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Six Tips for a Successful Dove Season

  • 9/20/2016 10:15:00 AM
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Dove hunting 101: six tips for a successful season | Iowa DNRWhether this is your first dove season or you're a seasoned veteran, be sure to brush up on these basics for hunting doves in Iowa.

  1. Scout before you go.  
    Preview the DNR's list of wildlife areas with managed dove plots.
  2. Know when to head out.
    Best times to hunt are morning and evenings when doves are most active.
  3. Location, location, location.
    Look for areas near standing crops or recently mowed fields where birds will feed.
  4. Practice your shot.
    Doves fly erratically, so know your shotgun pattern and practice beforehand.
  5. Be HIP, be cool.
    Don't forget to register for the Harvest Information Program (HIP) even if you don't shoot any birds. See page 9 of the regulations for more information. 
  6. Bring the bucket.
    Don't forget to bring your 5 gallon bucket! It makes for a great seat while you're waiting and a way to transport your harvest. (Don't forget to pack out your trash and shell litter, too.) 

Dove Season Quick Facts

  • Season Dates: September 1 - November 9
  • Shooting Hours: One-half hour before sunrise to sunset
  • Shot: Lead shot may be used except in designated nontoxic shot locations.
  • Bag Limit: Daily limit of 15, possession limit of 45.
  • Locations: Statewide
  • License/Fees: Small game license and habitat fee

2016-2017 Migratory Game Bird Regulations

2016-2017 Migratory Game Quick Reference Card

Mourning Dove Fact Sheet

Learn to Hunt