The Game and Fish Commission on June 23 set the dove season as expected with no changes or surprises from previous years and the outlook for this fall is pretty good for Mourning doves and fair for white-wings.
“The dove outlook for those who get out now and scout – with a rabbit gun in hand – will probably be the best,” advises Small Game Supervisor Ron Engel-Wilson.
Engel-Wilson explains that the recently planted agricultural fields of grains and melons will become harvested and “abandoned” fields by the Sept. 1-15 season. Those hunters getting afield now to hunt rabbits will not only have an opportunity to locate such fields, but also establish relationships with farmers that can pay dove dividends come September.
“Right now the farmers might really appreciate those hunters who harvest bunnies that are eating their freshly sprouting crops. So go hunt rabbits, talk to these guys, establish a relationship, and get keyed into the best dove spots for September,” Engel-Wilson suggests.
The dove season will once again be half-day shooting during the early season for the lower elevations, and all-day shooting in the higher elevations. However, junior hunters will be able to hunt all day long throughout the state, just like last year. The idea is to make it handy for youngsters to hunt after school during the week.
Don’t forget that again this year you will need a Migratory Bird Stamp affixed to your hunting license for hunting doves. This year’s stamps will be available starting July 1 at the license dealers throughout the state.