On Thursday, September 1, Upper Midwest hunters will be out in the fields, set up around dams as the 2022 mourning dove season opens.
Doves are migratory birds found throughout the United States and the nation’s most popular game bird by kill count.
You better be on top of your game when hunting these stunt speedsters. They rarely fly in a straight line, change their flight path in a second, and have the ability to fly up to 55 miles per hour.
In South Dakota, dove season is open from September 1 through Wednesday, November 9. Mourning Doves and Eurasian Collared Doves are found throughout the state. The daily bag limit for doves is 15 per day and 45 is the possession limit.
All migratory bird hunters, including dove hunters, must complete and purchase South Dakota Migratory Bird Certification information.
Hunters can have the opportunity to hunt three species of doves, Mourning Dove, Eurasian Collared Doves, and White-winged Doves in the southern part of the state.
You can find doves in parts of the state and, sometimes in large numbers, around a dam one day and, with a change in the weather, they will be long gone the next day, migrating out of the area.
It doesn’t take much for these birds to begin their migration south. A change in weather, cooler nights, or rainy days will cause them to cluster together, and if these conditions continue, they will head south, where they will overwinter in warmer climates.
Doves feed on seeds, foraging in planted and harvested grain fields, including fields of millet, wheat, and sunflower, as well as fields containing ragweed and marijuana. Doves love the small seeds produced by these weeds. If there is rag grass and hemp around the ponds, the doves will continue to come and feed throughout the day
The hunters I hunt with have a wide choice when it comes to caliber rifles. They include 20, 26, and 20 gauge. Each of these will work well when hunting doves with hunters using seven-and-a-half, eight, and nine-round trap loads, depending on what loads are on sale before the season of the dove. dove.
Some of the best hunts can take place near waterholes in the early morning, when the birds fly off their roost, and in the late afternoon, when the birds come to drink as they return to the roost.
When hunting around ponds, it is best to have several hunters posted on either side of the water to keep the birds moving. Because doves fly so erratically, you never know which direction they will come from. By having hunters around the pond or on different ponds in the area, other hunters are able to let you know if the birds are coming from behind.
When dove hunting, there is quite a difference in shooting a dove. To pick up those quick little fliers, as we said, you’re a damn good shot if you average less than 10 rounds per bird.