BEST VIEWING & HUNTING OPPORTUNITIES
• View doves in suburban backyards and at feeders year-round
• Hunt doves in harvested grain fields (corn, wheat, millet & sunflowers)
• Hunting is best in early September, both in the morning & late afternoon
• Most wildlife areas have agricultural fields suited to dove hunting
• Rush Run Wildlife Area, Preble County
• Big Island Wildlife Area, Marion County
• Highlandtown Wildlife Area, Columbiana County
• Lake LaSuAn Wildlife Area, Williams County
Mourning doves are monitored annually by the National Call-count Survey, the North American Breeding Bird Survey (BBS), and through a cooperative banding program that includes most of the lower 48 states in the U.S. Mourning doves are very numerous in Ohio, and the national mourning dove survey has shown that the number of doves heard/route has been stable for the period 2003-2012.
Opportunities for feeding, viewing and harvesting mourning doves should be excellent throughout most of Ohio. Since 2003, the Division of Wildlife has participated in a multi-state dove banding project that yields estimates of harvest, reporting and survival rates and improve our ability to manage this important migratory game bird. The most recent (2010) harvest estimates indicate that there are approximately 12,700 hunters that pursue doves in Ohio. Annually, these hunters spend about 3.6 days in the field and have a seasonal harvest of approximately 17.5 birds per year. In Ohio, nearly 221,500 doves are taken by hunters annually.
Survey details and historical data can be found in the Grassland Species Overview section of the 2011-2012 Wildlife Population Status and Hunting Forecast.
Additional information about the Breeding Bird Survey can be found at: www.pwrc.usgs.gov/bbs/, whereas information about the National Call-count Survey can be found at: www.fws.gov/migratorybirds/reports/reports.html.