By Phil Bourjaily
Scott Breeze, 47, an orthopedic surgeon from the Houston area, bills himself as “the Dovenator,” and with good reason. Breeze set the world record by shooting 15,208 doves in one day with 16,575 shots in Argentina on Nov. 7, 2010. He averaged something like 18 doves a minute for 14 hours from sunup to sundown. Breeze estimates around 1.5 million doves flew past him in shotgun range that day.
Personally, I have shot doves in Argentina only a couple of afternoons. My biggest bag was about 1/100 of Breeze’s record and that was enough dove killing for me, but we are all different. There is no bag limit on eared doves, which are considered an agricultural pest. The birds don’t go to waste. I can tell you first hand that when you leave the dove field at the end of the day there are hungry people waiting for a share of the birds. They get most, but you get to enjoy a dove barbecue at the lodge, too. And, despite the best efforts of foreign wingshooters, dove numbers keep growing in Argentina.
You may not want to break the record but you may well want to hunt in South America someday. Breeze’s mark was an incredible feat of shotgunning endurance and when the Dovenator gives high volume shooting advice, you should listen.
Guns: Breeze set his record with four Winchester Super X3 20 gauge semiautos. He had two loaders working and they used three guns with a fourth as a backup. Breeze had tried other brands of guns and been frustrated by failures to fire with the Argentine RD or Fiocchi ammo that is not as reliable as the stuff we get in the U.S. Winchester did supply him the guns, but that doesn’t change the fact that they worked very well indeed for him, as his record attests. Being 20 gauge gas guns they did not kick much, and just as important, they were light.