in order to not only provide a spot for the dove to rest but a great place for our non moving decoys. 

Water is also needed but not just any pond or watershed will do the trick.  Dove need a pot to be able to land and then walk to a shallow watering hole.  Which means if it rains a good amount a couple days before your hunt....hunting by a water spot will not yield good traffic.  On a dry year it will be the ultimate honey hole for dove.

Lastly is sand or gravel to help digest their meal.  Early evenings and mid mornings the dove will flock to dirt roads, graveled roads etc to find their much needed digestion morsel.  If traffic by your food source and water source is slow during the day I bet if you take a drive you see dove hanging out by the roads.

Once you have harvested your dove we hope you check out this awesome dove recipe as well as post your photos and share your stories with us!


Published in Hunter and Angler Blog
Monday, 25 August 2014 22:20

Dove Season 2014 Tips and Tricks

Preparing for your Dove Hunt

We at Shotem and Caughtem, like every year, can not wait for the beginning of hunting season which of course starts here in Kansas Sept. 1st for Dove.  "The filet mignon of the sky" always comes with its share of tactical problems.  We try to eliminate as much of the guess work out of our hunting experience every year with planning our favorite hunting spot down to the primary elements.  Water, food and gravel.  However, last year we were plagued with a heavy rain prior to opening day.  This created fresh puddles of water all over the property allowing the birds to come to eat where we wanted but find water and gravel anywhere.  It appears we might be running into this same problem again this year.  A hunters life. Even the most prepared get thrown a curve ball which could ruin the hunt.

With that in mind what is the best thing we could do to make sure we still have a successful hunt.  Other hunters.  With all a doves needs met they tend to stay in an area.  However, that area can be expanded with hunting pressure.  Therefore the more hunters the more area we can cover and keep the birds circling to different areas.

Dove Hunting Decoys

Next is a mojo.  Dove like company and will flock to other areas they think they have some company around.  Making sure you have your decoys out will make sure other dove head your way.  For some great decoys you can find out more at www.mojooutdoors.com

The right hunting location

Location, Location, Location.  If water and gravel is abundant your food source will be your most active target.  Wheat stubble, sunflower patches, milo and millet are all high sought after food sources for dove.

We hope you share your tricks before the start of the season in the comment section below and as always share your adventures to the Shotem walls as they happen with our app straight from the field.


Published in News/Events
Tuesday, 12 August 2014 21:58

Dove Season.....Deer Season!

Whether to hunt or fish?  Shotem and Caughtem Season is here...

We at Shotem and Caughtem have been a little side tracked on getting the Iphone app where it needs to be before the official kick off and our favorite time of the year....the second installment of Shotem and Caughtem season.  Yes twice a year those of us who truly have the passion for hunting and fishing get the opportunity to revel in the glory which only comes along twice a year.  That golden age when the weather is perfect to not only wet a line but smell the sweet smell of gunpowder.  As is the case with these times of year we can be overwhelmed with as looney tunes so appropriately put it a new variation of DUCK SEASON......WABBIT SEASON our own dilema of DOVE SEASON.......BUCK SEASON.

Want to get the app for the social network of hunters and anglers?

Prepping for these times, as is the case with any season, is the most important thing we who have a passion for hunting and fishing can do.  As the fishing season heats up and our focus is distracting for the upcoming hunting season many of us will be outdoors getting ready.  Stands go up, feeders put in place, trail cameras are set, yes it is our favorite time of year.  It is why we are working so hard to get the last app completed. But we live for the official hunting season kick off DOVE SEASON!  

Hunting Season Scouting

Scouting for that perfect wheat stubble, milo patch and the Dove crack grain sunflower fields can also be used as a great way to find out what wildlife happens to be traveling around your favorite hunting spots.  Dove need the basic threes.  Food, water and gravel.  You find a spot that has the perfect mix of all three and you have found our heaven.  We are lucky that we get the opportunity to hunt our heaven every year.  A long time ago we met with a person that owns a local gravel pit with some farm land and some large sloping ponds.  The filet mignon of the skies Graceland.  Plant a couple of dead trees by the water and get out the dove mojo and it is time to burn through some shells.  

