August is here and if you plan to dove hunt, it’s time to prepare. Drawings for hunting spots on nearby Ohio wildlife areas are scheduled for Aug. 27.
If you are among those Ohioans who enjoy dove hunting, August is the time to gear up, both with your equipment and physical condition. And don’t forget Fido. If he’s been lying around in the air conditioning all summer, he’s not ready to hunt.
Dove season runs Sept. 1-Nov. 6 and then Dec. 17-Jan. 8.
While you might have your own, private, spot to hunt doves, the state does provide some excellent dove hunting facilities at selected wildlife areas and the drawings for the first two days are coming up. The spots in these controlled hunts are coveted, so get your name in early on the drawing day and you might be picked for a position.
The drawings for these hunts will be held at noon on Aug. 27. The drawings will be held at Fallsville, Rush Run, Spring Valley, Indian Creek, and Bott wildlife areas. The controlled hunts will occur during just the first two days of the season, Sept. 1 and 2.
Controlled hunts will also be held at the St. Marys State Fish Hatchery on Sept. 1, 3, 10 and 17. The St. Marys opening day hunt will be drawn on Aug. 27 at noon at the hatchery. Drawings for September 3rd, 10th, and 17th will be held at noon on the days of the hunts. Youth will be given priority on the Sept. 3 hunt only. An adult must be present with the youth(s). The office address is 01735 Feeder Road, St. Marys.
For more information, call the District 5 wildlife headquarters at (937) 372- 9261 or the St. Marys hatchery at (419) 394-5170.
Hours for dove hunting on District Five wildlife areas, controlled and non-controlled, are noon to sunset from Sept. 1-10. Hours are sunrise to sunset for the remainder of the dove hunting season.
In order to participate in the drawings, hunters will be required to present a 2016-2017 hunting license and current Harvest Information Program (HIP) certification prior to the drawing. HIP certification is free and can be acquired by calling (877) HIP-OHIO. For more information on HIP, visit fws.gov/hip/. And be sure to arrive at the drawing plenty early to get checked in.
Here are a few tips to prepare for the dove season:
• The most successful dove hunters begin their season by scouting possible hunting areas in August. If on private lands, make sure you have written permission to be there.
• Likely hot spots include recently harvested soybean, corn, hay, or wheat fields.
• A water source nearby will make the area more attractive to doves.
• Hunters should set up along a fence row or other cover.
• Small blinds may be used to hunt the middle of a field; brush piles, small bushes, or even camouflage clothing may be equally effective.
• Dove hunters often hunt in teams, with individuals distributed around the edge of a field to keep the birds moving.
• While not necessary, the use of dove decoys and calls may improve hunting success, especially late in the season when fewer doves are moving through the state or as doves become more wary.
• Since doves will usually remain in an area until they are frightened away, hunters should try to hunt an area only every other day or so.
• August is the time to make sure your equipment is ready, so there are no surprises on hunting days. Have plenty of ammo on hand and go to the range to practice some shooting. Naturally, trapshooting, skeet and sporting clays are good ways to get your eyes conditioned for darting doves.
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