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STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI) -It almost that time of the year again. Dove hunting season takes off this Sunday.

These dove feathers are just traces of what’s to come when the season begins. John Long has been hunting doves all his life. It’s a tradition across the South.

“It’s a great place to introduce a young person to the outdoors to get them involved and get them into the sport of shooting and hunting,” said John Long, MSU coordinator of F-H shooting sports program.

Long says most of the time doves will be hunted over the fields where they’re feeding on grains that have fallen onto the ground.

“They’re fun to hunt because they’re hard to hit but they’re also good to eat too,” added Long.

And he’s not the only one who enjoys the high flying delicacy.

“I go and get the feathers out and then I get the breast out and wrap some bacon on it and put it in the oven. And it is delicious,” said hunter Eddie Stevens.

Experts say the best way to hunt doves is to climb into the field, kneel down and wait. And as soon as you see a dove fly over, that’s your chance to take a shot.

“Deer is more of a sit down and wait for hours and days possibly. A dove is something that you know if the hunts good your going to have them continuously,” added Stevens.

They’re not necessarily hiding in between the corn. They’re going to be out in the open area, searching for seeds.

“Doves prefer small grains to eat and it’s an attractant for them,” said Long.

And hunting them requires constant awareness of the target and other hunters. But for many it’s just a way to enjoy the camaraderie with family and friends. And experts say it’s a good idea to wear eye and ear protection for any 4-H shooting sports.

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