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Dove Game Hunting Species

September 23, 2022 3 min read

Dove Game Hunting Species

Dove hunting is the perfect way to spend this autumn season as September is the dove season, our blog dove hunting has described the three groups the dove have been classified. 

  • Legal game birds
  • Protected species
  • Unprotected species

Here we are going to discuss some physical characteristics of game hunting dove species.

Dove Game Hunting Species:

Only three species of dove are considered as legal game birds, and these are,

  • Mourning Dove
  • Collared Dove
  • White-winged Dove

Morning Dove:

Zenaida macroura, mourning dove, is the most common game birds in North America. The mourning dove is also known as rain dove and American mourning dove. The mourning dove breed in the warm season and also known to have more than 5 subspecies.

Pc: Pixabay

General Characteristics:

  • The body is streamlined with a tapered triangular sharp tail.
  • The body is overall brown. The females have blue crowns, pink breasts and green napes on their necks. Both male and female have black spots on the upper surface of their wings.
  • One of the interesting and distinguishing characters is that they produce a certain kind of rattling whistle from their wings while taking a flight. 
  • They weigh about 4-5 ounces
  • They live in nests which may be in the trees, in crop fields, grasslands and shrubs. The mourning dove avoids thick forests and swamps.

Diet of Mourning Dove:

90% of their diet contains seeds and grains, they rarely eat insects.  They love to eat rapeseed, sweet gum seeds, pine nuts, corn, sesame, millet, safflower, wheat, and sunflower seeds.

Pc: Unsplash

Range of Mourning Dove:

The mourning dove hunting season starts in September and lasts till October. It is legal to hunt mourning dove in Kansas, Arizona and Missouri, Mexico. They are also present in Canada. Mourning dove is a migratory dove specie.

Collared Dove:

Streptopelia decaocto, known as Eurasian collared dove or simply collared dove. The collared dove is a small dove.

Pc: Pixabay

General Characteristics:

  • The dove gets its name due to the prominent dark black collar around its neck. The body has gray plumage with black beak and short pinkish legs.
  • Collared doves has radish brown iris.
  • The tail is not sharp instead their tail is squared-off which helps in distinguishing during flight. 
  • Such doves are commonly present in urban locality and grain field areas.
  • Collared dove produce specific type of call such as cooing call and raspy screeching type calls.
  • The average weight of this dove is 4-8 ounce

Diet of Collared Dove:

Collared dove mainly feed on grains, seeds, insects and shoots. The dove live near human habitation and visits the livestock grain stores for their food. They mostly fly in flocks.

Pc: Pexels

Range of Collared Dove:

It is commonly present in Asia, Europe. It is not a migratory specie of dove. In North America, the collared dove has an invasive specie status

White-winged Dove:

Zenaida asiatica, and white-winged doves, are larger than other doves. The older name of white-winged dove is “Sonora pigeon” as their appearance is half like pigeon and half like dove. Hunters mostly love to encounter white winged doves in summer and spring season rather than in fall season. White-winged dove has 5 recognized subspecies

Pc: Unsplash

General Characteristics:

  • The dove gets its name from the white edge on their wings. This is also the distinguishing feature. 
  • They differ from mourning dove as they have a brownish gray tone with white wing epaulets. The feet are red while a blue ring is around the eyes without feathers. 
  • The tail of this dove is round tipped and white.
  • They have bluish eyes while juveniles have brownish.
  • White-winged doves have an average weigh of about 8 ounces and are larger than mourning doves.

Diet of White-winged Dove:

The White-winged dove mainly feed on grains, seeds and fruits. They also feed on pollen and nectar.

Range of White-winged Dove:

White-winged dove are mostly present in the southwest states of America. It can survive in all environments and inhabit the urban areas, deserts, and even scrubs. In America its range extended to Texas, Mexico, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma and also introduced to Florida.

Dove hunting is not a hard science, you must know about the locations and state rules and regulations. Dove are very sensitive small game birds and hunting pressure greatly affect their presence in a certain area. Late fall season hunting with favorable conditions will surely be a good experience.

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