The state’s second mourning dove season is winding down. Iowa Department of Natural Resources wildlife biologist, Todd Bogenschutz, says they won’t get official counts for awhile, but it sounds like things have gone well.
“Anecdotal reports we had on this season on the opening were pretty positive reports….so I’m expecting numbers to be a little better than they were in our first season,” Bogenschutz says.
A survey of hunters showed over 57,000 doves were taken in that first season. Bogenschutz says doves are migratory birds, so the hunting was probably the best early on. “You know our season opens September first and actually a lot of the doves that were hatched this year in Iowa were leaving the state in August before the season even opened. They tend to migrate pretty early, they don’t really care for the cold weather when we start getting frost,” he explains.
“So when we had those couple of nights of pretty good frost there, that pretty much pushed most of our birds on further south. Usually all we’ll have in the winter months here are a few adult male birds, you know part of that population will hang around.” The pheasant season opens this weekend and Bogenschutz says there will be some crossover of the dove hunters and pheasant hunters.
“I’m sure that some of our pheasant hunters definitely participate,” Bogenschutz says. He says he doesn’t that there’s people who say they are going to hunt doves instead of pheasants, but may just like to try dove hunting as something different.
Bogenschutz says the dove season is a good way to introduce people to hunting and says it is a more challenging as doves are smaller and harder to hit. The dove season ends November 9th.