Honey-orange dove

Finally, hunting season is almost here. September not only brings a small relief from the heat, but it also ends the anticipation of hunting season.

Although I love to fish in the fall; I look most forward to that first bird hunt. I am talking dove, of course.

Something about dove hunting gets me so excited every year.

Friends will gather on a farm, a hunting camp or in someone’s backyard for a nice BBQ lunch before heading to the fields. At the end of the day, they meet back at the lodge, house or trucks and talk about the hunt.

Dove hunting is not always about the hunt; it is about the gathering. If you have a chance to go on one of these organized hunts, bring a kid and enjoy it. Nothing can be finer.

Now, what to do with the bagged dove. You know me; we eat them.

Some people call dove “flying filet mignon.” That, of course, depends on how you cook them. Dove is very easy to overcook, which will make you think they are not that good, but rest assured, when cooked correctly, even non-game eaters will love them.

This recipe was given to me by a good friend in Florida named Tom Long. He is a writer and one of the nicest people I have ever known. I encourage you to pick up his book, “Spent Shells Along the Atlantic.” It is a great read for any sportsman.

Honey-orange dove recipe


  • 12 doves, skin on
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 2 ½ tablespoons honey
  • ¼ cup of orange juice
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Rinse the doves and dry off excess water and add salt and pepper. In a large, cast-iron skillet, use medium to medium-high heat, place butter, olive oil and 1 tablespoon of honey. Add the dove and sauté for about 5 minutes or until dove is lightly browned. Add the remaining honey and orange juice and cook until it thickens. Place the dove on a plate and then add the remaining butter, remove the skillet from the heat and season with salt and pepper, then pour over the dove that’s served on rice. Serves 3 to 4.

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