It’s too late to get in much practice time at the range in preparation for the opening day of dove season on Sept. 3, but there are some things you can do to be ready once opening day arrives.

Kelly Neuville, general manager of Buckfins-N-Feathers in Broussard, shared these tips to increase your chances of success:

1. Inspect and clean your shotgun — Nothing dampens opening day like a gun that won’t fire when the barrage begins, so clean it up and make sure it’s good to go. 

And be sure your plug is inserted — that will be one of the things enforcement agents with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will be checking.

2. Buy the right ammo — “I like shooting (No.) 8 high-power because it’s a better spread with more, smaller BBs,” Neuville said. “It does less damage to the birds and puts more BBs on them.”

3. Use the right choke — Typically, on opening weekend the doves won’t be as high as they will later in the season so you can spread out your pattern.

“I would say improved cylinder to modified would be the way to go,” he said.

4. Make sure you have appropriate dry-fit clothing — “Drake has a short-sleeved shirt called the Vented Wingshooter,” Neuville said. “It’s 100-percent polyester instead of cotton, and will keep you cooler early in the season.”

5. Get a good bucket swivel seat — “I like the bucket seats because you can put your shells and it has a little ice chest inside, and it swivels,” he said.

6. Stay cool —  “Find some shade if you can, and bring along plenty of water, a good wide-breamed hat and some sunglasses,” Neuville said.