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Sun Rises on the 2015 Dove Opener

The first shot came 18 minutes into the season and was quickly followed by others from the 10 or so hunters at the Kellerton Wildlife Area in Ringgold County. After a few hours of hunting – and hundreds of empty shells - this group of friends was well on their way to filling their limit. 
Welcome to opening morning of Iowa’s 2015 dove hunting season. 

Joe Routh, of Mount Ayr, was standing at his truck giving his yellow lab, Sarg, a needed drink and a quick snack before heading back to the sunflower plot where his son Matt was set up. 

“We’ve sure been privileged to enjoy dove hunting in Iowa,” Joe Routh said standing along the weedy edge facing the mowed sunflower field. He had two spinning decoys working to attract passing doves set about 10 yards in front of them.

“We’ll see how it goes today, but I’ve never been on an opening day and not gotten a limit,” Joe Routh said. 

The Rouths were joined by Aaron Sharp, of Des Moines, Brandon Sharp, of Altoona, Justin Neas, of Mount Ayr and Kim Greenland of Mount Ayr. A few other friends could only hunt for an hour or so before heading to work.

“If you can go out and shoot 50 shells with your friends and watch the sun come up, it’s a good day,” Joe Routh said. 

None of the friends had tried dove hunting before Iowa’s season opened five years ago. 
“Wish I had gone to Missouri after we found out how much fun it was,” said Matt Routh. 

Aaron Sharp said this is his third year hunting doves and he wouldn’t miss it for the world.

You never get a chance to shoot your gun this much,” said Brandon Sharp. “It’s fun.”  The brothers came down Monday night and will hunt Wednesday before returning home.

By mid-Tuesday morning, the group had nearly limited out. 

 “It’s addicting,” added Neas. 

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