Dove season nearing and Free Hunting Days
Don’t forget about Oklahoma's annual Free Hunting Days this weekend, Saturday and Sunday. Resident hunters do not need to possess an annual hunting license or HIP permit while hunting on these days.The free days fall on the first two days of dove season that runs Sept. 1-Oct. 31, statewide, followed by another nine-day period open from Dec. 22-30, statewide. In addition to dove hunting, squirrel season also is open on these days.According to Josh Richardson, migratory game bird biologist for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, areas with water and a native or agricultural food source should be good spots to find these birds starting this weekend.Despite it being hot and dry, Richardson said breeding counts were up at the start of the summer. Food resources have improved this year, but water still remains limited in many locations.After those free hunting days, dove hunters will be required to have a hunting license or proof of exemption and a HIP permit, available free online at www.wildlifedepartment.com. The daily limit for dove is 15, which may consist of any combination of mourning, white-winged and fully dressed Eurasian collared doves ("fully dressed" describes those birds without a head or fully feathered wing naturally attached to the carcass). However, there is no limit on Eurasian collared doves provided that the head or one fully-feathered wing remains naturally attached to the carcass of all such birds while being transported to their final destination.Full details and regulations for dove hunting are available in the current "Oklahoma Hunting Guide," available free online at www.wildlifedepartment.com, or at any location where hunting licenses are sold.Not only is dove season close, but so is deer archery season. I finally got some stands hung and cameras out last weekend. I still have a few to hang, and I plan on doing that this weekend. Koby and I also started shooting our bows this week, so we will be ready come Oct. 1.Have a great week!— — —Email questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.