California Dove Hunting

California Dove Hunting

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2013 California Dove Hunting Regulations


Proposed new regs for 2013 season that were voted on Aug 8 2013 at the CA Fish & Game Commission meeting. 
European Collared doves all year in the Imperial Valley, 3X instead of 2x daily bag for possession for dove, quail, chukar and grouse.

1st season is September 1st through 15, 2013. The 2nd dove season is Nov. 9- Dec. 23, 2013.

White-winged Doves: Can be taken in Imperial, Riverside and San Bernardino counties only.

1st season is September 1st through 15, 2013. The 2nd dove season is Nov. 9 - Dec. 23, 2013.

Eurasian Collared Doves: Can be taken statewide

1st season is September 1st through 15, 2013. The 2nd dove season is Nov. 9 - Dec. 23, 2013.

DFG early upland regs flyer.

LICENSE REQUIREMENTS: Hunting License: You must possess a California hunting license in addition to the Upland Game Stamp. The cost of a hunting license is:

Annual resident hunting license - $44.85.
Junior annual resident hunting license - $11.62. (Required for any resident or nonresident less than 16 years of age who takes birds or mammals. To qualify, hunter must be less than 16 years of age at the beginning of the license year (July 1).
Non resident annual hunting license - $155.52. (Required for any nonresident 16 years of age or older who takes birds or mammals).
One-Day Nonresident license, age 16 and over (not valid for big game) - $21.34. IMPORTANT! This license is only available for nonresidents taking resident and migratory game birds on Licensed Game Bird Clubs (Upland Game Bird Stamp is also required) or Licensed Domesticated Migratory Game Bird Shooting Areas (Federal Migratory Bird Stamp and California Duck Stamp are also required).
Two-Day Nonresident license, age 16 and over (not valid for big game) - $44.85. Required for any person 16 years of age or older, for taking resident and migratory game birds, resident small game mammals, nongame mammals and furbearers for two consecutive days. IMPORTANT! This license is NOT valid for deer, bear, antelope, elk, bighorn sheep or pig.
Reduced Fee, Disabled Veteran - $7.05.
Duplicate Hunting License - $9.98.
Hunter Education Stamp - $3.75.
Harvest Information Program Stamp (HIP) - No fee. Required for any person hunting ducks, dove, gallinules, geese, band-tailed pigeon, black brant, coots, and snipe. This validation is free to hunters who complete the Harvest Information Program (HIP) Survey. The validation is available where hunting licenses are sold. The HIP Validation is imprinted on your hunting license document when you answer the HIP Survey questions. If you hunt migratory game birds, verify that a HIP Validation has been printed on your hunting license. The HIP Survey provides wildlife biologists with data needed to make wildlife management decisions and formulate hunting seasons. More information about HIP.
Upland Bird Stamp - $9.21. Required for any person taking upland game bird species, excluding juniors hunting under the authority of a junior hunting license.

The California hunting license is good from July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2014. California resident and nonresident hunting licenses are nonrefundable and nontransferable.

Definition of Resident. A resident is defined as any person who has resided continuously in California for six months immediately before the date of application for a license, tag or permit; persons on active duty with the armed forces of the United States or an auxiliary branch; or Job Corps enrollees.

Disabled Veteran Hunting Licenses. A $7.05 hunting license is available for qualified disabled veterans. Available to any resident or nonresident honorably discharged disabled veteran with a 50 percent or greater service-connected disability who takes birds or mammals. Certification from the United States Department of Veterans’ Affairs is required at the time of application or a copy of a previous year’s California Disabled Veteran’s Hunting License. The first license must be purchased from a DFG License Sales Office. Subsequent licenses may be purchased from any license agent or online.

Hunter Education Special Requirement. Hunting licenses shall be issued to hunters only upon presentation of one of the following:

An annual California hunting license from a prior year or evidence of having held such a license; a California hunter education completion or equivalency certificate; a certificate of competence or completion of a California approved hunter education training course from any state or Canadian province; or a current year hunting license from any state, province, European country or South Africa. For further information, contact any DFG office or license agent. A California hunter education validation stamp must be affixed to hunter education certificates from California.

Hunter Ed classes: Classes are given throughout the state. Classes are listed below by county. Check the list to find a class in your area.  If you cannot find a class, phone the Regional Hunter Education Coordinator and request information. Information on classes may also be obtained from sporting goods stores, license agents and sport shooting and hunting clubs.

Home Study / On-Line Classes

On-line courses are available at HunterExam California and International Hunter Education Association . The on-line course in itself will not get you a valid hunter education certificate. Once you have completed one of the above on-line courses, you will still need to attend a 4 hour follow-up home study/on-line class with a certified hunter education instructor. Access is permitted to the Home Study and On-line 4 hour follow-up class only after a student has completed the written Home Study or On-line component of the class. Contact the local District Coordinator for more information on the Home Study or On-line class.

Hunting Mentors And New Hunters Looking For A Mentor: We have forum where mentors and new hunters can hook up with each other. This is a great way to give back to the sport if you are a seasoned hunter. This is also an excellent resource for the new hunter to learn from a mentor who can help show them the ropes.

DAILY BAG LIMIT: The daily bag limit is 10 mourning or whitewing doves in aggregate. Spotted doves, Eurasian collared-doves, and ringed turtle doves: no bag limit.

Note; There is no open hunting season on common ground-doves, ruddy ground-doves, and Inca doves. White-winged doves may be taken only in Imperial, Riverside, and San Bernardino counties.

POSSESSION LIMITS: the possession limit is 20 birds after the first day of the season. 10 doves per day in aggregate of the above listed dove. White-winged doves may only be taken in Imperial, Riverside and San Bernardino counties. There is no open hunting season on common ground doves, ruddy ground doves and and Inca doves. Make sure you leave a wing on the doves for identification by DFG wardens if you field dress your birds. You must also fill out a "Declaration for Entry" form to comply with Importation law: Section 2353 of the California Fish & Game Code if you bring any game into California from another state or country. You can get the "Declaration for Entry" form here.

SHOOTING HOURS: are from 1/2 hour before sunrise to sunset.

BAITING: DFG reg. 257.5. You cannot use bait for hunting dove nor can dove be taken within 400 yards of any baited area. The definition of "baited area"; shall mean any area where shelled, shucked or unshucked corn, wheat or other grains, salt, or other feed whatsoever capable of luring, attracting, or enticing such birds or mammals is directly or indirectly placed, exposed, deposited, distributed, or scattered, and such area shall remain a baited area for ten days following complete removal of all such corn, wheat or other grains, salt, or other feed.

SHOOTING FROM VEHICLES: DFG reg. 252. No person shall pursue, drive, herd, or take any bird or mammal from any type of motor-driven air or land vehicles, motorboat, airboat, sailboat, or snowmobile, except: 1) When the motor of such motorboat, airboat, or sailboat has been shut off and/or the sails furled and its progress therefrom has ceased, and it is drifting, beached, moored, resting at anchor, or is being propelled by paddle, oar or pole. (2)if they have a Mobility Disabled Persons Motor Vehicle License.

RADIO USE WHILE HUNTING: It is legal to use and posses two way radios while hunting in California.

DOGS: You can use dogs to retrieve your doves.

TRESPASS: If the land you hunt on is not your own, it belongs to someone else. Make sure you have a legal right to be there. Contact the owner or person who administers the property, and secure written permission to hunt. A hunting license does not entitle you to enter private property.

"It is unlawful to enter any lands under cultivation or enclosed by a fence, belonging to, or occupied by, another, or to enter any uncultivated or unenclosed lands, including lands temporarily inundated by waters flowing outside the established banks of a river, stream, slough, or other waterway, where signs forbidding trespass are displayed at intervals not less than three to the mile along all exterior boundaries and at all roads and trails entering such lands, for the purpose of discharging any firearm or taking or destroying any mammal or bird, including any waterfowl, on such lands without having first obtained written permission from the owner of such lands, or his agent, or the person in lawful possession thereof. Such signs may be of any size and wording, other than the wording required for signs under Section 2017, which will fairly advise persons about to enter the land that the use of such land is so restricted." Section 2016, Fish and Game Code. Click the link below to get a trespass permission slip you can print out and carry with you.

What is the fine for a trespass infraction ticket? Look it up here:

Page #117 starts the Hunting infractions.
2016 M Trespass While Hunting = $760
2000 M Unlawful Taking or Possessing of Fish or Wildlife = $760

Click the link below to get the trespass permission slip you can print.

SAFETY: It is always unlawful to: Place on, or carry or possess a loaded rifle or shotgun in a vehicle or conveyance or its attachments on any public road or other way open to the public: Hunt while intoxicated; Shoot at any game bird from a powerboat, sailboat, motor vehicle, or aircraft while under power or still moving from use of sail or motor. (See Section 251) Shoot any firearm from or upon a public road or highway.

DISCHARGING FIREARMS OR OTHER DEADLY WEAPONS SAFETY ZONE: It is unlawful for any person, other than the owner, person in possession of the premises, or a person having the express permission of the owner or person in possession of the premises, to hunt or to discharge while hunting, any firearm or other deadly weapon within 150 yards of any occupied dwelling house, residence, or other building or any barn or other outbuilding used in connection therewith. The 150-yard area is a safety zone.


Get Acrobat here.

2012 Dove Forecast


Dove in treetop

Outdoor News Service
By JIM MATTHEWS www.OutdoorNewsService 25 August 2011 Forecast for dove season opener is very good, as usual Thunderclouds billowed up over the San Gabriel, San Bernardino and San Jacinto Mountain ranges on Thursday with even more clouds and the change of rain forecast through the weekend. The monsoon rains those clouds bring represent the only real threat dove hunters face to seeing a very good opener to the season next Thursday on Sept. 1.

