Governor Chet Culver says he’s never hunted mourning doves because it’s not legal in Iowa, but he’s backing an unusual plan that would make it legal. Culver says he would back a plan that would let officials in Iowa’s 99 counties decide whether hunters can shoot at mourning doves within their county’s borders. A bill introduced in the legislature would legalize dove hunting statewide.
None of Iowa’s hunting seasons — for game like pheasants and deer — allow county-by-county rules. State officials, acting on authority established by legislators, set the dates and the rules for hunting seasons. Culver, though, says during the past campaign he expressed his support for a plan that would let counties decide whether to host a dove hunting season.