Thursday, December 17, 2015

Late Season Dove Hunting and 2015 Dove Hunter Survey

Mike Polk and little Mike are always ready for
a late season dove hunt
The third and final part of dove season runs from December 15 until January 15, giving dove hunters hope to end the season in grand style. The traditional Labor Day dove hunts conducted under heat wave conditions and a sweltering sun are gone, and cold weather hunts are now the best option. But the migratory doves won’t be easy targets since they fly higher and faster than early season birds.
The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources is conducting an online survey of active dove hunters that will remain active until January 8. Questions involve hunter observations of doves and preferences for future hunting dates and seasons. Since doves are a federally managed wildlife resource due to their migratory nature, the survey is done in conjunction with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Hunter input about the state of the population of doves, the number of hunting days during a calendar year, and bag limits are all vital. For instance, if hunters in S.C. want to reduce the number of hunting days for any of the three dove seasons, then this survey is the right place to express that opinion. To take the survey visit the Internet at Dove Hunter Survey.

Scouting for late season doves at multiple hunting locations will be necessary each year, keeping an eye out for large flocks. If a concentration of doves is seen, then it is time to hunt them as soon as possible since they can take wing and be gone in a heartbeat. Smaller hunting parties will be best for late season dove hunts and even something as small as one gun or two gun hunts are an option. Rather than looking to score a limit of 15 doves during the late season, try to change those goals to getting enough birds to make a meal, and end the season on a positive note.

To view this feature article in the newspaper click on Colletonian.

To view past blog entries about late dove season click on Small Game - Field Preparation

To view my recent article on Twenty Season Cycles in the Outdoors click Five Year Anniversary.

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