Reports from throughout the region, from Needles to Yuma and west to Brawley and north into the Carrizo Plain, all point to a very good dove season opener this year. But traditional wisdom says that birds flee south when these monsoon rains move in. Why they would fly into the teeth of the storm moving up from the south makes that wisdom seem more like a wives’ tale. If the birds don’t get run out by rains, of whatever sends them south this time of year, it should be good to excellent.

“The local farmers are telling me it’s the best year in four or five years, the birds are that thick,” said Richard Sprague of Sprague’s Sport in Yuma, Ariz., which is dove central in this region. “The party line from the (Arizona) Game and Fish is that it’s looking real solid.”

Yuma throws out the welcome mat for dove hunters from across the country because there are probably more doves per square mile along this part of the Colorado River than anywhere else in the nation, and hunters flock to Yuma to see fields so infested with doves it’s hard not to shoot a limit of 10 birds. Sprague’s is also home to the 23rd Annual Big Breast Contest, where the heaviest dove breast wins a new shotgun for the hunter weighing in the bird -- and only mourning doves or whitewings qualify, not the new Eurasian doves. There are usually some 200 entrants into the competition, and it is almost always won by a whitewing, according to Sprague.

There are also some changes in the Arizona hunting season for California hunters who purchase non-resident Arizona license or Indian Reservation licenses and hunt on that side of the river. First, hunters can again hunt all day (no more half-day hunting, except on the Colorado River Indian Tribes Reservation, which opted to stay with half-day hunting), and second, a limit of 10 doves can consist of any number of whitewings and mourning doves. In the past, no more than six birds of the 10-bird limit could be whitewings.

In the Imperial Valley, Scott Sewell, who manages the Imperial Wildlife Area for the Department of Fish and Game, said there were “more birds here than you can shake a stick at. It just looks great this year.” Sewell said the fields prepared by Desert Wildlife Unlimited on private land with DFG funds just for hunters were all holding large numbers of doves on the grain, with more of the big Eurasian doves than the last few years, along with huge numbers of mourning and whitewing doves.

In the Blythe region of the Colorado River, Mary Bradley of the YellowMart in town said there were “plenty of fallow fields and wheat fields, apparently left just to feed the dove” along both sides of the river. “From what I hear from the locals, it’s going to be good,” said Bradley Local hunter Bilroy Phipps agreed with that assessment saying it was going to be very good and very crowded in some spots. He said the two ends of the valley -- the DFG Palo Verde Ecological Reserve on the north and the Cibola National Wildlife Refuge on the Arizona side in the south -- were holding a lot of birds on grain fields, but that those were also going to be the most crowded places. “Come out early, do your scouting, and you’re going to find plenty of birds,” said Phipps. Hunters are reminded that if they hunt at Cibola (with 80 acres of wheat fields packed with doves), they need to shoot non-toxic shot for doves, but steel dove loads in 12 and 20 gauge are available at many stores this year, including the YellowMart in Blythe.

From Needles and across the Mojave into the High Desert, dove numbers are very good this season thanks to generous rains and a good green-up that lasted well into summer. Cliff McDonald, a desert hunter from Needles who heads up the volunteer wildlife drinker work done throughout that region, said he thinks hunters will be able to shoot limits of doves off of any of the lower-elevation water sources on the Mojave Preserve.

At the San Jacinto Wildlife Area near Lake Perris in Western Riverside County, Tom Trakes with the DFG at the area, said he thought this year would be much better than the previous several years because the area has over 200 acres of grain crops that are attracting lots of doves. “The conditions are perfect. We have plenty of water and plenty of food, and I’m looking for a good opener,” said Trakes. He also said hunters would be allowed to hunt the entire wildlife area the first three days of the season (as opposed to just opening day, like last year). After that hunters are restricted to just the upland bird hunting area west of Davis Road.

Even as far north as the Carrizo Plain National Monument, which is all public land open to hunting west of Taft, DFG biologist Bob Stafford said he’s seeing more doves than he’s seen in several years. Stafford said the doves also have more turkey mullien, a favorite food, than he’s seen in years, too, and that might be keeping them in the area. “It should be great,” said Stafford, a statement that really qualifies as the dove hunting forecast for all of Southern California -- unless, of course, something drives the birds south between now and next Thursday.

IMPERIAL VALLEY DOVE FIELDS MAP: Hunters who would like a map to all of the public dove fields in the Imperial Valley can drop me an e-mail at and I’ll send you a PDF file. You can also download one off the Desert Wildlife Unlimited web site at (click on “Things to Know” and then “field map”), but my map has street names and is better quality.

DOVE NOTES: You can read and comment on my “On Eating Doves (and liking them)” post on the “Discussion” portion of my Western Birds Facebook page, and you can also post your own recipes there. For information on dove seminars and tune-up shoots, see my outdoor package from last week, available on line at this direct link: Outdoor News Service . Dove hunting reports and photos from next week's opener should be e-mailed to Jim Matthews at or . Or you can post them to the Western Birds Facebook page. We'll have a roundup in next week's outdoor package on opening day that will include some of the information from your updates.


DFG Special Dove and Upland Hunts

Region 4- San Joaquin Valley -Southern Sierra Region



Kern, Tulare, Fresno, Stanislaus, Madera, Merced, Mariposa and Tuolumne Counties.

Whitewing doves, pic by Jim Matthews

Dove Hunting Opportunities in the San Joaquin Valley

(Photo courtesy Jim Matthews).

Contact: Doug Bowman, Region 4, (559) 243-4005, extension 132 or 133

Game Bird Heritage Program Special Hunts

These hunts were developed in cooperation with the Panoche Water and Drainage District (PWDD), Department of Water Resources (DWR), the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (USBR), the Kern Water Bank Authority (KWBA), the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the Southern Tulare County Sportsman Association (STCSA). Providing hunter opportunity and hunter access is a major goal of the Game Bird Heritage Program. These hunts are made possible through the purchase of an upland game bird stamp by hunters.

Winton - Juniors only. Juniors only. This area is located approximately six miles north of Winton, adjacent to the Merced River.

For additional information, contact the Department of Fish and Game, Wildlife Management section, at (559) 243-4005, extension 132 or 133.

Firebaugh - This area is located approximately 11 miles northwest of Firebaugh, adjacent to the Delta Mendota Canal on PWDD land.

Pilibos Wildlife Area - The Pilibos Wildlife Area is located approximately 12 miles west of Mendota adjacent to the California Aqueduct.

For additional information, contact the Department of Fish and Game, Wildlife Management section, at (559) 243- 4005, extension 132 or 133.

Tranquility - This area is located approximately three miles northwest of Tranquility on USBR land.

For additional information, contact the Department of Fish and Game, Wildlife Management section, at (559) 243-4005, extension 132 or 133.

Huron - This area is located near Huron on land owned by the USBR and managed by the DWR.

For additional information, contact the Department of Fish and Game, Wildlife Management section, at (559) 243-4005, extension 132 or 133.

Alpaugh - This area is located approximately three miles southwest of Alpaugh on land owned by the BLM.

Bakersfield -This area is located approximately 15 miles west of Bakersfield on land owned and managed by the KWBA.

For additional information, contact the Department of Fish and Game, Wildlife Management section, at (559) 243-4005, extension 132 or 133.

Success Lake Wildlife Area - The Success Lake Wildlife Area is located approximately eight miles east of Porterville and consists of approximately 1,400 acres open to hunting on U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ land. Approximately 120 acres of wheat were grown by the STCSA to provide feeding areas for doves. There is no hunter quota for this area, and a permit is not required. For additional information, contact the Department of Fish and Game, Wildlife Management section, at (559) 243-4005, extension 132 or 133. State Wildlife Areas

Mendota Wildlife Area - On September 1, all persons entering the Mendota WLA must register at the check station. The check station will open 2 hours before shoot time. Traction Ranch area Parking Lots 21 and 22 will have limited access until 12:00 pm. Special parking permits will be available on a first come first serve basis at the check station.

The Traction Ranch area will be open to all hunters after 12:00 pm on September 1st (see the "Game Bird Heritage Hunts" article on page 10 of this newsletter for additional information). The remainder of the area will be open to free roam hunters. Maps and information will be available from DFG personnel at the check station. There are no fees to hunt doves at the Mendota WLA, but all hunters must have a 2008-09 hunting license and upland game bird stamp.

From September 2-15, sign in at the self-registration booth before entering; maps are available at this point. When leaving the area, please stop, record your take, and return your self-registration permit card. The Mendota Wildlife Area (MWA) is the largest wildlife area in central California, encompassing 12,425 acres. The MWA staff continue to work with the Game Bird Heritage Program to increase food and cover for upland birds, including dove and pheasant. This year there is approximately 100 acres planted to safflower. Upland game fields are scattered throughout the area. Rattlesnakes are present on the wildlife area and caution should be observed.

You'll need Acrobat Reader to view and print this .pdf file dove hunt map. You can get Acrobat at

Mendota WA 2004 Dove Hunt Map This map show the wildlife area and where all the different crops are planted.

Salt Slough Unit of North Grasslands Wildlife Area. The Salt Slough Unit will be open to early season dove hunting September 1 -15. On opening day, September 1, the area will be divided into three sections with reservations being issued for 150 hunters. The quota may vary depending on habitat conditions and dove numbers prior to September 1. Section selection will be made at the check station. All visitors must obtain a permit from the check station on September 1. The check station will open 2 hours before shoot time. Permits will be issued until 12:00 p.m. After that time, the area will be open to free-roam hunting and visitors will self-register at the main parking lot or parking lot C.

There are no fees to hunt doves at the Salt Slough Unit, but all hunters must have a 2004-05 hunting license and upland game bird stamp. This 2,241 acre unit of the North Grasslands WLA is fairly flat with interior roads and levees offering easy walking or bicycling except during wet weather. The unit is managed for seasonally flooded wetlands, upland game foraging, and nesting fields. On the western boundary is Highway 165 and Wolfsen Road is the southern boundary. The north boundary is at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's South Freitas Unit. To access the main parking lot located on Wolfsen Road, travel north on Highway 165 (Mercey Springs Road) from Los Banos approximately 6.2 miles to Wolfsen Road. Turn right (east) and travel approximately 0.9 miles to the main parking lot on the left. The check station is at the main lot.

