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Old 08-30-2018, 11:34 AM   #1
postman
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Default Doves and cotton fields.

If any greenscreeners could shed some light on these questions for me I would appreciate it. First off, I had a guy that was trying to lease me some land for dove hunting tell me "doves eat cotton seed out of harvested plowed under fields."

Question 1: Do doves eat cotton seed?
Question 2: Am I correct in thinking that the cotton seed is removed from the cotton at the gin?
Question 3: Does modern cotton harvesting equipment separate the seed from the cotton in the field and spread it back into the field like a combine does with cobs and shucks.

I've been hunting doves 50 years and have never seen them feeding in cotton fields. Thanks.
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Old 08-30-2018, 11:36 AM   #2
duckboy007
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There's some serious smoke getting blown up your you-know-what.
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Old 08-30-2018, 11:36 AM   #3
bigbad243
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Yes I have seen cotton fields loaded with dove. Anytime the crop is manipulated there will be seed on the ground.
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Old 08-30-2018, 11:37 AM   #4
bigbad243
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I will add I have never seems then in standing cotton fields though.
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Old 08-30-2018, 11:37 AM   #5
tdwinklr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by postman View Post
If any greenscreeners could shed some light on these questions for me I would appreciate it. First off, I had a guy that was trying to lease me some land for dove hunting tell me "doves eat cotton seed out of harvested plowed under fields."

Question 1: Do doves eat cotton seed?
Question 2: Am I correct in thinking that the cotton seed is removed from the cotton at the gin?
Question 3: Does modern cotton harvesting equipment separate the seed from the cotton in the field and spread it back into the field like a combine does with cobs and shucks.

I've been hunting doves 50 years and have never seen them feeding in cotton fields. Thanks.
I don't know if they eat any part of it or not, or just use the plants for cover but have shot several doves FROM cotton fields exclusively.
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Old 08-30-2018, 11:39 AM   #6
Antlers86
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All I can say is we drove from Athens to Waco a couple days ago to look at a dove lease. We passed thousands of acres of Cotton fields being harvested. Not 1 single dove was anywhere around! Actually counted less than 10 dove from Hillsboro to Corsicana in fields and on high lines but only near water.

We did find lots and lots and lots of birds and look forward to Saturday! Oh and they weren't in Cotton fields. Lots of white wings just west of 35!
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Old 08-30-2018, 11:53 AM   #7
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You guys are confirming what my 50 years in dove fields already told me. What about the seeds and the cotton gin?
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Old 08-30-2018, 12:01 PM   #8
Passthrough
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Seeds are removed at the gin
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Old 08-30-2018, 12:12 PM   #9
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You guys are confirming what my 50 years in dove fields already told me. What about the seeds and the cotton gin?
Iím not a cotton farmer, but grow some from spilled feed around dairy. You have to literally tear the seed from the bulb so I doubt a combine would spill much cotton seed.

We also have dove, whistling ducks and from time to time a bunch of pigeons and I donít see them eating it. They eat the flaked corn but not the cotton seed

They might be graveling in plowed dirt but I wouldnít hunt cotton as a food source
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Old 08-30-2018, 12:18 PM   #10
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Good way to tear up your legs if you're wearing shorts too.
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Old 08-30-2018, 12:21 PM   #11
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I live in the biggest cotton patch in the US in the area surrounding Lubbock and used to service gins from Altus, OK to Stanton, TX. Cotton seed is removed at the gin and if running a cotton stripper over defoliated plants won’t separate seed from fiber, regular plowing darn sure won’t! Furthermore I have seen piles of de-linted cotton seed that were 2 stories high, and nary a dove or pigeon pecking around it for food.

Now I have shot a bunch limits of dove in mature September cotton stands, but it was because of the irrigation water pooled up in rows or puddled near a leaky pipe, not because of cotton plants!

Last edited by Playa; 08-30-2018 at 12:23 PM.
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Old 08-30-2018, 12:55 PM   #12
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thanks for confirmation
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Old 08-30-2018, 01:06 PM   #13
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When I lived in Lubbock we use to limit out on doves every morning in a cotton field that had been harvested. The was also standing water there. But doves by the hundreds.
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Old 08-30-2018, 01:25 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by mikeyb_23 View Post
When I lived in Lubbock we use to limit out on doves every morning in a cotton field that had been harvested. The was also standing water there. But doves by the hundreds.
The dove were there for the water. Maybe there were some weed seeds they were eating too. But they weren't eating anything off of a cotton plant.

postman, I grew up north of Lubbock, and we farmed 1,500 acres of cotton. I killed a lot of dove, sometimes in cotton fields. I've never found 1 cotton seed in a dove's craw. They'd have to swallow a lot of lint to get to the seed.

Sounds like a sales pitch to me.
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Old 08-30-2018, 03:02 PM   #15
Williams4298
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All I can say is we drove from Athens to Waco a couple days ago to look at a dove lease. We passed thousands of acres of Cotton fields being harvested. Not 1 single dove was anywhere around! Actually counted less than 10 dove from Hillsboro to Corsicana in fields and on high lines but only near water.

