Game Recipes: A Dove Recipe for the Grill

| 9/15/2009 4:28:00 PM

A portrait of GRIT Assistant Editor Caleb Regan, with a puny catch.Any person who’s ever shot at an animal and then undergone the task and responsibility of cleaning and eating that animal takes pride in how they prepare game. If not, that person is purely selfish in their hunting pursuit. I sure take pride in game preparation, and just last night I prepared five dove that we shot this weekend (dove season opened September 1). Here at GRIT, we’re a little under the gun with the November/December magazine deadline looming (it’s a good one too – grassfed beef, DIY cold frame, raising chickens for meat, to name a few), but I had to take a moment today and share one of my game recipes, given to me by a friend and enjoyed by family.

First of all, it’s important to admit the inefficiency with which we (Uncle Fred, brother Josh, Gwen and I) shot the dove. It was flat-out embarrassing and a little expensive. We did do better than a box per bird, but not by a whole lot. Uncle Fred didn’t shoot nearly as many times as we did, and admittedly got a kick out of watching Josh and I blast away, cuss, then throw our hats to the ground from a distance.

Mourning dove with fall colors.

With dove hunting, they fly so fast that you have to lead them a little more than you would a duck, goose or pheasant. Dove are quick and come upon you fast. So I have no doubt early-season mistakes played a role in our inability to drop more birds.

Also, it occurred to us that 8 shot might have been a little light. I know I winged several birds where feathers would fly and they’d start to dive only to flutter their wings enough to make it to a distant hedgerow. I couldn’t help but wonder if 7 or, more likely in my mind, 7 ½ shot would have done any better. But, you should never put yourself in a position to blame your equipment, so I’ll just admit we stunk and get on with how I prepared the breasts of this tasty bird.

A friend of my family from Texas, Luke, let us in on this beauty of a dove recipe.

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