You'll need Acrobat Reader to view and print this .pdf file dove hunt map. You can get Acrobat at

Salt Slough Unit WA 2004 Dove Hunt Map This map show the wildlife area and where all the different crops are planted.

China Island Unit of North Grasslands Wildlife Area. This 3,315 acre unit is also fairly level. There are interior roads and levees allowing for easy foot or bicycle access. The habitat consists of seasonally flooded wetlands, some planted food crops for wildlife, and unmanaged upland cover. The San Joaquin River flows along the northeast side of the unit forming the boundary. The western boundary is along the Newman Wasteway, the east boundary is Highway 140, and the south boundary is private land. To access the main parking lot located on the west side of the unit, travel north on Highway 33 from Gustine to Canal School Road (look for brown and white directional sign). Turn right on Canal School Road. Turn right on Brazo Road. Follow Brazo Road to the Newman Wasteway. Enter through gate just west of the concrete canal. Follow the canal to green entrance gate. Parking will be allowed in the main parking lot only. The area will be open for dove hunting September 1-15 and can be good during the early season. Reservations are not issued or required for September 1, opening day of early dove season. The quota for the area will be 300 hunters. Hunting success can be high along the San Joaquin River and around the grain fields planted with wildlife food.

You'll need Acrobat Reader to view and print this .pdf file dove hunt map. You can get Acrobat at

China Island Unit WA 2004 Dove Hunt Map This map show the wildlife area and where all the different crops are planted.

Gadwall Unit of North Grasslands Wildlife Area. :This 1,503 acre unit will not be open for dove hunting September 1 through 15 to minimize disturbance to early arriving waterfowl. The unit provides limited dove hunting opportunity and has no planted food crops for upland game birds.

Los Banos Wildlife Area - The Los Banos Wildlife Area, will be open to dove hunting September 1 through the balance of the early season. Non-fee permits will be issued to all hunters at the Los Banos WLA check station on opening day September 1st until 12:00 p.m. The check station will open 2 hours before shoot time. There are no fees to hunt doves at the Los Banos WLA, but all hunters must have a 2008-09 hunting license and upland game bird stamp. To improve hunting quality and reduce crowding, on opening day only the Los Banos WLA will have two designated hunt areas with controlled entry. Hunt area 1 will be accessible from parking lot 8, and can accommodate up to 60 hunters. Area 2 will be accessible from parking lot 11, and can accommodate up to 40 hunters. Hunter quotas for the controlled hunt zones not filled by reservation holders will be filled on a first-come, first-serve basis. Reservations must be presented one hour before shoot time. Quotas may vary depending on habitat conditions and the number of dove present prior to September 1. Except for the closed zone (see area map), the remainder of the wildlife area will be open to first-come, first serve hunters.

After opening day, dove hunters will check in at the self registration booth for hunting through the remainder of the early season. Please record your take and return the self-registration card when leaving the area. Grain plots including safflower, vetch, wheat, and other cereal grains have been planted to benefit upland game. To minimize disturbance to arriving waterfowl, early flooding of seasonal wetlands will focus on areas that will not be affected by dove hunting. The entire waterfowl season closed zone will be closed to dove hunting. Closed areas will be posted "Closed Zone" to assist hunters with avoidance of those locations. Hunters are encouraged to visit the area prior to opening day for scouting purposes. Maps and information regarding the area will be available at the self registration

You'll need Acrobat Reader to view and print this .pdf file dove hunt map. You can get Acrobat at

Los Banos WA 2004 Dove Hunt Map This map show the wildlife area and where all the different crops are planted.

O'Neill Forebay Wildlife Area - The O'Neill Forebay Wildlife Area will be open to dove hunting throughout the legal season. This Type C Area requires self-registration at the entrance kiosk. Keep the no-fee permit card with you while you are on the area and please be certain to deposit it in the drop box upon leaving. The number of hunters on the wildlife area will not be regulated. Area staff have planted food plots on the wildlife area. In addition to dove, the area is expected to have good rabbit hunting opportunities this year. Hunters should be aware that only shotguns may be used at the O'Neill Forebay WLA. All persons must register at the self-registration booth.

You'll need Acrobat Reader to view and print this .pdf file dove hunt map. You can get Acrobat at

O'Neill Forebay WA 2004 Dove Hunt Map - Merced Co. This map show the wildlife area and where all the different crops are planted.

Little Panoche Reservoir, San Luis Reservoir, Gadwall Unit, Dos Amigos Wildlife Area, Upper and Lower Cottonwood Creek Wildlife Areas

Sign in at the self-registration booth. The number of hunters to each area will not be regulated. Although not many doves are traditionally taken at these areas, they may still be checked for an uncrowded place to hunt. In addition to doves, quail hunting is another opportunity on these areas. Fall turkey hunting is available on Upper Cottonwood and San Luis Reservoir WAs.

Little Panoche Reservoir Wildlife Area - Fresno Co.
San Luis Reservoir Wildlife Area
- Merced Co.
North Grasslands WA Gadwall Unit
Cottonwood Creek Wildlife Area - Merced Co.

Volta Wildlife Area will be closed to all dove hunting.


The Department of Fish and Game will open three ecological reserves (ERs) for upland game and limited waterfowl hunting this year. These ERs were obtained by the Department to protect sensitive habitat and threatened or endangered species, there are no habitat improvements or plantings for game species. Upland game and some waterfowl are also found on the areas, and hunting for these species will not affect the primary ER conservation goals. Only shotgun hunting for upland game and waterfowl is permitted. There is no charge to use the ERs. Camping, open fires, target practice or vehicle access is prohibited.

Kaweah River Ecological Reserve is located on South Fork drive about 8.8 miles east of Three Rivers, in Tulare County. This 103-acre ER is the home to the Kaweah brodiaea, an endangered native plant. The beautiful flowers of this plant can be seen in late April or early May, but it is dormant during the fall hunting season. Terrain is steep on this ER, but there are limited populations of California quail, rabbits and mourning dove.

Stone Corral Ecological Reserve is also located in Tulare County and was acquired primarily for protection of vernal pool habitat. This ER has several parcels that are accessible to the public. Mourning dove and a limited pheasant population inhabit this ER. Waterfowl can also be found during the late fall and early winter. Waterfowl hunting could be challenging due to the flat, open terrain.

In Fresno County, just east of Coalinga, is the Pleasant Valley Ecological Reserve. This ER was purchased to protect valley saltbush habitat.

You'll need Acrobat Reader to view and print this .pdf file dove hunt map. You can get Acrobat at

Map of Ecological Reserves - This map show the 3 new Ecological Reserves.


Hunters should be aware that U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Refuges (San Luis NWR complex including Blue Goose, Kesterson, Arena Plains, Freitas, East & West Bear Creek and San Luis Units, and Merced NWR) are not open for dove and rabbit hunting at any time. Information regarding recreational opportunities for these areas may be obtained by calling (209) 826-3508 or writing U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, P.O. Box 2176, Los Banos, CA 93635.

For additional information on the Los Banos, Salt Slough, China Island, O'Neill Forebay, Little Panoche Reservoir, San Luis Reservoir, Gadwall Unit, Dos Amigos Wildlife Area, Upper and Lower Cottonwood Creek wildlife areas, contact the Department of Fish and Game, Los Banos Wildlife Area, at (209) 826-0463.


Plumas, Butte, Glenn, Colusa, Yolo, Solano, Yuba, Sutter, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Calaveras, Alpine, Amador, El Dorado, Placer, Nevada and Sierra Counties.

Doves are typically hunted near harvested grain fields such as wheat, barley, safflower or sunflowers. Doves prefer to feed on bare or nearly bare ground so a mowed, weed field can be attractive. Water sources such as canals, and ponds can also be good places to hunt. Several wildlife areas have utilized Upland Game Bird Stamp fundsto plant safflower and sunflower to improve dove habitats and hunting. It is illegal to scatter grain or other seed in a field which is hunted. The following is a list of public lands where doves are often found. Call the phone number for additional information and a map. It is recommended that a trip to one of these areas before dove season will let you know where the habitats and birds are located.

Questions and Answers -

Are reservations necessary for hunting the northern California /Sacramento Valley wildlife areas? No reservations are needed for hunting during the Sept. dove season. A reservation may be useful during the late dove season on the Type A waterfowl hunting areas such as Upper Butte Basin, Gray Lodge, and Yolo Bypass Wildlife areas.

Is there a charge? There is no charge for hunting any of the Department of Fish and Game Wildlife Areas during the early dove season or the Type C wildlife areas during the late dove season. There is a fee charged ($12.50) on the Type A waterfowl hunting areas when the waterfowl season begins.

PLACES TO HUNT ( Sa/Su =safflower/sunflower plots planted on the wildlife areas; N,S,E,W = directions)

Tehama Wildlife Area - Type C area - (44,601 acres), 25 miles east of Red Bluff on Highway 36 to Plum Creek Road; or east on Hogsback Road. Doves found along ridges, Hogsback Road, Meeker and Myers Ponds and various stock ponds. Call DFG at (530) 597-2201..

Black Butte Reservoir (3000 acres) - 8 miles west of Orland on County Road 200 (Newville Road). U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at (530) 865-4781.

Upper Butte Basin Wildlife Area - Type A area - Little Dry Creek Unit , 11 miles west of Gridley on Gridley Colusa Hwy. and turn right at the wildlife area entrance to the self-registration check station. Su/Sa S and NE of parking lot 3.

