Fall River Wildlife Area News
2016 Dove Hunting Opportunities at Fall River Wildlife Area
Six fields of sunflowers totaling about 90 acres have been planted this year at Fall River Wildlife Area. These fields will be managed through timely mowing to attract doves. Fields at Fall River are in overall good condition this year despite excessive rains and flooding that took place this spring and early summer. Good hunting opportunities are expected. Last year, 223 hunters visited the Fall River dove fields during the first three days of dove season and harvested 1,645 doves. Accurate collection of this type of data is very important to help KDWP staff to evaluate the effectiveness of dove field location and management strategies that will help maximize opportunities for the dove hunters that choose to hunt at Fall River Wildlife Area.
Hunters will be required to use only non-toxic shot in managed dove fields at Fall River Wildlife Area. Managed dove fields are considered to be any field in which data collection by harvest survey cards is required and will usually be fields that have been planted in sunflowers.
Dove hunters will find mailboxes with registration cards posted at each sunflower field. Instructions posted at these mailboxes will guide hunters through the registration and harvest reporting process. Hunters are asked to please take the time to register and report their harvest accurately and be aware that registration and reporting is required. Extra signs will be posted around dove fields this year, and KDWP staff and Law Enforcement Officers will be patrolling dove fields to answer questions and remind hunters that registration and reporting of harvest is required. Hunters are also reminded that doves may be banded as part of a nationwide dove banding study. Hunters can help by inspecting all harvested doves for the presence of leg bands. The more bands that are reported by hunters the better understanding wildlife biologists will have about the habits of these challenging game birds. The phone number to call to report band information is 1-800-327-(BAND) 2263. This number is also printed on the bands but the bands are relatively small, making the phone number difficult to read.
Again this year, two sunflower fields are being reserved until Saturday, September 3rd for the special Youth Dove Hunt. This special event will be hosted at the Fall River Wildlife Area office near Climax and will be broken into two parts, morning and evening. The Youth Dove Hunt is for young hunter’s ages 10 to 15 who must be accompanied by an adult. Accompanying adults will not be allowed to hunt. KDWP will provide at least two boxes of steel shot shells for each hunter. With plenty of shooting opportunities expected, young hunters are encouraged to bring a couple extra boxes of (non-toxic shot) shells with them to ensure the action doesn’t have to stop before the hunt concludes. A brief review of hunter safety will be given prior to the hunt. Space may be limited so early registration is encouraged, and all young hunters must be pre-registered by September 2nd to hunt. Attendees may only participate in one portion and should choose either the morning OR the evening hunt. For the morning hunt, youth hunters will gather at 7:00 am, and for the evening hunt at 4:00 pm, each at the Fall River WA office. From there, after hunter safety review and issuing ammo, we will move to the dove fields for placement for the hunt.
For more information or to register a youth for the Youth Dove Hunt at Fall River Wildlife Area contact the Kansas Dept. of Wildlife and Parks at: (620)-583-6783.