In the early light of dawn, on the day hunters have been waiting for, a wing beat is lit by the sun as a bird flies over a field of mature sunflower, the first turtle dove of the season. Its colours hail to some far-off sunburnt land, its flight bids farewell to the last days of summer.
The first is followed by others flying in the same direction, and a skilled hunter will stay motionless and well-camouflaged in their temporary hide until just the right time to take a shot. The best terrain for turtle doves can usually be found near rivers and water courses where the game can hide amongst the vegetation and drink after visiting the fields. In these places, carefully inspected on the days before the start of the season, hunters lie in wait for the game to pass in the morning and return in the evening, revelling in the challenge the speed and instinctive wariness of these birds represents.
Baschieri & Pellagri has developed a specific cartridge for turtle doves in its Mygra range.
The light load of 33 grams in this 12-gauge cartridge is perfect for hunting this game. The MB 32 double base powder is famous for providing maximum performance in climates that are still hot and dry, just like those at the end of summer or in autumn when the hunting season opens. The Gordon System case made of plastic with a star crimp is a Baschieri patent.
The plastic wad with cup produces a compact and precise spread at the medium to long ranges that you will often have to take a shot at, as the turtle doves are lit by the first light of dawn. Selected No. 7.5 copper-plated lead shot, with 5% antimony is used, ideal for this game. The copper-plated shot has an extremely smooth and uniform surface finish, which maintains its spherical form and guarantees high velocity and penetrating power. The muzzle velocity of the Baschieri & Pellagri Mygra Tortora is 408 m/s.
Shooting turtle doves is never easy as they always have a surprise in store such as lightning changes in direction where ranges and the relevant lead must change instantly, and well-aimed shots will often turn into an instinctively aimed shot taken just before the game becomes nothing more than a receding dot against the horizon.
A cartridge with a high muzzle velocity and a “soft” recoil if possible, as in this case, can be of great help to the hunter to maintain a stable and precise aim for taking a second shot. Everything else depends on the skill of the hunter, his experience and ability, and of course the choice of the stand, which makes all the difference. Without a doubt there are many factors, also susceptible to change, that make success anything but guaranteed, but it is in this wait for the chance to get in a shot, with great expectations, that the spirit of adaptation and the charm of hunting this migratory bird lies, a bird that will certainly leave you holding your breath.