Howard Slough Unit, 11 miles west of Highway 99 on Highway 162 and turn right on ZZ Road for 1 mile to the self registration check station. Su/Sa NE of parking lots 1 and 2. Llano Seco Unit, 13 miles west of Hwy. 99 and turn right on Z Road/7 Mile Road for 7 miles to the self-registration check station on the left. Su/Sa between parking lots 1 and 2 and a plot NE of parking lot 2. Entry for late season dove hunting on Sat., Sun., and Wed., controlled by waterfowl permit regulations. Call (530) 982-2169 for more info.

Oroville Wildlife Area (10,000 acres) - Type C area - West of Oroville on Highway 162, Sixteen Sa/Su plots were planted around the Thermalito Afterbay on both sides of Highway 162, (530) 538-2236. Click for map of Oroville WA.

Spenceville Wildlife Area (11,213 acres) - Type C area - East of Marysville on Highway 20 about 18 miles and turn right on Smartville Road for 1 mile. Many acres of Sa/Su planted this year. Sa/Su planted along Pittman Road, a large plot S of Spenceville Road, plots west of Waldo Road, and one plot along Smartsville Road. Due to lack of bird use, no Sa/Su was planted N/S of Hammonton Road on the detached wildlife area parcel. Last season's opening day average was about 8 doves per hunt.

Gray Lodge Wildlife Area (9200 acres) - Type A area - 10 miles east of Live Oak on Pennington and Almond Orchard Roads, (530) 846-3315. Hunting is good near several safflower and sunflower plots and in abandoned orchards. For early dove season, sign in at the self registration booth located at Pennington and Rutherford roads where maps are located. Entry for late season dove hunting on Sat., Sun., and Wed., is controlled by waterfowl permit regulations.

Sutter Bypass Wildlife Area (3766 acres) - Type C area - 10 miles west of Yuba City via Highway 20 or Franklin Road or Oswald Road or Highway 113. (Look for the privately owned safflower fields adjacent to the Sutter Bypass Levee.) You must stay on the Sutter Bypass Levee to hunt doves. DFG, Region 2 (916) 358-2900.

Feather River Wildlife Area (2200 acres in 5 separate properties) - Type C areas -10-15 miles south of Yuba City and Marysville. Abbott Lake and the O'Connor Lakes Units are south of Yuba City on Garden Highway at the end of Star Bend Road. Sa/Su at O'Connor Lakes. The Nelson Slough Unit is under the Highway 99 Bridge near Nicolaus. Many Sa/Su plots were planted. The Star Bend and Lake of the Woods Units are south of Marysville on Feather River Boulevard and accessible from the Star Bend Fishing Access. Shanghai Bend Unit is located south of Yuba City at the end of Shanghai Bend Road. Sa/Su at Shanghai Bend. DFG, Region 2 (916) 358-2900.

Daugherty Hill Wildlife Area (2,357 acres) - 21 miles east of Marysville via Hwy. 20, Marysville Road and Dolan Harding Road, DFG Region 2 at (916) 358-2900.

Auburn State Recreation Area (30,000 acres) - South of Interstate 80 near Auburn. Dept. of Parks and Recreation (530) 885-4527/988-0205.

Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area (3,700 acres) - 3 miles east of Davis and 4 miles west of West Sacramento of Interstate 80. From east bound I-80 take East Chiles Road exit and travel east 1/4 mile to the west levee access. From west bound I-80, take Frontage Road exit immediately west to the west end of the Yolo Causeway, turn right at the stop sign and head south under freeway to west levee access. Safflower planted near parking lots F and G. Large fields of Sa are being grown adjacent to the wildlife area. You must stay on the wildlife area to hunt doves. DFG, Region 2 at (916) 358-2900 or (530) 757-2461. Click here for map of Yolo Bypass WA.

White Slough Wildlife Area (880 acres) - Seven miles west of Lodi. DFG, Region 2 (916) 358-2900. New Hogan Lake (400 acres) - 30 miles east of Stockton. Corps of Engineers (209) 772-1343.

New Melones Lake (25,000 acres) - 25 miles east of Oakdale. Bureau of Reclamation (209) 536-9094.

COASTAL AREA - Dove hunting in the north and central portions of the Central Coast Region is generally fair because cold weather before the Sept. 1 opener sends many doves south. If we are lucky and do not have the cold period, however, dove hunting can be good to excellent.

Cache Creek Wildlife Area (3,860 acres of DFG land) and Cache Creek Management Area (70,000 acres of BLM land) in Lake, Yolo, and Colusa Counties - From Williams on I-5, go west about 33 miles on Highway 20 to the parking lot on the south side of the highway. This parking lot is also about 8 miles east of Clearlake Oaks. DFG at (707) 944-5500 or BLM Ukiah office at (707) 468-4000.

Indian Valley Wildlife Area (4,990 acres of DFG land) and Indian Valley Management Area (50,000 acres of BLM land) in Lake and Colusa Counties - About 27 miles west of Williams or 14 miles east of Clearlake Oaks on Highway 20 turn north on Walker Ridge Road. DFG at 707 944-5500 or BLM Ukiah office at 707 468-4000.

Cow Mountain Recreation Area (60,000 acres of BLM land) in Lake and Mendocino Counties - Access from Ukiah (about 8-10 miles): Highway 101 to Talmadge Road to East Side Road to Mill Creek Road to the Recreation Area. Access from Lakeport: Take 11th St. exit from Highway 29 west to Scotts Valley Road, then left on Riggs Road to Scotts Creek Road and the Recreation Area. BLM Ukiah office at 707 468-4000 Click here for map of Cow Mountain Recreation Area BLM - Lake and Mendocino Cos.

Mendocino National Forest - U.S. Forest Service at 530 934-3316.

Napa-Sonoma Marshes Wildlife Area, Wingo and Huichica Units - Six miles south of Sonoma - Wingo Unit is on Millerex Road and the Huichica Creek Unit is on Buchli Station Road.Call DFG at 707 944-5500.


Region 5 and 6 DFG Special Dove Hunts

San Diego & Los Angeles Counties.

South Coast Region Offers Special Dove and Quail Hunts for 2012

Contacts: Nicholas A Bechtel, Wildlife Habitat Assistant, GBH Apprentice Hunt Coordinator, South Coast Region, Department of Fish and Game. P.O. Box 719Santa Barbara, CA 93102. PH# 805-965-3059.




Eastern Sierra I hunted just south of Independence last opener. We camped at the little Independence campground (west side of hwy, creek runs thru it). Scouted during the previous day, didn't see much. Talked to some folks and ended up hunting around a field on the west side of the highway, about a 3 minute drive south of town. It had been recently disked, and the birds were coming in from the east to land in the field. Limited in about half an hour. Went to breakfast, caught some trout in the creek for lunch, and took a nice snooze under the trees on the banks of the creek. - Mr. Gadget.

BLM Bishop Field Office 785 N. Main St., Ste. E , Bishop, CA 93514. Telephone: (760) 872-4881, Fax: (760) 872-2894

Click here for weather report at Bishop

High Desert - Barstow, Victorville. One of the decent spots in the forecast for this year's opener is the Camp Cady Wildlife Area east of Barstow near Newberry Springs. This state-run wildlife area traditionally has grain fields planted just for doves and other wildlife

San Bernardino National Forest (San Bernardino County) 1824 South Commercenter Circle San Bernardino, CA 92408-3430. 909-383-5588.

BLM Barstow Field Office 2601 Barstow Road, Barstow, CA 92311. (760) 252-6000 / FAX(760) 252-6099. Tim Read, Field Manager

San Joaquin Valley

Fort Hunter Liggett - Will be open to dove hunting. Call Wednesday before the weekend to see what areas are open. The link has contact and campground info.

The Upper Colorado River Region from Needles to Blythe has a lot of birds, but much of the activity is on desert washes leading to and from the river, rather than on agricultural crops this year.


Super 8 Motel 1102 E. Broadway. I-40 Exit Broadway & U.S. Hwy 95. Needles, CA. 92363. PH# 760-326-4501.

MOTEL 6 I-40/US Route 95 at the J Street Exit. 1420 J Street, Needles, CA. 92363. PH# 760-326-3399.

Days Inn 1215 Hospitality Lane. Needles, CA. 92363. PH# 760-326-5836.

California Desert District Office - 6221 Box Springs Rd. Riverside, Ca. Hours: M-F 7:45 to 4:30, ph# 1-909-697-5204. BLM Needles Field Office101 W. Spikes Road, Needles, California 92363. Field Manager - Molly Brady. Voice: (760) 326-7000, Fax: (760)326-7099. Mon. - Fri. 7:30 - 4:00.

Lake Havasu NWR There is dove hunting on the weekends in September only. Non toxic shot is required on the refuge. For more information, call (760) 326-3853.

Antelope Valley. No reports. Check the JHO Forum

Blythe, Palo Verde Valley.


Super 8 Motel 550 West Donlon Street, Blythe, CA, 92225/ PH# 760-922-8881.

MOTEL 6 500 West Donlon Street. Blythe, CA 92225. PH# 760-922-6666. Fax: (760) 921-8469.

Beware of Comfort Suites in Blythe, they have booked rooms for dove hunters only to call the hunters back and gouge them for more money.

Make your reservations early, the rooms fill up for dove season in the spring.


B&B Bait .... 10380 8th Ave. Blythe Ca. 92225. Between 7th and Lovekin. PH# 760-921-2248. They usually have a BBQ the day before dove opener. Great place to ask about dove hunting spots.
Yellow Mart .... 82740 Miles Ave., Indio, CA 92201 Ph# 760-347-1107. 
Yellow Mart .... 228 W Hobsonway, Blythe, CA 92225. PH# 760-922-4215. Talked to Mary at Yellow Mart in Blythe. CRIT is looking good she said. Just remember you can only shoot until noon on CRIT Indian Reservation land. No big changes she said for dove hunting in the area. Yellow Mart in Blythe has CRIT licenses, camo, shotgun shells and more. Estate 7 1/2 shells are $55 a case, $5.49 for a box. They will be open late Friday night till 8pm. Make sure and see their dove spots map and get their Dove Opener Newsletter, all kinds of good into and dove ID pics for AZ and CA in it.

