Alabama youth dove hunts provide gateway to the outdoors
The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources’ (ADCNR) Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries (WFF) provides several youth dove hunt opportunities throughout the state each fall. A simple hunting setup combined with a fun, family-friendly atmosphere makes WFF’s youth dove hunts an ideal way to introduce young people to the outdoors.
Registration for this year’s hunts will open at 8 a.m. Aug. 10. Although the hunts are free, online registration is required. Locations and hunting slots will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. For most of the state, the hunts begin Sept. 5. For more information, including a complete hunt schedule, visit www.outdooralabama.com/youth-hunting/youth-dove-hunts.
“The pandemic has shown us that access to outdoor recreation is more important than ever,” said Chris Blankenship, ADCNR commissioner. “We are happy to be able to provide that access this fall through a variety of hunting opportunities across the state, including our youth dove hunts.”
To participate in the hunts, hunters must be age 15 or younger and accompanied by an adult at least 21 years old (or a parent) who has a valid state hunting license, a Harvest Information Program (HIP) validation and a Conservation ID number.
Alabama’s youth dove hunts are held in open fields and staffed by WFF personnel, which encourages a safe, secure environment for both parents and participants. Before each hunt, a short welcome session with reminders on hunting safety will be conducted. All hunters are encouraged to wear eye protection and earplugs when hunting.
“As a precaution to prevent the spread of COVID-19, we are asking that all participants and our staff wear a facial covering during the registration and safety briefing when they are within 6 feet of a person who is not a member of the same household,” said Seth Maddox, WFF migratory game bird coordinator. “Participants are not required to wear a facial covering when in their hunting location or while hunting.”
Doves are migratory and covered by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service https://www.fws.gov/ has rules and regulations that apply to dove hunting, which all hunters must follow. To review the Alabama Cooperative Extension System recommendations for plantings related to dove management, visit www.outdooralabama.com/what-hunt/mourning-dove-hunting-alabama.
The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources promotes stewardship, management and enjoyment of Alabama’s natural resources through four divisions: Marine Resources, State Parks, State Lands, and Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries. To learn more about ADCNR, visit www.outdooralabama.com.