If you too can find this perfect place in your area we suggest you knock on the door.  No doubt once the weather begins to change they will begin the journey south and these spots will be the honey hole for those of you that love Dove Season as much as we do.  We hope to see all your photos in some of the great new groups started as you too prep for Shotem and Caughtem season! 

Published in News/Events
Wednesday, 05 February 2014 22:56

Best Dove Recipes

It should be of no surprise to many that have read the Shotem and Caughtem blog that dove hunting is one of our favorite times of the year.  So for our Super Bowl bash I decided to bust out our take from this seasons Dove hunt to make one of our favorite cooking recipes.  It has all the makings for the best appetizer for any party, dove, bacon, jalapenos, cream cheese and italian dressing.  We have found this recipe will work with about any lean wild game meat you might want to try but the dove or quail tend to be the perfect size to wrap around a jalapenos without any trimming.  Let us know your favorite recipe in the comment section below.

As seen in the photo above the ingredients are pretty simple and can be modified from the basics.  We had about 30 dove breasts, 12 medium sized jalapenos, package of bacon, bottle of italian dressing (or another oil based dressing), toothpicks and a tub of cream cheese.  The only modification to these basics is in the cream cheese.  We have made the cream cheese a lot of different ways.  Sometimes we will mix different cream cheeses together, use plain and spice it up with about anything you like, or even add other types of peppers to the cream cheese.  Otherwise the time comes in the assembly.

1.  Take your piece of bacon and slice it into two even pieces

2.  Take sliced in half jalapeno (seeds out for milder temp) and use it as a boat and fill it with cream cheese.

3.  Take Dove breast and wrap your cream cheese jalapeno and place it on the bacon.

4.  Wrap the Dove Breast with your bacon and poke a toothpick through it to hold it together.

5.  Once assembled place on a sheet and add dressing over the top.

Cooking these little guys can happen your favorite way.  Smoke, Grill or oven bake these little guys till the bacon has fully cooked.  Note to self keep an eye on the grill and the bacon grease tends to flame up.  We use the low and slow heat method to help prevent chard bacon and a grill fire.  

Another big tip is make sure you wear gloves while working with the peppers at all times.  Otherwise make sure that you have a friend around to help you use the bathroom during the game and take out your contacts before going to bed.  Yes those are a couple of mishaps that happened well before we created this site otherwise you might have seen a photo in the mishaps gallery.  




Tuesday, 03 September 2013 21:48

Opening Weekend Dove Hunting Tips

We at Shotem and Caughtem celebrated our lack of labor to adventure out for the opening day of Dove Season.  As many of you have already read it happens to be one of our favorite hunts.  So lets talk about the patterns that we saw and what we found out about the birds patterns prior to a hopeful cooling of temperatures and another wave of our winged friends from up north.

Water...........lots of water.  In years past you could find a good water hole located to good feed and have a blast hunting.  This year however, the Midwest got a lot of rain just a few weeks prior to last weekend.  Ponds were full, some spilling over, streams too and where we hunted about every hole that could hold some water had some.  Too many water options make for a difficult Dove hunt.  Because they could find water just about anywhere, we could not hunt a pattern.  

Also due to the rain, crops have done really quite well which also made food abundant.  When we were cleaning our birds we found them full of all types of crops.  Millet, corn, sunflower and wheat were found in several different birds.  This meant some where in fields of millet, some in the corn fields and some in the wheat fields.  Again no pattern.  Too many yummy morsels.   

Day two required us to shift tactics.  Active prey equals active hunter.  So we opened  the morning sitting at a spot where we had seen decent flight traffic. As soon as the activity slowed we began walking to where we had seen birds perch from the afternoon heat, going to gravel and going to feed.  Then repeat.  We found this tactic resulted in not only a beautiful walk enjoying the great outdoors but also garnered more action and more Dove.  The picture above was our second morning after just a couple of hours of hunting.  We had not had that good of luck the day prior in such a short amount of time.   

Let us know how your tactics worked this past weekend should you have ventured out in the comment section below or post your photos to the Shotem gallery and tell us your story.


