Relay For Life Dove Hunt nears

Published 4:42 pm Saturday, August 6, 2011

If any hunters manage to miss the opening day of dove season on September 3, you’ll get another round of that fine Southern Tradition on the Saturday following the traditional opening day dove hunt. This dove hunt being held one week after the real opening day will be one with a “twist.”  Jamin Simmons of the Mattamuskeet Ventures in Fairfield, North Carolina will be conducting this dove hunt on Saturday, September 10 on one of the farms he manages for wildlife in Hyde County. The hunt will be a benefit dove hunt to help raise money for the Relay For Life and the American Cancer Society.
With last year’s Relay For Life Dove Hunt’s success under his belt, Simmons and Denise Gibbs expect this year’s hunt to be even more of a success. Last year some 75 people attended the hunt and donated about $3500.00 to the American Cancer Society (ACS). Reports are that this placed Hyde County in the first place for being the top money-raising county in North Carolina for the ACS last year.  Jamin Simmons expects this year’s hunt to be a duplicate of last years hunt that will encompass some 100 acres of flan Hyde County fields that are planted in sunflowers to attract wildlife.
With that many sunflowers there appeared to be enough so the tasty seeds to go around for the numerous bears that also have a liking for sunflower seeds to feed thousands of mourning dove.  The Mattamuskeet Ventures hunt will have several corporate and private sponsors who will put up the seed money to get the hunt under way.
Activities will begin early in the morning with a breakfast being served by a team of Hyde Countains and the hunting will begin immediately after the breakfast (The noon hour opening of dove season applies to the first day of the season only). Hunters will take to the fields under the direction of Jamin Simmons and begin to harvest dove.  If the weather lives up to expectations it is going to be a hot day and several youngsters from the local area are signed-up to ride ATVs around the dove field to deliver cold water and soft drinks to the hunters.   Hunts over well maintained sunflower fields like this usually show hunters some wind shooting that is as good as some of the fabled dove hunting that can be found in such exotic paces as Argentina. The biggest difference in hunting in Argentina and North Carolina may well be that in Argentina the daily bag limit of there dove is pretty well unlimited while in North Carolina the daily bag limit is 15 dove per day.   The $100.00 fee for this dove hunt applies to hunters 16 years of age and up and will include the breakfast as well as access to the pig-picking that Jamin Simmons and the crew from Mattamuskeet Ventures will prepare that afternoon. Hunters under 16 years of age will be allowed to hunt free when accompanied by a licensed hunter. Simmons hopes to see over 200-hunters show up for this year’s hunt.  For new hunter to our state and the wonders of Hyde County and Lake Mattamuskeet this dove hunt can be a good focal point for a tour of the area.  If you inclined to make a visit through the vast salt marshes of Hyde County with your hunting dog and shotgun in tow you might find that there’s another kind of hunting season that opens on September 1st. The season for marsh hens (King, Clapper, Sora, Virginia rails, Gallinules and Moorhens) will be open. For hunters who enjoy this often-neglected wing shooting the daily bag limits on these webless waterfowl are very liberal and the hunting can be fun.  For hunters who prefer to hunt waterfowl such as ducks and geese (web-footed waterfowl) the early season for teal opens on September 10 through 18 (east of U.S. 10 only) and the early season for Canada geese will be open statewide from September 1 through Sept. 30. Be sure to check on the regulations on the bag limits of these birds because they are very liberal.  These early September hunting seasons should bring a lot of hunters to the coastal area, which is noted, for its waterfowl hunting but the non-hunters shouldn’t be turned away because of the hunters who’ll be in Hyde County.    If you’ve never visited the area on and around Lake Mattamuskeet and want to observe some of the millions of waterfowl and other forms of wildlife that’s found on the Lake Mattamuskeet National Wildlife Refuge, this will be the ideal time of the year for you to grab your binoculars and head to the coast. The fall migrations should just be getting started and there are lots of wildlife viewing areas set aside along the shoreline of the lake for the non-consumptive wildlife enthusiasts.   Jamin Simmons at the Lake Mattamuskeet Ventures can be reached at Mattamuskeet Management & Consulting, 8630 Piney Woods Road, P.O. Box 128, Fairfield, NC 27826.  Phone (252)926-9664, fax (252)926-9635