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Mourning, White-Winged and Eurasian Collared-Dove
Dove

2017-18 Arkansas Early Migratory Bird Seasons 2017-18 Season Dates 
Sept. 2-Oct. 22, 2017
Dec. 8, 2017-Jan. 15, 2018

Mourning Dove and White-Winged Dove 
Daily Bag Limit:
15
Possession Limit: 45

Eurasian Collared-Dove
Daily Bag Limit:
No limit
Possession Limit: No limit

Legal Hunting Equipment

  • Doves may be taken only with shotguns.
  • Shotguns must be incapable of holding more than three shells in the magazine and chamber combined.
  • Lead shot may be no larger than shot size BB. Non-toxic shot may be no larger than shot size T.

Legal Shooting Hours

  • Legal shooting hours are from 30 minutes before sunrise to sunset.

Licenses Needed

  • Hunters 16 and older must have a valid Arkansas hunting license.
  • Hunters 16 and older must register with the Harvest Information Program in Arkansas before hunting.
  • Hunters younger than 16 do not need a license or HIP registration.

Other Dove-specific Regulations

  • The hunter must make a reasonable effort to retrieve downed birds.
  • Eurasian collared-doves must remain fully feathered while in the field and during transport.
  • Doves given to another hunter must be accompanied by written and signed information stating the number of birds being transferred, the species, the date the birds were killed and the name, address and hunting license number of the person from whom the birds were received.

Baiting Laws for Dove Hunting

  • It is illegal to hunt or kill doves with the aid of bait (salt, grain or other feed that has been placed, exposed, deposited, distributed or scattered to attract game).
  • An area is considered baited for 10 days after the complete removal of all bait.
  • Anyone hunting who knows or reasonably should know the area is baited is liable for the offense. Hunters should physically inspect the field for any signs of baiting and question landowners, guides and caretakers to ensure the field is legal to hunt.
  • Natural vegetation may be manipulated in any way to attract doves and other migratory game birds.
  • The following practices are legal to prepare dove fields on planted vegetation:
    • Planting – Planting grain crops in a field that has been plowed and disked (including topsewn or aerially seeded wheat fields) is legal as long as seeding rates are in line with Extension Service recommendations. It is illegal to seed the same field repeatedly, concentrate wheat in long rows or pile wheat on a field.
    • Harvesting – Harvesting a field often scatters some waste grain which attracts birds. If harvest was conducted as normal agricultural operation, it is legal for doves.
    • Manipulations – Unharvested fields may be mowed, shredded, disked, rolled, chopped, trampled, burned or treated with herbicides. These fields may be hunted legally for doves.
    • Hogging down – Livestock may be allowed to graze on harvested and unharvested grain. These fields may be hunted legally for doves.
    • Food plots – It is legal to plant food plots, provided that grains grown for wildlife management purposes are not harvested then returned to the field.
  • Complete information about baiting is available from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service (PDF document).

The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission prepares a few fields each year for the opening weekend of dove season so the public has a place to enjoy this exciting form of wingshooting.

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 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.

Public Dove Fields Available for Opening Day
WMA Contact Information Acres of Dove Fields Forage Type
Dave Donaldson Black River WMA 870-930-5717  4 (Call for Information)* Corn, Sunflowers

Dardanelle WMA

479-478-1043
TF 877-478-1043
8 acres on Okane Island Topsown Wheat
Ed Gordon Point Remove WMA 479-967-7577
TF 877-967-7577
50 acres total Milo, Millet, Wheat
Freddie Black Choctaw Island WMA East Unit 870-367-3553
TF 877-367-3559
31 acres (two fields) Milo and Wheat
Freddie Black Choctaw Island WMA West Unit 870-367-3553
TF 877-367-3559
14 acres Milo and Wheat
Fort Chaffee WMA 479-478-1043
TF 877-478-1043
Six fields in various compartments Topsown Wheat
Galla Creek WMA 479-967-7577
TF 877-967-7577
50 acres on the west sandbar Topsown Wheat
George H. Dunklin Jr. Bayou Meto WMA 870-367-3553
TF 877-367-3559
20 acres on Wrape Plantation Topsown Wheat
Hope Upland WMA 870-777-5580
TF 877-777-5580
80 acres Topsown Wheat
J.P. Mikles Blue Mountain SUA 479-478-1043
TF 877-478-1043
5 acres Topsown Wheat
Ozark Lake WMA 479-478-1043
TF 877-478-1043
17 acres Topsown Wheat
Petit Jean River WMA 479-478-1043
TF 877-478-1043
12.5 acres Topsown Wheat
Rick Evans Grandview Prairie WMA 870-777-5580
TF 877-777-5580
80 acres Topsown Wheat
Shirey Bay Rainey Brake WMA 501-529-3363 4 (Call for Information)*  Sunflowers
St. Francis Sunken Lands WMA 870-375-3066 68 (Call for Information)*  Corn, Sunflowers, Millet
Steve N. Wilson Raft Creek Bottoms WMA 870-734-4581
TF 877-734-4581
30 acres Topsown Wheat
Trusten Holder WMA 870-367-3553
TF 877-367-3559
12 acres at Jardis Point Topsown Wheat
Wedington WMA 479-253-2506
TF 866-253-2506
 6 acres  Sunflowers

* Some fields were planted late due to weather, and may not be ready until later in dove season. Call the contact information listed to get the latest status and location of each field.

 

Apply for a permit dove hunt