OHIO'S HUNTERS ENCOURAGED TO HELP IN NATIONAL |
MOURNING DOVE STUDY
COLUMBUS, OH - Ohio hunters are encouraged to report any banded mourning
doves they take during the upcoming season in order to help wildlife
agencies nationwide manage this important migratory game bird, according to
the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife.
Ohio has joined 25 other states in a three-year national study to better
understand the impact of hunting on mourning dove populations.
The study, begun in 2003, involves banding doves to determine harvest rates;
estimate annual survival rates; provide information on the geographical
distribution of the harvest; and develop and refine techniques for a future
dove-banding program. The U.S. Geological Survey and the U.S. Fish &
Wildlife Service are coordinating the study.
"Hunters are a critical link in this mourning dove banding study," said Dave
Scott, wildlife research administrator with the ODNR Division of Wildlife.
"Any hunter who kills a banded mourning dove needs to call 1-800-327-BAND
(2263) to report the band number and location where the bird was taken."
Banded birds can also be reported through the Internet at www.pwrc.usgs.gov
by selecting the "Bird Banding Lab" link. Hunters can keep the bands and
will be provided with a certificate identifying the age, sex, date and
location where the bird was banded.
"Because of the importance of mourning doves as a migratory game bird, it is
important that wildlife managers collect good population and harvest data to
guide annual management decisions," said Scott.
More than 85,000 doves will be banded in the next two years by wildlife
biologists throughout the study area. Doves will receive a metal U.S. Fish
& Wildlife Service band inscribed with a set of numbers and a toll-free
telephone number. Banded doves will be released at the point of capture.
Mourning doves are one of the most widely distributed and abundant birds in
North America. The mourning dove is also a very popular game bird that is
hunted in 40 of the lower 48 states. More individual mourning doves are
harvested annually than all other migratory game bird species combined.
In Ohio, 50,000 dove hunters annually harvest approximately 300,000 mourning
doves. "Sportsmen can expect excellent dove-hunting opportunities in 2004,"
said Scott Hull, project leader with the Division of Wildlife's Olentangy
Wildlife Research Station.
Ohio's dove hunting season has been set for September 1 through October 17,
and December 21 through January 2, with a daily limit of 15 birds and
possession limit of 30 birds.