Published in On Location
Thursday, 29 August 2013 18:51

Shotem And Caughtem Season is Here

Yes ladies and gentlemen it has finally arrived.  Since we at Shotem and Caughtem will be preparing our gear and equipment tomorrow for the weekends festivities this will be the last blog till we come back from the field next week.  We will be headed out for our favorite hunting season which is the kick off to the rest of the hunting bragging season, Dove Season Baby!  It is also still warm enough in our area that fishing season is still decent but is quickly going to start winding down.  

Dependent on where you might be heading this weekend the fishing should be decent.  It is definitely towards the end of catching season but the fish still seem to be biting.  Reports we read from around the nation point to pretty slow fishing with the majority saying their catches are coming in very early in the morning or close to dark.  However, most reports show that their catches are down to about 35% of what they were during peak season.  Major lakes of course will be busy with the vacation traffic so back coves and untouched streams will offer the best fishing versus main channels.

Hunting season will begin Sept 1 and go into full swing through the next couple of weeks.  Teal season also opens at the end of next week in most places as well as snipe and rail.  Waterfowl season as well as deer bow season are also quickly on their way.

This should give most outdoorsman and woman a great reason to get out and enjoy the weather as fishing season comes to a break and hunting season turns full swing.  We hope you share your hunting party photos to the gear galleries and your trophies to the Shotem gallery and share your stories.  As always you can leave us a line in the comment section below.  Happy Shotem and Caughtem Labor Day to all!

Published in News/Events
Tuesday, 20 August 2013 22:22

Dove Hunting and The Mojo

It should be no surprise at this point in our start of this social network of hunters that we at Shotem and Caughtem love this time of year.  The weather has began to cool, harvest of crops is near and the smell of gun powder and the thrill of the hunt is just a little over a week away.  In celebration of this wonderful start to a whole new hunting season and one of our favorite animals to hunt, the dove, we felt it only right to tell you about a secret we have known for years to having a successful dove hunt............The Dove Mojo.  We love Dove hunting the most because they require the least concealment when hunting and sometimes even a good sized group of individuals can hunt within yelling distance to increase your chances of a good hunt and break up the silence during slow times.  This is not a hunt that requires you to be alone with your thoughts, waiting in silence, hoping to lure in your prey.  So lets get started on how we find the right place and get it set up.

Dove need three elements to keep them in a good moving pattern.  Food, Water and Gravel.  Here in the Midwest we find most Dove are either in Millet fields, some milo but mostly sunflower fields if you can find them.  Our absolute best hunt was in a quarter section of sunflowers, a pond just in the next section over and surrounding both fields were dirt roads.  It was Dove heaven.  We were able to set up three groups that kept birds turning circles all day.  We had a half dozen planted in different spots in the sunflower field, a couple covering the roads at different locations and some sitting down by the pond.  They had no safe place to find their three basic needs.

What helped get the birds to slow down was appropriate positioning of Dove decoys.  In one of the draws splitting the sunflower fields was a couple bales of hay where we positioned some regular clip decoys and a Mojo decoy.  We used a combination of dead trees and hay to create an environment like the one in the photo in all three of our locations.  Many times when we were not paying attention to the decoys and when we would look over some birds had flown into our decoys and were just hanging out.  The group by the pond even had their Mojo attacked by a hawk, so needless to say we feel they are worth the expense.  They will also last year after year with proper care.  Many of the Mojo's we have are at least three to five years old and working great.  We highly suggest keeping the box you buy them in to store them from one year to the next otherwise wings and or poles go missing.  Also make sure you remove the batteries before storage so they do not corrode and ruin the electronics.  Here is a great company that makes the Mojos we use should you need a good starting place http://www.mojooutdoors.com/index.php/vendor-products-menu-item/product/198-mojo-voodoo-dove

Let us know your Dove hunting success stories in the comment section below and come brag with us in the Shotem Gallery once the season starts, which for us is Sept 1, just 12 days away..... not that we are counting.

Tuesday, 13 August 2013 15:46

Missouri The Dove Hunting State

If you have the love for hunting Dove like us at Shotem and Caughtem then Missouri might be the place to go this dove season.  Not only have they raised the number of birds one can hold from 30-45 but they have done some impressive work to make sure there are plenty of public access fields planted to help drive the birds in and keep them around.  Thanks to the Missouri Conservation Department we know what is happening this season in the state.  


