Kansas Hunting Atlas available; regulations online; hunters asked to look for banded doves
PRATT -- Kansas hunters are preparing for the traditional opening of hunting season when dove season opens Sept. 1 -- a split season running Sept. 1-Oct. 14 and Nov. 1-16. Special hunts are being prepared for youth in some areas of the state, and seasoned hunters are checking out waterholes, feeding spots, and roosting areas for the best places to hunt.

One excellent source of hunting places can be found in the Kansas Hunting Atlas , available at many license vendors, all Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP) offices, and online at the KDWP website, www.kdwp.state.ks.us. This booklet contains county-by-county maps of all public hunting areas, as well as Walk-In Hunting Areas (WIHA) in Kansas.

Another essential tool for the hunter is a copy of the 2006 Kansas Hunting and Furharvesting Regulations Summary , now available on the KDWP website and available over the counter the second week in September. This booklet contains a list of public wildlife areas, as well as illustrations of the four dove species that may be hunted in Kansas -- mourning, white-winged, Eurasian collared, and ringed turtle doves. This booklet is a must for all hunters throughout the 2006 seasons.

Because they are migratory game birds, doves are federally regulated. Federal rules require that shotguns be plugged to hold no more than three shells and limit the daily bag to 15, with a possession limit of 30. Limits are for any of the single species listed above, or in combination.

A valid Kansas hunting license and Harvest Information Stamp (HIP) are required to hunt doves, unless exempt by law. Those exempt include Kansas residents younger than 16 or 65 or older.

An additional treat for hunters -- and a help to biologists -- is the dove band. KDWP is asking dove hunters to look for leg bands on the mourning doves they shoot. The purpose of this banding project is to estimate annual survival rates, harvest rates, and distribution of the harvest, as well as to refine techniques for a future dove-banding program. This data is necessary for understanding population trends and responsibly managing dove harvests.

The hunter is a critical link in this mourning dove banding study. By checking all harvested doves for bands, and reporting banded doves, hunters help biologists manage this important migratory game bird. Because dove bands are small, hunters can easily overlook the bands. KDWP asks dove hunters to carefully check all doves bagged for the presence of a leg band.

Report banded mourning doves by phoning 1-800-327-BAND (2263). Banded birds may also be reported on the internet at www.pwrc.usgs.gov/bbl/. Hunters can keep the bands and will be provided a certificate identifying the age, sex, date, and location the bird was banded.

For more information about dove hunting and the law, contact the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, 620-672-5911, or visit the KDWP website.
Note On Baiting:
Baiting -- placing grain out to intentionally attract birds -- is illegal for any migratory bird hunting. These rules can be complicated. To inform dove hunters using agricultural lands, the following rules are provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to help hunters stay within the law.

Doves may be hunted on, over, or from the following:l

  • lands or areas where seeds or grains have been scattered solely as the result of normal agricultural operations, which include harvest, agricultural post-harvest manipulations, or other agricultural practices;
  • lands planted by means of top-sowing or aerial seeding where seeds have been scattered solely as the result of a normal agricultural planting, a planting for agricultural soil erosion control, or a planting for post-mining land reclamation;
  • lands or areas where grain or feed has been distributed or scattered solely as the result of the manipulation of an agricultural crop or other feed on the land where grown;
  • standing crops;
  • lands planted as wildlife food plots, provided the seed is planted in a manner consistent with cooperative state research and extension service recommendations for the planting of wildlife food plots;
  • lands planted as pasture improvements or for the purpose of grazing livestock; and
  • standing or manipulated natural vegetation.

Seeds freshly planted or otherwise distributed for the purpose of luring, attracting, or enticing doves within gun range will be considered baiting. Doves may not be hunted in an area where grain, salt, or other feed has been placed to improve dove hunting.
Doves may be hunted over agricultural crops, other feed, and natural vegetation that have been mowed, shredded, disked, rolled, chopped, trampled, flattened, burned, or sprayed. However, doves may not be hunted where seeds, grains, or other feed has been distributed after removal from or storage on the field where grown.