Free Hunting Days

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Dove hunting is a great opportunity to introduce a new hunter to the sport, but this year it is especially good. The first Saturday and Sunday of dove season just happens to coincide with Oklahoma’s Free Hunting Days.

On September 3 & 4, Oklahoma residents do not need a hunting license to go afield.

"There is no excuse not to take someone new during free hunting days. Not only is it a great time to take a kid hunting, it’s also a great time to introduce adults to our sporting heritage as well," said Lance Meek, hunter education coordinator for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. "Both squirrel and dove are plentiful around the state and offer sportsmen lots of action during early September."

A shotgun, an ample supply of shells and a place to go is all you really need to have a great day of dove hunting.

“As any long-time dove hunter will tell you, trying to predict dove numbers on opening day can be risky at best, but from all indications it looks like we should have a great dove season,” said Mike O’Meilia, migratory game bird biologist for the Wildlife Department.

Dove can be found from one corner of the state to the next, and hunters do not typically have to travel far to find dove. Recently harvested grain fields and cattle watering ponds on private lands can be excellent places to hunt dove, and they can often be found only a few miles outside city limits. Additionally, excellent hunting can be found on some of the areas managed by the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. In fact many areas of those properties have been managed specifically for doves.

To find out more about these areas, log onto wildlifedepartment.com and check out the new digital wildlife management area atlas. In addition to detailed maps, sportsmen can find additional information such as camping locations and contact information for local biologists.

For complete dove hunting regulations, be sure to pick up a copy of the “2005-06 Oklahoma Hunting Guide” at a sporting goods retailer near you.