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  1. #1

    Dove hunting numbers soar

    " . . . dove hunting has come to match waterfowling for hunter participation and harvest."

    http://shootingsportsman.com/dove-hunting-numbers-soar/


    Ed Carroll,
    associate editor, Shooting Sportsman

  2. #2
    Eagle
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Endless Mountains of Pa
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    3,860
    Ed
    Great to see Dove hunting becoming so popular, my Buddy Don Moody loved Dove hunting and his Grandson learned to use his Ithaca 20 Gauge double gun while Dove hunting with him. If the few remaining states without Dove season institute one, according to the article it will be the largest wing shooting sport here in the USA. We shot a big number of them on Fort Hood Texas a long time ago, using my Weimar dog to retrieve the fallen Doves to hand. My buddy and his wife loved the taste of them, me not so much. Great gunning however!

    RGD/Dave

    Don Moody the Texas Wild Man, on his favorite Texas Dove flight.
    Last edited by Ryman Gun Dog; April 28th, 2017 at 01:30 AM.
    Never worry about what others believe, walk in the way of the Lord.

  3. #3
    I suspect that the numbers are due to an increase in the numbers of states with dove seasons, not to widespread growth where dove seasons have long existed. In the case of my home state, I know that dove hunter numbers have plummeted over the past two decades.

    And according to Delta Waterfowl's recent report, the number of waterfowl hunters in the U.S. is now below a million, half of what it was in 1970. Sobering when you recognize that duck stamps and P-R taxes paid by waterfowlers are a significant contributor to long-term habitat protection on this continent.

  4. #4
    Eagle
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    Sep 2013
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    1,605
    States and their DNRs can easily get into the dove business as dove habitat basically equates to shooting fields alone.
    Cost to a DNR in $$$s and effort are low when compared to the needs and struggles of other upland birds.
    Doves are therefore appealing to DNRs....doves also are a nice early start and boredom breaker before the season begins for the real growth spurt in hunting.


    Lot of shells are expended for doves and dove practice which helps with P-R and shooting facility money.
    The simplicity and somewhat low entry cost for dove hunting helps with new shooter introductions and the plump dove population helps keep kids interested.
    Be nice to see the dove.opportunity extended to all the states.


    The problem would only seem to be the adoption of the dove as a poster child for anti-hunting/anti-shooting/anti-lead efforts.
    The bird-of-peace deal works a treat too well with non-hunters....someone should discover a way to make a dove look mean.



    Cimino Hardware...a clear choice.

  5. #5
    Eagle
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    Jul 2002
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    Southern Miss
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    1,195
    The dove population in Mississippi has been on a steady decline of late, precipitously so in my area. Zero row-cropping here. Every shoe clerk and school boy discs up a 2-3 acre spot and scatters wheat for a dove shoot. If they are lucky enough to draw a decent number of birds, they shoot it morning and afternoon on opening day, and kill eveything there. I think they have killed off the seed.
    JR
    Eagle Scout Dad x 2

  6. #6
    Eagle
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    Aug 2016
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    South of the Ohio River...
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    One never knows -

    2014 - lots of doves

    2015 - not nearly so many

    2016 - better than '14!

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by John Roberts View Post
    they shoot it morning and afternoon on opening day, and kill eveything there. I think they have killed off the seed.
    JR
    Even with a big population, shooting a field morning and afternoon will burn that field really quickly. We tell hunters on the fields that I help manage that they may not start until 1 p.m. opening week and they must leave the field no later than 4 p.m. We gradually increase the hours as the season goes on, and it works. We had limits shot four weeks into the season last year.

  8. #8
    Eagle
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    May 2008
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    Gentlemen,
    Years ago on Fort Hood, Texas we had so many Doves it was absolutely incredible. It was a big sport in the 60's and 70's, however it is my understanding that it's no where as big now. Here in Pa doves are like an after thought in many way. Grouse, Woodcock and Pheasants kind rule the upland hunting life here, and always have.

    RGD/Dave
    Never worry about what others believe, walk in the way of the Lord.

  9. #9
    Eagle
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Burke Co., GA
    Posts
    500
    We do not have the sheer numbers of doves we had when I started shooting them with Grandadaddy, at age 8 (1959), but we've still got lots of them. This is a heavily agricultural area, as John R. knows. He and his son have been here and shot with me. We grow lots of stuff doves like to feed on ......... sunflowers in the early season, harvested corn fields in between, and harvested peanut fields in the late season.

    I know I am blessed to live here, as far as doves go. It is not unusual for us to shoot the 24 acre sunflower field as much as 8 times a season. We will kill limits right up until the last day of the season. Last season, on the last day, a Sunday, I came home from church and had lunch, then sat around for awhile and got to thinking about it being the last day. I told Queen that Cady wouldn't get the chance to retrieve any more doves until September, so I'd better go for awhile. I loaded up the decoys, stool and all the other paraphernalia and left the house at 3:00 pm. Drove to the sunflower field and put my stool out and started shooting almost immediately. In one hour I had a limit and was loading up to go home.

    It was unusual to have so many in sunflowers that late in the season here, as it is usually too cold by then for doves to survive on sunflower, but last winter was unseasonably warm all winter, so they stayed in the sunflowers.

    We have a huge native population, and we get supplemented by migrating doves from early winter through the rest of the season. There are doves in places where nobody shoots them, even tho' there is a season. I was quail hunting near Tucson a few years ago and noticed lots of doves at stock tanks on some public land we were hunting. I asked the local guy about them and he said you could kill a limit every day if you want to, but nobody bothers with them. i was amazed. LOTS of doves there.

    Our sunflower field just before opening day:





    125 days, 14 hours, 56 minutes until dove opener

    SRH

  10. #10
    Eagle
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    Oct 2002
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    Lincoln Nebraska
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    They are grand sport to shoot at.. But without a doubt nasty tasting things, perhaps prairie chickens will out do for flavor
    "Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper."

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