CIBOLA NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE is just south of Blythe. Cibola National Wildlife Refuge hunters are reminded that both an Arizona license and non-toxic shot are required on the island unit, but many of the local shops in Blythe carry steel dove loads just for hunting at Cibola. For information, call Mike Oldham, Manager, Route 2, Box 138 Cibola, AZ, 85328 Phone: 520-857-3253 Fax: 520/387-3420, email

Click here for map of Cibola NWR

Camping: Plenty of free camping areas south of the refuge on BLM land.

Cibola Sportsmans Club - $125 a day per gun, includes bunk in bunkhouse. Tim Corbett, Cibola Sportsmans Club. PH# 702-355-8784. JHO Sponsor.

Parker Arizona. The Colorado River Indian Tribes, (CRIT) own the 330,000 acres of property between Parker, Arizona to just north of Interstate 10 near Blythe. No state license is required, but hunters must have a seasonal hunting permit from CRIT, which is $75. $100 for the combo fishing/hunting license. The permit allows hunters to hunt quail, ducks, and small game in season. The great thing about kids is so long as your kid is 14 or under they can hunt on your CRIT hunting license for free, but they can only shoot 1/2 a limit of dove or quail. Note, dove hunting is half day only until noon on AZ and CA side for CRIT land.

CRIT hunting permits are available at Woody's Gas and Snack Parker, AZ (520) 669-8792 1001 Fiesta Ave. Woody's II Poston, AZ (520) 662-4801 Mohave Rd. June's Unique Parker, AZ (520) 669-8883 813 Kofa Ave. Hidden Valley Resort Blythe, CA (760) 922-6745 100 Colorado River Rd. Lost Lake Resort Lost Lake, CA (760) 664-4413 U.S. Highway 95. Mc's Market Parker Dam, AZ (520) 667-2231 58565 Riverside Dr. River Lagoon Resort. 50078 Parker Poston Rd. Ehrenberg, AZ (520) 923-7942. Yellow Mart Blythe, CA (760) 922-4215 228 Hobson Way Water Wheel Resort Blythe, CA (760) 922-3863 29900 Hwy. 95. CRIT Fish & Game Office Parker, AZ (520) 669-9285 2100 Mutahar. The shoot times are different here also, one half hour before sunrise until noon. All day in the second season in November.

More info on CRIT hunting & fishing - This website is no longer good, Geocities shut down. Please email us with contact info if you have it.


Super 8 Motel

MOTEL 6 SR 95 at SR 62/ California Avenue. 604 California Avenue. Parker, AZ 85344. PH# 928-669-2133. Fax: (928) 669-2189.

Click here for weather report at Parker Dam

Fort Mojave Indian Reservation, above the Colorado River Indian Tribes, extends from Needles north to the Arizona-Nevada border. This reservation has land on both sides of the river and you can obtain a hunting permit to hunt there. Ph# 520-330-3000.

Yuma-Winterhaven. Further south on the Colorado River, the Yuma area dove season looks like it will again be one of the hottest areas in the West with both mourning doves and whitewings at their usual high numbers here. Yuma always attracts a large contingent of hunters from both Southern California and the Phoenix metropolitan areas. This is also the 20th anniversary of Sprague's Sports' Big Breast Contest, and informal contest to see who shoots the largest dove opening day. Of course, thunderstorms are a likely in this area every day today through opener.

Sprague's is at 345 W. 32nd Street, Yuma, Arizona, phone #800-440-3892.


Days Inn 1671 E. 16th Street. Yuma, AZ, 85365. PH# 928-329-7790.

MOTEL 6 -8 at US Route 95/16th Street Exit #2. 1640 South Arizona Avenue, Yuma, AZ 85364. PH# 928-782-6561. Fax: (928) 343-4923.

MOTEL 6 I-8 at US Route 95/16thStreet Exit #2. 1445 East 16th Street. Yuma, AZ 85365. PH# 928-782-9521. Fax: (928) 343-4941.

Super 8 Motel 1688 South Riley Ave. Yuma, AZ, 85365. PH# 928-782-2000.

Make your reservations early, the rooms fill up for dove season in the spring.

Coachella Valley near Indio. Good shooting south and east of Indio along Dillon road, provided the weather doesn't blow the doves out. Further north, along the base of the Santa Rosa Mountains south of La Quinta there are some orchards that often hold good dove numbers. One other area is the railroad tracks south of Interstate 10 between Cabazon and Palm Springs. Stop in at Yellow Mart, 82740 Miles Ave., Indio, CA 92201. Ph# 760-347-1107. Great place for hunting and fishing supplies and local hunting map.


Super 8 Motel 81-753 Hwy 111. Indio, CA, 92201. PH# 760-342-0264.

BLM Palm Springs Office South Coast Field Office 690 Garnet Ave., P.O. Box 1260, Palm Springs, CA 92258. Field Manager - James Kenna. Phone (760) 251-4800. Fax (760) 251-4899

San Jacinto Wildlife Area The San Jacinto Wildlife Area near Moreno Valley in western Riverside County should be better than the last few years, but light rainfall in the spring has kept the amount of sunflowers and other dove-attracting feed at only modest levels. The entire Wildlife Area will be open to dover hunters for the first three days of dove season. After that the waterfowl area will be closed off and only the Upland Area will be open to dove hunting.

Click here for Map of San Jacinto WA (Upland Hunting Area)

Click here for Map of San Jacinto WA (Duck Hunting Area)

Click here for Map of San Jacinto WA (Walker Duck Hunting Area)

Lake Perris State Recreation Area. This can be a pretty good place to shoot with a lot of singles and doubles. You won't see the big flights of birds, but the action can be fairly steady. Day use fee for access.

Chino Dairies. This has always been an excellent shoot. The hard part is finding access. Lots of doves and pigeons, (flying rats), to keep you busy all day. Due to the cities of Chino and Ontario annexing a lot of this land in 2000, hunting is very limited here now. Make sure you are legal if you hunt this area.

Get a current Cleveland NF map and check out the BLM land sites. Quoted from DFG's Wing Beat News: "Also in western Riverside County, areas west of Highway 74, north of Highway 79 and east of Highway 15 provide birds most years. Consult Bureau of Land Management maps for access information, and then scout grain sources situated near water."

Imperial Valley holds a large number of birds and should provide excellent hunting, especially on recently-harvested and burned fields. BLM El Centro Field Office; 1661 S. 4th St., El Centro; CA.92243. (760) 337-4400. Monday - Friday 7:45AM - 4:30PM

Brawley & Westmorland. The best spots are the wheat stubble fields and harvested melon fields. There are fewer wheat stubble fields this year because many farmers quickly planted them in Sudan grass. Look for wheat fields that have been disked but not planted. Birds will often be in such fields feeding on scattered seeds. Some land is posted and usually row crops are off limits. Desert areas should be checked too, as exceptional conditions for both food and water make them as viable as agricultural areas.


Brawley Inn 575 Main St. Brawley, Ca. 92227. PH# 800-541-4567, 760-344-1199. Email:

Super 8 Motel 351 West Main Street, Westmorland, CA, 92281. Rick Desai. PH# 760-351-7100.

Make your reservations early, the rooms fill up for dove season in the spring.

Niland & Calipatria.


Bashford's Hot Mineral Spa RV Park .... Full hookups and a special rate for JHO members here, $24. Nice cool swimming pool to relax in after your shoot. Just north of Niland. PH# 760-354-1315. JHO Sponsor.

Calipatria Inn .... 700 N. Sorensen Ave Calipatria, CA 92233 PH#760-348-7348 Fax: 760-348-7348.

Make your reservations early, the rooms fill up for dove season in the spring.

The addition of 27 planted fields, done in a cooperative effort with Leon Lesicka with Desert Wildlife Unlimited, Quail Unlimited, Pheasants Forever, the Imperial County Fish and Game Commission, Safari Club-San Diego, and the Department of Fish and Game, have increased public hunting opportunities by more than three times in the area, and Mulcahy said all of the fields have been mowed and are holding a lot of birds.

Maps to all of the fields are available below and at stores throughout the valley and on the DFG's website (

DWU Field Map

You'll need Acrobat Reader to read and print this .pdf files, you can get Acrobat at


El Centro & Holtville. 


Barbara Worth Resort. Country Club Dr, Holtville, Ca. PH# 800-356-3806. Back open for 2012 dove opener with dove hunter specials.

Days Inn 1425 Adams Avenue. Hwy 86 Corner Imperial and Adams. El Centro, CA, 92243. PH# 760-352-5511.

MOTEL 6 395 Smoketree Dr. El Centro, CA 92243. Phone: PH# 760-353-6766, Fax: 760-337-1123.

Sunbeam Lake RV Resort Ed McGrew runs the place nowm he used to run the Rio Bend RV ParkAug. 31 2012 he’s hosting a free barbecue and raffle at the resort that includes an air-conditioned room, pool tables, fishing, Jet Skiing and places for RVs and tent camping. Call (760) 352-7154.

Super 8 Motel 611 N Imperial Ave. Imperial Ave & Adams. El Centro, CA, 92243. PH# 760-352-0715.

Make your reservations early, the rooms fill up for dove season in the spring. 

Imperial Wildlife Area, Wister Unit. Thanks to the efforts of the DFG, a hunter-conservation group called Desert Wildlife Unlimited, and Imperial Valley farmers, this marks the third year in a row these groups have conspired to plant fallow farmland with dove feed.

"Some of the [public] fields are really, really loaded. But you know what's really exciting? There are more whitewings than I've ever seen here," said Leon Lessica, a long-time Imperial Valley hunter and head of Desert Wildlife Unlimited (DWU), which has been behind the public fields planted in the Imperial Valley each year with volunteer effort, DFG funds, and the assistance of private landowners. There are again 32 fields in 17 locations in the Imperial Valley. Since the locations are the same as the last couple of years, hunters can use previous year's maps or download one off the DWU web site . Hunters also can find public hunting at the Wister Unit of the Imperial Wildlife Area, and most of the desert areas adjacent to the agriculture are opening to hunting and holding a lot of birds.

