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Seasons and regulations
TO PREPARE YOUR DOVE FIELD
southern dove hunt can provide a lot of enjoyment in September, but now is
the best time to plan a hunt. Migratory bird regulations of the U.S. fish
and Wildlife Service allow hunting on agricultural fields planted for
wildlife management purposes and then harvested or manipulated in the late
summer. Planting a grain field in the previous spring and manipulating it
prior to dove season is the reliable way to attract doves over a longer
period, and is also the safest way to avoid any question of baiting or
intent to bait doves. Many other species of wildlife also benefit from
this wildlife management practice. The Tennessee Wildlife Resources
Agency (TWRA) recommends this method as the best practice to prepare a
Fields planted with sunflowers, corn, millet, wheat or soybeans are
very attractive to doves. Under current regulations, standing crops of
any grains or natural vegetation may manipulated to improve dove hunting
and make feed available to other wildlife.
Planting a field now with a grain crop and then bush-hogging strips a
little at a time in August is an excellent, legal way to create a dove
field. Bush-hogging a little at a time keeps food available for an
extended period and doves have a better chance to find the food and become
accustomed to using it.
Sunflowers are one of the best plants to be used for a dove
field, according to TWRA small game biologists. Black-oil sunflowers
produce a small seed doves love. When planted in May, the fields can be
harvested or bush-hogged before dove season to provide excellent dove
When planning doves fields remember, larger fields will
supply more grain and accommodate more hunters, but even small two or
three-acre fields can attract enough doves for a small family hunt.
So if you want to enjoy a carefree September dove hunt, plan now, plant
now and hunt later.
is a professional hunting and fishing guide here in the Paris Landing
area and host of The Outdoor Channel's television series IN-PURSUIT.