News of the Week
For Immediate Release: AUGUST 17, 2012
Dove season opener just around the corner
Dove hunting season is fast approaching, and this year sportsmen have no excuse for not inviting someone along with them thanks to Oklahoma's annual Free Hunting Days Sept. 1-2. Resident hunters do not need to possess an annual hunting license or HIP permit while hunting on these days.
This year dove season will run Sept. 1 - Oct. 31, statewide, followed by another nine-day period open from Dec. 22-30, statewide.
According to Josh Richardson, migratory game bird biologist for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, areas with water and a native or agricultural food source should be good spots come September.
Despite it being hot and dry, Richardson said breeding counts were up at the start of the summer. Food resources have improved this year, but water still remains limited in many locations.
"The wheat crop was really good across most of the state this year," Richardson said. "But fall crops like corn, milo, and sunflower have had spotty production because of the heat and drought."
After Free Hunting Days Sept. 1-2, dove hunters will be required to have a hunting license or proof of exemption and a HIP permit, available free online at wildlifedepartment.com.
The daily limit for dove is 15, which may consist of any combination of mourning, white-winged and fully dressed Eurasian collared doves ("fully dressed" describes those birds without a head or fully feathered wing naturally attached to the carcass). However, there is no limit on Eurasian collared doves provided that the head or one fully feathered wing remain naturally attached to the carcass of all such birds while being transported to their final destination.
Full details and regulations for dove hunting are available in the current "Oklahoma Hunting Guide," available free online at wildlifedepartment.com or at any location where hunting licenses are sold.
In addition to dove hunting, squirrel season also is open during Free Hunting Days, and there are other year-round hunting opportunities available for species such as coyotes. To see a full list of hunting opportunities, consult the current "Oklahoma Hunting Guide."