Published in News/Events
Tuesday, 06 August 2013 22:59

August Means Hunting Season is Near

Well members August is officially here and that can mean only one thing for us at Shotem and Caughtem.  DOVE SEASON!  The perfect mix of what we are all about Hunting and Fishing.  It marks the start of the season when we are doing both the Shotem and Caughtem lifestyle.  Since dove hunting is usually done when weather is warmer and near water, nothing marks the season of the Outdoorsman better than Dove.  Sept.1 will mark opening day of one of our favorite times of the year.  As one Jace Robertson of Duck Dynasty so eliquently said "They are the filet mignon's of the sky."  With the date quickly approaching it is time to once again break out the shotguns and start our preparations.

First it is time to bust out the shotgun which has been sitting for much of the year waiting for this perfect time and give it a good once over.  Due to the fact that we tend to run through a lot of ammo hunting these little devils, it is always a good idea to make sure all parts of your equipment are tight and well oiled.  Nothing can be more frustrating than faulty equipment when out in the field.  It also tends to come with some good trashing from your hunting buddies about how cheap you are as you sit there with a broken gun.

Second, we will be dusting off the trap equipment cause nothing will test the skills of a good bird hunter better than the quick flying dove.  Mix a small target in with a little high Kansas wind, these birds turn into a speeding bullet across the sky.  Because of this we will not be using the large standard clays.  To get ready for these fast little suckers we will be breaking out the smaller clays about the size of a tennis ball or smaller.  When these clays fly out of the thrower they tend to give you a more acurate account of what you might witness in the field.  To quote a movie "Aim small Miss Small."  Nothing will test your skills more than these birds.

Finally dust off the decoys and make sure you have fresh batteries for the Mojo.  We highly recommend a Mojo for dove hunts.  We have had the most luck hunting these birds with a Mojo close to water, a couple of well staged dead branches with stationary decoys attached, in a nice clearing close to good traveling spots.  We try to go out the week or two before should the weather look like it is going to hold to find out where they are traveling to find that perfect spot.

We hope you are as excited as we are about the fast approaching hunting season.  Though it is a double edged sword since it means cold weather is also approaching and the fishing gear will go back on the shelf.  Let us know how you like to get ready for opening day in the comment section below and post your photos and tell us you story in the galleries.  


Published in News/Events

We at Shotem and Caughtem always get a little bit on edge when people start looking into matters with surveys regarding hunting information.  Sure every year we tell the government how many animals we have procured throughout the year however, when a survey like the one we are going to talk to you about below comes along we tend to watch the hair stand up on our back.  Stakes get even higher when the subject is Dove Hunting.  We would love to get your opinion on the subject in the comment section below.  Should the discussion get good we might even create it's very on section in our discussion forum.

The National Dove Hunter Survey, a cooperative effort by the state fish and wildlife agencies, all four flyway councils, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) will ask dove hunters from across the U.S. to share their experiences and opinions about dove hunting.

The National Dove Hunter Survey is scheduled to begin this month, and will be compiled by the end of 2013. Randomly selected hunters can expect to receive questionnaires in the mail beginning this week.

Survey questions will focus on hunter characteristics, time spent hunting, perceived constraints to hunting, and hunter’s thoughts about potential effects of spent lead from hunting ammunition on mourning doves and other wildlife.

“There are more than one million dove hunters in the United States. This survey will encompass all regions of the country and will give us an excellent picture of hunter opinions and needs.” says Dr. Ken Richkus of the Service’s Population and Habitat Assessment Branch. “The Service and the states want to make sure we use the best science-based information for the management and conservation of our migratory bird resources and take hunter opinions and preferences into account whenever possible.”

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department supports these survey efforts and request that all selected hunters please return their responses so the agency may better address questions regarding dove hunting in the future. Approximately 250,000 mourning dove hunters harvest 5 million mourning doves on an annual basis in Texas – making Texas the leader in both the number of hunters and harvest in the United States.

Published in News/Events
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