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Dove hunting season opens September 1st by Larry Myhre

Reprinted from the Sioux City Journal

Sept. 1, is the opening day of dove season throughout our three-state area. While there will be many hunters in the field this evening, the big push will not come until the weekend.

I’ve hunted doves for years, mostly in Nebraska and South Dakota, long before Iowa had a season. I’ve enjoyed every hunt, and doves, when prepared correctly, can be mighty good eating.

If dove hunting is a new experience for you, and for many Iowans it will be even though we have had a season for a few years now, I’ll try to get you started.

There are numerous ways to hunt doves. The way I really prefer to do it is to set up at a farm pond to await the evening flight. It is, however, important to pick the right pond. Doves like to fly in, settle on a mud bank and walk down to the water to take a drink. So it is important that you pick a pond with good mud banks at least on one side.

Doves roost in trees at night, so a pond near some timber where doves roost can make one pond fit the “super” category and another just “average.”

This is where scouting comes into play. Just like any other hunting, you want to set up where the game is. It helps to get out and drive around looking for good places to set up. Take a pair of binoculars because they can help you spot doves.

Most landowners will let you hunt doves, but explain your tactics to them so they know what to expect.

Iowa has lots of public shooting areas that have good flights of doves, especially those that have food plots planted for doves. Go to the Iowa DNR website and click on the banner dove picture to find the listings.

South Dakota has over a million acres of “Walk-In” land in addition to a great many other public lands that you can hunt. Nebraska does too. Go to their websites to get all the information. [Read more…]