Public Dove Fields Available for Opening Day
Opening day of dove season is the kickoff to fall hunting. Many organizations, such as 4-H clubs and churches organize dove shoots on private land, and some farmers put on hunts at their fields for a small access fee. The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission manages a few public fields on wildlife management areas to attract doves on opening day as well.
AGFC Waterfowl Program Coordinator Luke Naylor says this year's drought affected some sunflower fields that were planted for fall.
"However, many of the fields managed by AGFC are top-sewn wheat which will be unaffected by drought conditions. Chances are fields will still provide good hunting opportunities on public lands. Most dove hunters know hunting over a water source can be fantastic in most years, and this summer's drought certainly will enhance opportunities on what limited water is available."
Dove fields on WMAs are available on a first-come, first-served basis. WMA acreage put into dove fields is relatively small because most hunters only pursue doves during the first few days of the season. However, after opening weekend of dove season, many wildlife species feed in the fields, particularly those that were topsown with winter wheat.
Hunters should talk to area managers and regional offices for locations of fields, interest shown by other hunters and status of the fields.
WMAs with dove fields for the 2012-13 season:
Brinkley Regional Office – 877-734-4581
- Mike Freeze Wattensaw WMA – 10 acres
- Steve N. Wilson Raft Creek Bottoms WMA – 15 acres
- Prairie Bayou - 10 acres
- Holland Bottoms - 20 acres
Fort Smith Regional Office -- 877-478-1043
- Ozark Lake WMA - 17 acres
- Dardanelle WMA - 8 acres
- J. Perry Mikles SUA - 7 acres
- Ft. Chaffee WMA - 22 acres
- Petit Jean River WMA - 60 acres
Hope Regional Office – 877-777-5580
- Hope Upland WMA – 81 acres
- Rick Evans Grandview Prairie WMA – 86 acres
Monticello Regional Office – 877-367-3559
- Choctaw Island Deer Research Area WMA East Unit – 19 acres
- Choctaw Island Deer Research Area WMA West Unit– 10 acres
Russellville Regional Office – 877-967-7577
- Camp Robinson SUA - 8 acres
- Galla Creek WMA – 60 acres
- Ed Gordon Point Remove WMA - 60 acres