It’s opening day of the mourning dove hunt.
They are the most abundant game bird in North America. Kent Van Horn, Department of Natural Resources waterfowl ecologist, says with over 1-million hunters, there are about 20-million mourning doves harvested per year in over 39 different states.
“Within Wisconsin we have 10 – 15,000 mourning dove hunters right now, and they’re harvesting something over 100,000 mourning doves each year.”
Van Horn says the daily bag limit is 15 doves per person. He urges hunters to abide by all the firearm safety precautions, including always knowing your target and beyond. And Van Horn warns, don’t shoot at the birds perched on powerlines, which could result in power outages or injury.
Today is also the first day the new mentored hunting law takes effect. It allows any licensed hunter to take 10-year olds hunting. “It would have to be only one gun between them — the adult and the youth hunter, OK, so that it’s actually a supervised hunt.”
Van Horn says the measure was intended to introduce someone new to the hunting tradition, and allow younger folks to hunt in a supervised situation to see whether they enjoy it before having to attend hunting education classes. A small game license is required.
The mourning dove season runs through November ninth. Also, the early Canada goose season starts today and runs through the 15th