Arizona Dove Season Set And Shaping Up To Be A Good Season

Arizona Dove Season Set And Shaping Up To Be A Good Season

Arizona Game and Fish Department
Arizona Game and Fish Department

PHOENIX, AZ – -(AmmoLand.com)- The Arizona Game and Fish Commission has set the dove, band-tailed pigeon and sandhill crane seasons for the 2009-10 hunting seasons and the online regulations should available by mid-July, with the printed regulations being distributed around the last week of July.

“We usually have some of the best dove hunting in the United States, and this year is shaping up very nicely. I’m seeing lots and lots of fat white-winged doves out there right now,” said Migratory Bird Biologist Mike Rabe.

Rabe offered a caveat — there is always a chance many of the white-winged doves could migrate before the season begins, especially if the state is bombarded by intense late-summer storms.

For mourning doves, back-to-back years of good winter precipitation with accompanying seed production and good dove reproduction last summer should result in a robust population this year. “The key for mourning dove hunting is not the population as much as their accessibility. With lots of seeds available in the desert, they might be dispersed again this year. But then again, that can increase hunting opportunities and spread out the hunters as well,” Rabe said.

The downside is once again the diminishing urban areas to hunt doves, especially in the Valley of the Sun, although urban expansion may have slowed significantly due to the tough economic times.

Once again this year, the early dove season is Sept. 1-15 with half-day shooting in the desert zone for adult hunters and full-day shooting for youth. For the mountain zone it is all-day shooting.

The juniors-only hunt at the Robbin’s Butte Wildlife Area is scheduled for Sept. 5-6. Young hunters can expect to be treated to the traditional pancake and sausage breakfast from the good folks with the Chandler Rod & Gun Club following the hunt. This is an excellent introduction hunt for youngsters. There are even experts on hand if needed to help mentor.

The collared dove season was once again set for year-long hunting with an unlimited bag limit. The regulations provide illustrations on how to tell the difference between the different dove species.

The late dove season is Nov. 20, 2009 to Jan. 3, 2010 (all-day shooting). “With a great Gambel’s quail season expected in central Arizona this year, hunting dove and quail together should be almost irresistible, especially for those new to hunting. Rabbit populations are also good this year,” Rabe said.

Young hunters and others new to hunting will want to check the Game and Fish Web site at www.azgfd.gov for a listing of introductory hunting workshops or camps. The department is teaming up with sportsmen’s organizations and the goal is to have at least two dozen camps during the upcoming season.

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The Arizona Game and Fish Department prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, age, or disability in its programs and activities. If anyone believes that they have been discriminated against in any of the AGFD’s programs or activities, including employment practices, they may file a complaint with the Deputy Director, 5000 W. Carefree Highway, Phoenix, AZ 85086-5000, (602) 942-3000, or with the Fish and Wildlife Service, 4040 N. Fairfax Dr. Ste. 130, Arlington, VA 22203. Persons with a disability may request a reasonable accommodation or this document in an alternative format by contacting the Deputy Director as listed above.