Dove Hunting Regulation and Safety Reminders

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Dove Hunting Regulation and Safety RemindersDoves are migratory birds so hunters must use a plugged shot gun with a capacity not to exceed three shells in the magazine and chamber combined.

Dove hunters must be registered with the federal Harvest Information Program (HIP). HIP registration is free and available at all locations where hunting licenses are sold. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service randomly selects a sample of HIP registered hunters and asks them to participate in a harvest survey.

Remember to avoid shooting at doves near power lines and horizontally at low-flying birds where other hunters may be present.

Dove hunters are encouraged to be sure to pick up all litter, including spent shell casings, while hunting. DNR wardens report some dove hunters are leaving behind large numbers of shell casings on public lands and that they will be increasing enforcement of litter laws this season.

“Take a moment to think about how you’d like to find a hunting spot – clean, picked up and with only boot prints left hehind,” said Mike Dickhoff, DNR Rock County conservation warden. “Then extend that same courtesy to the next hunter.”

Always remember the basic rules of firearms safety: TAB-K:

  • Treat every gun as if it were loaded.
  • Always point the muzzle in a safe direction.
  • Be sure of your target and beyond.
  • Keep your finger out of the trigger guard until you’re ready to shoot.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Kent Van Horn (608) 266-8841

Mourning dove season opens on Sept. 1 In Wisconsin / 2008 season extended by 10 days

Hunters participating in the 2008 mourning dove season in Wisconsin will enjoy an extra 10 days of hunting opportunity, and those hunters hunting on state and federal lands will only be able to use nontoxic shot.

The 2008 season opens Sept. 1 and runs through Nov. 9, which is 10 days longer than previous seasons. In a June 2008 decision, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service provided for states to select an additional 10 days of dove hunting. In August, the state Natural Resources Board approved extending the Wisconsin mourning dove season to Nov. 9. Because the change was made so late, the 2008 Small Game Hunting Regulations pamphlet does not reflect this increase of 10 additional hunting days.

Also new this year is a requirement for nontoxic shot for hunting mourning doves on all DNR managed lands in addition to the previous requirement for nontoxic shot on National Wildlife Refuges and federally owned Waterfowl Production Areas.

Between 10,000 and 15,000 hunters have taken to the fields in pursuit of mourning doves in recent years, according to Kent Van Horn, migratory game bird ecologist with the Department of Natural Resources.

“During this same period, mourning doves have shown a 1 to 5 percent increase in population, while hunters were harvesting 100,000 to 200,000 doves annually,” Van Horn notes.

The mourning dove is a fast flying game bird, which Van Horn says, presents a challenging target but fine food on the dinner table. Additional information on dove hunting is available on the DNR Web site.