Maps to these fields are widely available in the Imperial Valley and can be picked up at Wister. Literally thousands of hunters used these fields last year and found very good hunting. The same should be true this season.

Hunters who hunt either Finney-Ramer or Wister fields are encouraged to fill out and return their permit report cards. Chakarun said the continuation of the field planting program really hinges on the data they gather from the returned permits.

Info at 760-359-0577.

Click here for map of Wister unit of Imperial WA

Click for map of Finney - Ramer unit of Imperial WA



Arizona Dove Hunting

Don't forget, if you shoot your 10 dove limit in Arizona you CAN NOT them come into California and shoot 10 more there. Doves are regulated under the migratory bird game laws and you are only allowed 10 doves per day.

In Arizona, there is hunting from one-hour hour before sunrise to sunset. Adults can hunt ALL DAY now.  Don't forget that junior hunters through age 17 can hunt all day, but those under 14 years of age need to be accompanied by a licensed adult. There are a couple of good strategies for late afternoon hunting for juniors. Stock tanks or other water sources in the late afternoon will often attract doves. Also, the same fields that attract doves in the early morning will usually attract them in the afternoon. Scouting before the dove season should pay dividends.

Eurasian Doves: There is no limit on Eurasion doves in AZ and you can shoot them all year long.

The dove season Arizona is split. The first half runs from Sept. 1-15. 2012. The limit is 10 birds per day, with 20 in possession after the first day.

Cibola National Wildlife Refuge A sleeper spot for doves is the Cibola National Wildlife Refuge south of Blythe, according to Mary Bradley at the Yellowmart in Blythe, CA. Since steel shot is required on the refuge for all gamebirds, most hunters do not hunt Cibola. Grain planting on the Island Unit make it a good place with fewer hunters. You'll need an Arizona Hunting license and bird stamp to hunt here. Non toxic shot is required on the refuge. For information, call Mike Hawkes, Manager, Route 2, Box 138 Cibola, AZ, 85328 Phone: 520-857-3253 Fax: 520-387-3420, email

Click here for map of Cibola NWR

ARIZONA UPDATE: Bill Kerekas of Mesa Sports in Yuma reminded hunters coming to Arizona that hunters, age 16 and older, must have a $3 HIP (Harvest Information Program) stamp attached to their three-day ($67) or season ($155.75) non-resident hunting license (includes $4.75 migratory bird stamp).

Richard Sprague, owner of Sprague's Sports in Yuma, Ariz., said he expected the biggest crowd ever for his Big Breast XVI, the 16th annual fun contest to see which hunter weighs in the heaviest dove breast. The event is held Sept 1 and 2 each year, and it has grown to the point where it is now garnering some major sponsors -- including Coors Light, Federal Cartridge Corporation, and Beretta USA. Everyone who enters a dove in the Big Breast Contest, which is free, is entered in a drawing for a new Beretta shotgun.

"The dove population looks to be typically Yuma excellent for this opener," said Sprague. Like many businesses in Yuma, Sprague's shop will be open late Friday night so late-arriving hunters can buy their non-resident licenses for the morning hunt.

Desert Wildlife Unlimited

DWU's work in the southern California desert has stretched over nearly three decades and includes major guzzler and water source work that has helped maintain desert wildlife populations, including mule deer, dove, quail, pheasant and bighorn sheep.

DWU Field Map

You'll need Acrobat Reader to read and print this .pdf files, you can get Acrobat at


Desert Wildlife Unlimited
Imperial Valley Chapter, 4780 Highway 111 Brawley, California 92227, Leon Lesicka 760-344-2793

$10.00 1 year, $100.00 Lifetime

Include: Name, Mailing Address and Phone#


Dove Biology 101

Scientific Name: Zenaida macroura.

(Photo courtesy Jim Matthews).

Physical Description: The mourning dove is a member of the family of birds called Columbidae. Male and female mourning doves look very similar with pale buff-brown head, neck, breast, and belly. Purple and green iridescence on neck. Small black mark on lower neck. Medium brown back and upperwings, with large black spots on coverts. Long tail is pointed at tip. Dark brown tail with white tips to outer four tail feathers, which show during flight. Juveniles can be distinguished from adults by light buffing on the tips of the primary feathers which persist until the first molt. Dark brown mottled head neck and breast. Scaly neck and upperwings with numerous black spots on coverts and scapulars. Pale belly. Medium length tail is pointed at tip. Young are indistinguishable from adults by the age of 3 months. Long pointed tail is distinctive for adults, while black spotting on coverts and pale color help distinguish it from White-winged and White-tipped Doves. Juvenile is easily confused with Common Ground-Dove and Inca Dove, but is longer necked, shows a pointed tail with more white at edges and lacks cinnamon in primaries. Length: 10.5 inches

Productivity: Mourning doves are very prolific birds. The nesting season runs from April to September; peak nesting is May through August. Each pair produces multiple broods each year. Mourning doves lay two white eggs per clutch and raise between two and five clutches per year. Both parents take part in incubation and brood-rearing activities. Young doves, or squabs, hatch featherless and grow rapidly, increasing their weight by 14 times within 15 days of age. Young can survive on their own 5 to 9 days after leaving the nest and most leave the nest area within 2 to 3 weeks of fledging. Doves build scant nests of twigs and grass usually placed in trees or shrubs 10 to 30 feet above ground. In open areas, coniferous shelterbelts and windbreaks are preferred for nesting.

Habitat: Mourning doves are highly adaptable to a variety of habitats including coniferous forests, deciduous forests, residential, urban, and agricultural landscapes. Habitat needs include trees for nesting and roosting, a food source and a source of water.

Abundance: Mourning doves are one of the most abundant and widely distributed birds in North America. The breeding range extends from central Canada in the north to southern Mexico in the south and encompasses all of the lower 48 states.

Foods: Ninety-nine percent of the mourning dove diet is comprised of weed seeds and grains. Preferred weed seeds include pigweed, foxtails, wild sunflower, and ragweed. Preferred grains include corn, sorghum and millet. Insects make up a very small proportion of the dove diet. Doves move an average of 2-8 miles for food.

Effects of hunting: Continent-wide hunting mortality is estimated at 10-15% of the fall population annually. This mortality is believed to be below the level which would significantly decrease long-term dove abundance or hinder expansion of geographic area. Hunting is monitored and managed by professional wildlife biologists from the United States Fish and Wildlife Service and state wildlife agencies.

Mortality: The natural mortality rate for mourning doves is high; approximately 6 out of 10 birds do not survive from one year to the next. Research indicates that mourning dove mortality is caused by a variety of factors including predators, disease, accidents, hunting and weather extremes.

U.S. Dove Breeding Map


Dove Scouting and Hunting Tips

Seek and Ye Shall Find - The most valuable thing you can do while dove scouting or hunting is to observe dove flight patterns. The majority of birds will follow patterns and use landmarks for navigation. Figure out where they are flying to for breakfast or a drink from their roost and then set up in their flight line. In the evening they usually reverse this morning flight, they get a last minute bite to eat, maybe a sip of water and then back to the roost.

Dove often fly along fences, ditches, tree lines, rivers and sloughs. They loaf in trees near water and have the same pattern day after day while in an area. Doves love melon patches, freshly tilled fields and gravel roads where they can pick up grit. Fields with safflower, winter wheat or doveweed will have doves around them usually. Scout every year before the season opens as sometimes the flight paths change. Have a plan "B" just in case of a road or land closure. You don't want to be scrambling opening morning looking for a place to shoot. Carry trespass permission slips in your glove box in case you meet a rancher or farmer who will allow you on their property. Make sure and thank them and offer them some of the game you take.

Make Like a Post - When doves are approaching stand or sit still, movement will flare them. You will have plenty of time to mount and shoot as the dove comes into range. Stand behind a tree or bush, not out in front to break up the outline of your body. Stand in the shadows to stay hidden. Sit on a stool to keep your upper body below the brush line. You can wear camo to be harder to spot but you can also be shot because someone didn't see you. Make this decision depending upon how many people are around you.

Suck em In - Doves like to perch in dead trees, fences and on wires. You can use dove decoys that have a clothespin for attaching to fences or tree branches to give the appearance of doves securely resting or feeding. The Mojo Dove spinning decoy is legal in CA to draw birds in close, especially for young or new dove hunters. Decoys work good many times, just remember to pick a good hiding spot that is in range. Also, take caution when using any decoy in that other hunters may stalk and shoot your decoy. Set up so you can see any approaching hunter and yell to them it's a decoy. DO NOT WAVE TO THEM, they may mistake your movement for game.

Now Where Did I Put That Dove? - Mark your downed bird first before you you try to shot the second dove, especially if you are without a dog. Another trick when the shooting is fast and furious is beforehand, gather a few small rocks and tie about a foot of orange contractors ribbon to it. When you down a bird throw the ribbon rock in the area it fell then you can move to another bird and do the same. If you are losing birds, forget trying for a double and try just shooting one dove and concentrating on marking it where it lands.

Keep it Cool - It's hot dove hunting anywhere in California so take plenty of water and a cooler to keep your doves cool in the heat. Take a stool or bucket to take some load off your feet if you're going to be out for extended periods of time. Take some sunblock too if you don't want to burn and a hat to keep the sun out of your eyes. You can also buy one of the Evaporative Cooling Bandanas for around you neck to help beat the heat. If you are hunting with a dog, make sure to carry additional water for your dog. It also pays to avoid hunting during the mid-day hours when it can be quite hot. Be prepared for cold temperatures at night.

