A mourning dove hunting season is on its way to becoming a reality after the Natural Resources Commission Wednesday approved rules for the season proposed by the Department of Natural Resources on a 5-2vote.

 D.N.R. spokesman, Kevin Baskins, says the proposal calls for a fall season.

Baskins says the plan calls for the season to begin September first and run for 70 days — which he says is a season length consistent with the states surrounding Iowa. Baskins says the rules set up the bag limits for the birds. He says the rules call for a daily limit of 15 birds and a possession limit of 30. Baskins says the D.N.R. has lots of information to help set the limits.

Baskins says mourning doves are the number one game bird in the United States and have more research done on them than any other bird. He says Iowa biologists have been conducting research on mourning doves for some 40 years. Baskins says it is not uncommon for mourning doves tagged in Iowa to be shot by hunters in other states.

Information from the D.N.R. says six out of every 10 mourning doves die each year — with hunters accounting for one of the deaths and disease, weather and predators accounting for the other five. Baskins says the hunting rules must still be approved by a legislative committee. A public meeting on the rules is scheduled for May 24th at one p.m. at the Wallace Building.

There’ll be another vote on the rules by the Natural Resources Commission later this year.

Dove photo provided by the Iowa D.N.R.