Hunting seasons continue

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Dennis Clay

This is the second of a multi-part series about the upcoming hunting seasons.

Weather forecast: Highs in the 90s for August with a gradual downswing to the 70s by mid-September. The lower temperatures will be welcomed by this hunter as the hunting seasons continue to appear as summer rolls into fall.

Doves

The mourning dove season begins Sept. 1 and continues through Oct. 30, with a daily limit of 15. There were years when this season was just 15 days long and the daily limit was 10. Now we have a two-month season and a limit of 15. Is this because the mourning doves are doing better than in the past?

There are two more doves to shoot and eat. One is the rock dove, which we know as a pigeon, and the other is the Eurasian collared dove. Both are an invasive species, so there is no limit and they can be hunted all year long.

Hunt pigeons? Pigeons, also called rock doves, living on area farms are eating the same food as the mourning doves, so they are perfectly good to eat. Scenario: A ranching couple has a wheat field surrounding their house. A couple of hunters are invited to hunt the land.

First the pigeons flying out of the barn are dropped, then the mourning doves are targeted, along with a few collared doves. It is possible to drop three types of doves with three shots. On the ground are 12 mourning doves, 17 pigeons and five collared doves.

The ranch couple make my hunting partner and me go inside the house for a piece of pie. We are really on our way to our turkey hunting area, so we go north and east after turkey for a few hours. We return to the ranch for an evening dove hunt, then head home, after another piece of pie.

This allows for a lot of experience and learning for a youth hunter or an older hunter who doesn’t have much knowledge or skill.

Turkey

Turkey hunting in Washington State is a great success story. These birds have become a pest/nuisance/annoyance in some areas. The largest flock observed during my hunts numbered 300.

The state allows two bearded turkeys to be taken in the spring and four in the general fall hunt. My hunt area has a season of Sept. 1 through Dec. 31 and a limit of two beardless and two either sex turkeys.

Again, this is a bunch of hunting for any hunter, but more experience and learning for a youth hunter or an older hunter who doesn’t have much knowledge or skill.

Next week: The hunting seasons continued.

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