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Beyond Bacon-Wrapped Doves…

Three sets of father and sons on opening day of dove 2021 in Amelia County, VA. Left to right, Mike and Jonathan Bowman, Whit and Bubba Bates, and Landon and Mike Boisseau.

By Jonathan Bowman

Photos by Jonathan Bowman

That magical time of year where family and friends gather round is almost here. The Virginia dove season opener!

I say this all the time, but I will say it again, opening day of dove is probably my favorite day of hunting all year. If you have never been, start asking around to other hunters or farmers, or look up your nearest Wildlife Management Area where excellent dove hunting can be found.

If you are a seasoned dove hunter, I encourage you to invite at least one new dove hunter to join you some time this season.

When it comes to cooking, most people (myself included) usually opt for the classic bacon wrapped dove. For dinner opening day, that preparation is hard to beat. Everyone is tired from a day in the sun, and sometimes simple is best. You can cook them in the grill, smoker, or oven – just make sure you use the cheapest, thinnest bacon you can find. This is one time where you actually don’t want thick cut bacon because it doesn’t wrap well and cooks slowly.

One of my friends and “cooking mentors,” Robie Robinson of Amelia County, even recommends cutting the thin bacon into thirds because you can stretch one third around an entire dove.

There are lots of fun variations you can do with these bacon-wrapped doves, like adding a slice of jalapeño or stuffing the cavity with herbs. Recently, I have been exploring Japanese cuisine, and had the idea for dove glazed with Yakiniku sauce (think of the delicious dipping sauce at Japanese restaurants with sesame seeds in it).

Get the recipe

Jonathan Bowman lives in Amelia County, where he spends as much time as possible hunting, fishing, and cooking. Jonathan loves sharing his passions with others, and is determined to one day convince his wife to join him on a turkey hunt.

  • September 1, 2022