Hunting Eurasian Collared Doves in the USA: A Perfect Summer Adventure - NSSF Let's Go Hunting

Hunting Eurasian Collared Doves in the USA: A Perfect Summer Adventure


Are you interested in a bird hunting experience during the summer months? If so, hunting collared doves might be just the activity for you! In this article, we’ll explore what collared doves are, how and where to hunt them, and why it’s possible to hunt them year-round.


What are Eurasian Collared Doves?

Collared doves are medium-sized birds with a distinct “collar” of black feathers around their necks. Originally from Europe and Asia, they were introduced to North America and have rapidly expanded their population. These doves are often seen in urban areas, farmlands, and open woodlands.


Hunting Eurasian Collared Doves: A Year-Round Opportunity

One exciting aspect of hunting collared doves in the USA is that they can be hunted year-round in most states. Unlike other game birds with specific hunting seasons, collared doves fall under the category of “non-protected” or “invasive” species in many states. This means they are not native to the USA, and, in some regions, their large populations can cause problems for agriculture and native bird species. As a result, wildlife authorities in certain states allow year-round hunting to control their numbers and manage their impact on the environment.


Where to Hunt Eurasian Collared Doves

Ethically pursuing collared doves means hunting in locations where it’s safe, legal, and environmentally responsible. Collared doves are often found in open areas, like farmlands, open woodlands, and urban settings. To hunt them ethically, it’s essential to have permission from landowners or use public lands where hunting is allowed. Remember to follow all hunting regulations and seasons set by local wildlife authorities. Always respect the environment and other wildlife while enjoying your hunting experience.

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1. Public Lands and Wildlife Management Areas: One of the best and most accessible options for hunting collared doves ethically is on public lands and wildlife management areas. These areas are often managed by state or federal agencies, and hunting regulations are strictly enforced to ensure sustainable practices. Check with your local wildlife agency to find nearby public lands with open hunting seasons for collared doves.

2. Private Lands with Permission: Hunting on private lands can offer excellent opportunities, but it’s crucial to obtain permission from landowners before venturing onto their property. Many landowners are open to responsible hunters who respect their land and follow the rules. Establish a respectful relationship with the landowner and adhere to their guidelines to ensure a positive hunting experience.

3. Farmlands and Agricultural Areas: Collared doves are commonly found in farmlands and agricultural areas where they feed on grains and seeds. These locations can be promising spots for ethical hunting, but always seek permission from farmers before hunting on their lands. Respecting their crops and property is essential for maintaining good relationships with landowners.

4. Open Woodlands and Rural Areas: Collared doves often inhabit open woodlands and rural regions. These areas can provide excellent opportunities for hunters looking to experience dove hunting. As with any hunting expedition, ensure that the land is legally accessible and that you follow all hunting regulations.

5. States with Year-Round Hunting Seasons: Certain states offer year-round hunting seasons for collared doves due to their non-protected or invasive status. States with larger dove populations may present the best opportunities for hunters looking to enjoy dove hunting during the summer months.


Hunting Tips and Techniques

Hunting collared doves can be both challenging and rewarding. Here are some simple tips to enhance your chances of success:

  1. Bird Identification: It’s extremely important hunters know what they are looking for because mourning doves, white-winged doves, spotted doves, ring turtle doves and Eurasian collared doves look similar, but hunters are expected to know the difference. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife has a graph to help hunters differentiate.
  2. Scouting: Before heading out, scout the area to find locations where collared doves are abundant. Look for areas with food sources like grains and seeds, which attract these birds.
  3. Camouflage: Collared doves have sharp eyesight, so it’s crucial to wear camouflage clothing to blend into the surroundings effectively.
  4. Decoys: Using decoys can be a useful tactic to attract collared doves. These decoys mimic other doves and make the area appear more attractive to them.
  5. Shotgun and Ammo: A shotgun is the preferred weapon for hunting doves due to its quick and erratic flight. Use lightweight, small-pellet shotshells for better accuracy and safety. Learn more about Shotgun and ammo types here.
  6. Patience and Practice: Hunting collared doves requires patience and practice. Spend time at the shooting range to improve your shooting skills and be prepared for the fast-moving targets.

Hunting collared doves in the USA during the summer can be an enjoyable experience. Their year-round hunting status provides a unique opportunity for hunters to pursue these birds and help maintain a balanced ecosystem. Just remember to follow all local hunting regulations, get the appropriate licenses, and practice ethical and responsible hunting. So, gear up, head out to the fields, and enjoy the summer hunting adventure with collared doves!


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