YUMA, Ariz. -(Ammoland.com)- Yuma’s reputation as the “Dove Hunting Capital of the United States” is well-deserved.
Banners on street poles welcome hunters by the thousands. Hotels and restaurants are packed. The news of the day takes a back seat to opening-day coverage on the front page of the Yuma Sun. It has been estimated that dove hunters pump up to $5 million into the city’s economy.
In addition to offering some of the finest wing-shooting for doves in the nation, Yuma also takes pride in hosting the second annual “World Championship Dove Cook-Off,” with cash, prizes and bragging rights awarded to the top three teams that rise above the competition.
The free event will take place at Cocopah Casino and Resort. To register as a participant, visit their website. The registration fee is $50 for a two-person team, $75 for a three-person team. The event begins at noon, and judging will start at 2 p.m. Scoring by the judges will be based on taste, appearance, creativity and unique use of doves.
This year’s display of culinary creativity will feature a celebrity judge in Hank Shaw, renowned hunter, angler, gatherer and cook. Shaw also is a prolific author who has written several articles for various publications, three cookbooks, and an award-winning food blog. In February, Shaw brought his “Buck, Buck, Moose” cookbook tour to the OneAZ Credit Union Pavilion, located at the Ben Avery Clay Target Center.
In addition to judging the competition, Shaw will demonstrate how to pluck doves, as well as do a little dove cooking himself.
Meanwhile, the start of the 2017 dove season is less than three weeks away. The Arizona Game and Fish Department reminds hunters they are legally required to have in their possession a valid Arizona license and Arizona migratory bird stamp.
Both can be purchased online right now on their website.
For more information about dove hunting in Arizona, visit their website.
Check out this video from last year’s cook-off.