I would bring your tubes. If you have a great field full of doves you can take all close shots. If you are in a marginal field where you need to take whatever shots are available you will wish you had brought your full choke. If you can only have one choke for everything bring modified.
Cylinder bore will reach out and touch them farther than you think...Bigger pattern is better to deal with their erratic flight pattern...Also, it doesn't take much shot to drop a dove....If you want to extend your distance just adjust your shot size accordingly....
Been hunting doves since 1964. Heading out to Oklahoma from Tennessee to hunt doves (Mourning, Whitewing and Eurasion) for the first 20 days of the season. Taking a Browning Twelvette with two barrels (fixed choke IC and MOD). The older Browning fixed choke barrels both shoot tighter than their markings with good quality target loads (about LT. MOD; IMP MOD). Other gun is a Benelli Montefeltro 12 gauge. Will take SKEET,IC, LT. MOD and MOD chokes only. No need for anything tighter. Will use AA and STS 1 oz. and 1 1/8 oz. loads of 7 1/2 and 8 shot. Most people (particularly young people and people who haven't hunted doves much)shoot a doves way out of range.
I know this is a trap site but get in some low gun skeet and/or sporting clays practice before you go hunting. It's a good time to shoot that older gun or non-target gun that you always liked the feel of.
Try it and have a good time. Dove hunting is a lot of fun. And they are good to eat.
The shots you get on doves are highly variable. You will get shots that resemble station 8 skeet and then a few seconds later something more like a high flying mallard. So you need to compromise with the choke and pick something middle of the road like modified. Don't waste a bunch of time messing around with your chokes when you should be hunting, it won't help. The standard dove gun use to be a Remington M1100 LT20 with a fixed modified choke. Pretty effective set up.
My favorite dove getter is a M42 Winchester choked full (of course). Maybe not the most effective choice but it sure is fun.
Which choke to use? That all depends on the doves! It's one of those questions that is like the old joke " have you quit beating your wife?) there is no correct answer to your question. The choke is determined by the distance to the target.
Best idea is shoot a choke tubed gun and let the birds dictate which choke you will need on the day you hunt. Good luck with your dove hunt. It's Elk season here in Oregon so I will be trying for a little bigger dove on september 1st! Jeff
Every season I start out with open chokes and end up with full in my gun. Why? Because full will reach out and drop those long shots and because I don't like seeing birds hit fly off. If you aren't a good shot then use an open choke and don't take the long shots.
12 gauge... mod choke... 7.5 shot.... 1&1/8 ounce 1250 FPS
I have shot 20 gauge...
I have shot 9 shot
I have used Cylinder Bore choke
Every shot could use something a little different from the last one. Fields vary wildly and from day to day. I take it kind of serious and I love it so I stick with what works for me and on the fields I shoot.
Didn't y'all read Michael McIntosh's artice in Shooting Sportsman last month? Cylinder is all that is needed using today's loads for all types of bird hunting, other than waterfowl. Back in the 80's,Bob Brister,the late, great shooter from Houston argued the same thing in his book The Art of Shotgunning. I shot a lot of doves in West Texas and New Mexico using 20 ga. IC. Thoughts?
You guys are going to be wounding a lot of doves unless you pattern those open chokes. You should overlay the silhouette of a dove over your pattern and remember the vital area of that dove is a very small part of the overall outline. I have used open chokes. If you have good eyes you will see the puffs of feathers from the birds as they fly off. Cylinder is way to open for all but the closest shots. Cylinder choke has huge holes in it past 25 yards. Now put that golf ball over the pattern and see if there are any holes with no shot.
Some years ago I loaned a friend a shortened 1100 skeet barrel (about 1-1/2' of choke left) for dove. He wasn't a particularly good wing shot but the barrel gave him a better chance on the relatively close flying birds. Near the end of the flight a dove landed in a tree some 35-40 yards. I was choked a little tighter so I offered him the shot thinking he had little chance of killing a sitting bird and would scare the dove to flight and I could get a long passing shot. Surprise surprise; he denuded the tree around the dove and killed it deader than a hammer. So don't underestimate the open choke.