Be Comfortable - Buy an upland game bag/belt and put some contractor suspenders on it. This helps with all the shells, doves and water bottle you'll be lugging around. If you don't want to lug a water bottle in your game bag buy a hydration backpack, this will leave more room in your bag. Buy a golf towel, the kind that clip on to a bag, you'll need this when it's hot and want to wipe the sweat off your brow or your hands. Make sure and take some insect repellent or buy a Thermacell to keep the pesky bugs at bay.

Buzzworms - Lots of good dove hunting areas are good rattler areas too. Wear snake chaps and watch wear you stick your legs and hands. If you have a dog, there are snake avoidance classes that will teach ole "Spot" what a buzzworm smells and sounds like. It may save you a lost dog or huge vet bill.

Good Shooting Form - Set up so that you can take your best shot. Every wingshooter has a favorite shot so use it to your advantage. Keep your cheek down on the stock, pulling your cheek off the stock will cost you birds. Find the best lead method that works for you. You can shoot swing through lead, sustained lead or spot lead.

Make sure you have good footing where you are set up. Clear any rocks or sticks away that will cause you to take an off balance shot. Use good footwork. Take a half-step before swinging on a dove, planting your foot on the line where you plan to take your shot. Take a step back for a straight-on bird, a step forward for a straight-away bird and a step away from a bird crossing either right or left. If a bird is coming from the right, take a short step to the left slightly away from the bird. This will allow a little more room to swing on the bird and follow through.

Be Safe - If you can afford it buy the electronic hearing aid type hearing protection, muffs are hot and get in the way with the gun mount many times. Muffs also keep you from hearing other shooters near you or that buzzing rattlesnake.

Wear ballistic eye protection, one pellet can take out your eye and there are no eye transplants. Get a set of different colored lenses for your eye wear that will help on cloudy or bright days. Smoke or dark gray tint does not distort colors, they reduce glare to provide day-long comfort, and reduce ultraviolet (UV). Yellow lens tint improves contrast and reduces glare. Yellow is excellent for overcast, haze, or fog conditions. Rose colored lenses helps block blue light, thereby improving contrast. Rose offers high contrast and is very soothing to the eyes. Rose is also more comfortable for long periods of time than other lenses. Dark Amber or Brown lens tints are a warmer, slightly brighter lens than the gray. Brown/Amber lenses are especially good at blocking the blue light commonly found in diffused light such as one might experience on a cloudy day. Brown/Amber can improve both contrast and depth perception, reduce glare and is a good all-around choice if you live in an area with changeable weather patterns. Brown is also best for lower light situations.

Be Prepared - Try and get a few practice rounds in at the range or throw a few clays to get back in the swing of things before the opener. Break out your gun a month before the season or earlier and make sure it is functional and cleaned. If you have any problems, you'll still have time to run it by the gun shop and still make it for the opener. Don't let last-minute-itus bite you.

Dove Meat Care and Recipes

It is very important to cool bagged doves as soon as possible and keep them cool. You should use a container that will keep the doves cool and dry. Do not let them get wet or sit in water because it promotes bacterial growth, which increases the chances of spoilage. Keeping dove cool is even more important during the warmer, earlier part of the season.

Marinate in Italian dressing. Slice along breast (either side) and insert jalapeno, onion, bell pepper, you decide. Wrap in bacon and grill over mesquite.

For 12 doves. Breast out the doves. Mix some white flour with a little salt and pepper, then dust dove breasts with the flour mixture. In a pan or skillet, heat equal parts of butter and olive oil (about a table spoon of each per dozen birds), add a tablespoon (or to taste) of chopped garlic and saute garlic for a minute. Add the dove breasts and sauté until browned. Do not let the garlic burn. Add 1/4 cup chopped onions and continue to cook. When dove is browned, add 1 cup heavy cream, some sliced fresh mushrooms, chopped parsley (tarragon is excellent if you have it) and cook for a few minutes until cream thickens, being sure to scrape up the bits on the bottom of the pan. When cream is reduced, add a splash of dry white wine or brandy,(bourbon is good in a pinch). Serve over egg noodles or wide pasta with a good crusty bread, green salad and a dry white like Chardonnay. Then go get more dove! Enjoy. Fred.

Dove Hunting Safety

Dove hunting is a relatively safe sport. However, it is imperative that to remain a safe sport that certain safety rules be adhered to without exception. When you take a newcomer, especially children, into the hunting experience, part of your responsibility as a hunter is to teach that person proper safety. The following rules are good ones to LIVE by:


1) Always treat the gun as loaded.
2) Never have a loaded gun except when hunting.
3) Always make sure that the barrel and action are clear of obstructions.
4) Always carry your gun so you can control the direction of the muzzle, even if you stumble.
5) Always keep the safety on until the gun is brought to your shoulder.
6) Always make sure your target is a dove and your backstop is not a hunter or a dog.
7) Never point a gun at anything you do not want to shoot.
8) Never leave guns or ammunition within reach of children or careless adults.
9) Never climb trees or fences with a loaded gun.
10) Never shoot at a flat, hard surface or water.
11) Never drink alcohol or take other mood-altering drugs before or during a hunt.
12) Always wear eye and ear protection.
13) ALWAYS KEEP YOUR SHOTS ABOVE THE HORIZON (If you do not see blue sky do not shoot).

Always know where all members of your hunting party are. The more members in your party the more difficult this will be. It is recommended to keep hunting parties as small as possible, preferably two, but no more than three. If you are with a large party, try to spread out or split into several groups of two.

If your party has found some dove, determine in which directions it would be unsafe to shoot. Each person should wear some safety orange, a little is better than none. Also wear safety glasses to prevent an eye injury from stray pellets.

If you have to chase down a crippled bird, make sure your gun is on safety.' Almost all good dove country is good rattlesnake country. Be careful around brush and water. When hunting in the deserts of California, always be sure to carry plenty of water. If you are hunting with a dog, make sure to carry additional water for your dog. It also pays to avoid hunting during the mid-day hours when it can be quite hot. Be prepared for cold temperatures at night.


San Bernardino County Shooting Map . This is the old map, the new revised map was just finished by the the San Bernardino Co. Fish And Game Commission. The release date is Sept 9th 2010. Bass Pro in Rancho Cucamonga will he the new shooting maps.

Los Angeles County Shooting Area Map. This map is outdated and we were asked to pull them off the website here.

8/15/08. I talked to John Hybarger today who is the Chairperson for L.A. County Fish & Game Commission about the L.A. County Shooting Area Map. He said to get the ball rolling for a new shooting area map we need to get folks to write a letter to the L.A. County Fish & Game commission asking for the new map to be redrawn and printed like San Bernardino County just did with their shooting area map. If you would like L.A. County to redo their map please write the commission at: Fish & Game Commission 500 West Temple St, Room B-50 Los Angeles 90012 Their website is

You can also email the commission comments off their website above.



Active Ammo .... is no longer in business. Kent Cartridges bought the company in 1997 and Kent does not make the nickel plated shells anymore, sorry.
Federal Ammo
Revolutionary, non-toxic lead shot alternative. With HEVI-SHOT™ shells, you can shoot a smaller shot size with more lethality. More pellets at a higher energy means more knock-down power. This new shotshell pellet is actually heavier than lead with the hardness similar to standard steel shot. It is made from a tungsten alloy and the hardness and density allow hunters to use smaller shot sizes to get equivalent energy as in larger lead or steel pellets. Because the pellet is smaller, this allows for more pellet to be in a shotshell cartridge which makes for a denser pattern, increasing the likelihood of multiple hits on the target. Both penetration and retained velocity are also greater with these pellets. Darryl Amick, who holds the patent on the tungsten-nickel alloy used to make this new shot, said he set out to offer something heavier than lead that would be even more effective for hunters. "My passion for this product is that I hate the fact that we wound these birds, that we have to shoot steel. I'm also absolutely committed to making this product as inexpensive as possible, and we'd like to be significantly under the other non-toxic alternatives to steel," said Amick. "It's going to perform better. I don't think anyone can argue that. It's just a matter of keeping costs down so guys can afford it," said Amick. You will be hearing more about Hevi-Shot in the near future as it becomes available for both reloaders and in loaded offerings.
Kent Cartridge
IMPACT shot shells are specifically designed to deliver the pattern density and down range lethality required by dedicated turkey hunters. These loads may be used in any Nitro-proofed shotgun without fear of barrel or choke damage. Standard choke restrictions and lead shot size recommendations apply, including X-full Turkey.
Remington .... Guns and ammo. 
Winchester Ammo ....Makers of great ammo.



Ballistic Specialties .... Angle Porting chokes.
Briley Chokes ....

Hastings Chokes
Johnny's Shotgun Chokes and Forcing Cones....
Kick's .... They make the famous "Gobblin' Thunder" choke.
Patternmaster ....
Seminole Gunworks .... Seminole specializes in the making of precision choke tubes for most makes and model of shotguns. 
Trulock Chokes .... Manufacturers of superior shotgun chokes.



Bryce Mann's Gundogs & Guide Service .... Gundog training near Visalia CA.
Foothill Brittanys .... Very Birdy, Natural Pointers and Retrievers (Land and Water).
Gameland Kennels Dog Training Center .... Gameland Kennels is no longer in business. Sadly, Patrick Callaghan passed away on September 29, 2009. His wife, Shirley, tried to keep the business afloat, but suffered several small strokes in the months following Patrick's death. In early January 2010, Shirley suffered a significant stroke from which she is currently recovering.
Grouse Mountain Brittanys .... John & Debbe Coyle. Redding, California. PH# 530-242-5801.
Gun Dog Supply ....Lots of gear for the upland hunter.
High Desert Brittanies .... We breed hunting dogs of the highest quality with great temperament, good looks and bird desire and provide wonderful family members to approved homes. High Desert Kennels .... Bird dog training for 30 years. Family owned and run. Jimmy Berneathy Owner/Trainer. High Test Retrievers. .... 1021 Lower Honcut Road, Oroville, California 95966.
Hunting Dog Trainer .... Carl Porter. We are the complete hunting and field trial dog training program. We are located in the beautiful Southern California High Desert community of Lucerne Valley California. Our training grounds include our own 20 acres of real "Wild Bird" high desert habitat with quail and chukar available year round and pheasants upon request with thousands of unfenced wild acres surrounding our facility.
Lowell's Gundogs
.... Gun dog training in the high desert near Victorville CA. Reibar Kennels .... Grady Istre's excellence in dog training. 7480 Domingos Rd. Lompoc Ca. 93436, PH# 1-805-736-5309, e-mail
Scott's Dog Supply .... Quail calls and dog gear.
Starlight Kennels
.... Paul Cacciatori. We understand that hunting is more than a hobby, and that your dog is more than an animal. It's a lifestyle for which we share our clients' passion. That's why we devote so much to providing a complete array of hunting dog services so you can rely on Starlight as the single source for all your hunting dog needs. .... Bill West. Information for bird dog and hunting enthusiasts.