We did find lots and lots and lots of birds and look forward to Saturday! Oh and they weren't in Cotton fields. Lots of white wings just west of 35!
Shoulda called me I’m in frost (right between Corsicana and Hillsboro) we have quite a few birds. There all in the fields you to drive through the fields to flush them up, not a whole lot on the power lines also really depends when you came through. Come ride the cotton stripper with me and I’ll show you there ARE dove in cotton fields.

The dove do not eat the cotton as far as I know. They roost in it and use it for cover.
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Old 08-30-2018, 03:10 PM   #16
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Shoulda called me Iím in frost (right between Corsicana and Hillsboro) we have quite a few birds. There all in the fields you to drive through the fields to flush them up, not a whole lot on the power lines also really depends when you came through. Come ride the cotton stripper with me and Iíll show you there ARE dove in cotton fields.

The dove do not eat the cotton as far as I know. They roost in it and use it for cover.

We used to walk through unstripped cotton mid day and flush em out and shoot em! Always figured they were in it for the shade!
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Old 08-30-2018, 03:17 PM   #17
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Default cotton doves

I just went/returned to p mans from l Jackson.. not even a dove on the power lines around cotton. milo/corn areas had dove on power lines, flying, road shoulders, etc ÖÖ.
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Old 08-30-2018, 03:30 PM   #18
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They are eating the seeds from weeds in the cotton fields.
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Old 08-30-2018, 03:49 PM   #19
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That explains why dove Breast are so small they don’t eat cotton seed are double down I bet . Dang Little birds !!
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Old 08-30-2018, 03:58 PM   #20
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Take it for what it's worth, but one of the best dove hunts I have ever had was behind a cotton gin in MS. The doves were in and out of the big piles of gin trash behind the gin. I have no clue what they were eating but they were there. It was mid December and the gin had already closed down for the year.
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Old 08-30-2018, 03:59 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Playa View Post
Now I have shot a bunch limits of dove in mature September cotton stands, but it was because of the irrigation water pooled up in rows or puddled near a leaky pipe, not because of cotton plants!
I can see that. A cotton field could still be a good spot to hunt, but not cuz they're eating in there!
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Old 08-30-2018, 03:59 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Sunnylab View Post
Take it for what it's worth, but one of the best dove hunts I have ever had was behind a cotton gin in MS. The doves were in and out of the big piles of gin trash behind the gin. I have no clue what they were eating but they were there. It was mid December and the gin had already closed down for the year.
I bet there were getting grit.
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Old 08-30-2018, 04:01 PM   #23
Playa
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I can see that. A cotton field could still be a good spot to hunt, but not cuz they're eating in there!
Itís really a pain in the A. Hard to find your birds when they fall under the canopy of thigh high cotton, and the Farmerís donít much care for you or the dog knocking his bills off
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Old 08-30-2018, 05:46 PM   #24
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One caveat to this, if they are sowing wheat/oats as cover crop or crop rotation a plowed cotton field can be dyn-o-mite. But I suspect he would have mentioned that.
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Old 08-30-2018, 05:54 PM   #25
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Here's another tip when hunting around cotton without a dog. Don't shoot them where they land in the cotton, especially high cotton. Will. Never. Find. Them. Just feeding the ants.
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Old 08-30-2018, 08:00 PM   #26
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They are eating the seeds from weeds in the cotton fields.
^^^^ This ^^^^
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Old 08-30-2018, 08:04 PM   #27
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Almost as good as pea gravel
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Old 08-31-2018, 08:22 AM   #28
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We have killed a lot of Doves out of harvested cotton fields. But it was the weed seeds they were after. Apparently, when they harvest, the small weeds that are below the cotton plants get disturbed and drop the seeds. The Doves can easily get to them with the cotton plant bare. Every Dove we killed was full of the same small seeds.
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Old 08-31-2018, 01:29 PM   #29
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Shot my first ever limit of doves in the middle of a cotton field. There was a plugged up old gas well that leaked water out and made a small pool. This was in western Van Zandt county on a cousins place in about 1965. I shot about half of them flying. I was there with an older cousin about 5 yrs ago, and the well is still burping gas and making a small pool, but no doves, salty water. Used to kill a lot of doves in that county, same for quail.
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Old 08-31-2018, 02:04 PM   #30
TAMU84
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They are eating the seeds from weeds in the cotton fields.
Never killed any doves with cottonseed in them but there is other food sources in a cotton field.
Most of the time farmers rotate crops, cotton one year, milo or corn the next, possibly even winter wheat outside the pivots. Some of those seeds will still be there.
Also weeds will be growing there and they could be after those seeds as well. They will be milling around there getting grit also.
You really need another food source in the area if you want a huntable amount of doves.

It would be interesting to know what was planted there in the past. If they rotate crops maybe do a multi year lease.
One year poor to average. Next year great.
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