It is the beginning again. And also the end. Temperatures are finally cooling off in Austin and things feel like they’re changing. When the summer ends it also means the beginning of new fall adventures for me, and it always starts with dove season.

I usually start my hunting season in Arkansas because it is endlessly fun. The night before opening day there is a feast of meats and other delectables too, piled high on platters. And there is plenty there to wash it all down: red wine, beers in large tubs with ice spilling out over the edges, and then the whiskey before the meal and after too, when everyone moves gradually into the smoking room by the fireplace and the guitars emerge, and the loose, hard notes of the blues drift beautifully overhead in a haze of Cuban cigar smoke, a sort of bacchanal to welcome in the cool of fall, summers end, and more importantly, the start of hunting season.

I brought my brother with me this time, he had heard stories for so long about my adventures along the Mississippi levee and it was time for him to see it all come to life. When my book Girl Hunter comes out in a few months, hopefully the rest of you will see it all come to life as well.

(photo by Gordon Pellegrini)

The early mornings aren’t my favorite… but they are beautiful. And they represent a very specific time of year when I’m going to have to rise much earlier than I’d like.

But there is something about getting up early and staring into the milky air of a harvested corn field.

And the dogs salivating as they retrieve and drop your harvest into your hands.

And the camaraderie of cleaning what we’ve harvested together after what seems like hours, but what is really before breakfast for everyone else who is just waking up.

The camaraderie is the biggest part of it.

Alongside the delectable dinners that you have together afterward. This is a sneak peak at one of my new dove recipes called “Devil Doves.” Stay tuned…

In the meantime, here is a walk through memory lane… my past dove hunting adventures:

How to Clean a Dove

The Night Before the Dove Hunt

Blues Where It Was Born

Dove Hunting 5am-7am

Dove Hunting 7am-8am

Dove Hunting 8am-9am