State fish and wildlife agencies, all four flyway councils and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will ask dove hunting enthusiasts across the country to share their experiences and opinions about dove hunting in an upcoming coordinated efforts.
The National Dove Hunter Survey is scheduled to begin this month, and will be compiled by the end of the year. Randomly selected hunters will receive questionnaires in the mail beginning this week.
Survey questions will focus on hunter characteristics, time spent outdoors, perceived constraints to hunting and hunter’s thoughts about potential effects of spent lead from hunting ammunition on mourning doves and other wildlife.
“There are more than 1 million dove hunters in the United States. This survey will encompass all regions of the country and will give us an excellent picture of hunter opinions and needs.” said Dr. Ken Richkus of the Service’s Population and Habitat Assessment Branch, in a news release. “The Service and the states want to make sure we use the best science-based information for the management and conservation of our migratory bird resources and take hunter opinions and preferences into account whenever possible.”
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department supports the survey efforts and requests that selected hunters return their responses so the agency may better address questions regarding dove hunting. Approximately 250,000 mourning dove hunters harvest 5 million mourning doves on an annual basis in Texas — making Texas the leader in the number of hunters and harvest in the United States.