Dove season opens this weekend in many states; did you know that doves are the most harvested species in the United States with around 1 million hunters annually? This is a hunting and conservation success story as they have been sustainably harvested for over 20 years.
Dove season opens Sep. 1st – Nov. 12th and Dec. 17th – Jan. 2nd in the northern zone. The Mourning dove, one of the most distributed and abundant birds in North America, has an estimated population of around 350 million in the United States. Each year hunters harvest around 20 million doves, which is between 5 and 10% of the population. This type of successful harvest brings in millions of dollars that ultimately goes towards conservation programs and efforts that benefit wildlife species, both hunted and non-hunted.
Maintenance of the mourning dove population in a healthy, productive state is a primary management goal. Management activities include population assessment, harvest regulation, and habitat management as stated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Hunting regulations are annually set by the wildlife administrators who get their information from studies done by state, federal, tribal, and other biologists in the 48 conterminous states.
Quick Tips: Baiting dove is illegal. A baiting area is off limits for at least 10 days after all salt, grain, or other feed has been completely removed from your field or other baiting area. Migratory game birds must be hunted with a shotgun that can hold no more than three shells. You can only take one daily bag limit in any one day. This limit defines the number of doves you can have in your possession while in the field or while in route back to your car, hunting camp, home, or other destination. A violation of State migratory game bird regulation is also a violation of Federal regulations.
Safari Club international (SCI) encourages all sportsmen to get out in the field this season and enjoy the excitement and camaraderie of our hunting heritage. Introduce a family member or friends to the memories that are created from the hunting experience. These are the kind of success stories SCI thrives on and is part of our defining mission. SCI is always First For Hunters.