For those who don’t hunt, fall may officially start on September 23, the Autumn Equinox, but for hunters, fall starts on September 1 when dove season opens. The 2015 dove season is open Sept. 1-Oct. 31 and Nov. 7-15. Mourning, white-winged, Eurasian collared and ringed turtle doves may be hunted. The daily bag limit on mourning and white-winged doves is 15, single species or in combination. There is no limit on Eurasian or ringed turtle doves, but any taken in addition to a daily bag limit of mourning and white-winged doves must have a fully-feather wing attached during transport.
Mourning doves are the most widespread and abundant game bird in North America, and Kansas boasts one of the highest breeding populations in the Midwest. By the time September 1 rolls around, Kansas can literally be teeming with morning doves. However, taking a limit of 15 doves isn’t as easy as it may appear. First, doves are fast and agile fliers and a difficult target for the most seasoned wingshooter. And then there is the matter of being in the right place at the right time.
Pre-season scouting will greatly improve a dove hunter’s odds for success. Finding feed fields the birds are using and open pasture ponds where doves water are keys to good hunting. Fantastic dove hunting can also be found by visiting the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism’s (KDWPT) website, www.ksoutdoors.com, where hunters will find a page devoted to KDWPT managed dove fields. The list includes locations of fields on wildlife areas where public land managers plant dove-attracting crops. Listings will include type of crop planted and any special regulations, such as fields reserved for youth hunters. Dove hunters must use non-toxic shot on all managed dove fields and waterfowl management areas where non-toxic shot is required for all shotgun hunting. See the2015 Kansas Hunting and Furharvesting Regulations Summary for a complete list of all areas requiring non-toxic shot for dove hunting.
Hunters should also check the regulations for wildlife areas that have converted to electronic daily hunt permits through iSportsman, which replace the old paper daily hunt permits. The new electronic hunt permits are more convenient for hunters and much more labor efficient for area managers. Hunters can go to https://kdwpt.isportsman.net to register. Once registered, a hunter can check in before a hunt using a smartphone, personal computer, cell phone or landline. Checking out can be done the same way at the hunter’s convenience.
All resident dove hunters 16-74 must have a Kansas hunting license and a Harvest Information Program permit, unless exempt by law. Hunters must have permission to hunt private land whether it is posted or not, and this includes railroad right-of-ways. Hunters must have written permission to access any land posted with written permission signs or having purple paint visible on posts or trees along the boundaries.