If you know of any other trainers, dog links or info please e-mail us at and we will update the listing.

Dove Hunting Gear

2nd Amendment Sports .... Stores in Bakersfield CA. and Tucson AZ.
Auto Life .... Sporting goods. 901 N Carpenter Rd. Modesto, California 95387. (209) 574-1400 or (800) 499-1004. Closed summer 2010.
Bass Pro Shop .... One of the biggest hunting and fishing gear suppliers. Stop by one of their 'Outdoor World' stores, you'll be amazed. They have calls, decoys, shells, sights, blinds camo and tons more.
Badger John's Huntin' Stuff .... 5400 Date Ave., Sacramento CA. PH# 916-489-1022. Brigade Quartermasters .... Outdoor gear, military issue gear, GPS, everything you need. Cabela's .... One of the biggest retailers of outdoor and hunting gear. They have calls, decoys, shells, sights, blinds camo and tons more.
Lacrosse .... Excellent boots and waders.
Midwest Turkey Call Supply .... Everything you need for turkey and quail hunting.
Ranger Joe's .... Military, Law enforcement and outdoor gear.

.... The biggest outdoor store on the net.
Schnee's Boot's ....These guys make the best cold weather elk boots I've ever owned. I like the 'air bob' soles.
Shomer-tec ....
Law enforcement and military equipment. Box 28070, Bellingham, WA. 98228 ph# 360-733-6214. Call for free catalog.
Sprague's .... 345 W. 32nd Street, Yuma, Arizona, phone # 800-440-3892.
Turner's Outdoorsman .... Southern California's best hunting and fishing store.
Uncle Lee's Wing Supply .... PH# 1-800-388-9464 for your free catalog. They have GPS, clothing, and turkey and duck hunting equipment.
U.S. Cavalry .... World's finest military and adventure equipment.
Yellow Mart .... 82740 Miles Ave., Indio, CA 92201 Ph# 760-347-1107. Great place for hunting and fishing supplies and local hunting map. Yellow Mart .... 228 W Hobsonway, Blythe, CA 92225. PH# 760-922-4215. Great place for hunting and fishing supplies and local hunting map.

Brownells ....
Everything you need for your guns.
Ithaca .... Knight Muzzleloaders.... Mossberg .... Shotguns and rifles.
Ruger ....



Becoming an Outdoors-Woman (BOW) .... Offers weekend skills clinics to women throughout North America. Explore our pages and discover  what's waiting in the great outdoors!
.... All gunowners in CA need to help support Calguns.
California Dept. of Fish and Game .... Hunting info and licenses.
California Rifle And Pistol Association (CRPA) .... Founded way back in 1875, the California Rifle and Pistol Association is an organization of sportsmen dedicated to the preservation of our American heritage. I n this age of constant political attacks on the rights of law-abiding citizens to own and use firearms for legitimate purposes, the California Rifle and Pistol Association is the state organization dedicated to protecting firearm freedoms and promoting shooting sports.
COHA .... The California Outdoor Heritage Alliance (COHA) is a partnership of wildlife conservation organizations, outdoor industry, other related interests, and individuals who support science-based wildlife management and the promotion of our hunting rights in California. COHA serves to effectively counter the growing threats and challenges to our outdoor traditions by working all levels of government.
Dove Sportman's Society
A division of Quail Unlimted for dove conservation.
Hunters for the Hungry
A great nationwide effort for sportsmen to donate extra game meat to help those in need.
Hunt Of A Lifetime
is a nonprofit organization that grants hunting and fishing adventures to children who have been diagnosed with terminal or life threatening illnesses. We are making a difference. We need your help.
International Hunter Education Association
Hunter Education classes explore a variety of topics, including wildlife identification, landowner relations, outdoor survival skills, wildlife management, field care of game, and more. Volunteers teach all types of hunter safety, including the use of various modern firearms, black powder, and bow and arrow.
National Dove Association
In order to ensure the survival of doves as a game bird, it is the mission of NDA to provide for the conservation and protection of dove habitats through out North America for this generation and those to follow.
National Rifle Association .... If you're a gun owner, you really need to join, to maintain your 2nd amendment right to bear arms.
Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Alliance
The Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Alliance is a huge grassroots effort to give hunters and anglers a stronger collective voice. It's an alliance of individual sportsmen and women, plus national conservation groups, as well as local and regional clubs and organizations who care about the future of wildlife and outdoor activities on the 192 million acres of National Forests and grasslands.
Safari Club International
Advocate for 45 million hunters and wildlife conservation worldwide.
Southern California Chapter of Pheasants Forever
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service ....
Conserving the Nature of America.
Wildlife Legislative Fund of America
The Wildlife Legislative Fund of America (WLFA) provides direct lobbying and grassroots coalition support to protect and advance the rights of hunters, fishermen, trappers and scientific wildlife management professionals. This is accomplished through coalition building, ballot issue campaigning and legislative and government relations.

If you know of any other dove organizations or info please e-mail us at and we will update the listing.



California Upland Game Magazine.... No longer published due to budget cuts.
California Game and Fish .... Excellent monthly magazine for $14.97 yearly. PH# 1-770-953-9222.
Fishing and Hunting News
No longer in business.
Western Birds
A great 8 page newsletter published by Jim Matthews, with maps and insider info on all kinds of upland birds. $100.00 per year. Get 2 or 3 of your buddies to split the cost and you're into the birds. P.O. Box 9007, San Bernardino, CA 92427-0007 or call Jim Matthews at PH #1-909-887-3444.
Western Outdoor News
Fine weekly newspaper with maps and tons of timely reports. $36.95 for 52 issues. Ph# 1-714-546-4370. Call the 'Hunter's Hotline' to give your story for publishing. Ph #1-714-546-4370 ext. 48 or fax: 1-714-662-3486 or
Wing Beat News .... Due to budget cuts no longer published by DFG.

Dove Websites, Talk Forums


California Game and .... This is the same magazine but online now.
Jesse's Hunting & Outdoors (JHO) Upland Game Hunting Forum
.... Great place to ask and read about upland game hunting.
JHO on Facebook
.... Share your hunt tales and pics.

Dove Hunting Shotguns and Shells


Ultra-Dove gunThe best gun and ammo for dove hunting is a popular subject of debate among hunters. Many of the reasons for choosing a particular set-up are based on personal preference. Here are several things to keep in mind when making a selection:

1) The lighter the gun and smaller the gauge, the less weight you will have to carry. Dove are relatively easy to kill, and all the gauges - .410 bore, 28, 20, 16, and 12 - are successfully used to hunt them. However, the smallest gauges, 28 and .410 bore, generally require more skill to be used effectively. Because of their reduced shot capacity and longer shot strings, tighter chokes (full) must be used to achieve sufficient pattern densities, making it harder to hit doves.

2) The gun should be responsive. It should shoulder and swing quickly. Dove move out like missiles and rarely fly straight.

3) In heavy cover, use an open choke: the shots are closer, it makes it easier to hit the birds, and it does less damage to the bird. Long shots in heavy cover usually result in lost birds

4) In open cover you can use either a tight or open choke. If the dove are flying in close, and you are using a tight choke, let them get a short distance away before shooting to avoid excessive damage to the bird.

#8 or #7-1/2 shot gives you plenty of killing power while still providing good pattern density. If you are hunting on Federal Refuges you will need steel shot. Check with the manager of the land you'll be hunting in advance to make sure you are legal with your shot.

Dove Hunting Gear List


You'll need Acrobat Reader to read and print this .pdf file gear checklist, you can get Acrobat at

Please click the link below for a gear checklist you can print out.


Dove Hunting Publications

Department of Fish & Game Upland Bird Hunting Publications

The following DFG publications provide useful information for those wanting to hunt game in California:

Wing Beat News .... No longer published due to budget cuts.
California Upland Game Magazine .... No longer published due to budget cuts.

Other Publications

California Game and Fish Magazine .... No longer in business.
Fishing and Hunting News
.... No longer in business.
Western Birds
.... A great 8 page newsletter published by Jim Matthews, with maps and insider info on all kinds of upland birds. $100.00 per year. Get 2 or 3 of your buddies to split the cost and you're into the birds. P.O. Box 9007, San Bernardino, CA 92427-0007 or call Jim Matthews at PH #1-909-887-3444. Email
Western Outdoor News
.... Fine weekly newspaper with maps and tons of timely reports. $36.95 for 52 issues. Ph# 1-714-546-4370. Call the 'Hunter's Hotline' to give your story for publishing. Ph # 1-714-546-4370 ext. 48 or fax: 1-714-662-3486 or e-mail:


Ecology and management of the mourning dove. Baskett, T.S., M. W. Sayre, R. E. Tomlinson, and R. E. Mirarchi, Editors. 1993. Stackpole Books. Harrisburg, PA.

Mourning dove breeding population status, 1999. USFWS. Laurel MD.

Mourning dove. In The birds of North America, No. 117. A. Poole and F. Gill, Editors. Philadelphia: The Academy of Natural Sciences; Washington, D.C.: The American Ornithologist's Union.


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